Found July 15, 2012 on Project Spurs:

Summer LEagueLAS VEGAS - Game one of the San Antonio Spurs 2012 Summer League is in the books and it was a very succesful debut for a couple of players entering their sophomore seasons.  Going in to Summer League, we knew Kawhi Leonard would be the focal point of the offense, and while it took him a little while to get going, he did not disappoint.  The Spurs other Soph, Cory Joseph came in to Summer League hoping to show he can be a reliable back up to Tony Parker.  One game in he also showed a knack for running a team.

A few house keeping items to start off with.  The Spurs won 82-76.  After a really flat first quarter, the Spurs led for most of the final three quarters.  The offense that was run was a paired down version of what's run during the regular season.  In fact, it's probably almost exactly what Joseph ran in Austin for half of last season.  The first quarter was shaky but Joseph was incredibly aggressive.  Joseph finished with 18 points and four assists and showed a much improved jump shot.  Summer League Head Coach Jacques Vaughn said he was very pleased with how everyone played considering it was game one and signled out Leonard and Joseph specifically.

“I think a few guys played really well. I think we competed which is great in Summer League basketball," Vaughn said. "Cory and Kawhi really stepped up and played well.”

Kawhi Leonard's first quarter trying to create his own shot didn't work out so well.  He was aggressive, but that led to a couple of blocked shots on jumpers, but also led to a really nice layup in traffic and several trips to the free throw line.  Leonard seemed to get comfortable after that, doing his best not to settle for jumpers.  By the time the fourt quarter rolled around, Vaughn moved him to the primary ball handler in the pick and roll and Leonard continued to attack the basket.  Midway through the fourth, Leonard did had a crossover that led to a three point play, followed by a pull up jumper off a screen, followed by a pick and pop where he fed Eric Dawson for a score.  He finished with 23 points and 3 assists.

“The time to test drive a little bit which was fun," Vaughn said. Get him out there and put him in positions that he normally for us doesn’t get a chance to be in so pick and roll, posting up a little bit so see if we can see a little glow.”

Leonard said he's been working on creating off the dribble all summer, adding that he wants be more than role player for the Spurs moving forward.

“I don’t want to be standing in the corner guy my whole career. You know I like to take control of the game and just be a focal point to my team winning.”

A few other notes:

- San Antonio native Eric Dawson finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.  I'm not sure he has the size or mobility to ever be a consistent role player in the NBA, but he always seems to be in the right place at the right time.

- Ryan Richards got some extended run in the second half, showing some promise and a lot of raw ability (emphasis on the raw).  He finised with just two points and two rebounds, but he was aggressive the whole time he was in.  His athleticism showed when he came out to defend a pick and roll, forcing a traveling call.  The next time down the court, Richards got the ball at the free throw line, made a quick move and got fouled in the act of shooting.  Vaughn said he liked what he saw out of Richards, but that he's very much a work in progress.

“I think Ryan needs to just continue to get better at all aspects of the game.  He was physical out there on both ends of the floor," Vaughn said. "I think for a big, for us, it’s just being in the right place at the right time. Good screens, rebounding, real fundamental, doesn’t get too complicated with us.”

The Spurs next play Tuesday vs. the Lakers at 5:30 central time.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Anderson: Who wouldn't want to stay in San Antonio

LAS VEGAS - Most Spurs fans know James Anderson's story by now. He's a former Big 12 Player of the Year drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, was injured during draft workouts so he missed Summer League. Anderson started the 2010-2011 season showing promise until he went down with a stress fracture in his foot after six games. He wasn't the same when he came back two months...

Vaughn: Summer League is a fun time of year

The San Antonio Spurs are in Las Vegas for the 2012 Summer league where young players and NBA hopefuls will get their shot at making an NBA squad. Leading this year's Spurs' squad will once again be assistant coach Jacque Vaughn who will serve as head coach for the second time in Vegas. Players such as Cory Joseph, Kawhi Leonard, James Anderson, Eric Dawson and the newest...

One quarter of Popovich: Humble, Humorous, Unique

Fans love him for the way he acknowledges the community and has brought a winning professional culture to San Antonio.  Players enjoy playing for him because he treats everyone the exactly same way, even his superstars. Some media members hold themselves on a pantheon of some sort if they get chewed out by him.Who is he? Gregg Popovich of course.The San Antonio Spurs head coach...

Scouting Ryan Richards vs Hawks

The day, August 7, 2011. San Antonio Spurs draftee Ryan Richards led Great Britain to a 96-70 victory over the Netherlands in exhibition play as both teams were preparing for the 2011 Eurobasket.I have fond memories recapping that game because it was the one game where I saw a lot of potential in Richards. He led the team by scoring 16 points in a short amount of playing time.It...

Video: Spurs vs. Hawks Summer League highlights

The San Antonio Spurs kicked off their Summer League with a game against the Atlanta Hawks. Many Spurs fans tuned in to the game to see possible future Spurs such as Ryan Richards but it was current Spur Kawhi Leonard who put on a show finishing with 23 points as the Spurs went on to win 82-76. Make sure to check out Project Spurs' Trevor Zickgraf's (who is at the Summer...

Team U.S.A. uses second quarter defensive swarm to defeat Splitter, Brazil

Team USA has gotten themselves a lot of attention over the weekend with numerous players predicting that their current team could have defeated the 1992 Dream Team. But for the first quarter of U.S.A.’s 80-69 victory over Brazil, it seemed like they had no right to make such guesses. San Antonio Spurs site with blogs, weekly podcasts, on location video, photo and desktop wallpaper...

Hawks assistant Van Exel prepping for Spurs, uses Pop's methods in his coaching

LAS VEGAS - The San Antonio Spurs open their Summer League schedule against the Atlanta Hawks Sunday.  The team features former Vanderbilt forward John Jenkins.  Its coaching staff features former San Antonio Spurs point guard Nick Van Exel.  Van Exel was a Spur for one season, the 2006 season when the Spurs lost to the Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs.  Van Exel...

Spurscast #279: Spurs latest signing and Summer League talk

Jeff Garcia and Paul Garcia joined me while we are all in San Antonio to record the long-awaited next episode of the Spurscast.After attending a media session at the Spurs practice facility, we talked about the Spurs' recent flurry of signings, bringing back their own free agents in Tim Duncan, Danny Green, Boris Diaw and Patty Mills. We also talked about the official signing...

ESPN's Thorpe: Leonard has chance to show he's more than a role player

LAS VEGAS - Before the Spurs tipped off with the Atlanta Hawks, i had the privilege to be sitting next to ESPN analyst David Thorpe (we just call him Coach Thorpe).  Coach had a chance to talk about the Spurs' Summer League roster.  He didn't realize that Kawhi Leonard was on the Spurs Summer League squad and said he thinks it's great oppurtunity for both the Spurs...

Newman hoping to see Wall develop Parker-esque floater

LAS VEGAS - Here’s something about Summer League that makes it a unique experience. You’re crammed in to this relatively tiny gym where the “locker room” is actually a section next to the bleachers divided by some drape and piping.You also enter in the same place as some team scouts and executives. This leads to overhearing conversations in an elevator about whether or not...

Spurs Sign Mills, De Colo

Patty Mills and Nando De Colo are under contract for the 12-13 season.

Ginobili discusses Prigioni to Knicks

As a lot of focus in the NBA has been put on Argentine forward Luis Scola, who was released by the Houston Rockets via the amnesty clause on Friday, San Antonio Spurs guard Manu Ginobili recently discussed his other Argentinian teammate who will be making his way into the NBA at 35-years-old, Pablo Prigioni.Despite his age, Prigioni is going to play out his career by at least giving...

Spurs briefs: Joseph interviews Denmon, Parker the ref

• Cory Joseph, the reporter?Spurs guard Cory Joseph took over the mic from our friends at Spurs.com and interviewed Spurs draftee and Summer League teammate Marcus Denmon."You just gotta get out there and get some rythm going," Denmon answered about Joseph's question regarding adjustments for tonight's game. "You gotta come in and be ready when your name...
Spurs News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.