The San Antonio Spurs faced off against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday and took the Thunder the distance despite being without key players.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker and Kyle Anderson (injured in second half) did not play yet the Spurs tested the Thunder right down the wire.
The younger members of the team, Bryn Forbes, Dejounte Murray, Davis Bertans, Brandon Paul, and Derrick White, did not disappoint in the slightest. The Spurs only lost to the Thunder by three points with many attempts to actually win the game.
Going up against three All-Stars and the reigning MVP is a daunting task but the young players players hung in with the Thunder.
Veteran Spur Pau Gasol thought it was great to see the young guys getting a go at this Thunder team. He had this to say about the game and his teammates.
“I’m just happy and proud of how the young guys competed. We gave ourselves a chance to win the ballgame,” Gasol said. “Those guys played pretty much the entire second half, the players that don’t usually play very much at all."
Although these players won’t see many games play out like this one, it’s still nice to know they can deliver when needed.
In essence, these players were tossed into the fire and showed they got the right stuff to play at this level. Consider this, Paul, Bertans, Murray, White and Forbes were essentially a G-League team yet were capable to give the Thunder all they can take before barely escaping with the win.
They stepped up when the team needed them and delivered.
Said Gasol, "We can take away that we have a nice young core that, when coach decides, are going to be ready to step up and play.”