SAN ANTONIO – The Spurs beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in their 2018-19 regular season opener. Here are some takeaways from Wednesday night’s San Antonio 112-108 win.
1. DeMar DeRozan not afraid to take over game:
In his season debut, DeMar DeRozan essentially carried the Spurs to a win.
DeRozan scored nine points in the fourth quarter en route to a team-high 28.
After the game, the all-star guard said he’s not afraid of the big moments and it showed as he consistently attacked Jimmy Butler before hitting the eventual game-winner with the game tied at 108.
The crowd also embraced their new all-star. So much so that DeRozan said he’s having trouble finding his No. 10 jersey for sale.
"It's crazy, I tried to get my mom a jersey last week and it was sold out," DeRozan said. "I was trying to tell her that and she didn't believe me."
DeMar DeRozan postgame on so many #Spurs fans already wearing jersey...'It's crazy, I tried to get my mom a jersey last week and it was sold out, and she didn't believe me'...also talks Aldridge and Bertans here⬇️ #Spurs beat #Wolves in season opener #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/MDinKaYbvk— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) October 18, 2018
DeMar DeRozan postgame (Part 1) #Spurs #Wolves...talked about big night...said 'he's NOT afraid to go out there and try to win the game'...added the team was telling him to take over late in the 4Q...also felt love from fans. DDR finishes with team high 28 points #KSATsports #NBA pic.twitter.com/V0zzrAYOM8— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) October 18, 2018
2. Bryn Forbes will be…OK
After injuries to Dejounte Murray and Derrick White, there were major concerns at the point guard position, but on opening night, those concerns were curtailed a bit.
Bryn Forbes was solid in his first start at point guard. Forbes scored 11 points and was not afraid to shoot late in the game. He also made some big defensive plays down the stretch.
Forbes played 30 minutes and despite not being the team’s key ball-handler, was smart and decisive throughout.
His shooting ability also stretches the court, allowing DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge to operate in the mid-range.
3. Three-point threats?
Last season, the Spurs shot a meager 35 percent from 3-point range, which ranked 26 of out 30 teams in the league.
On Wednesday night, they shot 44 percent, making 11 of 25. The bench made eight 3-pointers led by Davis Bertans’ three makes.
Marco Belinelli chipped in two 3-pointers and 10 points.
On a night when Aldridge struggled mightily from the floor (7 of 23 shooting), the Spurs needed help from DeRozan and got it from the bench.
The Spurs hit the road the rest of this week: at Portland on Friday and the Lakers on Monday.