'Those guys aren't scared': Spurs' rookies earning praise early in preseason




 

San Antonio Spurs veteran Doug McDermott praised a couple of the rookies on the team after their preseason performance on Thursday against the Orlando Magic.

McDermott led the Spurs with 14 points off the bench in the 102-99 loss as the Spurs dropped to 0-2 in the preseason. Keita Bates-Diop scored 12 points, while Devin Vassell and Tre Jones each added 11 points apiece from the starting lineup.

Blake Wesley paced the rookies with eight points, four rebounds and two assists. Malaki Branham had seven points and Jeremy Sochan chipped in five points off the bench. Wesley and Branham mostly played in the second half, and did the bulk of their damage in the third quarter.

Wesley shined on offense as a floor general, often blowing past his defender to create for himself or get others involved. Meanwhile, Branham has shot well and has had some nice drives through the Spurs' first two preseason games.

McDermott, when asked about their performance, likes what he sees.

Said head coach Gregg Popovich of Wesley:

The Spurs enter the season as the third-youngest team in the NBA and will integrate six rookies into the mix after a busy offseason. The average age of the team is 24.5 years old, behind only the Orlando Magic (24.1) and Oklahoma City Thunder (23.7).

The group has leaned on each other in training camp as they adjust to a new system. They have all shown flashes in practice and have looked to be great additions in the early going. Of course, they will experience some ups and downs but that is all part of the process.

The organization is embracing a full-on rebuild this season as it looks to build toward the future. The team has established its developmental program as one of the best in the league and looks to continue that tradition this season with another group of rookies.

San Antonio plays next on Sunday versus the New Orleans Pelicans.

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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire

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