The San Antonio Spurs have had a tremendous July by any conceivable standard. The acquisitions of All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge and veteran David West will give Gregg Popovich new options both next season and in the future, while the return of virtually every key free agent ensures that they won't see much of an adjustment period despite such high-profile additions. After this spring's first-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Spurs look like one of the two or three best teams in the NBA.
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As if things weren't going well enough, wing Kyle Anderson, who just finished his rookie season, went ahead and dominated the Las Vegas Summer League. The UCLA product, who turns 22 in September, averaged 22.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.3 steals in his first six games for the summertime Spurs, earning MVP honors prior to Monday's tournament final against the Phoenix Suns.
To celebrate, he threw this spectacular no-look behind-the-back pass to guard Shannon Scott:
Anderson impressed again with 15 points, seven boards, and four assists as the Spurs won the Vegas title 93-90. However, reserve Jonathan Simmons earned game MVP honors with a team-high 23 points.
The Spurs didn't come to Vegas with one of the most impressive rosters in the field, but head coach Becky Hammon, the first woman to coach an NBA Summer League team, led Anderson and others to the championship. If anyone still doubted Hammon's legitimacy as an NBA coach, they will only look more foolish now.
Anderson's fine play doesn't suggest that he's ready for a major role on a loaded Spurs roster, but he could now get a longer look as a reserve wing and Boris Diaw-like stretch four on a squad that could use more youth. As ever, the Spurs machine looks to be in pristine condition.
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