As I do with all Spurs newcomers, most of which are 10 day contractors, I tend to watch them away from the ball and see how they react. I have to admit I was a little excited to see how the new guy on the block would play. Given that he hadn’t played in any actually game situations in a while, he didn’t do too badly. He looked a little sluggish at times but he’s a big. He runs the court well, looks to have pretty good lateral foot speed and go after the offensive rebounds. On defense, he likes to keep his hands on his opponent and tends to try and muscle them for position a lot, which is normal, but remember, he’s considered a rookie and they don’t get calls. I saw him grabbing rebounds but didn’t realize he had 9. And he might have what could be a workable midrange jumper, given time.
The book on Baynes is that he sets a pretty good pick and he had a few solid ones last night. One area of criticism is that he tends to lean into the opponent with his shoulder and with arm flexed. Again, he’s a rookie and whether he gets away with it may depend on the officiating crew the Spurs draw. His team defense needs a little polish. Granted, it’s his first game and he was concerned about his man whom he handled, but a few opponents drove the lane while he was there without being challenged and with his height and girth, he might have deterred an easy layup.
Aside from my knit picky points, if first impressions count for anything, I think we have a big we can work with. Just like Splitter, Baynes needs game experience to get better and time to play with his new teammates to get to know their mannerisms. Welcome to San Antonio mate.
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