The Secret Origins Of Jonathon Simmons

Game Recaps

It has been some time since the San Antonio Spurs needed any introductions. The core of the team has been together for several years, the Big Three since the dawn of time, and the biggest offseason acquisitions (LaMarcus Aldridge and David West) are tried-and-true veterans. 

Jonathon Simmons, however, is a relative mystery. When the undrafted rookie out of the University of Houston—having toiled away at a now defunct professional league, and for the Austin Toros—stepped to the free throw line for his first points in Milwaukee

during the second quarter, he was a curiosity greeted with good-natured heckling. 

After Simmons helped break open a close game with 12 points in the second quarter (4-for-5 shooting from the field, 4-for-5 from the free throw line), including a series of vicious dunks, Simmons was the first name off everyone’s lips. 

San Antonio Spurs 123, Milwaukee Bucks 98

Grades
San Antonio Spurs 123 Final

Recap | Box Score

98 Milwaukee Bucks
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF 30 MIN | 6-14 FG | 0-0 3FG | 4-5 FT | 11 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 16 PTS | +11 +/- In lieu of being the go-to-feed-him-every-possession guy, Aldridge has proven adept at doing the dirty work. He worked the glass against Milwaukee’s length all game. Two of his three first quarter field goals were the product of offensive rebounds, including an explosive put-back dunk over the Greek Freak. He stayed engaged and got himself involved when the ball went elsewhere and that’s a great sign for the Spurs.

Kawhi Leonard, SF 31 MIN | 9-12 FG | 3-5 3FG | 3-3 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 4 TO | 24 PTS | +17 +/- The Bucks tried to run away with the first quarter but he wouldn’t let them. He scored 11 of his 24 in the opening frame to keep things close. The shooting numbers are just getting obscene. 24 points on 12 shots? 75 percent from the floor, 60 percent from three and perfect from the free throw line? And it’s how he’s doing it. He’s taking hand-offs from Duncan down the baseline for a dunk and pulling up over Giannis for three. He swaggered his way into a would-be three at the end of the first quarter that would’ve tied the game at 30 if not for a toe on the line. Just nonchalantly walked into it. That’s where we are right now.

Tim Duncan, C 27 MIN | 7-12 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-1 FT | 10 REB | 4 AST | 2 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +12 +/- In case anyone was worried about Duncan (really?) after his scoreless outing against the Rockets, don’t fret. He came right back with this ridiculous line against one of the youngest, most athletic teams in the league.

Patty Mills, PG 28 MIN | 3-7 FG | 3-5 3FG | 1-2 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | +20 +/-He was at an obvious disadvantage trying to guard the 6-foot-6 Michael Carter-Williams, but he held his own well enough. 10 pts, 5 ast, 3-5 3PT, and just one turnover in a rare appearance as starter is not a bad night at all.

Danny Green, SG 14 MIN | 1-6 FG | 1-5 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 3 PTS | -2 +/-Jonathon Simmons turning the second quarter into a dunk contest probably ate into Danny’s minutes, and that’s fine. Simmons’s driving ability was more effective against the Bucks tonight. Danny still made some plays defensively. More than missing shots, the disappointment after his breakout night in the previous game was that he clearly hesitated on a few shots, as he’s done too often during his slump this year. Hopefully it’s not a sign that he’s back to over-thinking. Then again, Milwaukee’s length might make anyone think twice. We’ll chalk it up to that for tonight.

David West, PF 15 MIN | 5-9 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 0 TO | 10 PTS | +5 +/-Just solid. It was fun to watch him and Boban Marjanovic work together for about five minutes in the fourth quarter. In a stretch that lasted a little over a minute, Marjanovic assisted on two consecutive West buckets before West returned the favor on a Marjanovic dunk.

Kyle Anderson, SF 9 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 2 PTS | 0 +/-Didn’t get much time tonight but showed off a little of his typical all-around game while he was in.

Boban Marjanovic, C 5 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +3 +/-It’s already been established that the guy can play but it’s still eye-opening how skilled he is at that size, his vision and the way he surveys the floor.

Matt Bonner, C 3 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 3FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 0 PTS | +1 +/- Missed his only shot in three minutes but came up with the steal that kept Milwaukee from scoring 100. A for you, Red Mamba.

Boris Diaw, C 19 MIN | 6-8 FG | 0-1 3FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 14 PTS | +19 +/- Boris has been in an aggressive stretch lately, and mostly to great effect. Tonight was no different as he worked the high-low and tested Milwaukee’s defense for vulnerabilities throughout. Stay a while, Aggressive Bobo.

Ray McCallum, PG 17 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-1 3FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | +6 +/-Popovich broke from his usual pattern in choosing to bring McCallum off the bench and start Mills, rather than leave the usual bench unit in tact. He often shared primary ball-handler duties with Ginobili and only took two shots, one of which (the lone three) he missed badly. But I thought he acquitted himself nicely, looking up the floor to advance the ball and helping the bigs secure the defensive rebound.

Jonathon Simmons, SG 20 MIN | 6-7 FG | 0-0 3FG | 6-7 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 18 PTS | +21 +/- The rookie can play. Jeff McDonald of SAEN noted that a group of Bucks fans chanted “WHO ARE YOU?” at Simmons during his first appearance. Simmons wasted no time providing an answer, sparking an instant 10-0 run and helping the Spurs to a 27-12 advantage in his 9:03 of play in the second quarter. He put a lot of pressure on the Bucks’ defense, relentlessly attacking the rim, and defended tenaciously as usual. He was absolutely robbed of a highlight block against Michael Carter-Williams by a poor call. His 18 points are a career high.

Manu Ginobili, SG 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 3FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 7 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 8 PTS | +12 +/- Manu was everywhere. Hitting threes, stealing the ball, setting the table for others, selling out to tap a loose ball ahead to Kawhi on the break. Great Manu game. Fun fact: he somehow shot a perfect 2-of-2 from three while throwing a pump-fake before both of them. Tough.

Gregg Popovich
Is this thing pre-coded to give Pop an A+? I swear I didn’t touch it but who am I to change it? In all seriousness, I like that he went to and rolled with Simmons early.