Many fans were looking forward to the Spurs’ first preseason game of the 2020-21 season for a variety of reasons. One was obvious: the sheer jubilation of having the Spurs back. Another was to see if the exciting small-ball style from the Bubble would return, but once everyone knew two key contributors from Orlando — Derrick White and Keldon Johnson — were out, we knew we weren’t going to see that style last night, right? (Right????)

While their preseason debut — a 121-108 loss to the Thunder — looked a lot more like last season’s slow Spurs due to injury, another reason fans tuned in last night shined bright: rookie wing Devin Vassell, with a standout 12 points (on 2-4 from three), 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals in 25 minutes of action. He was everything as advertised and more, showing off a variety of moves on offense to get his own shots and create for others. On defense, his basketball IQ truly shined as he read plays to cut off passing lanes with ease, and after some early fouls, he showed a knack for stripping the ball.