As the NBA lockout continues, players are finding ways to stay in basketball shape and at the same time, give basketball fans something to cheer for.
The Carmelo Anthony Summer Pro-Am tour rolled through Baltimore on Monday night, attracting a packed house to St. Frances for what was billed as a heavyweight battle between NBA stars Kevin Durant and Brandon Jennings.
However, before Durant and Jennings took the court, Baltimore native and current San Antonio Spurs Guard Gary Neal led his squad to a 74-66 victory.
“It’s always good to have pros come back play in an involvement like this, especially in the time during the lockout where the basketball season is in question; it was definitely a good thing for the community.” Neal said.
Neal, who played for Calvert Hall and Towson University ran the point for his team, settling into a role as the distributor through three-quarters.
The game was even until the final minutes, when Neal took over and tallied nine points in less than 60 seconds to pull his team ahead.
”The first three-quarters, I did a little moving the ball and getting everybody involved,” Neal said. “In the fourth quarter, I was a little more assertive and aggressive.”
Granted it’s just an exhibition game, but it seems like the Spurs’ 3-point specialists hasn’t missed a bit and is trying to work on his point guard skills over the summer which is a good thing.
The departure of George Hill and Chris Quinn has left the Spurs thin on the point guard rotation.
If Neal is able to play the facilitator’s role, then Tony Parker could rely on another ball handler aside from Spurs draftee Cory Joseph once the NBA season resumes.