GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 2, 2020 9:20 am

In our second game, we face another opponent fighting for the final playoff spot, this on the first of a back-to-back. Everything flows from how we play as we progress with our development. All else is a bonus, but if we play well enough, that bonus can be a positive result. Improving on our first game by defending assertively from the start, limiting turnovers and points in the paint, and making more 3s and FTs will be important to both the outcome we want and the growth we're pursuing.

WHERE: VISA Athletic Center Orlando, FL

WHEN: Sunday, August 2, 2020, 3pm (CT)

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 2, 2020 7:58 pm

STARTERS: DJ, Derrick, Lonnie, DeMar, Jakob

Beli is out today, healthy Patty will also be on the bench.
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Youth development mode activated.

EDIT: Check that. Patty on the bench, but ready, now in the game!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by Ballings7 » Sun Aug 2, 2020 9:20 pm

The Keldon-Train has remained on course since early March.

Really should of been playing semi-rotiation minutes, literally all year and given a chance to show something early, at least a few chances should of been given a lot earlier.

Guy is confident, tough, and has solid 2-way tools with nice athletic attributes. I think he's going to at least be a clutch two-way utility wing for years to come, Iguodala-mold but maybe not as good as Iggy was at his peak from 2011-2015. Brings nearly what the team needs at the 3 -- just that he isn't starting yet, and lacks a bit of size (length, height combo, but is long and has a solid frame for the 2-3) where that may or may not be an issue at times.

The team long-term still needs, at least, (if not TWO more), one more younger/young 2/3/4 type of hybrid wing(s) with relatively good size and 3/D/R (threes, defense, rebounding) skill. Think that is critical for the team over the next two summers -- re-establish that two-way -- 3/D/R platoon of capable wings... 2-3 guys total.

Keldon should be a really good piece to help fill that void missed since Kawhi, Danny, Simmons, and Kyle Anderson all departed since 2017 and 2018.

Glad to see Quinn 'spoon getting some mins as well. I think he could be a Gary Neal type of a guard for the team, but a better scorer and quicker than Neal was.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 2, 2020 9:22 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 2, 2020 10:47 pm

OH MY GOD! OH. MY. GOD! OH! MY! GOD!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 2, 2020 11:22 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by SaveTheHens » Sun Aug 2, 2020 11:24 pm

Spurs playoff streak is still going baby!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 2, 2020 11:29 pm

SaveTheHens wrote:Spurs playoff streak is still going baby!

It's really been about development with four rotations players - three starters - out, so it's just a game at a time. Against all odds.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by Milenkovic » Mon Aug 3, 2020 1:55 am

I went from disliking this team so thoroughly during the start of the season, to now, loving this youth explosion we have.

KJ has all the tools to be a star. Lonnie coming into his element. From playing the ugliest brand of basketball, we are playing exciting, high paced stuff at times.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by GREY 1769 » Mon Aug 3, 2020 7:28 am

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Post-game interviews with Pop, DJ, and Derrick:
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 2: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 2-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#11 » by GREY 1769 » Mon Aug 3, 2020 9:27 am

A proper nail biter at the end, wasn't it? My heart thumped well after the final buzzer. I'm proud of our resilience at the end as I am of our determination throughout. There's an element of rallying together all the more with key teammates out and it has an energizing ripple effect through the team; our young players are taking it upon themselves to shoulder the responsibility not only individually but as a group and it is paying off.

Post-game, DJ mentioned unprompted in two separate interviews that the guys really like one another off the court and it is translating into better play on it. You could see it in how they speak about one another, and how they celebrate one another's good plays. In a short time, the young group has shown a cohesion that springs from their bonds.

What's good the DJ-Derrick-Lonnie then KJ group is that when one is a bit off, there's a wave players to pick up the slack on O as each contributes defensively. I think this is what we had in mind at the start of the season with multiple guards, but it didn't work as well because the defensive end was nowhere near as impactful. The difference now is playing well on both ends which has resulted in strong first Qs and leads.

I agree with Milenkovic's point to the extent that returning with our style of play from last season was going to be an uphill battle; there was little room for error and a contrast in playing styles between half-court of vets and transition of the younger players. The bubble group has had to adjust to a new playing style but because the young guys prefer the pace and movement, the adjustment period is far shorter than many anticipated.

In this game, some of the previous style crept in a bit with ball handlers holding onto the ball longer compared to the other bubble games, and too many one and done shots. The ball didn't stick with any one player nearly as much as there was still good off ball movement, but it did allow the defense to get set. Rudy was having an off O night and at 3-15 and kept right on shooting mostly from the outside - either drive with your considerable frame or move the ball to others. His 7 boards were welcome, but the four TOs need trimming.

It was that kind of game in which we excelled in surprising areas outrebounding them 49-39, including 12-3 on O (!) but also committing 16 turnovers, giving up 17 points. We scored 16 on their TOs so thankfully that balanced out. Not surprisingly with our depleted front court we got clobbered in the paint 64-28, but we also made our 12-29 from 3 for 41.4% and got to the FT line 24-33 (72.7%). It's far below our second in the league average, but every point counts, including the final two from DeMar that sealed the win.

With Bryn and Beli out, Patty was a welcome addition to our roster as he provides energy, a vet presence, and shot making (2-4 from 3, 4-4FTs) which were important to our win. He and Rudy were the first subs in (previously it was Keldon) and I thought their presence was one that brought back some of those old habits of taking too long to generate a shot without moving defenses to do it. I love when the young guys start out together with DeMar consciously feeding them early. He once again scored far more in the second half, but did look for his own shot more in the first. I guess having our 3-shooters out meant we had to score from more of our known shot makers, but I want the young guys to get out of the habit of relying on the vets to make the key shots, and grow to become those who make the key shots.

To that end, DJ hit some incredible high arching rainbow Js off the glass that were as tough as they were pretty. I like that he has that fight in him. We needed his solid O game - team-high 21 points on 9-19, 2-4 from 3, 1-2FTs with 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals - as Derrick's shot was off tonight. Consistency is still the one thing he has work on. There have been several times in which he's had incredible O games followed by poor shooting ones. It's not about maintaining very high percentages every game, but about not dipping so much after great games. Still, he took his shots assertively like we want him to, plus he also had 6 boards and 7 assists, tied with DeMar for team-high.

Consistency is also Lonnie's O issue, so I guess the young trio is learning to be consistent, but continue to get minutes because they have bought in on D. I like that Lonnie adjusted from the previous game where he couldn't beat his man off the dribble from a pass and tonight brought the ball back out and beat defenders with a running start. Smart way of playing to his strengths. Lonnie and KJ both played 25 minutes though the latter was more efficient in this game, their combined athleticism helped us have a continuous wave of guards attacking the basket. Keldon is already being subbed in for defense, such as in the crucial final play when he went in for Patty for defense. His rebounding against much bigger players on the O end continues to be impressive as well as his hustle for loose balls. It's part of his infectious effort that everyone loves and wants to give back as a couple of our players also fought hard to get their hands on the ball for jump ball opportunities.

Jakob is often less heralded for the work that he does, but he gets full credit for the big task he had today. In his 21 minutes before fouling out, here was his impact:
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Stats of course don't tell the whole story, but they do point to important elements and Jakob was very solid for us tonight going 3-3, 7 boards (3 on O), and 2 blocks. As always, he was in the right place at the right time and finished well. The front court support we got from Drew with 8 points and 5 boards with 2 blocks in career-high 23 minutes helped us down low and kept a balance so that guards could attack. He's an athletic bruiser who takes no prisoners, but I like that both our bigs have that smart, stealth sneak-in back door move waiting for dishes to finish inside. They're nimble and quick for big guys.

It's clear that we love playing in this pace and movement style together; you can see our confidence in the team-wide contributions. That's something we have to stay mindful about, making sure the ball doesn't stick and we don't fall into one and done shots but have a multi-pronged attack. That's the best way for us to cover for missing teammates and have the young guys gain experience. I like that we kept our poise and found ways to make plays on both ends with hustle and smarts. Some sloppy turnovers need cleaning up, as does settling for shots that aren't falling, and moving the ball more to keep defenses off balance. We're less predictable and more fun to watch. I can only imagine how much they're enjoying pushing into new territory together. It's what all that slow development has been and continues to be about. Growth and reward.


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