GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Aug 5, 2020 7:23 am

Hopefully some rest has given us proper perspective and energizes us to implement the lessons of our previous bubble games. It's most important that we play with confidence, resilience, and looseness and push forward together. If we once again balance vet leadership with youth growth so more of the team carries the mantle of stepping up and contributing like in the first couple of games, we can take better mitigate our opponent's front court strengths and take full advantage of our own. All in!

WHERE: VISA Athletic Center Orlando, FL

WHEN: Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 3pm (CT)

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Aug 5, 2020 7:23 pm

Beli's back and both he and Patty will be in the line-up. Good. The more 3s we can make the better:
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Aug 5, 2020 8:17 pm

Yeah we're going to have to drive at their bigs or otherwise figure out ways to get them into foul trouble. We don't have a tandem to guard them and it's hurting us early.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Aug 5, 2020 9:36 pm

Much better effort and hustle from the bench unit.

LOVE KELDON!

DeMar's distribution and footwork are terrific. He did take two end of Q shots, not great selection. The second one especially stood out when we had numbers with guys running out on wings and several better options than his heave miss. Need him not to just take that because he has the green light but to look for the best option available. Head up on a swivel.

DJ is settling for outside shots and is not driving. Way too passive on O. Needs to make a positive impact. Same thing for Jakob - advanced stat darling, but he needs to assert himself and increase his hustle factor for rebounds and dunks.

Love what Patty and Rudy are bringing.

Love what Drew is contributing.

Lonnie has done well with his chances. Good cuts, good drives, good finishes.

Derrick is our best young point guard. Does everything well.

We need to get to the FT line more and take more 3s and make both.

Pop's coach's challenge was a huge swing - from down at least 2 points and foul on Drew, to foul on their C and then we hit a 3 the other way.

Ball movement for 15 assists in the first half is solid. That's our O key. D rotations and closeouts need more hustle.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Aug 5, 2020 9:48 pm

Sub Jakob out if he doesn't feel like dunking or contesting with anything other than finesse. Needs to find his aggressive gear or sit.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Aug 5, 2020 11:13 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by Ballings7 » Thu Aug 6, 2020 12:38 am

Keldon with a pretty big game.. glad to see

Just goes to show why he should of been playing much sooner..

Team did better than expected, but still a tough loss.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by Phreak50 » Thu Aug 6, 2020 12:47 pm

I like Keldon, but at 6'5 he is too small for his game.

We just can't seem to get tall, long guys.

Murray and White are both 6'4 and Lonnie and Keldon are both 6'5.

The point guard size is ok but I wish the other two, especially Keldon were 2 or 3 inches taller.

Going to be some tough decisions on the roster going forward.

Anyway, another good effort today against a much bigger and more talented team.

Derozan has looked great. Would be nice to see him as a third best starter or 6th man on a contender. He deserves as much next season, and it would be win win for him and the team.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 4: SPURS VS. NUGGETS, 5-8-2020, 3PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Aug 7, 2020 8:49 am

Well, maybe it's too small a sample size to talk about patterns, but looking at the entire season compared to bubble Spurs ball, there are some interesting changes and perhaps old habits creeping in.

It's great to see the young guys playing with one another so well. Better than expected, really, given how little to no time they've shared the court. Also impressive are the various new line-ups and players in seldom-played or entirely new positions handling the situation like pros despite some obvious challenges of, for instance, DeMar at the 4, undersized wings, or disadvantages at the bigs position.

We've started running and gunning loose and free in the previous three games, so it was surprising how tentative we began this one. Maybe we were daunted by facing another team whose strengths are where we are depleted. It looked as if we waited to see what was coming our way and in doing so played on our heels and contributed to the early 14-4 deficit. It reminded me of all those mud-footed starts we had throughout the season and spent a lot of energy catching up.

Pop was having none of it, and subbed all the starters out for an energetic group that took advantage of our strengths - speed, transition, movement, and driving fearlessly. It trickled through the team and we came back to lead at the half where we had strong contributions from everyone not named DJ or Jakob. More on them later. We kept pace with our opponents in just about every category, impressive considering we're undermanned.

We have two goals of development and competing, and while they have for the most part been seamless, at times they did conflict. Some other old patterns crept in: DeMar took end of Q suboptimal shots even as teammates did the right thing by running ahead to better positions; DeMar didn't get a foul call, fouled intentionally, yapped at the ref, and got a tech; Rudy's resurgent scoring efficiency is great for us, but the ball stuck with him while we had guys running sets and moving only for them to watch him shoot, even as some of them at times continue to be more open. Every play counts in every game. All the more so in close ones. For both development and end results, DeMar and Rudy's reverting to these habits, small though they are, doesn't help either cause. They've been overall even better than expected, have embraced the difficulty of new positions, and have been great in their roles as mentors to the younger group, so perhaps it's splitting hairs. But these habits stood out from more selfless play of previous bubble games and I bring them up in the hope that we maintain the fine balance of making every right play, remaining competitive, and having the young guys learn.

Speaking of which, learning to put mistakes behind you is something I appreciate is far harder to do than to state. And yet, hard as it is, it's necessary for a pro. When we went the development route out of necessity we didn't abandon trying to win. But it did mean we could approach both with a nothing-to-lose attitude. That boosted our confidence and I think we exceeded expectations with some solid wins. The late-game mistakes of our third tilt seemed to have really stayed with DJ and Jakob. I really didn't think their hesitant play would last all game, but they were shells of themselves. Their own habits habits emerged: DJ settled for outside shots, hardly looking to drive; Jakob gave far too much space in the key in P&R coverage, missed bunnies, looking allergic to dunking. How does a seven foot pro get blocked by trying to finesse in a layup against tall, athletic opponents?! Drew, an energetic wrecking ball with a reliable hook jumper, has outplayed Jakob noticeably and set a new career high in points tonight. These were probably the worst games I recall seeing either DJ or Jakob play. Hopefully they shake it off. We need them at their best.

Mistakes will happen. What shouldn't is lack of effort, and while DJ and Jakob were all but ghosts, what also stood out was our old pattern of poor close outs on 3s by several others, as in glaringly not bothering to even fake some sort of late running out at times - looking at you, Rudy. For the most part, the young guys did well here, but this is a habit we need to stop. Some of it is poor switches or late rotations, miscommunications on D, but frankly some of it was effort.

Keldon is getting heaped with praise, all deserved, for his all out effort all the time. There's just something about the way he's wired that makes him a magnet for good things happening because of his sheer relentlessness. Another game, another career high in points, and he is being given defensive responsibilities in important moments. We sorely needed someone like him in the next generation of players. Thrilled we were blessed with him dropping to us.

I get Phreak's point about our 1-2-3 being relatively close in size and it's something we will have to address. But in terms of players coming up in our system, the reason they look impressive now is because of the time they spent in Austin. Development there is a real thing. Whether they should have had more playing time sooner with the Spurs is often debated, but if anyone watches the G-League team, it's clear that KJ, for all his energy, wasn't the same player then as today and neither were Lonnie, Derrick or DJ before him.

Back to the game. Although it's eye opening how well we are scoring - and perhaps this opens up some trade or draft options for us - team-wide we need to keep taking more 3s. Our D-first, movement-oriented O is fun to watch grow. Derrick has certainly stepped up and is thriving as a starter, being more assertive and showing a variety of O weapons. Dan Weiss noted that after this game, Derrick is tied for the lead with most made 3s in the bubble. That he's also such a terrific facilitator and a willing and skilled defender, timing blocks and taking charges (two more in this game) has frankly put him comfortably as our top PG. Lonnie is making 41% of his 3s (per Paul Garcia), and needs to be taking more each game. I don't care whether DeMar takes a couple by this point (but shouldn't pass them up when wide open, or pass it from the arc to a team mate late in the shot clock). Keldon's long range is much improved, and he has no fear in taking it. Let's see more shots from 3 for him as well. DJ is a conundrum. As much as his J has improved this season, his bubble games have shown inconsistent O contribution at poor efficiency. He can hit the 3 at 50% or 0%; he can get to the FT line for a few attempts or none. He's always good for some strong defensive plays even as he gambles at times. DJ is willing to take a key shot, but I trust the accuracy of the other three more right now.

We did well in getting to the FT line at 23-27, but need some seasoning in making more of situations we create. Both of their bigs were in foul trouble with four each, but we didn't push at them more, and so they were ending the game with their C operating as facilitator from the left block, slashing up our D with excellent vision and passing, and with 3s by their PF, just as they started the game. Recognizing these situations and taking advantage of them is something we need to learn to do better as a group.

We limited our turnovers to a stellar 7 in this game, and our bench poured in 70 points, crucial given only two starters were in double figures. After the game, Lonnie tweeted apologizing for his subpar performance and vowed to be better. Love him and his attitude. Cant wait to see what he brings. There's no doubt that we're scoring at will in part because vets like DeMar, Rudy, and Patty (who once again was terrific in providing an energy and scoring spark) are blending so well with the youth movement. For the most part, they've been conscious of giving space to the young guys to operate, and picking their spots to contribute. We're trying to keep that fine balance going, and the consistency of the vets has allowed our young guys to play through some mistakes with more freedom. At this stage, the experience is invaluable for the future, even as we continue to push for good results now.

NOTEWORTHY STATS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
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