GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 9:31 am

Coming off a win in which we can play far better is a good position to be in when facing a key match-up. Both teams are hungry and fighting for the last couple of spots in the tight West race. What's most important for us is to focus on defensive intensity, and playing to our strengths: speed to their brawn, movement to their pace. We've made some strong strides in building chemistry as we implement a new style of play. We're at our best when everyone's contributing for a multi-pronged attack on both ends. Making our 3s, getting to the FT line, and limiting second chances will be crucial for us to succeed.

WHERE: The Field House Orlando, FL

WHEN: Sunday, August 9, 2020, 2pm (CT)

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 7:11 pm

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It will have to be D by committee down low!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 7:30 pm

Yeah we are driving and then kicking out rather than talking them to the basket and getting to the FT line.

Second chance points are crucial - both preventing them and getting them. Jakob MUST MUST MUST put O rebs back with dunks!!!

Also, we cant get lulled into their style of play. Our D to O transition and great movement is where we excel.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 8:17 pm

I had hoped Patty would get some minutes in this game. I much prefer him taking the end of Q shots rather than DeMar who is far too lackadaisical with these opportunities.

Beli is not hitting his outside shots but movement and drives are good.

If DJ and Lonnie could JUST finish with fundamentals at the rim!!!

I hope Derrick can walk it off. Looked like a knee on knee stinger, so a jolt but some ice and movement ought to do it. We need him.

Solid defense to offense transition by us. We have to contest their 3s better. Solid job-by-committee down low, although full credit to Jakob for his straight up hands up D so far. We need to stay hungry, stay sharp, and compete.

I like that we started to drive at them more. We need to keep doing that, secure rebounds, and hit our 3s.

FULL TEAM EFFORT THE REST OF THE WAY, SPURS!!!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 8:18 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 8:26 pm

JESUS.... NO GOD PLEASE NO... LET DERRICK BE OK...
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 8:51 pm

Sounds like Derrick has a knee contusion, so a positive even as he will not return this game.

We are out of sorts and sorely need to gather ourselves and step up together!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 9:00 pm

WE BADLY NEED PATTY IN THIS GAME!!!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Aug 9, 2020 9:57 pm

Quality resilience and keeping up our D for the most part to stay ahead and pull away. Lots to improve upon - finishing at the rim being primary, and grabbing boards on D - but we did a lot of good things, starting with staying together, shaking off the 3rd Q, and coming back and finishing strong for the win!

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by GREY 1769 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:56 am

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 6: SPURS VS. PELICANS, 9-8-2020, 2PM (CT) 

Post#11 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:19 am

A fine, determined start and a resolute finish earned us a quality win. Along the way, 'next man up' took us a while to adjust to, but that other players - a combination of youth and vets - stepped up at just the right time is a tribute to how well we've come together with so many other players out already.

So some things are a pleasant surprise, others a familiar work in progress. That we started so strongly again, like in most other bubble games, is a welcome change. We've increased our scoring output overall in these games, but it's how we're scoring - as well as defending - that is crucial. We're moving so well, sharing the ball, and creating multiple opportunities more quickly. Gone for the most part are the possessions where the ball sticks with one player, where other Spurs stand around more, where we rely on two main players to do the heavy lifting. It has always been important for us to have a strong support cast around them and to carry their share, but the order and bulk of possessions were in LMA and DD's hands.

Now, the onus is far more on the collective .The ball is in the hands of various young players, and they're growing their games as they learn to play together. The vets are now in more supporting roles, but because of their experience, they are at ease in stepping up if needed, and we really needed them to in this game.

Derrick is fast becoming a central player in two ways - he facilitates our O and scores in crucial moments, and he is also a poised player who provides a calming, courageous presence around whom we rally and from whom we take our confidence. If there's a Spurs Identity player right now, he's it. And we're a different team with him as our burgeoning leader. We were up by 17 at the half on the back of his stellar 16 points on 6-9, 2-5 from 2, 2-2FTs. Most of the damage was in the first Q and it was from everywhere - drives, mid-range J, 3s. DJ (3-10) and Lonnie (2-8) joined him in the highest number attempts but at nowhere near the efficiency. Every other Spur was in the 3-5 attempt range. We shot only 6-16 from the 3, but had only 6 turnovers to 5 steals, 2 blocks, 32 rebounds (10 on O!) and 14 assists while hitting 10-10FTs. A terrific team effort on both ends, especially considering we were up against a full team with bulky, tall, athletic front court.

Cue their reach in attempt on Derrick that happened to result in a knock into his knee. Colour me skeptical, but when another reach in attempt resulted in another knock into DJ's knee in the second half as he was stepping up on O (our third leading scorer), and an undercut at the arc resulted in Rudy (our second leading scorer) landing on the defender's foot, it's leaving a bad taste. I'm not saying these were intentional necessarily, but they were certainly careless and dirty. Combine these with fouls on Jakob that were of the barrelling into him variety and I couldn't help but notice a pattern of targeting our best players in bad ways.

Back to the game. We needed every one of those points in the hot first half as Derrick's early third Q departure took us out of our rhythm. You could tell that our minds were not really in the game. We unraveled and allowed a comeback before settling in. After the game, Rudy mentioned that Derrick is the one that usually leads those plays, and so we needed grounding with other players stepping in.

This speaks to Derrick's importance to us in such a short time as a starter again, to our vet depth in their ability to anchor us, and in the need for other young players to develop the skill to create for themselves and others. Right now, the facilitating and creating is from Derrick and DeMar. Rudy is capable but in a different way as he doesn't run point.

We did try and drive at them more which was crucial for us because we hit 21-22FTs in the second half and 5-12 from 3. While DJ did a better job driving, and Lonnie was more assertive taking it to the basket as well, their finishing at the rim was rather woeful: DJ 1-3 and Lonnie 1-6 in the key. So many missed bunnies! It's maddening to have them work their way in only to rim it out. We left a lot of points there alone, and they really need to put in the work with Chip to get the angle and touch right.

It's also about how they're driving. DeMar is very crafty and has been putting his full arsenal on display: footwork, post-ups, Euro steps, up and under shots, floaters off glass, Js. Very pretty and effective. Rudy has a bag of tricks, too, and uses his size and skill to get into his spots in the key, drive, or take the outside shot. Derrick and Keldon have big bodies and use them on drives to muscle their way in and are coordinated in protecting the ball in scoring. DJ and Lonnie can get to the rim with their quickness, but DJ seems to try and avoid getting blocked at the last moment and takes these large swoops with the ball which are high arching but not accurate; Lonnie is very strong, and perhaps goes with too much juice to the rim. He uses his physicality but contorts his body in a way that makes the finish harder than it needs to be. Sometimes he does all the right things in getting through an open lane only to flat out miss at the end. I'm confident DJ and Lonnie can improve, but as each game presents our strengths and weaknesses, finishing at the rim was a glaring issue in this game.

After the game, Pop said that the ball tended to stick more in the second half. We had 14 assists in the first half and finished with 22, so it attests to us adjusting to Rudy and DeMar having the ball more and scoring in their patented ways. It's fine, we needed them to take over and the team settled down around them. DeMar went from 6 points in the first half to 27 overall on stellar 10-16 and 7-7FTs; Rudy from 8 to 19 on 5-11 and 7-7FTs; DJ from 8 to 18 on 5-14, but did make 3-5 from 3, and 5-6FTs; Beli from 5 to 14 on poor 3-11 (2-6 from 3) but 6-6FTs.

I think we have Beli out there out for his movement and 3 role, but also out of a professional courtesy of a player on the brink of FA. Can't put a guy in a situation like that to warm the bench. But when he's not effective, he gets subbed out. I do wish Patty could suit up again, though. I trust him to make the right plays and make the shots far more.

Keldon was not an O focal point but still found a way to contribute 4-4FTs. We tried to make Lonnie an O focal point but he did not shoot it well. Still, he contributed a career-high 6 assists which led the team. His court vision has been an impressive improvement. Both were terrific in bodying up drivers, using their feet to stay in front, hands up contesting. Our help D an collapsing in the paint was a solid collective effort to help Jakob and Drew who did a very good job of keeping their star behemoth from exploding. Jakob grabbed 14 boards (5 on O) plus an assist and 2 steals to go with his 5 points but got into foul trouble early. In stepped Drew with 11 boards (6 on O) along with 3 assists 2 steals, and 2 blocks and 8 points on 4-6. His hook J in the key is so reliable. They both did well to stay in front of their opponents and remain upright, arms up, which allowed our help D to aid in contesting a lot of their chances. They did outscore us 54-36 in the paint, but we did well to make sure that they worked for them for the most part.

They made 12-30 3s, but 8 were from one player. He made some clutch contested 3s and so you tip your hat on those, but some we were late in rotating to close out or got caught on screens or simply at times gave him too much room. Something to learn from and get better at. Also, although we won the rebounding battle 51-48 (16-15 O board edge for them), they had several second and even third scoring chances on a single trip because of multiple O rebounds. Overall we've done a better job hustling for the boards, but still at times get caught standing waiting for the ball to come to us or not finding a player to box out. Something to clean up.

But our defense was active and disruptive for 12 steals, 6 blocks, and forcing 20 turnovers from which we scored 30 points. We used our strengths, starting with our D to keep making plays and finding ways to score. Even as they brought it to within 3, we stayed focused enough to stay ahead and pull ahead. DJ was solid down the stretch being aggressive and getting to the FT line. There's a reason Keldon is put in to finish games, and that is because he is already relied upon for solid D. But he's just one of those guys who makes good things happen, and sure enough as they brought it to 105-102, Keldon drove at their biggest player and got the foul, making both FTs. After that, we got a couple of steals, grabbed crucial rebounds (although they did get one O board putback late in the game), and made sure we used the clock well and made our free throws. Everyone made that little play or two that contributed to pulling ahead and protecting the lead. Finishing games strong is another attribute we're improving.

DeMar has been excellent in the fourth Qs of the bubble, the previous game notwithstanding. He added 15 points again. In the final Qs of the six games he has scored 62 points, the most of any player, and has done so on 75%FG. Just stellar. I hope he's more mindful with those end of Q heaves because we consistently have other players in better positions to shoot. I do also wish he'd clean up the techs after not getting the calls he frankly should get a lot of the time. It's unfair, but he has to keep his cool. He said he relies on Rudy to help him stay focused, and you could see Pop talking to him on the sidelines getting him to reset, let go, and get calm, or at least use that energy more constructively, and he's done an incredible job. He's even looked improved on man and help D, moving with his hands up, running to close out shooters.

Imagine if this were the DeMar we could get game in game out, the one who makes decision quickly, moves the ball, facilitates for others, and takes his opportunities to score in between. When he helps others get better, it in turn makes scoring for him easier as we have established multiple threats. It's just more fun for everyone when they all contribute. His and Rudy's buying in to their roles have actually given them the freedom to operate more easily.

There's a different energy to the team as the responsibilities are shared more on both ends. It's noticeable how often our players speak unprompted about how they really like each other and how that fuels wanting to do right by one another on the court. So it's 'next man up' as much as it is all for one, and this is exactly what you want to see in a as we grow individually and together.
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