GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:09 am

We have so far done well to support our bigs and guard the paint by committee. From a front court challenge to a back court one, this game presents a test against our state rivals who live and die by the 3. Protecting the arc has at times been taxing for us, so we must have the mindset of all out effort closing out and contesting cleanly. We are a stronger defensive team that is facing a new task while having some advantages up front for a change. The 3's the key to it all, how we defend it, how we score. Playing to our strengths by moving the ball, getting it inside, and creating FT chances on O and communicating, rotating, and disrupting passes on D will be central to our success.

WHERE: The Field House Orlando, FL

WHEN: Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 1pm (CT)

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:43 pm

First, a very Happy 32nd Birthday to Bala Patty!
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Pop confirmed that Patty won't be playing, but like for DeMar, let's make it a double celebration today!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:52 pm

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Derrick is a game-time decision, but my sense is that since Patty is not playing, it's an encouraging sign that Derrick is a go.

On the other side, Harden, Gordon, and House are out.

Regardless of who plays, I think we need to pressure their ball handlers full court and try to disrupt their first pass to throw off their rhythm getting into their sets. The earlier we can make these disruptions consistently, the better we can push in transition. And please for the love of basketball fundamentals, let's finish cleanly at the rim!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:07 pm

No matter what, I'm so very proud of how well we've adjusted, come together, and grown top to bottom. That our young players have stepped up so well is a testament to their hard work and our development. It's great to know now what we have to work with going forward. I hope we keep that in mind and play with freedom and confidence.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:51 pm

Wonderful news! Stay healthy and play great, spurs! :D

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:18 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:24 pm

Right so I know we're up by 17 but it does not feel anywhere near a safe lead because it should really be a mid-20+ point lead. We gave up so many points on missed layups again, and we simply have to finish better at the rim.

We are also winning the rebound battle but again, we let several of them get away because we're tapping the ball up and out rather than getting two hands on it and securing the ball.

We are too lax on their drives for too easy makes at our basket when they run P&R.

There's just a sharpness that I don't see in our game right now, and we can't let our foot off the focus pedal.

I do like our switches and rotations for closeouts on D. KJ's bodying their post up attempts is a beautiful sight. He's been wonderful.

We have done a decent job getting to the FT line but have left some chances there, too while allowing too many our way.

We must stay assertive, contest cleanly, and execute on O.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:31 pm

Get guys out there who are interested in running back on D and preventing their drives. Jesus. Don't like the effort here, far too lax.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:32 pm

Ok. Deep sigh of relief... Good job finishing the task, Spurs!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:24 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#11 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:50 am

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Post-game interviews with Pop, Lonnie and DeMar:




A couple with Keldon:
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 7: SPURS VS. ROCKETS, 11-8-2020, 1PM (CT) 

Post#12 » by GREY 1769 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:30 am

Well it was a tentative start and a strong finish for a fine win. Our opponents were without some weapons, but so are we. These types of games sometimes lull a team into complacency, but it looked as it we were tentative at the outset, waiting to see what the attack would be rather than playing our game and starting assertively.

They actually began as we have in the bubble, driving at us time and again for quick layups in transition. We missed bunnies and open Js for easy 7-2 and 15-10 deficits. We didn't run out to contest their 3s as well as we could have early but did a better job as the game progressed to switch, rotate and close out. I really like that we contest from the side. Smart and effective. Forty-eight (!) of their 89 shots were from the 3, so even though most other attempts save for eight were drives, they were true to their form.

And we were to ours. First, it was great to see Derrick out there gutting it out. He provides a steadying force, and though his shot was off as his legs didn't look as strong, he still made an impact on both ends, driving to the basket, passing, and once again stepping up to take a charge. He's become someone we rely on and feed off of so much already.

DJ actually had a team-high 7 assists of our 28 - both good signs and shot a solid 5-10 (1-3 from 3). He was the only starter that didn't get to the FT line, and he once again chose to operate from around the key and arc. I don't understand why he hasn't been asserting himself there, but luckily we benefited from his good shooting. I was pleasantly surprised that he led us in assists. Still, his decision making could use some work. At times he looked for his shots, some contested, when he ought to have moved the ball as other Spurs did their part to be in position for more open chances. He also has to work on the right angles on passes; his attempt to Rudy on the block was picked off and Rudy had to foul because DJ wasn't in the right position and leaning away when he tried it. Hard to criticize him this game as stats show he stepped up better than I thought he did, but I trust Derrick to make the right decisions. DJ is coming along, though you can see it's less comfortable and natural for him. That said, I love how he facilitates when we're in transition, consistently passing to the teammate ahead. We've committed to him, and I want him to succeed, but I wonder about our ceiling with his facilitating feel and ability - how long till he progresses to that next level, and what that level will be.

DJ was one of seven Spurs in double figures, so those assists were well distributed for a balanced O attack - 67 points by our starters, 56 by our bench, outscoring theirs by 13. Drew was solid as a backup. Though uncharacteristically only 1-4FGs, he was dunking, rebounding (7, 3 on O), blocking. He found ways to contribute. Jakob, but for his missed bunny (sigh), had a stellar O game, making 6-7FGs and even 2-3FTs for 14 points, and grabbed 12 rebounds (3 on O) while chipping in one each of assist, steal, and block. We kept feeding him and he feasted inside to the point where they doubled him. Not sure when that's happened before, but it's a good chance for him to get some practice at it. He tapped the ball around a lot to keep it live and push it out to teammates. Not sure if those count as rebounds, but it's one of several smart things he does that impact the game even if they don't show up on stats. We won the boards battle 59-37 (9-5 on O) as expected, though if had to be picky, we missed on some watching them fall into opponent hands who ran to get them. They got us for 3s on three O boards, so that's something to clean up. These are details that didn't hurt us in this game, but good habits help close out games.

Second in rebounding was Keldon with 11 - a career high, including a spirited one on O against a couple of defenders for a putback and characteristic yell. He tied the team-high with DeMar for 5-5FTs, and tied the team-high in made 3s, shooting 3-3. He also led us in scoring with 24 - another new career high - on 8-12FGs. Can't say enough about how his game has progressed. He get to the right spots on O, drives with physicality, has a much improved 3 (25% in G-League to 10-14 in the bubble), and flat out hustles on D moving his feet, staying upright, arms up. At times he got caught on drives by a crafty and quick vet, but that's what these games are for. I love his instincts in changing his body positioning in the air on drives, and his touch in finishing at the rim.

Speaking of which, joining Jakob and DJ was Lonnie with missed bunnies. I think he's so athletic that his finishes are just too live. Plus his hands look like they're stiff. I think it'll come with practice, but he and DJ seem to have the most issues finishing at the rim with fundamentals, and even when they try, it's either a bad angle or to hard. Still, Lonnie was active and had a nice mix of drives, Js inside the arc, and 3s. Overall, what's noticeable is his level of engagement throughout the game. He doesn't disappear or stand around like he tended to earlier in the season. Terrific off ball movement, improving passing and a great 3 shot are all in his developing arsenal now. In addition to finishing at the rim, if Lonnie could implement a Euro step or the like he could avoid barrelling into defenders. He's just not yet the guy who will get the benefit of the doubt on a foul call.

DeMar is, of course, wonderful at ISO scoring with his advanced footwork and bag of scoring tricks. He's also doing a great job balancing getting points and distributing chances for others. It looks so much easier for him in this new more movement-oriented offense. We pulled away well enough that he didn't score in the fourth Q and we didn't need him to with the help of vets Rudy and Beli with 13 points each, both on 5-11FGs, both hitting three 3s, both one assist and one steal, with Rudy a 5-4 rebounding edge. I still don't like the line-up in which they're out there together as the ball tends not to move around as well and we're over-reliant on either scoring since they're both not shy about shooting. There's a bigger margin, either really hot or cold, with them playing together and I think it goes away from our more equitable style of play.

Beli wasn't shy when he finished the game with our seldom used youngsters Luka, Mezie, and Q. They looked a bit rough to be honest, but then again it's not easy to sit for nearly two hours and come into a game and just produce. Mistakes and turnovers were made aplenty. Luka to his credit made the right plays - a rebound and outlet pass, and then a pass into the left block for Mezie who gained position, rather than looking for his own shot (looking at you, Beli). He all but airballed one attempt from the arc but luckily there was Beli under the basket to put it in. Too bad it didn't count as an assist. Can we just run a play for Luka to get his first points of the season already? He's the only one who hasn't scored as a pro yet. Just saying.

Overall, a very good team win. I like that in each game, a new young player shows something more. Right now Derrick and Keldon have looked most impressive from the young group, but that's not a knock on the others developing. Consistency comes with time, and so while individually there are up and down games, collectively it's good to see that someone else steps up on a given night.

We did get lulled into their heaving 3s style of play at times, allowed too many open drives, got caught not hustling back on D for their transition points several times, and gave up 22 turnovers for their 24 points and had it stolen 14 times. Oof. Luckily, we did some damage of our own, getting 10 steals and 32 points off of their 18 turnovers.

It wasn't a clean game, but one which presented a new defensive challenge and we did well in various aspects of the game on the D end to contest cleanly enough. They live or die by the three, and you can't stop them all, but you can make it harder for them to get the shot off, and I thought we moved well as a group to limit the number of wide open 3s they took. I like our resilience whenever teams make runs, and that we can rely on one another and our multi-pronged approach to get stops and score in a variety of ways. It's far more of an all-for-one, one-for-all when everyone has a role to play and contributes to the result. It's fun to watch us grow and play this way.

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