GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT)

Moderators: BombsquadSammy, Baphomet, GREY 1769

User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:44 am

Well, here we are on the cusp of our final regular season game, having proven ourselves to be resilient, adaptable, and rising to the dual challenge of developing while competing. We'll need to muster all our strengths and learned lessons at least once more to give an all out effort making sure we rotate well and disrupt passing lanes, grab rebounds and finish in transition, and move assertively and make open shots. Let's play free and with confidence. Everyone all in.

WHERE: The Field House Orlando, FL

WHEN: Thursday, August 13, 2020, 5:30pm (CT)

Read on Twitter


GO SPURS GO!!!
ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by GREY 1769 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:46 pm

:o LUKA!
Read on Twitter
ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by GREY 1769 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:27 pm

LUKA'S FIRST PRO POINTS!

New era beings in earnest :D
ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:50 pm

Read on Twitter


Lots of messy possessions with a brand new starting five and some players getting more time than they ever have before.

I hope Q will be ok - he's out for the rest of the game with a strained knee.

Luka looked nervous early, but has settled in a bit more and has made some sound decisions on both ends. Good footwork to stay with drivers, good running out for closeouts, a nice looking 3.

The 3's the big difference right now: we're 4-8, they're 10-28. So some miscommunications by us in rotating to close out allowing some wide open shots, but we're getting the ball inside to Jakob well, Keldon's driving, and after taking a barrage in the first Q and being down 17, we're somehow we're within striking distance.
ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:36 am

Read on Twitter


And that's our season, Spurs fans. This game was a messy one, as expected, but overall there's so much to be grateful for and look forward to. Loved what we got to see from the young Spurs! I can't wait to see how our young guys, who showed so much promise - as did our new playing style - come charging out of the gate next season.
ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:11 am

Post-game interviews with Pop, DeMar, Keldon, Derrick, Dejounte, and Lonnie:

ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:
User avatar
Kabookalu
RealGM
Posts: 63,103
And1: 70,077
Joined: Aug 18, 2006
Location: Long Beach, California

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by Kabookalu » Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:09 pm

Please get rid of LaMarcus Aldridge, this is the most fun I've had watching the Spurs since the Zaza incident.
Read on Twitter
User avatar
Phreak50
Analyst
Posts: 3,061
And1: 4,687
Joined: Feb 01, 2014

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by Phreak50 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:09 pm

Will be interesting to see if DD opts out. And what the Spurs do with Aldridge. He said he'd like to retire back in Portland but his contract is too big for them to really want.

I agree it was fun to watch this young team but in a full season in regular arenas I don't see us winning more than 35 games with the same team.

And that's ok. We're not going to be a championship team overnight.

But I do think Murray has one more chance (until trade deadline) to show more offensive consistency and get back to being an all NBA defensive guard.

But great to see basketball back and Pop smiling again.

(Go Raptors!)
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by GREY 1769 » Sat Aug 15, 2020 3:02 pm

LMA did make some adjustments this season, particularly at the arc. Ok, so he was able to stretch the floor for us a bit more, and teams had to respect his 3 because he made them at a good rate. But the bubble has shown that he will have to adjust all the more. If he doesn't feel comfortable, well, then best to see what we can best get for him.

I agree with Phreak's point about DJ. Out of all our young prospects, he looked the worst in terms of showing improvement. Sloppy, inefficient, passive play too often, and his passing / vision is not where I thought it would be at this point. I wonder if he had more of a directive to shoot from outside? He shot it as if he did, but there were plenty of chances to drive had he been more assertive. He's obviously a good defender, improved his shot (even with bubble inefficiency), and is a good passer in transition. Maybe he works on his game one big aspect at a time - last off-season it was shooting. Can it be passing this off-season? He'll be on a new contract starting next season, so he has to step up.
ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:
User avatar
Kabookalu
RealGM
Posts: 63,103
And1: 70,077
Joined: Aug 18, 2006
Location: Long Beach, California

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by Kabookalu » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:23 am

At one point I thought Dejounte Murray would be a future all star, but now I doubt that ever happens. In 2018 I thought I saw potential for some elite driving ability, like a mini Giannis with his long strides, but now seeing him over a "full" season, it's pretty mediocre. Anything that's not a straight line drive to the basket and he struggles mightily. He easily loses footing when his defender puts in any kind of resistance against him. And that crossover he pulls off on his drives almost always bugs me, because a lot of the times he's crossing over right into the help defender. You almost always see it when he's driving right.

Though the thing I'm taken the most back against him is his defense. I really thought he could be a DPOY as a point guard, which is incredibly tough to do, but that's how high I thought of his defense. A 6'5 or 6'6 guard with a 7ft wingspan (all the websites say it's 6'10, but he's grown since then) and Chris Paul's defensive anticipation? Though I was sorely wrong about that. He doesn't anticipate things as well as I thought he would, like the game is too fast for him. He'll get a neat steal playing the passing lanes every now and then, but before i'd say that's from instinct, now I think it's him gambling. I really thought he'd be a guy who would see plays developing on defense

I'm not totally down on him. I like the strides he's making with his jumper, both in his spot up and pull up. He's improved in all aspects of his shooting, and his gather on those elbow J's is coming along nicely. On top of it all he's still pretty young turning 24 in a month, and that's also missing an entire season. Even though I'm down on his defensive IQ, it's just based on how high I had it before. It's still solid overall, it's not like he's a liability at all. Maybe the game will slow down for him next season and he starts shredding teams up alongside Derrick White. Despite everything I've said about him, he still finished 13th in the league in deflections a game, and every single player above him besides Jonathan Isaac is playing more than 30mpg. I think his anticipation is average to above average, but because of his length he gets a lot out of it. If he develops it to be even just good, he'll be a pest to deal with.




Read on Twitter
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 18,350
And1: 16,136
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White
   

Re: GAME DAY, BALA! RESTART GAME 8: SPURS VS. JAZZ, 13-8-2020, 5:30PM (CT) 

Post#11 » by GREY 1769 » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:35 am

Ok, very finally, I am able to write some thoughts about what has turned out to be the final game for us this season. We found out before the game that we were out of the running for the post-season so we had yet another new starting line-up: DJ, Lonnie, and Jakob returned, but Derrick and DeMar were replaced with Keldon and Luka! Interesting choices in terms of who started or not, and who played or not.

This was the most trying game to keep track of because it was so sloppy it devolved into an almost comical back-and-forth from turnovers and disjointed plays. Ideally, you want as little drop off from one player to another in an line-up, and while the new bubble starting five has been a positive revelation - coming together with far more synergy far more quickly than our original starting five ushering in this season - this final game's rotations showed not only inexperience of some players - understandable - but also the value of having vets in any given line-up to settle everyone around them.

A 41-24 first Q deficit wasn't the assertive start we saw in most of our bubble games. I mostly remember thinking variations of What is going on?! or Is someone going to go after that rebound?! and Does Beli remember how to pass?! with an occasional What play are we supposed to be running?! It wasn't the score so much as its accurate reflection of our disjointed play.

DJ was selected to play even though he was the starter all season and it was the vets who rested. I thought Quinn would have started, but he got injured towards the end of the first Q, and until that point his minutes indicated he'd have back-up duties. Maybe Derrick didn't play because of his ailing knee. I think it had as much to do with his having more than proven himself in the bubble.

So while we did need the steadying presence of an experienced player in the line-up especially at PG, it seems the players who got the bulk minutes were those we were intent on evaluating. Curious, isn't it?

We got a better look at the DJ-Lonnie back court. Useful, even though DJ-Derrick works better now. DJ-Lonnie combined for 11 of our 24 assists, but outside of Drew they were both the least efficient while taking a team-high 14 attempts each. We've been harping about DJ's play, but it's hard not to notice patterns in the bubble. Only three of all his FGs were at the basket. Why has this been consistently lacking in his game throughout bubble play? As a team we were fairly even in the first and second half in FG and 3 attempts, turnovers, and rebounds. One exception was FTs; whereas we were a woeful 8-14 at the break, we pushed for 16-22 after it. DJ was 2-2. Should that be a criticism? Each game presents different chances. The point is he's consistently not generated enough of them with assertive enough play. If we compare to Derrick or Keldon the discrepancy is all the more glaring.

To his credit, DJ had a team-high 14 rebounds and 7 assists, but the latter was offset by a team-high 6 turnovers. That's the thing with DJ's game - positives are tempered with negatives that have become all the more apparent in the bubble. I also think that he has less bounce post-injury (especially if you compare his college highlights). Maybe it takes at least a full season to get that back. If he doesn't, he'll have to adjust his game to match his physical abilities now. It's not fair to judge his entire season through the lens of the last eight games. And perhaps because he's been the starter all season we expect more from him, or others look more impressive because we've seen less of them and being lesser known commodities our expectations were lower. Either way, it looks as if he was out there to show his development as much as to be the experienced presence. We looked far too out of sorts too often as if we were scrambling to save possessions with him at the point, and it's something we'll have to look at going forward.

Lonnie also didn't have an efficient bubble, but some aspects of his game stood out - improved 3 shooting (love his form), far more engaged off the ball, great D - upright, hands out, moving his feet to stay with opponents and contest, and impressive passing. He'll have to work on his handles. He still can't beat a defender with his dribble and needs a running start. And when he gets it, he often telegraphs the intent for a big dunk which often gets blocked. He shot 3-6 in the paint, 0-5 in the non-paint two, and 3-3 from 3, so good variety in distribution, strange discrepancy in efficiency. I love the effort, love D focus, and overall engagement from Lonnie. Inconsistencies with young players learning the game is part of the learning curve, and he's shown enough for us to be excited about his future growth.

It's hard not to gush about Keldon as whatever situation he was put in he made a positive impact. He led us in scoring with 24 on stellar 8-12, 1-3 from 3, and team-high 7-8FTs. He has that feel you can't teach for difference-making plays, and they are most often a blend of sheer will coupled with great instincts and feel - his finishing at the rim shows a far better angle and touch than DJ or Lonnie already. Fearless driver, relentless defender, and he's just scratching the surface of his potential.

Jakob showed continued smart play - great defending, positioning, running the floor and deftly finishing at the rim. Can't fault him for missed bunnies as he was 5-6FGs with 5 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in only 21 minutes - the fewest of the starters. It was another strong all-around game we've come to expect from him. He even showed flashes of bigger O potential with a pretty post-up and up and under move. But how can he go 0-5 from the FT line? How can a player be this bad at an aspect of the game that pros begin learning in elementary school? How?! It's so weird, man. Anyway, he was a solid starter and allowed us to play a different style which opened up chances for more teammates.

Luka got his first pro points in the final game of the season. He did score in a pre-season game or two, but as a Spur in a game that counted towards the final record, this was it, so congratulations to him, especially as he was the only Spur to not have scored yet. After another slightly nervous start, he settled in and provided a glimpse of the potential we saw when we drafted him. He was a stronger defender than I recall in his Austin games, using nimble feet to stay with his man. He made the right plays and moved the ball for a better shot for others even if he could have taken it himself. When he did, he shot it well. Sixteen points on 5-10, 3-5 from 3, 3-4FTs with 6 boards, 3 assists and a block was a solid starter debut. Luka picked his spots well; four of his FG attempts were in the key. I like the form on his 3 shot. It's compact in the release and in that where he takes off from and lands is close while his feet stay in the same position - balanced, no kick outs or weird hitches. I hope in time once Luka is more confident in just playing (you can see many rookies thinking about their games which at times can get in the way) he will be even more aggressive and assertive on both ends. But he looked much better in playing through mistakes rather than being tentative and fearful of making them.

I was somewhat surprised that Mezie didn't start ahead of Luka given he's been in our program longer and so presumably more ready. He did have an ok game with 3-6FGs, 4-5FTs, 6 boards, 4 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. He's still a pogo stick with an improved jumper and footwork. But he's also a poor, out-of-position defender who makes athletic blocks which can only cover the poor D for so long. Like with Luka, it's hard to sit for long periods on the bench and then just come in and contribute. He looked more comfortable in Austin, and also with the Nigerian national team last summer where he had more opportunities. At this point, we're invested in Luka long-term, so his starting makes sense in that respect. But it's also about trust that coaches develop in a player and for us it starts on the D end. Had Mezie done enough to push through this season, he'd have gotten more minutes.

Drew has done what he's been asked to by coaches, played within his wrecking ball self, and stepped up to be a decent body backing up Jakob in the bubble. Only 1-6FGs, but 6-8FTs (so pretty much every other big, including an undrafted two-way player, is a better FT shooter than Jakob. I'm a better FT shooter than Jakob. Jesus.) with 7 boards, 3 assists, and 4 blocks. Hustle and coachability plug the holes in a player's game as he's improving it, and Drew with his board crashing, ball dunking, hook jumper making ways endeared himself to coaches and teammates.

Beli's stat line in this game was emblematic of his overall bubble play - 30 minutes, only shot attempts on record, zeroes for anything else but two fouls. Oof. It's not that he didn't do more in other areas in other games, but bubble play revealed the Beli for whom there wasn't a shot he didn't like - or take - even if he should have passed the ball to others who were more open. He shot well in this game: 6-11FGs, 3-6 from 3, 1-2FTs, but somehow was still in the minus. Sounds about right. The good he brings on O has always necessitated excellent efficiency and movement to at least somewhat offset the poor D. Like most of the season, he's been hot and cold on O, but pre-bubble he moved the ball better. I thought he'd be more willing to share the ball among the younger players, but it was not the case. Even if he had the green light to shoot it, he was a shot hog in the bubble.

Still, we were below our 3 attempts per game at 20, so although we shot 50%, we were outgunned by their ridiculous 46 attempts (I hate this style of play), connecting on 15. Our FG pace was noticeably lower (79 to their 101) helped by our 15 turnovers (felt like there were more, frankly) which cost us 20 points.

Sure, Beli was the sole 3 shooter from the bench players (Q averaged 4 per game in Austin but played only 3 minutes), but Jakob was surrounded by four players capable of making it. Our back court, however, only combined for five attempts. With Derrick encouraged by Pop to take as many 3s as he'd like, that pairing with DJ is a stronger one for our style of play. Keldon finished the bubble 11-17 from 3, I think, so his accuracy is much improved and hopefully his attempts will increase as well (he attempted at least one in each of the bubble games, with four attempts being the highest). Luka's five attempts were just at the base range I hope we get from each player who can comfortably make that shot.

It's a matter of getting the most out of what each player can bring, and in that sense, we were more imbalanced in this game compared to others. It was expected given the circumstances, but there wasn't as much cohesion as in other iterations of new line-ups. Nevertheless, the Austin development is paying off most recently in Keldon, Drew, and Luka, and in Derrick, Lonnie, and DJ before them. I wonder what LMA with his ball dominant, left-block style and Bryn with his poor D thought as we scored at a higher rate, more efficiently, and defended better? Even though our season ended, our bubble games have been a revelation in terms of style of play, how our talent has grown, and the confidence and clarity we have going into next year. It was the best, most versatile way we've played all season, and it was the most fun I've had watching our guys play, too. Everyone from Pop to the vets to the younger players kept reiterating as much. I can't wait to see what they all bring with a summer of extra work together. I think we're in for a better season. Post-bubble, our future looks far brighter.

NOTEWORTHY STATS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Read on Twitter

Read on Twitter

Read on Twitter



:o Didn't see this all season, then adjusted bubble play and:
Read on Twitter
ImageImageImageImage
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:

Return to San Antonio Spurs