GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:43 pm

Our final pre-season game is a rematch but will feature a focused group as Pop said we will go with the starting five who will also begin the regular season. We're trending the right way and hopefully the tightened rotations will show more cohesion and consistent competitiveness tonight and going forward.

WHERE: Toyota Center, Houston, TX

WHEN: Thursday, December 17, 2020, 7pm (CT)

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GO SPURS GO!!!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:10 am

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Ok. Looking forward to seeing how we move the ball and how the shots are distributed. Hoping for a more egalitarian style unless someone has a hot hand. Also hoping for a cleaner game - fewer TOs, and for us to protect our rim. And as always, the arc.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by imagump1313 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:10 am

That is our starting lineup for the season?????
KILL ME NOW.....
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:19 am

imagump1313 wrote:That is our starting lineup for the season?????
KILL ME NOW.....


Yeah. I'm SURE Derrick will be in the starting group when he returns, but I don't love Rudy in there even with Lonnie in. I wonder whether some of that has to do with Trey not looking great in camp or in the games so far? He's coming off surgery, so there's that, but Rudy's too slow, and better with Jakob.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:20 am

AGAIN. To gump's point - WE DEFER TO MAKING SURE LMA GETS INVOLVED EARLY, AND WE ARE DISCONNECTED.

No energy to get back on D, slow on O.

WE NEED TO STOP CATERING TO VETS AND USE OUR BUBBLE PLAY!!!

This energy is embarrassing, and is sending a message - DON'T REVERT TO STYLE OF PLAY OF LAST SEASON. IT GOT US NOWHERE, AND HERE WE ARE AGAIN.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:30 am

Yeah the energy IS ALL WRONG with vets getting the bulk of of shot chances - 10-15 so far.

Can't have young guys carrying the torch in the bubble and then ask them to pull back. It's not right. It's not working.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by imagump1313 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:33 am

GREY 1769 wrote:
imagump1313 wrote:That is our starting lineup for the season?????
KILL ME NOW.....


Yeah. I'm SURE Derrick will be in the starting group when he returns, but I don't love Rudy in there even with Lonnie in. I wonder whether some of that has to do with Trey not looking great in camp or in the games so far? He's coming off surgery, so there's that, but Rudy's too slow, and better with Jakob.


I have no idea why Gay is starting and if they are going to continue that in the regular season I'm gonna lose it.

Like I said before I really don't care about this season but it should be a growing season for players that are going to be around here next year. Starting Gay is a GIGANTIC WASTE OF TIME.

Did you just see him fall on the floor on an alley oop? He fell down like a 90 year old man and couldn't get up. Why is he starting??

And again I feel need to point out that Murray and Walker are basically useless. Instead of playing 4 on 5 offensively when Murray is playing, now we are playing 3 on 5 with Walker in there too. On top of that the 3 guys we have are 90 years old.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:22 am

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****. BRUTAL.

LMA & Rudy have combined for THREE points on 1-9.

Why are we NOT playing BUBBLE BALL? WHYYY??????!

And I'm just about **** done with LMA and his DGAF golf course in Barbados mode. GTFO.

We CAN'T have 3 vets starting. WE JUST CAN'T.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by imagump1313 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:26 am

I'm done for tonight.

I can't watch this nonsense anymore.
I've seen the DeRozan/Aldridge/Gay show too many times before. What is our staff thinking? Are we gonna try to make an 8 seed having these guys run the show? We won't even do that. We have seen this all before. Might as well start Mills too and pick the next oldest guy as the fifth starter. Dont even play Vassell because he sucks...........(He is the best actual basketball player on this team already)
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:40 am

LMA in full passive aggressive mode. Misses everything from outside, gets his pet left block shots and makes them.

Has sat back under basket and rotated late when bothering to contest, and back pedaled when driven on to give up layups time and again.

Jakob buried on the bench.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#11 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:36 am

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#12 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:36 am

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#13 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:39 am

I was livid earlier but now I'm flat out concerned...
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#14 » by imagump1313 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 4:08 am

I knew we were gonna suck this year but at least I thought we would suck with the young guys, not the old losers we need to trade...
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#15 » by Phreak50 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:30 am

Aldridge had an ounce of trade value before he stepped on the court this preseason.

I love Pop but also feel he is largely responsible for these lineups and imo, holding back guys like Lonnie.

It's no surprise Lonnie's minutes and breakout started when Duncan and Becky took over briefly last season.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#16 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:43 am

Now that I'm done consoling myself with carbs and animal rescue videos... still concerned.

Ok. I get that we're missing two very important players that made bubble play work so well. I also get that vets, namely Rudy and LMA, may need more minutes to get their legs under them and shake the rust off.

What I DON'T get is why we think starting THREE vets would somehow work after almost an entire season of starting TWO vets worked so badly we decided to make wholesale changes to our style of play and it actually worked! True, that was facilitated by the absence of three starters, so we had to make do with the players available. So the youth movement was expedited and probably worked better than we expected.

All that excitement, all that practice with more players incorporated and we turn it back to a style we know doesn't work with only more 3s taken.

This is all pointing to a single focal point: communication.

The team communicated repeatedly in various post-practice interviews that we would employ the bubble style from here on out. We were told that LMA has bought in, and this was repeated just often enough to make one wonder whether this was more a concern and a wish rather than a reality.

It was communicated to the young guys that they would get a bigger role and share in the responsibility of pushing the team towards the goal of making the playoffs.

You just can't go back on your word like that all around. You just can't. The result? The very same poor energy and Frankenstein fit of the starters we saw tonight, in it's worst display yet.

LMA is clearly communicating that his 'buying in' means shooting more 3s, sure, but it comes at the cost of doing little else, or doing some of it some of the time when he feels like it, giving just enough effort here and there to show he can actually do it. When he doesn't feel like it? Sagging so far under the rim as to cover nobody with the result that when he had to rotate to cover - which he did with a speed and urgency that can only be described as pedestrian - he left so much space as to indicate he was just going through the motions. And when drivers went directly at him, he back pedaled and barely contested for layup after layup.

The reward for all this Cancun effort? Twelve FGAs in three Qs.

Haven't we been communicating D-first? Haven't the young guys been yanked after poor D efforts? What are they to think with this seemingly different set of rules? What does it communicate?

Trey has been bad. Like, when he first got here and was a deer in headlights bad, and was told to just rebound and then eventually start taking 3s. For his poor play, Trey played fewer minutes and had fewer shots. So the communication is that LMA gets to keep bombing away - because he's totally bought in, right? Honest, look how much he's shooting from the arc! - yet Trey takes a back seat.

What is Lonnie to think? After a decent game, he starts again and is an afterthought on O. True he should be more assertive. He tends to disappear and that's something he needs to work on. But he defended well, and made some nice passes which we first saw improved flashes of in the bubble. He only got 2 shots, hitting neither.

What is Jakob to think? We communicated to him that he was to be a bigger part of the team's O, that we were going to involve him more. So after he agrees to re-sign, he plays a mere TEN minutes, going 0-0. Of course he hits both FTs tonight :lol:

Sure we put up 33 3s. We're supposed to be more egalitarian yet the three starting vets combined for 1-11 from beyond the arc. Even DeMar put up two 3s! Lonnie - one of our best 3-point shooters! - had only one attempt. In fact, the starting group shot 1-17 from the 3. But the bigger point isn't the poor shooting; it's the poor shot distribution.

We were to have upped our tempo and take advantage of our speed yet there was DeMar walking the ball up the court time and again. And once again we put up fewer shots than our opponents, this time a woeful 88FGAs.

We got to the FT line well enough making 27-32, we rebounded well just being edged out 42-41 (9-5 for us on O) and limited our TOs to 13.

DJ and Devin played well individually and together. They were steady in their effort throughout and impactful on both ends. I like that DJ attacked the basket more, that he looked to get other involved more and tried to change the gears of our lackadaisical O by trying to make something happen. He went 7-17, led us in boards with 10 (and O boards with 4), and assists with 4. Devin was a sharp 8-13, 2-4 from 3 with 3 boards, 2 assists and a steal. Such a smart, steady, focused player already. We contested, disrupted their plays, ran in transition, and finished at the rim. That DJ drive and dish to Devin who sneaked into the key behind two defenders for a dunk is the kind of synergy and style of play that we saw in the bubble so we know we can play it to a greater extent than we've shown so far in pre-season. Devin's impact is impressive:
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DeMar to his credit tried to shift our energy, too, and led the team with 11-11FTs. Human wrecking ball Drew did his best to crash his body around inside and got good positioning to keep getting fouled, and was rewarded with 7-9FTs in only 12 minutes. But these were efforts working around the core issue of vet-catering.

In fact, when we started relying less on a deliberate vet-centric O, we ran more freely, rotated well, defended better, and got consecutive points, forcing a Houston timeout after cutting the lead to 8. Back we went to the vets, and it ballooned to 15 at the half with Rudy (0-2) and LMA (1-7) combining for an eye-watering 3 points.

Time and again we kept getting sucked back into old habits - give the ball to a vet, watch vet do something: 1st Q, we gave the ball to DD on the left side near the key, loaded up the weak side with the other four players and... stood around while he went ISO; Lonnie and DJ drove and had openings for layups but kicked it out from the rim back to the arc for missed 3 after missed 3 by just just about everyone not named Patty or Devin; DeMar may have had 13 of the team's first 18 points, but the scoring opportunities generated were hardly the same for everyone as evidenced by the disparate shot distribution.

Plus/minus stats are hard to judge and without context they can be deceptive. But our three starting vets were in the minus by such a large margin -- LMA a team-worst -26 in only three Qs, DeMar -23, Rudy -20 -- that it makes a glaring, if general point - THIS. IS. NOT. WORKING. Combine these with Patty's -22 in 26 minutes, and we have a bad pattern in place that I fear may result in guys getting dispirited. LMA has already checked out, and I'm sticking to that until proven otherwise; Lonnie's an emotional player and feeds off positive energy generated when he's tasked with making an impact; Jakob expressed a desire to grow his game and have an expanded role only to see it dwindle to a smaller one so far than last season's.

The post-game commentary was telling:
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What? What?! These are comments that belong in a mid-RRT losing streak, not a pre-season game. 'Some dudes don't want to play defense'? '...try to fix everything'? These were not concerns in the bubble. Not once.

And sorry, but DD talking about effort on D when, for example, he walked the ball up the court and took a shot late in the 2nd Q without anyone else touching the ball - another vet-centric carry-over from last season - only to miss and then D up Harden is getting stale. Harden passed the ball and cut to the key, DD was late in staying with him which drew a second defender, but when Harden got the ball back he swung it to the left corner, and our rotations couldn't recover as they passed it around the arc for and end of Q 3. Five-point swing from vet-centric O and poor first effort by DD on the perimeter that had us down 15 by half when they young guys picked up the D and the pace to bring it to within 8 earlier. It's just deflating, man. You can see it in the young guys, and feel it watching it all unfold.

Contrast those post-game comments to when everyone was plugged in, on the same page, and bursting with energy in the bubble. The defense wasn't a problem but a revelation; the O wasn't focused on hierarchy as if there was some tenure for shots but shared among the young guys even if DD and Rudy stepped in to help with scoring when we needed it; there was movement, there was unity, the urgency was understood and load shared.

This is where we now are:
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The nine-man unit is fine. The way we are using everyone is beyond puzzling. But for the higher number of 3s, the way we're playing couldn't be a bigger contrast to that of the bubble despite declarations of wanting to play that way. This is beyond missing Derrick and Keldon - that's as much a valid reason as it is a crutch or a cover. We've reverted largely to a style of play we know doesn't work. There's something to this appeasement of the vets, be it showcasing for a trade, or ensuring LMA in particular - he who expressed ambivalence about being here for a rebuild and was equally fine either being here or elsewhere if that's what the team wanted - doesn't completely unplug. But this is clearly communicating that the cost is the team unplugging from him or from the vet-centric style and there's a clear disparity again. There's just way too much praise for LMA like everyone's making sure to not ruffle any feathers. Just a weird vibe. Even if I'm completely wrong as to what's going on behind the scenes - and I'm only speculating based on what I see - there's no hiding that one group is sick of appeasing while the appeasing for some reason needs to keep happening.

We could be playing a couple of different ways with the same nine-man unit, yet we insist on shoehorning a bad fit. We do have other options with that nine-man unit even with Derrick and Keldon not yet back. I do wonder what it will take to explore them.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#17 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:33 am

Phreak50 wrote:Aldridge had an ounce of trade value before he stepped on the court this preseason.

I love Pop but also feel he is largely responsible for these lineups and imo, holding back guys like Lonnie.

It's no surprise Lonnie's minutes and breakout started when Duncan and Becky took over briefly last season.

Yeah you and gump are succinctly summarizing my late-nigh-can't-sleep probings. Of course Pop decides the rotations, and in fairness Lonnie is 1. starting and 2. played 29 minutes. He also started last game and had a greater impact, so he does have more opportunity to show more of his game.

But mark this exchange: it feels like there's something going on behind the scenes we don't yet know about - or may never know - that needs to be resolved, and I think it has to do with playing a delicate balance with LMA for now.

Pop was the first to emphatically declare that the way we played last season pre-bubble didn't get us where we wanted, and that would change. The declaration to play like we did in the bubble was clearly reiterated by several players.

Curiously, they all talked about how LMA has / would need to buy in. Only DJ sort of hinted that LMA would have to buy in or else. On the one hand, that was a natural question given LMA wasn't in the bubble; on the other, as I've mentioned, there's a sense of everyone making sure to compliment him and now making sure he's getting his shots even if the compromise is not from his pet spots.

There's no way Pop and the other players who were in the bubble don't see that what they declared and what they're executing isn't the same. I hope the resolution comes soon because we can't exhaust ourselves trying to tiptoe around the giant elephant in the room. He's taking up too much space and breaking everything around him. Time, perhaps, for a new environment for him.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#18 » by Phreak50 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:53 am

Maybe we have some half decent trades in the works and need to show that certain guys can still play?

That's what I'm hoping anyway.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#19 » by imagump1313 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:01 pm

GREY 1769 wrote:I like that DJ attacked the basket more, that he looked to get other involved more and tried to change the gears of our lackadaisical O by trying to make something happen. He went 7-17, led us in boards with 10 (and O boards with 4), and assists with 4.


This is why I hate stats and would rather watch a player with my own two eyes.
I watched Murray get at least 5 rebounds uncontested in the first half alone.(then I couldnt watch anymore :lol: )
Where Houston would chuck a three and no one on the Rockets even went for a rebound. Murray just happened to be standing there and the ball just fell into his hands. His assists were basically him TRYING to drive with a weak attempt and at the last second where he couldn't possibly put up a shot because the defender easily smothered him, he would make a flailing panic pass to whoever he could and that person happened to make a shot. These are empty stats that mean nothing.

I'm not getting on you Grey, you are just posting the statistics. But just looking at the numbers will hide the fact from most people that he is not good or contributing to the team being good. He doesn't make anyone on this team better. He doesn't get people the ball to people in a position to score. he doesn't create anything good offensively.

I'll admit he got a couple nice steals and made a nice pass to Vassell for a dunk(granted he got himself caught about to make a turnover with another weak drive and Vassell bailed him out by making a nice cut to the basket). It seems like anything positive he does is very far and few in between and always at a meaningless point in games, never when we need something to happen that effects winning.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! PRE-SEASON GAME 3: SPURS AT ROCKETS, 17-12-2020, 7PM (CT) 

Post#20 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:48 pm

imagump1313 wrote:
GREY 1769 wrote:I like that DJ attacked the basket more, that he looked to get other involved more and tried to change the gears of our lackadaisical O by trying to make something happen. He went 7-17, led us in boards with 10 (and O boards with 4), and assists with 4.


This is why I hate stats and would rather watch a player with my own two eyes.
I watched Murray get at least 5 rebounds uncontested in the first half alone.(then I couldnt watch anymore :lol: )
Where Houston would chuck a three and no one on the Rockets even went for a rebound. Murray just happened to be standing there and the ball just fell into his hands. His assists were basically him TRYING to drive with a weak attempt and at the last second where he couldn't possibly put up a shot because the defender easily smothered him, he would make a flailing panic pass to whoever he could and that person happened to make a shot. These are empty stats that mean nothing.

I'm not getting on you Grey, you are just posting the statistics. But just looking at the numbers will hide the fact from most people that he is not good or contributing to the team being good. He doesn't make anyone on this team better. He doesn't get people the ball to people in a position to score. he doesn't create anything good offensively.

I'll admit he got a couple nice steals and made a nice pass to Vassell for a dunk(granted he got himself caught about to make a turnover with another weak drive and Vassell bailed him out by making a nice cut to the basket). It seems like anything positive he does is very far and few in between and always at a meaningless point in games, never when we need something to happen that effects winning.

Yeah I get your point about the rebounds. It's valid. I wish I knew of places to find meaningful vs. not rebounds like the ones you mentioned. For shooting, info about catch&shoot or off the dribble, how much time left in the clock, distance, from a pass or ISO, etc. can be found easily enough, but those rebound stats can look bigger unless one watches, and you know I do, till the bitter end :lol:

So I would say that overall, DJ is known to be a good rebounder for his position even if however many of them on a given night fall to him. I do think, for instance, that the O boards point to a trend worthy of discussion and praise. He led the team with 4, and on two occasions LMA and Rudy were standing under the O basket as he got them. I like that he was active, trying to make things happen.

As for the assists, well we seem to be telling guards to drive and kick because all the guards and DD do it: drive to the baseline, draw defenders in pass to open cutter. I mean, I like the effort in driving, to be honest. I recall that he stood out badly in the bubble for being the one young guy who was passive and passed up chances to drive to the basket. He got stronger, Pop said he wanted DJ to drive more and he has. If your point is about how successfully things are going, well, ok, we're not at great vision and results at this point. But the effort in doing something different, rather than LMA who I'm at the end of a threadbare rope with because he couldn't be arsed to do all the other things he used to is a stark contrast.

DJ plays better in a transition style, but you'd be right in pointing to the bubble to say - what about then? Still, the second game's stats with DJ, Lonnie and Devin, and his connection with Devin in this game show something we can hopefully explore further.

I think with the contract and number of years in the league there comes greater scrutiny and it's to be expected. Ideally, what's your bottom line of acceptability with DJ? Like what would you need to see from his game that would make you think keeping him at PG is ok? I accept that he's not going to be a CP3 passer or Dame scorer. But I'm nowhere near the end point I am with LMA as I do think an offense catered to the young guys is something we've yet to fully explore beyond the bubble. If DJ can mesh with the young guys so as to get them the ball in their preferred spots consistently while providing value with his disruptive D, that's a floor I'm ok with.
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