Moderators: BombsquadSammy, GREY 1769, Baphomet

User avatar
Posts: 2,638
And1: 1,456
Joined: Apr 27, 2013
Location: Behind You


Post#21 » by imagump1313 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:12 am

Not bad for a first win I have to say. All I am asking for is a little growth and some aggressiveness this season so no complaints.
I'm usually pretty hard on Murray and Walker but they both actually did some things tonight. Lets improve on that :)

Edit:Watching ESPN highlights a moment ago. Only ESPN would show highlights of just Ja Morant when we won the game fairly easily........You would think Memphis won by 30 :noway:
User avatar
Posts: 3,240
And1: 5,001
Joined: Feb 01, 2014


Post#22 » by Phreak50 » Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:52 am

Patty Mills moved past Iverson into 99th all time 3pt made.

Pretty incredible really. 2nd round pick, barely playing for the Blazers and now an NBA champion, Olympic star and in the top 100 of all time for 3 pointers made.
User avatar
Senior Mod - Grizzlies
Senior Mod - Grizzlies
Posts: 23,935
And1: 2,020
Joined: Mar 05, 2002


Post#23 » by SD2042 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 12:34 am

imagump1313 wrote:Not bad for a first win I have to say. All I am asking for is a little growth and some aggressiveness this season so no complaints.
I'm usually pretty hard on Murray and Walker but they both actually did some things tonight. Lets improve on that :)

Edit:Watching ESPN highlights a moment ago. Only ESPN would show highlights of just Ja Morant when we won the game fairly easily........You would think Memphis won by 30 :noway:

Hate to say this, but you're experience the Memphis treatment via sports media bias. Although the Spurs won the game, it was all about Ja and his career high in points. Essentially what I mean is that wit hthe way Ja Morant burst on the scene last season, all it seems like the sports media could talk about is Zion and his potential chance to win ROY when he sat most of the season being hurt and out of shape. That's good old sports media bias for you. The Spurs are well used to it going back to their dynasty years. Nothing new, nothing nice.
User avatar
GREY 1769
Forum Mod - Spurs
Forum Mod - Spurs
Posts: 19,243
And1: 17,086
Joined: Mar 17, 2010
Location: Silver and Black; Blue and White


Post#24 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Dec 25, 2020 10:14 am

Really good insights, gents! Welcome, SD. I watched the Grizzlies feed and they were balanced and fair in their commentary without gimmicky home hype. A rare pleasure to listen to.

Very happy for Patty. He's what the Spurs are all about and provides the continuity from one era to another that the young guys are embracing.

You know DJ and Lonnie had good games when gump praises them, and they deserved it. All our young guys did, this despite Ja's dominance in the sports recap. He's a great player and fun to watch, but it's so weird how skewed highlights are, this when we had seven players in double figures, DeMar had a near triple double on 50% efficiency and the Spurs won! (they added that part at the end before moving on to other games).

As to the game, we started with some promise but got down early largely to LMA's channeling Pau out there (he did that screaming at the ball to go in Pau resorted to on missed bunnies late in his career). I don't want to harp too much about him as his mid-range did make him valuable, but I'm curious how he's supposedly shooting 50% from 3 in practice but in games all he has done is front rim them because he doesn't have his legs back under him.

I liked that he had the fewest minutes from all the starters, but not that he got the most FGAs. He did make quick decisions to shoot so the ball didn't stick as much, but unless he's doubled, passing to LMA is an end point of a play. I'm not expecting Jokic out there, but perhaps he could pass the ball along more so that it's less predictable. Patty needs to pass more too. I appreciate the FIBA Patty mantra he's embracing, but we'd be better served by a better balance of passing and scoring. Although DeMar had nine assists, there were times when the ball didn't touch anyone else's hands and he took it himself against multiple defenders. When it goes in it's hard to complain, but we're about good to great, and we can improve on already better team ball movement - 28 assists is terrific.

Credit to LMA for his O contribution after the 1st Q, but his defense has dropped off noticeably. On each drive he just backpedaled and barely bothered to contest. He got destroyed on their P&Rs. He sagged far too low to be effective, and on switches he was nowhere near 3 shooters. Once he comically jumped up to contest a 3 midway between the top of the key and the arc like some **** 6'11" Swan Lake interpretation. His three consecutive poor plays of allowing an easy basket on a drive, then lazily passing it to DJ for their steal and score (again no contest), and an O foul to increase their 8-6 lead to 14-6 were ugly. But we don't need to over-rely on him anymore.

Unlike in pre-season, you could sense that the young guys were the central focus from which all plays emerged and around whom we played. Despite DeMar at times trotting the ball up the court, we had 22 fast break points which is a big improvement for us. We only had 10 TOs but gave up 17 points so that is something to be mindful about. Not sure how many of these were later in the game when we had a big lead and let up some and Ja went on a one-man driving tear, but it's still something we want to stay on top of.

I loved that DJ was more assertive in running the team. He was far more willing to take the 3 and to drive, and he finished far better at the rim, too. His ability to find his team mates is improving so adding these to his defense makes him a bigger overall threat: 21/6/9 with 2 steals is a stellar night. I love that post-game Keldon acknowledged DJ as the leader they all look to in setting the tone and making the right plays for the team. Keldon was a recipient of DJ's and DD's passing and his driving and outside scoring were energy boosters and game changers. That one drive where he bumped into their C making him fall back showed that big body impact. He has a nice touch at the rim now, too. First game back and he made 5-10, 1-3 from 3, and 5-7FTs with a team-high 3 steals for 16/5/3. Instant impact. I just love him!

Speaking of which, Lonnie's finishing at the rim is noticeably better. No more unnecessarily flashy moves, solid use of the glass, and far tighter handles in getting to the rim where he had a couple of thunderous dunks.

One benefit of not yet having fans is hearing the bench erupt when we make great plays. I like the togetherness and energy of our group, and how the bench reciprocates it. They're the cheering section subbing in for us now.

After a slow 1-3, 4 rebound first half, Lonnie made his presence felt getting a steal, making shots, making good, quick decisions with the ball and moving well without it. Only one play when he got caught in no man's land of being too far away from the pass to intercept and from his man to contest did he look out of place, but overall, the game has slowed down for him and he's implementing his expanded skill set. He finished with 6-9, 3-4 from 3 for 16 points to go along with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. There are no one-dimensional players on our team. It's just so wonderful to write that!

Our three young starters more than held their own and the first unit was far more cohesive with KJ rather than Rudy. That one shift prioritizes our young guys more and with moving LMA out to the perimeter we had more room for everyone else to drive and play a style that is more suited to their strengths - we had 60 points in the paint! We did go on a 13-7 run with LMA out to end the 1st Q and trim the 11-point deficit to 3, but they did play better together as the game progressed. I thought overall they had good chemistry despite this being their first time as a starting unit.

A strong 2nd Q with Jakob's defense making a big impact in disrupting their P&Rs, protecting the rim, and rebounding anchored us and the stops propelled our transition game for a 36-point outburst. It was not only our highest scoring Q, but our opponent's lowest scoring one. Once we got the lead, we kept it, even with a couple of runs against. Being down 11 to up 18 showed the variance in play, and it was our D that was at the center of the huge swing. We know we can score with multiple threats, but trading baskets isn't going to win as many games as imposing our defense will.

Part of learning to play winning basketball is being ready from the start, and not waning as much when we get a lead. LMA was the one piece that didn't fit early in the game, and we were down early with D mistakes and O misses. But it's clear that even though he went back to his mid-range game, the focus is now on the youth. Time and again they made great plays on both ends - a DJ steal and pass here, a Lonnie 3 there - and when the whole team buys in, the one guy who used to be the O focal point suddenly stands out as the one guy who isn't quite with it. After the game LMA made a point to state that an unselfish player can adjust and fit into new team needs. The leverage from his being the sole #1 option has shifted. Whatever unspoken pressure there is to buy in, he's feeling it.

One clear indication of the youth movement is Devin getting 20 minutes. The speed at the pro level looks to have him on his heels a bit. He got beaten by several first step drives, but his team D was solid. His handles stand out as one O area that needs the most attention. Happy for him to have scored his first pro points - a 3 from a DeMar pass.

Pop ran a tight nine-man unit with a terrific balance in minutes among the starters and bench who contributed 30 points. Rudy is far better suited in this role as he can still score in a variety of ways but doesn't go up against faster starters. Grabbing a bench-high 7 boards and getting a team-high 3 blocks show his impact on the other end, too. It looks like DeMar is the sole vet now who is tasked with facilitating. The other three clearly look to score first and that's fine because the shot distribution is far more equitable with the young guys now, too. Jakob is so dependable on D that it gets overlooked but I appreciate all the things he does that don't appear on a stat sheet - great reads, screens, positioning, help D, keeping the ball alive in rebounding (although I think he could find a better balance between tapping and holding onto the ball as sometimes the taps ended up in opponent hands). Patty led the bench with an efficient 13 points.

It's interesting that neither Drew nor Trey played. Drew I'm not worried about. He'll always play the same way regardless of how many minutes he gets. Trey, however, has gone from a starter last season where he improved throughout the year, to bench player in pre-season where he looked like his old less confident self, to now sitting on the bench for the game. It could just be a match-up issue or needing conditioning after surgery, but he's still one of those players where you don't know which version you'll get in any given name; he'll have to give his best each night to earn back minutes. That's Luka's main issue at the next level, too, though he's still much more of a project.

I guess it's natural to let up once you get a big lead. Many teams do it. Ideally you want to keep applying the same pressure that got you the lead, but how far from that ideal we deviate can make the difference between a win and a loss. Last season, leads felt more like those falling elevator dreams - you're almost at your destination, and the closer you get the stronger the impending sense of doom. And sure enough, the lead was gone. We've already shown we can fight from a deficit and withstand an opponent's runs. Whether it was a DeMar and foul (he was a stellar 14-15FTs) or a timely J or stop, we kept our composure despite looking out of sync at times. The point is we found a way, and it comes from all the guys contributing. We scored, rebounded, drove, made 3s, and got to the FT line by committee. It's a good confidence booster as we build our chemistry. Like DJ said, we'll be scary good once Derrick is added to the mix. I am excited by the return to bubble play while incorporating new players to it. That they happen to be vets (and Trey) is an important shift we're embracing, but one we're embracing fully. All as one together. Fiesta 1-0.

Some good pre- and post-game interviews are in this link:

Read on Twitter

EDIT to add:

Read on Twitter
The Spurs Way
Thinking of you, Pop :hug:

Return to San Antonio Spurs