GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:52 pm

Our first home game of the 2020-2021 season! After making some key adjustments for the first road game, we look to build on the better balance we achieved between youth jets and vet savviness. A familiar foe for DeMar and Jakob should energize both groups all the more. D-out, all as one together!

WHERE: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

WHEN: Saturday, December 26, 2020, 7:30pm (CT)

Earn The Stripes Mode: Youth and vet synergy!

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GO SPURS GO!!!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by ducler » Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:12 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:40 am

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Small ball bubble style confirmed!

I think once Derrick returns he will startin Lonnie's place but that will only make us deeper.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 1:59 am

LMA leading the team in -9. Stellar. Again.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:08 am

LMA continues to be consistent in the wrong way.

DJ's consistency is what needs improving game in, game out. Can't have a 0-2 1st Q effort when we look to him to impose our game.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:24 am

:o :o :o

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 2:51 am

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DeMar stepped up with 16 1st Q points to keep us in it while our D decided to kick in.

They young guys stepped up in the 2nd Q and we got more of our game going.

LMA. Jesus. Needs to get his bad D into at least a respectable range. He did wake up more in the 2nd Q, contesting the outside shots better, but we got killed inside. I thought between him and Jakob this would be our strength. LMA did try to get into open spaces and passed decently out of doubles, so credit to him. Jakob needs to channel his inner beast and hold onto the ball on O rebs. He's losing possessions.

DJ needed to get his game going and although he didn't score well - a consistency he needs to improve - but in the 2nd Q he really made himself the spear to push the ball and be disruptive on D.

Keldon is a beast.

Lonnie is much better at driving (handles) and finishing at the rim.

Devin made some nice impactful plays.

We need to at least maintain our D, hit more 3s, and get to the FT line more. Much better 2nd Q. Onwards and upwards.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:05 am

Great team win!
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I'm actually tired when people are supposed to be so I'll write a bit more tomorrow, but I'm so happy with how we keep grinding, finding new gears, new ways of making impact plays, with multiple guys stepping up. The youth-vet synergy is looking so much better early already. There's just a different, resilient feel about this group. We believe, everyone contributes, and there's still a lot of room for growth.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by imagump1313 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 10:20 am

One of those collective wins from what I saw. No one played particularly well but most everyone contributed in some way which is great.

I won't however be fooled by stats or that we won. I know what I saw.
Defensively we were collectively pretty bad. We weren't doing much of anything at all to disrupt what the Raptors were doing all game.

When we would get behind it was simply because Toronto was making a bunch of open shots and when we got a lead it was simply because they missed a bunch of open shots.

Again, I can't complain too much because they did just enough to win with a little added luck. We lose that game 10 times out of 10 last season.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by Phreak50 » Sun Dec 27, 2020 12:53 pm

I just can't take any of this season seriously, sadly.

Without full arenas it's just not the same thing.

Some guys can play better without the added pressure and we aren't seeing anyone or any team play with the same intensity. It's just a fact.

I know the show must go on, but I'm not feeling this season or putting much weight into anything I'm seeing league wide.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#11 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:16 am

imagump1313 wrote:One of those collective wins from what I saw. No one played particularly well but most everyone contributed in some way which is great.

I won't however be fooled by stats or that we won. I know what I saw.
Defensively we were collectively pretty bad. We weren't doing much of anything at all to disrupt what the Raptors were doing all game.

When we would get behind it was simply because Toronto was making a bunch of open shots and when we got a lead it was simply because they missed a bunch of open shots.

Again, I can't complain too much because they did just enough to win with a little added luck. We lose that game 10 times out of 10 last season.

Luckily we're playing differently enough to make a difference this season :wink:

Our opponent is different this season, too, and their chaotic style and early frenetic push hides some glaring holes. I agree about our D woes in terms of not covering well and leaving too many wide open shots, but then again, they missed them so that's their problem lol Fact is, we came back from behind, ended on run, and made the right plays at the right time to pull away. Last season? We had 13 games which we lost late in games. So there's some signs of resiliency, and as you pointed out, because we're a more by-committee team, we have more threats with which to do it. It wasn't pretty, there are things to improve, but that we found a way was sweet. Good sign.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#12 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:25 am

Phreak50 wrote:I just can't take any of this season seriously, sadly.

Without full arenas it's just not the same thing.

Some guys can play better without the added pressure and we aren't seeing anyone or any team play with the same intensity. It's just a fact.

I know the show must go on, but I'm not feeling this season or putting much weight into anything I'm seeing league wide.

Well, almost all teams are in this situation (I think some have allowed a very limited number of fans) but as a fan, I'm happy to at least be watching games. On an unrelated note, the Covid situation got to me in earnest a week or so as I was in a grocery store and they were playing some upbeat Beatles song (not like 'Eleanor Ribgy' lol, one of their early happy ones). I looked around and a few people were bopping to the song waiting in line and it got to me; I had to swallow a lump in my throat. Just sooo many basic everyday things we can't do to stay safe. It can really take the colour and flavour out of just going about the day-to-day. It's also why I'm so grateful basketball is back, even if in this form. One of the few things you can count on to be almost like it was before. A simple pleasure I appreciate so much more just because it's there.

Hopefully we'll see the end of this SOON. Just have to stick with it a little longer. I hope there will be some games that grab your interest.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#13 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 7:35 am

DeMar really wanted this one, just like he does every time we play his former team. While we were on our heels defensively getting blitzed by their frenetic chaotic pace, DeMar kept us in it going 6-7,1-1 from 3, 3-3FTs for 16 1st Q points, and added 3 assists. We gave up 39 in that Q, but mostly thanks to him it was a manageable six-point deficit.

I thought our bigs would be an advantage in this game but we got killed inside time and again because they kept beating us down the floor and P&Ring or screening and hitting Js with LMA either backing up on their drives or leaving tons of space on their Js. Just. So. Bad. He used to be our defensive anchor down there and now he's just an anchor in the worst way.

In fairness they got points inside on Jak, too, but at least with him we were able to run and move faster and we were able to adjust, switch and rotate better and actually contest the arc to force some misses.

Once we settled in more in the 2nd Q and started imposing our depth with transition 3s while getting some stops by collapsing in the paint collectively. Whereas DeMar kept us in it in the 1st Q, DJ stepped up in the 2nd with a noticeably stronger intensity. His on-ball D and pushing the ball on O set the tone. It was another guy who we could rally behind and be energized by. Last season he deferred a lot to the LMA/DD tandem, but now he's the spear that everyone - young guys and vets alike - follow. It leads to better blending of both; this was the point at which DeMar stole their baseline inbound pass, they young guys took off in transition, and a DeMar pass ahead to Keldon led to his thunderous dunk and our lead. A couple of plays later, Devin stole a pass and drove for another dunk. Good to see.

Part of the frustration with LMA is that he seems to pick his spots of effort; he did actually cover some shots better by moving closer to contest meaningfully. He also cut well through the key to finish a Lonnie pass with a layup. So is he conserving energy to start games or what? To his credit he was getting aggressively doubled and while that took him out of his rhythm, he made the right passes to preserve possessions (4 assists). And it is a big adjustment for him on O:
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But along the way it's like he forgot to defend. His lone O board late in the game that gave us the lead once again was a huge putback against three defenders. It was wonderful to see the 'old' LMA back if for a play. He has such a broad skill set, and what's mystifying is how little of it he uses on D now.

It was struggle to score for everyone not named DeMar or Patty, who was lights out for us scoring 21 from the bench on near perfect 8-9, 5-6 from 3 and chipped in 3 assists. The one 3 miss led to LMA's O reb putback, so that worked out.

What I liked is that we kept grinding and counter-punching throughout the game. They took the lead back early in the 3rd Q yet we still finished it with a five-point edge. I also liked the minutes and shot distribution among the starters and bench. Trey is being given drips of minutes to rest the bigs, give opponents a another look they're not used to, and get him working his way into the rotation again. This is a huge shift from a guy who started all of last season. Lonnie's ability to stay with drivers with quick feet and an upright stance to body them cleanly is terrific to see, as is his fine touch at the rim. He used to keep missing these; now he's reliably scoring. His quick decisions with the ball stand out well, too. Devin only played 12 minutes but he was impactful: 7 points on 3-5, 1-1 from 3, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 assist, 1 block to 2 TOs. DJ doesn't care who he gets switched on, he's taking on the challenge of defending them. Pick up the ball handler full court? Done. Switched onto their PF, wide stance to take on a post-up, prevent a drive and force a pass? Done. 11-10-10 triple-double? Done.

As a team we allowed only that first 30+ point Q, and then held them under that mark for the rest of the game. True some were uncontested, but our D intensity did improve from the 2nd Q onwards, even as we need to improve our communication, rotations, and contesting team-wide. We outrebounded them 53-46, including 14-10 on O, and most important, securing the crucial ones on both ends late in the game. Jakob led us with 4 O rebounds (bench-high 7 in total) and he was once again unheralded but central to our come back with a bench-high 5 assists. That one bounce pass into the key to a cutting Keldon who made a layup was a very pretty and smart play. Good sign. He and LMA combined for nine which is terrific support from our bigs, showing how much better we are moving the ball. We had 36 assists, kept up our pace (100 shots) and put up 34 threes, connecting for 41.2%. Sixteen TOs for 20 points against is something we need to be mindful about limiting, but we did score 22 on their 12 TOs so we did well to balance it out the other way.

I was going to quip before the game about our opponent taking 45 3s in the game and that perimeter D would need to be a focus. The latter was right as they shot 41 3s. Not really great basketball to watch, all the more so as they're one of the whiniest team in the league with easily the whiniest coach in the league, this when they got calls inside we weren't getting the other way. We didn't help ourselves when Lonnie, Keldon and sometimes DD drove right into defenders, making it easier on the refs to call it against us. Small things this and Devin stepping out of bounds are the unforced errors in our control to improve.

Pop had DJ, Patty, DD, Rudy, LMA in the latter third of the 4th Q. I think it's a trust issue in relying on knowing what we can get from each of them their having played longest together. We're all about the youth movement, but we do still have some advantages with that familiarity. Pop did sub Keldon in for Rudy with just under four minutes left in the game after a 7-0 run for them followed by we swapped several 3s - including two 3s by DeMar! - with our opponent. Keldon's been amazing for us, but stepping out of bounds after a D board along with a couple of wasted O possessions when he drove and got blocked then drove again and made an errant pass in the air at the baseline that went off him are late game pressure learning experiences. I'll take these over lack of effort any day.

A couple of subs bringing Keldon out and back in paid huge dividends for us. We finished the game on a 9-0 run with DJ defending and passing, DeMar scoring inside and from the arc, LMA passing and getting that O board putback, Rudy getting to the FT line and making both, and Keldon outrebounding three opponents and securing the ball under our basket to get fouled and sealing the game with two clutch FTs. Did we leave them with too many wide open chances? Yes. But we also counter punched and made enough plays on both ends to get back our lead and hang onto it. That we did it with a blend of youth and vets all contributing is a testament to things trending in the right direction, even if there are lesson to take from our mistakes along the way. Gump's right. We were lucky, especially on their wide open misses. We have to clean up contesting in the final opponent push of a given game, understanding better how each team attacks late. But we made our own luck, too, and unlike our opponent, capitalized on our chances.

It feels like despite some of the challenges we're facing in adjusting to incorporating everyone to the new style of play, on the whole everyone is on the same page. It just so happens that the guys in the first photo were crucial to the start and finish of the game, and they exemplify how well the young guys are meshing with (most of) the vets. Lonnie mentioned in one interview how the team is focusing on .5 decision making and away from one guy bouncing the ball for too much of the shot clock. All of the young guys are making sure they have a greater say in this style of play and reinforcing it with the way they're playing on the court. They all look like they're enjoying themselves more because they have a bigger responsibility in the outcome of each game. This ball sharing reminds me of the 2014 one, not in terms of the expertise with which it's being executed (yet), but with the intention and some early signs of movement and finding the right guys open. It's an early more elementary version, but it's there, just with a faster pace and more 3s because these cater to our strengths now. Another season, another change by Pop and the coaching staff to get the most out of the current roster. It's a big positive that we are already meshing so well as we work through areas we need to improve. What a huge shift that everyone is either buying in or adjusting to it to keep up with the changes.

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#14 » by Phreak50 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:34 am

GREY 1769 wrote:Well, almost all teams are in this situation (I think some have allowed a very limited number of fans) but as a fan, I'm happy to at least be watching games. On an unrelated note, the Covid situation got to me in earnest a week or so as I was in a grocery store and they were playing some upbeat Beatles song (not like 'Eleanor Ribgy' lol, one of their early happy ones). I looked around and a few people were bopping to the song waiting in line and it got to me; I had to swallow a lump in my throat. Just sooo many basic everyday things we can't do to stay safe. It can really take the colour and flavour out of just going about the day-to-day. It's also why I'm so grateful basketball is back, even if in this form. One of the few things you can count on to be almost like it was before. A simple pleasure I appreciate so much more just because it's there.

Hopefully we'll see the end of this SOON. Just have to stick with it a little longer. I hope there will be some games that grab your interest.


Oh I totally get it and there's nothing that can be done.

But it doesn't take away the fact that some players just aren't designed to play this way.

The Clippers the other day, down 50 at half time.

LeBron airballing a free throw and also throwing a one legged, completely 'practice messing around' shot.

Aldridge's lack of effort.

This is all a result of the environment.

Watching a few other games, Embiid was walking around as disinterested as Aldridge at times.

The Bulls looked like they were running sets at practice and I'm sure it's similar all the league over.

I know he won't go back and hand his trophy in but it's clear when LeBron initially said players won't play in empty arenas it was a pretty widespread notion.

Obviously they have to, it's their job and regardless of the 'its the same for everyone' thing, what we're seeing isn't a clear indication of how players and teams would be playing in the usual environment.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 2: SPURS VS. RAPTORS, 26-12-2020, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#15 » by imagump1313 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:19 am

Phreak50 wrote:
GREY 1769 wrote:Well, almost all teams are in this situation (I think some have allowed a very limited number of fans) but as a fan, I'm happy to at least be watching games. On an unrelated note, the Covid situation got to me in earnest a week or so as I was in a grocery store and they were playing some upbeat Beatles song (not like 'Eleanor Ribgy' lol, one of their early happy ones). I looked around and a few people were bopping to the song waiting in line and it got to me; I had to swallow a lump in my throat. Just sooo many basic everyday things we can't do to stay safe. It can really take the colour and flavour out of just going about the day-to-day. It's also why I'm so grateful basketball is back, even if in this form. One of the few things you can count on to be almost like it was before. A simple pleasure I appreciate so much more just because it's there.

Hopefully we'll see the end of this SOON. Just have to stick with it a little longer. I hope there will be some games that grab your interest.


Oh I totally get it and there's nothing that can be done.

But it doesn't take away the fact that some players just aren't designed to play this way.

The Clippers the other day, down 50 at half time.

LeBron airballing a free throw and also throwing a one legged, completely 'practice messing around' shot.

Aldridge's lack of effort.

This is all a result of the environment.

Watching a few other games, Embiid was walking around as disinterested as Aldridge at times.

The Bulls looked like they were running sets at practice and I'm sure it's similar all the league over.

I know he won't go back and hand his trophy in but it's clear when LeBron initially said players won't play in empty arenas it was a pretty widespread notion.

Obviously they have to, it's their job and regardless of the 'its the same for everyone' thing, what we're seeing isn't a clear indication of how players and teams would be playing in the usual environment.


This is why I keep calling it another asterisk season, and I really dont care if we win or not. I'm good just playing the season out and seeing what our younger talent can do. Hopefully we back off on playing Aldridge, DeRozan and Gay soo many minutes.

A guy in another thread summed up this season perfectly when someone was complaining about all the lopsided Christmas day games. Its just how bad the NBA has gotten. All teams want to do is throw up threes and not work hard for anything. The result is we have a league full of teams who have barely practiced, chucking up threes all game. If one team is not hitting them and another is not you are going to see many more blowouts. Its just the way the game is played now.

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