GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Jan 1, 2021 4:19 pm

YES! We've made it through, shut the door behind us, and are fully present in the new space of 2021. That includes the first game on our Fiesta court! With reinforcements returning we are better prepared to face a familiar foe and start the new year with a positive result. Let's get it, Spurs!

WHERE: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

WHEN: Friday, January 1, 2021, 7pm (CT)

Earn The Stripes Mode: The return of Derrick!



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GO SPURS GO!!!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by ducler » Fri Jan 1, 2021 11:19 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Jan 1, 2021 11:21 pm

Fiesta!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Jan 1, 2021 11:21 pm

YES!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Fri Jan 1, 2021 11:31 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by imagump1313 » Sat Jan 2, 2021 1:29 am

Why does Sean Elliot keep saying Murray is soo athletic?
He's like the 11th most athletic guy on the court because I think one of the refs might move better then he does......
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by GREY 1769 » Sat Jan 2, 2021 2:35 am

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We did a lot of good things this half - getting back on D better, moving the ball and driving well, taking and hitting the3 at a good rate 8-19. We're getting to the FT line well enough but only 11-16 thanks to Jak's 0-4. This is bizarre and inexcusable.

We allowed far too many boards in our end 10-5 O rebounds for them, and lead 28-21 overall.

Also, every Spur has scored except for Jakob and Drew. We sorely SORELY need to address our 4/5 scoring situation, especially since neither Trey nor Luka are getting any court time.

DD is 2-3 from 3. Terrific.

We can't afford mental lapses against this team or they'll capitalize, just waiting for a team to make a mistake. So we must box out, must hustle for the rebounds, must play with poise and energy. More downhill movement to exploit their interior D.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Sat Jan 2, 2021 4:06 am

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by Captain Ballmer » Sat Jan 2, 2021 7:31 am

2021 wish from God;
Please, please don't let anything bad happen to Keldon Johnson dear God. :nod:

Poeltl... :noway:
Sam Cassell, Cuttino Mobley, Shaun Livingston, Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 5: SPURS VS. LAKERS, 1-1-2021, 7PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by GREY 1769 » Sun Jan 3, 2021 9:49 am

Can a game be both frustrating and encouraging? That's how this game felt - disappointing that we didn't get it done despite better play, but with some good signs that it was winnable.

There are no moral victories in three consecutive losses, but in each of them we played better. It's so tough against a team with not one but two dominant players. And against such an opponent, the margin for error is very slim, and although we did some things better, others, not so much.

Limit others on the team in scoring? Check. Protect the arc? Check. Get to the FT line more? Check. But to offset the first point their two man guys combined for 60 points, and were dominant from the 3 (7-13 combined), the FT line (they were two of only three players on their team who got to the FT line, combining for 11-14), and on the boards (22 combined).

Given their dominance, it's just ridiculous that they look for calls so egregiously. Are we supposed to believe that AD could fall against Derrick's slight push? Or LBJ bounce off of 185lb DJ? His looking for a call against Derrick late in the game after pushing him away with his off arm was just ridiculous. Of course the double standard of LBJ throwing a ball in the ref's direction and not getting a tech was a nice touch of special status, too. Six point game; two calls against and a non-call.

But we control what we can. We were far better with our downhill game, picking up our pace for a solid 31-25 lead, our first 30+ point Q after eight consecutive ones in which we didn't reach that mark. We only gave up one of 30+ point Q, so that's also a positive, so in a close game the loss was in the details.

We did a good job in taking more 3s (13-34 in this game; we're averaging 30.6/game so far, good for 24th, but connecting at 37.9%, good for 8th), but in the game low 18-point 4th Q, we were 1-9 from the arc and tended to pass around the arc for too long with players waiting around for someone else to do something rather than generating more vertical movement sooner. We got to the FT line 26 times to their 16, but we made only 18. This has always been a strength, but we're 24th in attempts and 11th in accuracy, so we need to make some improvements here. It starts with Jakob. He's averaging a spectacular ZERO PERCENT on 7 attempts from the FT line. Poor Chip must be having some sleepless nights ripping his hair out or sipping more of Pop's wine. Jakob just doesn't look comfortable with his form whether he's pushing it or guiding it or releasing it at slightly different points. Perhaps that is why he keeps changing it. It's clearly in his head now, too, which compounds the issue.

I like him, but after how hard I've been going at LMA, frankly Jakob deserves his share. What was he working on during the time off? How can a professional basketball player who actually has a nice J and touch around the rim (some would say too soft given his continued reluctance to dunk) be so utterly incompetent at a fundamental aspect of his profession? It's inexcusable.

Couple that with 0-1FGs in this game, grabbing only 5 boards (good for fourth among starters, though he did grab a team-high 3 O rebounds), and it may explain why he played a team-low 20 minutes. His passing continues to be a nice addition, but with he and Drew combining for 0-4FGs, 10 rebounds, and 0FTs it narrows an already small margin of error.

Drew hustles, provides good help D and moves to the right spots to cover secondary players. His three blocks attest to it. He and Jakob were the bubble front court, and with LMA struggling and now injured, we've gone back to them, but man is this a liability on the O end. I mean they were worse together than LMA's woeful 4-point performance. Serves to show me for all the LMA piling I've done. Turns out he does more of what we need out there on O. Hopefully when he returns so does his shot and ability to defend better.

What in the world has happened to Trey?! He posted videos of his working out during the off-season, made declarations about wanting to grow his game and be here long term, and yet can't crack the line-up after starting all of last season. It's so bizarre and glaring. We're clearly keeping it in-house, but it's obvious he's either doing or not doing something to not be playing.

We have SIX bigs - LMA, Jakob, Drew, Rudy, Trey, and Luka. But for the last one who needs more development, were actually not getting good O production from the rest. The pressure is on Rudy, however, as he's the only one of the group getting regular minutes who can score from the 3. Part of that is our focus to increase the attempts from the arc as a team, but the other is surely being the only big who stretches the floor in earnest. He's only connecting on 25% of them on career high 6.4 attempts. Perhaps scaling back his second highest 23.8% usage to distribute among others more?

I don't think we expected LMA to start so slow on both ends, and with him out now, it puts the onus on essentially one big to do it all. From the bigs getting minutes, besides LMA's surprisingly poor D, the rest have been at least good on that end. Sure each of Jakob and Drew have roles to fulfill and they play within them, but it's clear we're working on a bigs-by-committee which is more like patchwork. We need some versatility here with the heart and hustle of Drew but more two way versions.

We used to have nice high-low actions between our bigs, and although we're once again catering to the strengths of our best players, we're working around the lack of versatility of our bigs. It's a weakness we need to address be it in the off-season or sooner via a trade or with development with who we have. The most immediate issue is that the two guys who have the most versatile skill set - Trey and Luka - can't get court time because they have yet to put their respective skill sets together.

Our shot distribution was quite equitable but for DeMar and Rudy leading the team with 16FGAs each. For the most part we passed and moved the ball well, but each had around three or so possessions where they brought up the ball, had teammates wide open on either side and proceeded to dribble dribble dribble into contested shots or just pull up quickly for misses. Nobody else touched the ball even though they were more open. Again, in a close game, accumulated misses outside of our style stand out.

Whereas Rudy was 6-16, DeMar was a stellar 8-16, including 3-4 from 3, 4-5FTs, 9 boards and team-high 7 assists. It's hard to pick on his game when he has one like this, and when he has largely curbed his long ingrained tendencies. He provides a nice balance for DJ who although is having a noticeably better start to the season averaging 18-7-7 coming into this game, but at times goes through inconsistencies in scoring and assists.

His bench counterpart, Patty, had a more well rounded game which had a better balance of scoring and facilitating: 10 points on 3-7, 2-4 from 3, 2-2FTs along with 3 rebounds and 4 assists (bench high, second highest on the team). Less efficient than in other games, that happens, but I do still hope that some of Rudy's FGAs are distributed among Patty and other bench teammates. Our bench outscored theirs 34-23 and continues to be a reliable strength.

Speaking of which, it was wonderful to see Derrick back playing again. His shot was a little rusty, but he was as he ever is providing instant impact with defensive man coverage, stepping into a charge, and providing great help D. His quick feet and hands, and balance as he stays with opponents are what really stood out. His decision making of when to pass or score and assertiveness in driving and taking 3s show the complete game we expect from him.

I thought he might get the start over Lonnie to pair him with DJ, something we first saw in the bubble and still hope to see more of. We stuck with our regular first five and he and Derrick split minutes, including the ones Devin has been playing. Lonnie has a much bigger role, not only starting but also nearly doubling his minutes and shot attempts. So not only is he up against stronger competition, it's an overall more taxing responsibility on both ends. He does pick his spots in making O impact, but it looks like he's still adjusting to the expanded duties and at times blends in more rather than being assertive. It's ok, this takes some getting used to, and he's more than doubled his PPG on better efficiency in 2s (especially finishing at the rim) and 3s. It will only help him in the long run, especially when Derrick returns to the starting group and Lonnie can feast on second groups all the more. This is overall terrific development so far. The one thing we've yet to see is for him to have a breakout game or two like Keldon has to make us that much harder to play against.

Keldon. It's hard not to gush. He's relentless, tasked with guarding the toughest opponents, and is still scoring seemingly at will. So many of his team- and career-high 26 points were up against AD on stellar 7-11, team-high 5-9 from 3, team-high 7-8FTs, and team-high 10 rebounds. Add to all that 1 assist, 2 steals, and 1 block and we have a steal of the draft, two-way beast emerging before us. He already made adjustments in how he finishes at the rim from the previous game: a Euro step here, a drive at their PF's body while pump faking and better protecting the ball there. I love him! Derrick and Keldon are the essence of what the Spurs culture has long been about and are the exemplars of carrying it into the future. DJ and Lonnie are there, too, it's just there's a certain spirit about Derrick and Keldon. They're the duo right now around whom everyone else coalesces well.

As a team we are indeed coming together and we have improved in each of the last three games. These are not just platitudes to placate the results, but concrete measures we can use to continue to play better going forward. As we progress, we must make sure we pay attention to details: On D boxing out to limit second chances for opponents; getting back consistently on D and communicating to cover the arc; on O making the extra pass so our shots aren't as contested, rushed, and flat at times (many were front of rim misses); maintaining our pace while increasing our efficiency; continuing to play our transition game. Basically have a perfect game, ok? :lol: But it's about putting more of our strengths together better, and if we compete in upcoming games as we did against this team, we give ourselves a great chance at winning more of them.

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