GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT)

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GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#1 » by GREY 1769 » Mon Feb 1, 2021 6:57 pm

Here we are with an opportunity to reverse our fortunes versus a familiar opponent. There's a lot at stake tonight as winning this game means winning this series. We basically have to invert our play on everything from last game, improving on everything, starting with a will to win, and a drive to do it. We know how we can play. Let's show it.

WHERE: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX

WHEN: Monday, February 1, 2021, 7:30pm (CT)

Earn The Stripes Mode: Speed and grit, defense and smarts!



GO SPURS GO!!!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#2 » by ducler » Mon Feb 1, 2021 7:04 pm

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#3 » by imagump1313 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 12:40 am

Shouldn't be too hard to improve on the last game. Any effort at all from someone other than Johnson would be nice.
And more minutes for Vassell please!!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#4 » by imagump1313 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 2:33 am

Embarrassing half. Looks like only one team wants to play.....
I guess I spoke too soon about it being easy to play better than last game. Its a total one sided ass-kicking again.

Memphis announcers calling Keldon "Lord Johnson" lol
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#5 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 2:39 am

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They got a lot of 50/50 balls and a lot of 50/50 calls and combined with some wonky shot selection by us they pounced on their opportunities.

Our high P&R is abysmal. They're getting anything they wan in our key and on any weakside J's.

We need to be more physical no matter what for the rest of the game. Just on our heels too much for too long there. We were just down 2 and now down 16 with missed bunnies, with one and done outside shots, and with too tentative D.

We also have to protect the ball better as this team actively looks to strip the ball.

Our D to O transition is pretty much our best hope right now.

Play hard and strong and with some pride, Spurs!
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#6 » by imagump1313 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 2:50 am

Are we the Washington Generals???

This is comical how stupid we are playing..
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#7 » by imagump1313 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 3:02 am

Not wasting anymore time on this nonsense. Never been more embarrassed as a Spurs fan.
I'm not asking for wins, just competent basketball and maybe just a tiny bit of effort.
I'm rage quitting now.

If Pop was smart he would turn the lights off now and send everyone home.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#8 » by GREY 1769 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 5:14 am

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After last game, Pop gave terse answers in the post-game presser. After this one, he made a brief statement and didn't take questions. Yep. That kind of night.

Hopefully he rips into everyone not named Keldon.

We need to think about what we're going to do about our C issues. Too slow against too many teams.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#9 » by Phreak50 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 10:26 am

Ugh.

Defense and general effort was 'you're spending time in g-league' worthy.

Putting White back into the rotation will take some getting used to, sure. But that is no excuse for the disinterest and lack of effort.

I honestly cannot believe there isn't at least a few callers enquiring about Aldridge and Derozan and also either White or Murray.

As I said late last season and again early this one, we have to many similar position players and need to move one or two.

I wonder if we could trade Aldridge's 1 rebound for a pack of training balls or something.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#10 » by imagump1313 » Tue Feb 2, 2021 9:10 pm

I doubt we get anything for Aldridge unless someone gets desperate at the last minute before the deadline.

I'm more afraid that the team was thinking like some fans, that this huge pile of steaming poop was actually a good team less than 48 hours ago. I'm afraid they are gonna do something stupid like extend DeRozan because they think they might make an 8 seed.

I've never seen a Spurs team act like this. 90% of this roster needs a huge attitude adjustment or a big kick in the ass by someone, anyone.

They were totally embarrassed the other night. I was very interested in seeing how they reacted to that last night. They showed no pride at all except for Johnson and just didn't look like they wanted to be there all night. What I witnessed last night is a bad team with a poor attitude. The NEW YORK KNICKS play with more urgency and pride than this team is playing with.

Chalk it up to a learning experience if you want but why does Keldon take pride in playing when no one else seems to?
This is unacceptable.
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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#11 » by IRS » Wed Feb 3, 2021 6:55 am

Redacted.

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#12 » by GREY 1769 » Wed Feb 3, 2021 11:13 am

IRS wrote:Redacted.

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Do you gotta ask? Again?

I guess the first time wasn't clear enough:

Trolling. Warning #2.

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Re: GAME DAY, BALA! GAME 21: SPURS VS. GRIZZLIES, 1-2-2021, 7:30PM (CT) 

Post#13 » by GREY 1769 » Sat Feb 6, 2021 7:40 pm

A promising start, but a familiar ending with repeated patterns of poor play along the way show we have work to do to get back to where we were only two games ago. Consistency - of the good kind – is the goal and mark of good team. For us, right now it’s at least not playing with such variance from one pair of games to another.

We asserted ourselves to start the game, getting an early 10-3 jump with good pace, a good attacking game, and getting to the FT line. I liked how engaged LMA was from the start, active on defense collapsing in the paint to help deny their drive, making extra passes so the ball wasn’t stuck with him, hitting his 3s, and being very vocal directing teammates in telling them to push it. He finished the 1ST Q with 8 points on 3-4, 2-3 from 3, 1 steal and 1 block.

DeMar was still trying to manage the pace to suit his needs at times, but was also far more active in looking to score to begin the game, making 3-5, 0-1 from 3, 2-4FT’s, with 2 boards and 3 assists in the 1ST Q. He ran the clock down perfectly, got to his spot at the top of the key, created space and hit a J to finish the Q.

He had more O impact in the 1ST Q than in the entire 5-point on 2-6, 1-2 from 3, 1 rebound, 1 assist effort of the entire previous game!

But we still kept giving up weak side 3s. Drives inside were thwarted better with Jakob’s wonderful movement and help D. His running in transition were rewarded with a pass inside for an +1. It refreshing to have a 9-0 run for us for a change.

Our bench unit is on the whole reliably consistent and provides high quality play on both ends. But we could not afford mistakes against this team especially given how they made us pay for it last game. I think that put extra pressure on us on both ends and made us less resilient and more vulnerable than we’ve been.

With the game 41-40, we made a couple of bad shot selections by Devin and Rudy and the team got pushed outside too much. These were followed by consecutive strips on Rudy and LMA and they capitalized for a 47-41 lead. They made us pay almost every time we were pressured or careless with the ball.

On the other end, they kept switching to have their PG’s on our bigs again, ran the high P&R again, made passes to the weak side again, and found lanes and teammates inside again. Once they started driving we fouled more, and it made every shot matter all the more, so Lonnie’s missed bunnies that they turned into FT’s the other way or Derrick’s drive but bad pass inside that they turned into a layup were but two examples of being put on our heels quickly on both ends. It’s like each mistake was at least a 4-point swing. Their multiple, easy runs versus an occasional made shot by us like a Keldon 3 or his feed to LMA down low for a dunk that interrupted them was like putting a Band-Aid on dam crack.

They kept winning the 50/50 balls and getting the 50/50 calls and these only added to the synergy they had in imposing their game on both ends. Our 1ST Q buoyancy lasted part way through the 2ND Q until the familiar patterns pulled us down again.

That we also went away from what was working for us on O didn’t help. We were not making quick decisions with the ball, over passing, and faking passes and shots too much versus a disciplined team that had active hands and stayed on its feet. All our fakes did was let them set up on D all the more tightly. That they used a zone D that we again had trouble penetrating when we needed to drive was all the more frustrating. Worse still was their driving by a DeMar disinterested in playing man D, and our collective trotting back on D while they passed full court behind us, made one pop-a-shot in the key after another, these on top of the 3s they kept hitting.

We resorted to our worst habits. DeMar went back to over-dribbling and tunnel vision. On the final play of the 3RD Q, as he got a D board, Patty ran ahead to the right wing like he was supposed to and looked back waiting for the pass. While DeMar dribbled too long, their D got back to cover Patty. DeMar passed to a teammate at the top of the arc and Patty ran to the weak side across the baseline like he was supposed to. But DeMar got the ball back on the strong right side and took a contested end of Q shot and missed. He followed the over dribbling and tunnel vision with complaining to the refs as he had and would throughout the game. Never mind that we needed him to run back on D instead of arguing calls he’d never overturn, or that he was frustrated into poor end of Q execution, missing an opportunity for an open 3 by a teammate because he had it in mind to stubbornly keep repeating his shot-miss-complain for foul loop. He’s such a Jekyll-Hyde player at times: he has the ability and vision to be our best facilitator but gets caught up in his head with doing the same thing over and over that isn’t working just to try and break through to get a call. But in the meantime, chances to score were passed up and the opponent’s lead grew.

If you just looked at the numbers you’d think he had a solid game. Certainly DeMar had an improved effort on his previous one: 14 points on 6-12, 0-2 from 3, 2-4FT’s with 5 boards (2 on O), team high 6 assists, and 1 steal. But he spent a lot of the night driving and shooting for calls so his attention wasn’t completely on the game to the detriment of the team. He slowed our pace time and again, passed up open 3s, passed the ball in end of clock situations putting pressure on teammates to take it with even less time left, and kept getting blown by on man D. The numbers seldom tell the whole story, and this one hid a lot of details.

Lonnie and his missed bunnies is another bad habit that is repeating with a concerning frequency. This time it was 0-3 at the rim! After last game’s post-game interview he talked about guys really needing to look at themselves, about how they wouldn’t get any sleep from considering what they needed to do better. Perhaps he’s overthinking things, because he was even worse in this game, 4 points on 2-6 (2 midrange J’s), 0-1 from 3 with 4 rebounds and a steal.

It is frustrating to listen to guys talk when their actions are in inverse proportion to it. Lonnie saying they needed to do better and then DeMar talking about defense - !!! - when his was so poor just topped the game off with the obvious and undone.

A 13-point deficit heading into the final Q was not insurmountable, but it ballooned by us continuing to make it difficult for ourselves with all our aforementioned patterns both from individual players and from the team. Whereas Pop put in subs at the three minute mark in the previous game, he chose to put them in with six minutes left when we were down 111-90. We doubled down on the poor play, so Pop put the wholesale subs in twice as early.

We didn’t have the lack of rest excuse and we were playing against a greatly undermanned ten-player team, nine of whom scored in double figures. Oof. We had four players in double figures, this with only three taking 10 or more FGA’s.

Keldon led us with a resurgent 25-point performance on 7-16, 3-8 from 3, and team leading 8-8 FT’s to go along with team high 10 boards and team high 3 on O, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in team high 31 minutes. He was undeterred by anyone else’s issues with complaining or not scoring or not defending. This is one of his best attributes – he doesn’t allow whatever is happening outside of him to affect his desire. And so he drove through their zone D, he outhustled them for O boards, was active defensively, and vocal on O. He was our best, most consistent player. But that he was so far and away our best player also indicated how much almost everyone else was neutralized.

DJ was a poor 2-9, 2-6 from 3 for 6 points with 5 boards (1 o O) and 4 assists and looked frustrated on D much of the night. He did not get to the FT line, one of three starters who didn’t.

After LMA’s hot start, he finished the game with 12 points on 5-8, 2-4 from 3, ONE REBOUND, one steal, and one block. At this point, we know what we’re getting with LMA. But it also feels as if we’re trying to squeeze water from a rock. Despite his early energy and support, we got destroyed with him on their high P&R, and we barely run it with him. His being selective about rebounding makes our rim protection vulnerable. He is the oldest player on the team, and there is only so much we can and perhaps should expect of him. He’s adjusted his game as much as he can with his current abilities and with our trying to find the sweet spot of his game, our needs, and preserving his energy throughout his time on the court. We need to address this. There’s no sugar coating it.

Rudy struggled with over dribbling and ISO’s getting only 6 points on 2-7, 1-3 from 3, 1-2FT’s, 3 boards (1 on O), 1 assist, 2 steals. It was one of those games where he looked a step slower and it hampered his efforts in getting to his best spots and shots. He’s at his best when his full D and O and facilitating game is on, and he just wasn’t that for us in this one.

Derrick’s facilitating was on point (he led the bench with 5 assists) even as he, too, struggled with his shot making only 5 points on 2-8, 1-5 from 3, 1 rebound and 2 blocks. I like that he kept looking for his shot, leading the bench with 10FGA’s, and tying Patty with 5 attempts from 3. It’s finally in him that we need his full game and he has been assertive ever since the bubble.

Whereas Derrick was only one of three players in double digit FGA’s, Patty was only one of four in double digit scoring, and the only one from the bench, getting 11 on decent 4-9, 3-5 from 3, 2 boards, 1 assist and 1 steal. He ran to the right spots on fast breaks and to the weak side, but we didn’t do a good job in getting him the ball. Missed opportunities.

There’s a lot of discussion among fans about Devin’s minutes going forward, but his regular rotation low 12 minutes was really largely due to his play. Only 3 points on 1-4, 1-2 form 3, 2 boards, and 1 assist and bench low -14. Off nights will happen for rookies and I don’t think it’s indicative of any permanent decrease but a reflection of his performance in this game.

Jakob was wonderful on D and underutilized on O, playing 21 minutes to LMA’s 18 yet only getting 2-2FG’s. He actually led the bench with 5FT attempts, making 2 for 6 points. He also led the bench with 6 boards (2 on O) and once again got 2 assists (I love that he keeps making these, and I think this is another area of his game he can expand), and 2 blocks. His block rate seems to be tied to his increased and improved engagement.

The team’s engagement needs some addressing. Usually our 4TH Q’s have been the ones where we lock in and play our best. It is our highest scoring Q, but we were outscored 37 (their highest scoring output) to 19 (our lowest). We took more 3s than we did the previous game, and more in this one than they did (37-30) but being outscored 15-13 from the arc didn’t help our cause. That we shot so poorly and allowed them to shoot 50% from the arc shows what we sorely need to work on from both ends. We need to just let it fly without over-orchestrating our O or passing up open 3s from lack of guts to take it under the guise of unselfish play. We were also badly outrebounded 53-42 (10-10 on O boards), outpaced 93-89, and they got 11-8 steals, 11-7 blocks, and had 11 TO’s which we converted to only 6 points whereas our 15 TO’s cost us a whopping 30 points! They also had a 25-13 advantage in fast break points and walloped us 62-32 points in the paint.

Here’s how we’re faring with opponent points in the paint:
Spoiler:
Read on Twitter
?s=20


These last three are especially damning and emblematic of our play on both ends, but really all of the numbers above tell the tale of our thrashing. Except for Keldon and Derrick, there really wasn’t much fight till the end, so it’s a team-wide issue.

One game does not panic make. Two? Perhaps not. And some teams are just a bad match up. The issue is consistency so that there isn’t such divergent play. And so it’s back to work with respect to weak side 3 coverage, rotations, overall D communication, and better O flow so we don’t overcook our sets. We have played better than this, but in doing so we’ve either squeezed great games from LMA or compensated for a lack of it. If this is something we’re willing to live with, and it seems like it is at least for now, then there are other ways to address the issues of the starting line-up specifically, because as it turns out, it is the 4th worst 5-man group:

The Lineup: Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker IV, DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson and LaMarcus Aldridge
The Numbers: Minus-12.5 net rating in 219 minutes

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2929834-ranking-the-5-best-and-worst-lineups-in-the-nba

We have to seriously consider reinserting Derrick in for Lonnie into the starting line-up. Although we have guards with overlapping skills, some like DJ’s and Derrick’s complement one another. Others like Lonnie’s and DeMar’s are just too similar. Lonnie has less room to operate with the ball and when he does have it he keeps folding.

Lonnie’s overwhelmed in the starting role, his skill development is being curtailed too much beside DeMar, and he’d have been part of the bench unit anyway had Derrick started the season healthy because we had a DJ-Derrick back court in the bubble.

Here are the cumulative concerns about Lonnie’s level of play on D and O (though I’m focusing on his D with this chart):
Spoiler:
Read on Twitter
?s=20


And this pertains to Lonnie’s O, specifically a concerning inefficiency in finishing at the rim. No spoilers here for the full effect:
Read on Twitter
?s=20

He’s a great athlete whose unpolished O game needs to catch up. I believe Lonnie and our starting group would both benefit with his return to the bench.

Our best line-up is actually the best one in the league and that is:
The Lineup: Dejounte Murray, Patty Mills, Devin Vassell, Rudy Gay, Jakob Poeltl
The Numbers: Plus-28.9 net rating in 82 minutes

Opponents are only shooting 34.5 percent from long range against this unit, which goes a long way to  explaining its profoundly stingy defensive rating of 80.0. That's a hilariously unsustainable figure; last year's top defense belonged to the Milwaukee Bucks, who permitted 102.5 points per 100 possessions.

A stretch of minutes this short might lead you to believe this reserve unit ran up its net rating in garbage time. Not so. Cleaning the Glass filters that out, and it shows an even higher net rating when the game is still undecided. Luck is a factor, but these guys aren't capitalizing on the waning minutes of blowouts.

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2929834-ranking-the-5-best-and-worst-lineups-in-the-nba

Post-game, Pop didn’t even take questions. He just made a statement and walked out which speaks to the level of tolerance he had for our level of play, and to the level we have to reach to be anywhere near acceptable:

Read on Twitter


We have some work to do.
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