The answer for the Spurs

Q1. When was the last time you saw Manu Ginobili look & act like this?

A1. During the 2006 playoffs vs the Dallas Mavericks.

———————————–

Unless Gregg Popovich & Co. finally figures out that the Bruce Bowen vs Chris Paul match-up is NOT the way San Antonio SHOULD be playing this series … and creates the Tony Parker vs Chris Paul match-up, instead … the Spurs are going to be in serious of jeopardy of not getting past the Hornets in the 2nd round of the playoffs.

Going with the Bowen-B vs Paul match-up unnecessarily is the same sort of ‘poor’ coaching decision that cost the Spurs dearly 2 years ago in their series vs the Mavericks … where Pop insanely tried to ‘go small’ against Dallas rather than rely on San Antonio’s tried & true Inside Finesse & Power Game (in their customary 3 out/2 in Offensive Attack alignment).

Over the years, Gregg Popovich has shown a tendency to excel when he’s got the better of the two teams in a contentious series … but, as well, to NOT necessarily make the correct adjustments in a series when he finds himself facing an opponent with more basketball talent than the Spurs have at the moment across the board.

Secondly … IF the Spurs would only realize that this is the rotation which they need to be using this series vs the Hornets …

STARTERS:
PG – Parker v Paul
OG – Barry v Peja
SF – Ginobili v Peterson
PF – Thomas v West
C – Duncan v Chandler

BENCH:
PG – Vaughn v Pargo
OG/SF – Bowen-B & Finley v Wells & Wright
PF/C – Oberto & Horry v Ely & Bowen-R

so that they can High-Low the Hornets to Death …

then San Antonio will still be able to get by New Orleans in either 6 or 7 games.

On the other hand, however, if Pop keeps overplaying Tony Parker and inserting Mr. Udoka into the game when he shouldn’t be (e.g. vs West or Peja or Wells) … the Spurs quest for back-to-back championships will be over quicker than you can say, Happy Chris Paul Blog Day.

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19 Responses to “The answer for the Spurs”

  1. The answer for the Spurs | General | Sports Blogging-Wordpress and our take on the G’s-gambling, gaming, girls, guys, governments, golf and more Says:

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  2. FLUXLAND Says:

    I’m telling ya Khandor .. old and worn out! I still see sweeps all around me… except for Celtics/Cavs.. and Orlando showed some fight last nigth.. if they could stop turning the ball over.. they would have a better chance.

  3. FLUXLAND Says:

    And wait… Parker on Chris.. have you gone mad?? CP will destroy him on both ends, IMO! And shouldn’t Bowen cover Peja? Berry is no defender!

    Sweet! I get an avatar here?

  4. john Says:

    Hi Khandor,

    About Manu, I do agree that his behavior was totally unacceptable. But please try to understand that he is also just a human being just like all of us here. If you were to name top 10 NBA players with high egos and arrogance, I’m sure Manu will not be on that list.

    Things like this sometimes do happen not just any professional athletes but also to me and I’m sure at some point of your life as well. It’s just a moment of short fuse that could happen to anyone.

    I’m not trying to defend him because I’m big fan if his but based on common sense.

    Anyway back to the game, I’m really surprise by Spurs performance and I must admit that they were awful. The Hornets are punishing them from all angles and unless they find some answer within themselves, this series might be over sooner rather than later.

    Bruce Bowen defending looks horrible and both Parker and Ginobili are shooting poorly. I can blame much on Duncan as he is guarded but any player of his caliber should find that as an excuse.

    Would love to hear your thoughts about the game…

    http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2008/05/playoffs-news-manu-spurs-in-big-trouble.html

  5. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    re: CP3 vs TP

    Whether or not CP3 destroys Tony Parker, on an individual basis, isn’t the key ingredient to this series.

    If the Spurs go to the line-up I’m suggesting … they will win this series, which is all that matters in the grand scheme of things.

    When you look at the individual player match-ups produced from the line-up I’m suggesting, San Antonio has the better of things at a number of different spots, in comparison to what’s happening now.

    The domino effect of Bruce Bowen guarding Chris Paul … and Tony Parker having to check Peja or MoPete or Julian Wright or Bonzi Wells – actually, anybody else for the Hornets except Jannero Pargo – instead, is placing far too much strain on the Spurs defense all over the court and especially on their defensive boards.

    When the Spurs cross-match players vs Phoenix and put Bowen-B onto Steve Nash neither Raja Bell nor Leandro Barbosa make them pay dearly like the Hornets can on the offensive glass (with MoPete) or by shooting/scoring over TP (with Peja).

    The best way to beat a team with a PG like Chris Paul is to turn him into a scorer by (i) improving your team’s defense vs this player’s teammates and (ii) forcing him to attack to score relentlessly vs Tony Parker.

    re: the Barry vs Peja match-up

    You don’t have to be a great individual defender to stop Stojakovic from scoring; but you MUST be able to match-up with him physically (height & overall size) and have a comparable skill set (so that Peja has to work hard at both ends of the floor, something which he doesn’t like to do very much, if at all) … both of which Brent Barry has in spades, in comparison to Ginobili, Finley or Udoka. Barry is an ‘active’ on the floor, can stick open 3’s with his quick release set shot, and is the biggest of the Spurs’ 4 principal Wing players.

    Barry on Peja isn’t the type of individual match-up I WOULD EXPECT everyone else who watches these teams play to agree with me upon … but it is definitely THE correct match-up for the Spurs to go to … if they want to win this series.

    Do the Spurs look old & tired right now?

    You bet … because Pop hasn’t yet figured out their best line-up to attack and defend the Hornets properly.

    Fix this and you’ll be surprised by how spry they’ll look when the series shifts back to New Orleans tied at 2-2.

  6. khandor Says:

    John,

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Manu reacted angrily at this point in the series. Quite the contrary … it’s an encouraging sign to see that he’s this upset at the terible way he’s been playing up to this point.

    What’s most important is for Popovich & Co. to recognize the problems Manu’s had to this point … not believe, in error, that they will miraculously disappear on their own – and CHANGE the individual player match-ups which the Spurs have used, so far, to fundamentally alter how the games will be played moving forward from here.

  7. FLUXLAND Says:

    Khandor, I understand what you are saying (I think), I just wonder how realistic the theory is in reality. CP3 already burned them in that second game with his scoring. West will hardly have a poor night like that again, IMO.

    Berry is there for scoring not defense and if he were to guard Peja..won’t he end up like PP last night?

    You can’t look old “right now”.. you just are.. and veteran experience counts for not much when you don’t have the tools to use them..(see Webber, Chris).. you can’t teach energy, athleticism and pure determination. Not to mention as you get older.. recovery time is much longer.. so they are not tired right now.. they are just tired and worn out period.

    Make all the adjustments you want.. I really don’t see what the Spurs can do to make this work, except look for the refs to help out or find the fountain of youth on the way to San Antonio. Plus, you know Scott and Paul are way to smart and crafty to not know what Pop may bring and then work around it.

    Not to say your suggestions are not correct, you know my xs and os are limited or non existent for that matter.

    Plus I detest the Spurs. ; )

  8. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    The Spurs didn’t lose the 2nd game because CP3 burned them.

    They lost because …

    * Peja’s shooting ripped their D apart
    * MoPete killed them on the glass & knocking down 2 big 3’s (if I remember correctly)
    * Udoka took a handful of shots he has no business shooting … which disrupted the flow of the comeback they were trying to make during the 4th quarter when they cut the Hornets lead to 9 or 10 with the make-shift line-up Pop put together … with Vaughn and Barry, btw … to try and change the momentum of the game … which worked until Udoka jacked his shot and made a critical turnover
    * Manu Ginobili is playing & making decisions like a bench-warmer, not all-star (perhaps on account of his injury?)
    * What the Spurs are running on Offense is allowing Tyson Chandler free reign to block shots and disrupt both Parker’s & Ginobili’s forays into the lane and their off-balanced shots at the basket … which are a BIG part of what San Antonio usually likes to do in their half-court Offense
    * The Spurs are getting nothing offensively from Michael Finley and Bruce Bowen (who are usually decent-to-good 3 point shooters for their team) with the sets they’re running right now
    * The Spurs regular rotation has been disrupted this year with the on and off injuries they’ve had to Duncan, Ginobili, Parker and Barry, all of whom missed significant time this season … and, in conjunction with the acquisitions they made, bringing in Stoudamire and Kurt Thomas, served to discombobulate their team – e.g. even though they dispatched of Phoenix the Spurs played very uncharacteristically during that series falling behind in games by +15 points on several different occasions, only to come back and win close games down-the-stretch when the Suns fell apart completely – to the point that Pop still doesn’t trust certain players fully to do certain things on the court in big games during the playoffs … just yet

    If San Antonio makes the adjustments I’ve suggested, IMO, they can get right back in this series.

    The only question I have is this …

    Will they?

  9. Sorrow Says:

    Do you think Colangelo is wishing he never came? Hard to get hand-cuffed to a coach you don’t want because the “autonomy” over the franchise has been shut down when it comes to money.

    You go Sam!

    On your bright side, what you wish may come to pass soon–Bryan might feel it’s just not worth his time to stay anymore. Heck, even Swirsk is leaving.

  10. khandor Says:

    Sorrow,

    What makes you think that Colangelo has been handcuffed by ‘the board’ above him when it comes to making a decision to turn away from Sam Mitchell, at this time, as the coach for the Raptors?

    Who the Raptors’ GM is … is inconsequential to me, believe it or not … what’s most important is the actual Basketball Philosophy at work for the team I care about the most in the NBA.

  11. khandor Says:

    BTW … re: Swirsk

    Something seemed to change about the way he called the games a few years back, once he grew into a full-fledged media personality in the Southern Ontario marketplace – rather than just a simple Play-By-Play Announcer (ala Joe Bowen) – with his own radio show on the FAN590, his blog, etc.

    After enjoying his game calls 10 years ago, it seemed as though all too frequently this season Chuck, himself, with his ‘Salami & Cheese’ schtick was becoming ‘the Show’ on many Raptors broadcasts.

    I wish him the best on his new opportunities in Chicago and hope that whatever his family’s reasons are for making this shift, at this point in time, things work out in their best interests.

    Over the course of his time in Toronto, Chuck did a solid job working for the Raptors.

  12. Sorrow Says:

    You are right. I would like to see hard-nosed blue collar bball played in TO. Proof itself in the play-offs as the best defense is winning ball games.

    I will miss Chuck. Even as “real fans” started to turn, and hate, I think he brought the game some personality, and really catered to the casual fan.

    In all fairness to Sam, it would be interesting to see a team of his choosing play vs a BC created team.

  13. About last night - BDL Live Blogging « Khandor’s Sports Blog Says:

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  14. khandor Says:

    FLUX,

    Hopefully, in last night’s game, you were able to see some of what I was talking about up above … re: the importance of creating the ‘Parker v CP3′ match-up for the Spurs; getting Bruce Bowen off Chris Paul, as much as possible; getting Parker off Peja or MoPete, as much as possible; eliminating Udoka from the rotation, as much as possible; etc.

    If the Spurs can win Game 4 … this is going to be a long, tough series. :-)

  15. khandor Says:

    and … BTW … if the Spurs would just have used Barry & Vaughn more, they would have won last night’s game even easier than they did, only pulling away for good in the final 8 minutes of the 4thQ.

  16. FLUXLAND Says:

    I did watch the first half.. I’ll try to catch the second later today. I did see Parker and CP3 as you suggested. I also saw Bowen on Peja :P. Udoka and Oberto are legends in their own minds. They irritate me to no end.

    Manu looked better, I still contend they are much too old and worn out to win this series. How did the Bees blow this game? CP3 looked like he was going to score 60 points.

    I have to see the 2nd half.

  17. khandor Says:

    Whether it’s BB (the Kicker) on Peja or BB (the former dunk champ?) is secondary, as long as the Parker v CP3 match-up is there, as much as possible.

    When Manu is making plays & shots … these Spurs are still a VERY good team … as are the Hornets, IMO.

    ================================

    Would you laugh if I told you right now, that Byron Scott and I actually shared the same impression of his team this year prior to the start of the regular season schedule … i.e. we BOTH thought the Hornets could finish with 55-60 wins and home-court advantage in the WC playoffs this season.

    Despite their many injuries last season, those Hornets actually hung tough and were only eliminated from playoff contention in April (if I recall correctly) … and were in fact ‘the best play’ on the board for me many, many different times during the 2006-2007 regular season schedule.

    Astute observers who looked carefully at the Hornets player personnel, and the moves they’ve made since the end of last year … e.g. MoPete was a steal; Julian Wright was a steal; Bonzi Wells & Mike James both filled gapping needs (more than adequately) for their team; moving Hilton Armstrong & Butler-R (sometime starters last year) to the bench; etc. … if their key players (i.e. CP3, West, Peja & the Stork) stayed healthy this year, they were destined to have a terrific season … hosting the All-Star Game, in the aftermath of Katrina … and with a terrific, young and steadfast head coach who has learned his craft from one of the best (ever) in the business.

    =================================

    Years and years from now … basketball historians will be looking back on this current era in the NBA and compare what’s happening in the game today with the Golden Age(s) of yesteryear, from MAGIC, LARRY & eventually MICHAEL re-invented & revolutionized how ‘pro hoops’ was played … and perceived by the public mind.

    There are just so many great players, solid teams on the upswing and terrific stories to be told today, across the entire league …

    e.g. KOBE in LA, LBJ in Cleveland, ODEN in Portland, DURANT in Seattle, DIRK in DALLAS, NASH & SHAQ in Phoenix, CP3 & D-WEST in New Orleans, D-WADE in Miami, D12 in Orlando, ‘The Pseudo-Big 3′ in Boston, the ‘Three Amigoes’ in Washington, ‘JJ & Co.’ in Atlanta, ‘Run DRV’ in New Jersey, ‘Noah’s Ark’ in Chicago, ‘The Motor City Zoo Crew’ in Detroit, etc., etc., etc.

    … that every night you tune into see a game, there’s a darn good chance … this league is actually, “Where amazing happens (for real).”

    It’s a great time to be alive AND an NBA aficionado!

    =================================

    Watch the 2nd half of last night’s game, first, and then maybe get back to me later with your impressions of what happened that the Spurs were able to hang with the Hornets in the 3rdQ for the first time in this series and then eventually pull away for the comfortable victory.

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