Typically a thirty-point blowout is not something I’d go out of my way to come out of a year-plus hiatus in the blogosphere, but luckily the game last night (Tuesday, February 5, 2013) provided some unexpected antics by both teams that sparked some heated discussions on fan message boards.
Tags: draymond green, golden state warriors, houston rockets, kevin mchale, mark jackson, patrick beverley
Tags: Gregg Popovich, Jim Harbaugh, Lakers, Miami Heat, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan
(I promised myself I wouldn’t write a disclaimer that I haven’t posted in a long time because I think those intros are pretty weak and nobody really cares but I can’t seem to help myself. Putting this sentence in parentheses should do the trick!)
The San Antonio Spurs will win the 2012 NBA Championship. I made this decision yesterday, before their dismantling of the LA Clippers.
The last time there was a lockout shortened season in 1999, the San Antonio Spurs won their first championship. Granted, the evidence regarding a lockout shortened season is slim pickings, but I do think it takes a certain amount of discipline, strategy, and execution to succeed in this type of scenario.
A lockout shortened season completely changes a team’s approach and/or completely derails a team’s approach. Sure, talent matters and may be enough to get a team to the promise land (see Miami Heat, LA Lakers) or may crush a team’s chances (see Chicago Bulls. Note that I am not attributing the condensed schedule caused by the lockout to Derrick Rose’s brutal injury). In this case though, I believe talent matters more spread across the roster (i.e. depth).
The Spurs have great depth of talent and they all play a critical role in executing Coach Gregg Popovich’s game plan.
The Spurs, when healthy (which they are thanks to Gregg Popovich and Co. masterfully allocating minutes to his players to mitigate not only injuries but also to leave just enough fuel in the tank to make a push in the playoffs), have the elite level talent to compete with the best of them. Just when we thought the Spurs were too old, they use the lockout as an opportunity to succeed instead of an excuse to fail.
Case in point, Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers. Harbaugh knew the lack of a full training camp would severely hurt his chances in implementing his playbook, so he gave the playbook to Alex Smith. Even then, he knew he wouldn’t be able to execute everything in the playbook, so he (supposedly) dumbs down his play-calling, focusing on fundamentals (e.g. blocking, field position, time of possession, and creating possessions) or the “little things.”
If there’s one component of basketball the Spurs do well, it’s the “little things.” They are notoriously the most fundamentally sound basketball team in the NBA. Not surprisingly, Tim Duncan is known as The Big Fundamental. Rather than speak as if I know what I’m talking about, I’d like to direct you to this blog post by Mike Procopio on The Art of Screening (thanks to Evan Z for bringing this up on his Twitter feed). Here, he talks about not just how screens are effective ways to play good basketball, but how properly executing screens are crucial in doing so. And he brings up the San Antonio Spurs.
So many times you watch The San Antonio Spurs set great pin downs enabling shot makers to get that extra second they need to get their shots off. I lose track of how many great ball screens that Tim Duncan sets that forces the defender guarding him to switch on Tony Parker enabling him to isolate against a bigger slower opponent giving him all the space he needs to blow by them and get easy shots. This isn’t because of all the elaborate sets that their coach sets, it’s just the result of knowing how to make simple basketball plays.
For an aging team that was put into irrelevance by the media last season, the lockout was the perfect opportunity for the Spurs to conduct themselves quietly and execute what they know best, the game of basketball in its purest form. So combined with their talent, their stamina, their experience, and their execution, the Spurs seem to have the best chance to win it all this year.
Of course, the Spurs may not win it all this season, but they are my sleeper team to take it all based on my opinion that the LA Lakers are dysfunctional, the Miami Heat relying heavily on talent alone, and the Oklahoma City Thunder still being a bit too young and undisciplined.
Tags: evanz, golden state warriors, matt steinmetz, monta ellis, nba, stephen curry, syngery sports
Yesterday, CSN Bay Area columnist/reporter Matt Steinmetz, posted a column with the premise that Monta Ellis is a proven NBA defender. To which I say, boloney.
I’m regurgitating some comments I have already posted on GSoM, but wanted to just add this to my blog as I feel strongly about certain evidence out there that suggests Monta Ellis is not a good defender. I don’t want to construe this as “hate,” but rather some facts I feel are important when discussing this player.
I’m a fan of Monta Ellis, but I’m a bigger fan of the Golden State Warriors and I don’t feel guilty about pointing out what’s wrong with the team or what can improve. Read the rest of this entry »