DeRozan out to Forbes! LaMarcus dominating from mid! Marco in the corner! It is safe to say that this team has shown how dynamic it is offensively. Since last week we have seen a great offensive display, and one we can count on to only get better. While the efficiency is one that I feel is lacking at the rim, the Spurs aren’t finishing well at the rim just yet, I feel the three-point shooting is more than dominating. The Spurs are coming ladies and gentlemen.
What needs to be fixed:
Throughout last week we saw the constant lapses and lack of athleticism and communication in transition defense. The Lakers, while being the fastest team on the break and in the paint, dominated the Spurs inside in the OT-Thriller. One thing I routinely see is the lack of effort on close-outs. What I mean is when the opponent shoots the ball, a couple of Spurs players sit and watch, with no contest whatsoever. Adding, I saw a real lack of rim-protection in this team. The Spurs, with big men of LaMarcus, Pau, don’t offer that. I know I’m forgetting someone, but you’ll see later on why exactly that is. *wink*.
Continuing, the Spurs offense really because bland when DeMar isn’t in the game. Even at times while LaMarcus is in, the Spurs offense is really stale. The ball movement stops, the spacing is somewhat off, and the Spurs can really become one-dimensional. Although, if players like Marco, Patty, Davis can consistently hit a three, I think it’ll really benefit this team. Also, in the paint, this team isn’t that great. As paint/post presences on both offense and defense, the Spurs haven’t been really attacking it as well with LaMarcus as I feel the Spurs should, and defensively, they haven’t been very good either. Rebounding is hurting a bit as well, as that’s something the Spurs will need to improve in the near future.
DeMar DeRozan is it. This is San Antonio’s finest. This is it. He is fantastic. Anybody who had doubts of him and his abilities this season will be laid to rest. In the Spurs system, he shows his true value and in the end, I believe this trade for the Spurs will be looked at entirely different than what Nick Wright, Jason McIntyre, and others first said. DeRozan is averaging 28-8-6 on 51%, how are you going to be mad at that? He offers much more than what you know who, in this offense, could ever amount to. He adds the great passing ability with an automatic two from mid-range. You might as well chalk it up as a bucket when he pulls up. Defensively, he’s been really good as well. Steals, quick hands: the on-ball defense has been solid.
The three-point shooting has been phenomenal. The Spurs are shooting 41% from three as a team. 41 freaking percent. While Belinelli and Mills haven’t been hitting as they should with the looks they’ve been getting, Bertans and Forbes have been fantastic. Bryn Forbes man, a baller offensively. He’s progressed very well, I would actually choose him as a true sixth man than Patty. He is a microwave, put the hot pocket in the sleeve, put in for three minutes and it’s steaming, Bryn has been great.
Players are doing everything, not just doing one thing. What I mean is, the stats are being filled in every category. Steals, blocks, rebounds, etc. The attention to playing a full game and not just circling one particular aspect of the game has been on full display. Rudy Gay is the biggest show of that in my opinion, with three double doubles as the starting three primarily. The Spurs as a team really have been playing for each other and as a unit, one, Uno, singular.
If the Spurs keep this up, which I believe they’ll only get better, they’ll be a top-four team in the West. With the success they’ve had thus far through six games, it’s definitely something you can build on. With the returns of both Lonnie Walker and Derrick White coming in the early-mid parts of December, this lineup and rotation with be getting much needed boosts of athleticism. Lastly, Coach Pop, PLEASE play Jakob Poeltl more. Last year with Toronto he was one of the top 10 best rim protectors with a Rim D% of -23.3%, as well as a Diff% of -9.8%. He is a very solid rebounder and at times when Gasol is unplayable, you have a more athletic and better fit against more athletic teams in Poeltl off the bench.
Predictions for the upcoming 10/31-11/4: (4-2)
@ Suns: W. (111-87) With one of my favorite players, Devin Booker, out on Halloween, this will not be a treat for Phoenix. With all due respect, this shouldn’t be a very close game. They won’t have much going offensively, but I am expecting a big night from Ayton.
Vs Pelicans: L. (102-97). The Pelicans I feel give the spurs trouble, with the biggest mismatch in AD-J Randle-Mirotic against LMA-Pau. While LMA is great, Anthony Davis is better, Randle-Mirotic should have their way with Pau, look for Rudy Gay to try to defend the undersized PF in Randle. It should be a very good defensive game, I think the pelicans get the edge.
Vs. Magic: W. (110-90). Another very bad team. While they do have some potential in Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, Vucevic (Spurs should look at him) and Mo Bamba, they aren’t a good unit. Collectively as a team, their ball movement isn’t that good, and their defense is very suspect as well. On some nights they do have a hot hand and can shoot, but on many occasions, they are just an outmanned team.