The NBA 2016 playoffs are approaching with five games left in the league to play overall for each of the 30 teams. If you ask me, who I’d pick to win this year’s title, I’d go with the San Antonio Spurs. They are rock solid with a concrete-minded coach in Gregg Popovich who can play fast-tempo or a half court set. The only thing that matters with these Spurs is put the ball in the basket. The Golden State Warriors might lose a step or two behind their head coach Steve Kerr. Expect the Cleveland Cavaliers to dominate the East playoffs behind Lebron James and company. It will be entertaining basketball.
The San Antonio Spurs put out a whooping 111 points here in Game 3 in Miami. Everybody on the Spurs contributed to the victory. No one was left unaccounted for. How do basketball commentators and analysts get to this? How does anyone explain Miami’s behavior in Game 3? The Heat didn’t come prepared to play, that’s for sure. If Miami continues not to show up like they did in Game 3, expect San Antonio to win the NBA title in Game 5. Lebron James, that’s no excuse. If this is your realm, you need to show Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli that this is your home court. Lebron, you need to show your talent to Duncan, Popovich, Parker, and Ginobli that you are capable of taking them on. How does the San Antonio Spurs explain this onslaught of the Miami Heat? Simple. The Spurs played better basketball. They moved the basketball, they found the open man, and shot the ball when they had an open shot.
So it is set. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T center in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs get their rematch and they want this badly after what happened last year against the Heat in 2013. What will happen this time around? Will Tim Duncan play his usual post game? Will Spurs coach Gregg Popovich convince his team that they will be unbeatable? The Heat aren’t stoppable, this time around, because their defense has fallen down a bit. I mean, really, their defense isn’t where it used to be.
This just in – the Atlanta Hawks played better basketball than the Indiana Pacers did. Do I sense Frank Vogel’s resignation at the end of Indiana’s season? There’s no reason why the Pacers can’t turn it up – they must be able to turn on the switch so that they can see their team executing team ball against a determined and confident Hawks team run by Mike Budenholzer, whose squad is reminiscent of San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich who have guys who can shoot and a big man who can rebound and defend and put the ball in the hoop like Tim Duncan. The Hawks have a Tim Duncan-caliber like player in Paul Millsap. The Hawks lead the series 2 games to 1 and if I were the Pacers, I would want to play desperate because I don’t want my NBA season to end.
“If you can have continuity, a good group, a team, so to speak, and all that that entails and keep it in a continuous manner so that it grows more or less upon itself, within itself and the knowledge and understanding continues to grow you have a pretty good understanding. You can deal with adversity and you cannot get too pumped up about success but just enjoy it and realize how fleeting it might be. But the change, change, change, change, change thing doesn’t really work. You can see that in a lot of organizations. The continuity I think breeds, it breeds trust, it breeds camaraderie, it breeds a feeling of responsibility that each member holds towards the other. The ability to be excited for each other’s success, not to develop territory and walls, but to stay participatory. To be able to discuss, to argue and come out at the end on the same page with the same passion and the same goals.” – San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich
This is what I think should be the quote of the year. The San Antonio Spurs in basketball have one of the more level-headed organizations when it comes to disciplining players and coaching them. Gregg Popovich, R.C. Buford, and Peter Holt have created a long-lasting culture that has tamed the best of what the NBA’s best basketball teams has to offer. NBA basketball teams don’t last longer than the San Antonio Spurs, because they have a staple of foundation in Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli that has lasted longer and matured longer than the Michael Jordan-era of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal-led Los Angeles Lakers teams. The San Antonio Spurs have learned from experience longer and faster and are full of wisdom when it comes to winning and losing playoff games. If there’s a playoff game going on, Gregg Popovich will let you know what is up with you and what you need to do to improve. Everybody on the San Antonio Spurs are playing as a team, from the number one star player to the last player on the roster. Everyone plays as a Spurs basketball player and has a role every time they step onto the court. The Spurs adapt very well to a lot of basketball situations and because basketball coaching is situational, they know how to scout their opponents, down from their strengths to their weaknesses. The Spurs are very good at doing what they need to do to stop their opponents from winning the game. There is no team that is more together than the San Antonio Spurs.
Tim Duncan is the best at what he does. No one can rattle Tim Duncan. Shaquille O’Neal has tried to get under Duncan’s skin. No success. Duncan is the reason why San Antonio has a 2-0 series lead. He makes the Spurs go with his patent bank shot that he makes and the jump hooks and 20-foot jumpers he makes. Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker are hard to contain, when they are making their jump shots and getting whatever kind of layups they are getting in the paint. You also can’t rely on your offense against the San Antonio Spurs, because the Spurs have your offense scouted. They have your best offense scouted to a T and then try to contain your best scorer to limit an amount of points. The Spurs have scouted the play of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph and have limited them successfully to doing a number of things. Gregg Popovich is a successful head coach who knows how to play basketball the right way and has treated his best player the same way he has with the twelfth guy on the roster. No one has escaped Popovich’s masterful art of coaching because he has mentored them mentally and has cheered them on from scoring to rebounding to defense and preached everything from getting his hard hat on. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Spurs do try and win Games 3 and 4 in Memphis.
The Memphis Grizzlies tried to outlast San Antonio in overtime last night, but failed. What happened? Here’s the low down: San Antonio prevailed, because of its Big Three, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobli. Duncan made his shots, Parker made his shots and Ginobli was able to penetrate the Grizzlies’ defense. If Memphis could contain Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli in overtime last time, they would have tied the series at one game apiece. That didn’t happen. I can explain how Memphis stayed in the game last night to send the Spurs into an extra time session. Memphis protected the ball and didn’t turn it over. That helped them stay in the game. They played stifling defense and didn’t allow the Spurs to steal the ball from them. That’s how Memphis clawed back from an 18-point deficit. How did the Spurs have a double-digit lead over Memphis? They passed the ball around and perimeter shooters like Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobli, Matt Bonner, and Tony Parker were able to rush to the spots on the floor and shoot the lights out. Memphis couldn’t adapt to San Antonio Spurs basketball and they couldn’t impose their grit-and-grind style on the Gregg Popovich-coached Spurs squad. Another factor in the Spurs win was their containment of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph. The Spurs made sure they force another Memphis player to beat them, except for Marc Gasol and Randolph. That’s why the Spurs were able to limit Gasol and Randolph to shots made. Now it’s back to Memphis for Game 3 where the Grizzlies are anxious to take the floor again and this time, the fans are on their side.
Oklahoma City ran by the Houston Rockets again in Game 2, winning 105-102. It was close until the final minute when Houston threatened to take again the lead. Indiana beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-98 to take a 2-0 series lead and are looking to take at least 2 more games to win their first round playoff series. The San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers to take a 2-0 series lead with a score of 102-91. The Spurs play fundamentally sound basketball and they do it so well, its effective and well, it’s plodding and methodically and boring. I think Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich knows that he runs a boring basketball team. Sorry, Gregg.