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Thread: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

  1. #1
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    Default Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    Rebounding:

    The Spurs have traditionally dropped offensive rebounding in favor of transition defense. However, this year the Spurs team just isnít going t be as strong defensively as it traditionally is- at least not in the beginning of the season. In addition, weíve seen a few Spurs this year- namely Bonner and Blair- go after offensive rebounds more- especially in the case of Blair, who is natural rebounder. For a team as good as the Spurs, itís best to limit them to as few possessions as possible. Can the rebounders of Hibbert, Posey, McRoberts and Jones/Foster keep the Blair off of the offensive boards? If not- the Pacers could be in for a long season rebounding wise.

    Big Man Play:

    The Spurs will reportedly be without Tiago Splitter this game, as he is still battling strained right plantaris muscle injury. The spurs thus will be limited to a big man rotation of Duncan, Blair, McDyess, and Bonner, with RJ playing the four sometimes in small ball. Starting the game with Duncan and Blair, the Pacers will have a mismatch with Blair. Hibbert can shoot right over Blair, and McRoberts at the three point line will also be a problem with the Spurs. Can the Pacers take advantage of this mismatch and make them pay for having Blair in the lineup?

    Meanwhile, the play of Matt Bonner will be a key to how well the Spurs can run. When Bonner can space the floor with his three and when he can hit is teardrop runner, he is a very valuable player on the offensive end for the Spurs and makes everything easier for the big three. If Bonner hits his shots early- the Pacers will be in trouble- especially if they continue to have trouble rotating.

    McDyess looks very sharp and looks focused in what most likely will be his last season in the NBA. He will give the Spurs valuable minutes and midrange shooting. On the other side, the Pacers need to figure out who is their backup center. Foster was a good player but currently looks like he is an old NBA player coming back from injury. Solomon Jones has shown some promise but is also on the trading block. Is Posey the answer for them? Will his 3 point shot be a problem for the Spurs?

    Blair vs McRoberts:

    This is going to be a very key matchup for the game. Blair is much improved from last season and his my early favorite to win most improved player. He has added some offensive moves into his arsenal and can almost be considered an offensive threat. The Pacers will need him to fight against Blair for boards and to have a good game in general. The same goes for McRoberts- who has added a three point shot and could be a mismatch for Blair. With his excellent passing he could alos find holes in the Spurs defense- especially without Splitter. The Spurs had some problems with Channing Frye in the playoffs last season- can McRoberts provide the same spark?

    The Point Guard Battle:

    Judging from preseason play- Tony parker is fully healed from his injuries last season and looks very sharp and like the playoffs MVP he was in 07. With the Spurs now playing more uptempo and using a run and gun offense sometimes, Parker should have a breakout year this year. He seems to have regained some of the speed lost last season to injury. Meanwhile, Darren Collison comes in with high expectations as the point guard for the Pacers future. So far in the preseason he seems to be a bit lost, sometimes making bad decisions with the ball. However, he has been mostly scoring and passing well. The key for Darren will be how quickly will he get acclimated to the Pacers offense and can he play the pick in roll defense? As of right now he does not look the Pacers point guard of the future.

    George Hill has been awful this preseason. He has shot the ball poorly and generally does not look like the player he was last year. The Spurs need him to be able to provide good point guard play and eat minutes, as well as play defense and hit the corner three. He needs to get his shot going.

    Meanwhile, AJ Price has had a solid preseason- carrying over from his strong play in the last season. He looks like he is doing much better than what is expected of a 2nd round pick, and looks more comfortable running the offense and shooting the ball than Darren does.

    TJ Ford will be the key to beating the Spurs. In the past, the biggest weakness of the Spurs defense is the midrange game. TJ Ford is our best midrange shooter, and he and Roy Hibbert should be able to hit those jumpers all night. TJ Ford also has great dribble penetration, and with Duncan's loss of mobility he should be able to drive at Duncan most of the night- especially if McRoberts/Posey is camped out at the three point line.

    A Battle of Redemption From the Small Forwards

    Both Danny Granger and Richard Jefferson had disappointing seasons last year. Danny Granger suffered from a myriad of injuries last season and just didnít look healthy. Meanwhile, Richard Jefferson had a hard time fitting into the Spurs system and looked like he was pressing for most of his time with the Spurs. Jefferson spent the summer retooling his game and going back to basics in order to fit in with the Spurs system better. Granger was selected to team USA over the summer and has had a decent preseason. Both players need to be spectacular for their teams to do well this season. Granger looks to be in the prime of his career and needs to get off to a good start. Jefferson has started showing signs of finally getting accliamated to the Spurs system Ė and with the Spurs turning into a more uptempo team he should be able to make more of an impact on the game this year While Jefferson still looks awkward sometimes while playing on the field, his confidence in his shot seems to be growing.

    Mike Dunleavy will also be looking for a bounce back year, as he seems mentally checked into the game and seems focused on having a good season. In addition, he has taken the rookie Paul George under his wing which will do wonders for Georgeís growth. If Dunleavy can get to a high level of conditioning and stay focused he should be able to make the correct reads and decisions to help breakdown the Spurs defense.

    New Players Making an Impact:

    Expect contributions from Gary Neal, James Anderson, and Paul George.
    Gary Neal turned strong summer league play into a 3 year deal with the Spurs, as his pure shooting stroke drew strong interest from the Spurs. While severely undersized as a two guard, expect Neal to be a third point guard type of player, bringing the ball upcourt and dumping to a playmaker such as Ginobili or Jefferson. The Spurs hope that he could be what Roger Mason Jr. should have been last season.

    Paul George, the first round pick for the Pacers this season, has shown flashes of all star level play at times in the preseason. He seems to have good form and the ability to drive and play like a well rounded wing, and should see a lot of minutes as the primary backup wing. While he has been streaky so far, he seems to be building up from each game and should be fun to watch and should have an immediate impact.

    James Anderson was hampered by a hamstring injury and did not play in the Spurs summer league. In limited minutes in the Spurs preseason, he played as expected from a rookie and seems to be learning his role in the Spurs system. He has shown good defensive effort and while his shot hasnít been falling as well as it did in his college days, he looks comfortable so far. Expect him to see a few minutes at the backup two and three.
    Last edited by flox; 10-26-2010 at 11:43 AM. Reason: titleeeee

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  3. #2
    crazy shinaniganz BringJackBack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    I can't wait for this game. I want to see McHans vs. Blair and I can't wait to see Timmy vs. Roy.

    I wan't to see Darren Collison vs. Tony Parker too. They have similar bodies and their inside games should be similar once DC gets better.

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    I'm glad you gave TJ some mention, I agree that he could play a big part in this game and I also agree that he does have an underappreciated mid range game. I have a bad feeling that Blair is going to totally own our big guys in this game. If not him then Timmy or someone else will. Either or, our big guys are going to get dominated, espeically with Posey guarding Tim on the block... uhg..

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    Pssshhh.... Our bigs own Blair. Remember how much he gets blocked? Throw Roy and Josh in there and he won't get anything up.

    I can't wait for tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    So, limit the better rebounding Spurs to as few possessions as possible. That should mean slowing the tempo and passing the ball multiple times prior to shots being taken for the most part, something that has been anathema to O'Brien teams of the past. It also should mean taking higher percentage shots, which should be midrange and in, even with Duncan lurking.

    With good passing and movement, the Pacers should be able to establish a low post game with a quicker Hibbert (if he is able to stay in the game) and a larger potential for McRoberts driving to the rim. The question is will that be seen, or will McRoberts be instructed to stay primarily at the high post and arc while Granger and Collison drive, and with Dunleavy presumably being left in the midrange out to the arc with little to no role in the offense other than as a catch and shoot threat much as Rush has been used in that position?

    The Pacers have a "punchers chance" of winning if the tempo is slowed down and passing is used in conjunction with good movement without the ball, but I suspect that the hopes for an actual upset will hinge on how many 3's are hit by Dunleavy and Granger, and whether the drives of Collison and McRoberts are effective at both scoring and getting the Spurs bigs in foul trouble early. Shoot under about 35% for the game from the arc assuming the usual 25+ attempts and the Spurs will run away and hide, which is what I anticipate happening, especially if McRoberts is called on for many 3's as a "stretch 4".

    The point guard position is a lost cause. Parker will eat anybody the Pacers play there alive because Rush is not available to provide perimeter resistance while Dunleavy is not able to cover as much ground, leaving the point guards needing to make up for that deficit. Parker is the most likely difference maker in this game. Also, I doubt Hibbert does very well due to foul trouble, so he will at best be a non-factor in my view.

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    very simple Turnovers and rebounds and dont shoot too many 3s

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    Key to this game is the Pick and Roll Defense.

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    Jermaine with the classic fade away jumper brick. This guy will be getting DNP-CD VERY SOON!
    *removed* Just keep politics and religion completely out of it, please.

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    play smart and rebound

    you're talking about one of the more fundamentally sound, veteran teams in the league
    Sittin on top of the world!

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    I think this game would be a perfect time for McBob to play the post more often.. He should be able to easily shoot over Blair. I am not sold on McBobs outside shooting yet to want to see him at the 3pt line all game.

  12. #11

    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    I'd rather make it a wild-west shoot-out. Pack the paint, force them to kick out the ball to their shooters. Then use one of your bigs the same way the Suns used Frye - successful, as the OP notes. Without Splitter, the frontcourt of the Spurs team lacks speed. It also lacks shooting - Bonner is streaky and if you're forcing Popovich to use Bonner for extended minutes, that's already a plus. Attack their weaknesses first - the lack of quickness defensively, the slow rotations, the unreliable shooting out of the small guards - rather than their strengths.

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    Roy must be aggressive and dominant against Duncan. He also must set picks for Darren and anyone else looking to drive in.

    Danny needs to defend Jefferson who is someone that can go right in for a dunk when left unguarded.

    I'm excited to see the PG matchup.

    We need to win the first game of the season. It's always a good beginning.

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    Default Re: Spurs vs Pacers: Keys to the Game

    Quote Originally Posted by cordobes View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I'd rather make it a wild-west shoot-out. Pack the paint, force them to kick out the ball to their shooters. Then use one of your bigs the same way the Suns used Frye - successful, as the OP notes. Without Splitter, the frontcourt of the Spurs team lacks speed. It also lacks shooting - Bonner is streaky and if you're forcing Popovich to use Bonner for extended minutes, that's already a plus. Attack their weaknesses first - the lack of quickness defensively, the slow rotations, the unreliable shooting out of the small guards - rather than their strengths.
    Yeah, that way they either have to play small ball four with RJ at the wing (his wing three better than the corner three so far) or rely on McDyess midrange (not a terrible proposition but also not ideal).

    I'd definitely want to make the Spurs pay with their slow frontcourt. Splitter needs to come back soon.

    Bonner hasn't looked very good in the preseason either- if the Spurs are forced to play him over 12 minutes thats not a good thing for the Spurs.

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