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  1. #1
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    Defensively, the Spurs weren't very good in Game 3. In fact, they haven't been very good defensively in this series. To ultimately win this series, the Spurs are going to have to step it up on that end of the court.

    That said, the most blatant errors in Game 3 occurred on the offensive end. For a team that has scored the ball so well over the last couple of months, it was shocking to see how many mistakes were made and how many opportunities were missed.


    Early on, it was obvious that the Thunder were going to pack the paint to force the Spurs role players to win the game with outside shots. Here we see Boris Diaw wide, wide open yet he doesn't look to shoot. Considering that Diaw is 14 for his last 20 on three-pointers, there's no way he can pass up that shot.


    In the next possession, Diaw is again ignored. But again, he fails to shoot the open shot. Instead he pump-faked and drove the ball to the basket. He has to shoot that to space the court.


    Once Duncan caught the ball, the Thunder sent a lot of defenders his way. In this picture, we see Duncan with the ball surrounded by four defenders. He has Diaw wide open under the basket and Green open in the corner. Instead of finding one of those two players, Duncan turns the ball over when he tries to pass it back to Parker.


    Here, Diaw drives the ball into the paint and the defense collapses on him. He decides on a close-quarters pass to Duncan but the right pass was to an open Green on the perimeter. The Spurs needed to make the Thunder pay for collapsing; Duncan shooting a contested eight footer doesn't do that.


    On this possession, the Thunder send a double-team at Parker before Duncan even comes over to set the pick. With three defenders defending a pick-and-roll, there should be a wide open player. But the players on the weak-side -- namely Green -- are oblivious to the fact that the Thunder have overloaded the strong-side.


    While I'm not a fan of using Bonner in the playoffs, I understand what Pop was thinking. With Diaw not shooting and the Thunder sagging everyone into the paint, Bonner hypothetically is the perfect solution. Unfortunately, that hypothetical doesn't account for Bonner not being a legit three-point threat in the playoffs. As you can see here, the Thunder don't respect Bonner's three-point shooting at all. His man plays as far away from him as he's legally allowed.


    With Duncan in the low block, the Thunder sag all five defenders into the paint. Again, Bonner provides no extra spacing on the weak-side. The right play here is for Duncan to pass it to any of the open shooters -- preferably Jackson or Ginobili in this instance. Instead, Duncan forced a bad shot.


    The Thunder's disrespect of Bonner reached a new low on this possession. His man is literally 15 feet away from him. Obviously, Parker should have passed it to the wide open Bonner ... but he didn't. This failure to make simple passes was a common theme this game.


    Later in the first quarter, Bonner catches a pass on the wing and uncharacteristically forces a contested three-pointer. Jackson had just hit a three-pointer and was completely wide open in the corner. This is a pass Bonner almost always makes ... I have no idea what went wrong here. (Perhaps he was too worried about going 2-for-1 but there was enough time for one more pass.)


    The lack of passing strikes again. Neal drives in, the Thunder sag and Ginobili is left wide open. Even worse, there's a direct passing lane to Ginobili so Neal has no excuse for not making that pass.


    Even Ginobili, who is probably the best passing two-guard on the planet, wasn't immune to the poor passing. Here, he gets blocked attempting a mid-range shot over two defenders when he has Splitter and Bonner wide open. (Oh, and Bonner again not exactly spacing the court.)


    Now begins the stretch of the second quarter where Duncan tried to take over via 4-down. On this play, the Thunder ignore Bonner while Duncan has a great view of what is happening. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, Duncan passes that to Bonner. This time, for reasons unknown, Duncan doesn't pass it and instead forces a bad shot. (The Spurs overlooking Bonner is becoming an epidemic at this point. Could it be that his teammates have lost hope in him being a legit three-point threat in the playoffs? I wouldn't think so but that's the story the pictures tell.)


    Duncan in the low block and the Thunder collapse again. Both Leonard and Parker are pretty damn open. Duncan, again, elects to shoot.


    No, this isn't a replay. Duncan is in the same exact spot with the Thunder again sending extra help to the paint. This time, though, it wasn't as much Duncan's fault because no one else on the court took advantage of OKC's tactic. Parker, Leonard and Neal so bunched up on the weak-side is inexplicably poor.


    On the next possession, Leonard drive middle. The Thunder collapse and leave Neal completely wide open. Leonard doesn't make the pass even though Neal is about as open as possible on a basketball court.


    Here, Ginobili is defended by Perkins. He first gets his three-pointer blocked. When he gets the ball back, he puts his head down and drives right into four Thunder players. Jackson and Neal both were open but instead Ginobili turned it over.


    In the second half, this is the play that got Leonard benched for good. Instead of passing it to a wide open Diaw, Leonard shot a step-back three-pointer.


    In the final play we'll look at, we'll end things with Bonner again not spacing the court. Ibaka basically ignores Bonner on the perimeter yet the Spurs don't make the Thunder pay.




    Conclusions:

    -Diaw has to shoot the ball. If he doesn't shoot, the Thunder won't leave the paint. Plus, if he doesn't shoot, Pop will probably turn to Bonner.

    -The Thunder don't respect Bonner. They are playing as far off of him as is allowed by the NBA rulebook. They literally couldn't pay him less respect. Bonner is going to have to hit some shots to change that. (In fairness to Bonner, he needs to receive more passes when he's open.)

    -Parker, Duncan and Ginobili were all uncharacteristically poor at making simple passes to open players. It's difficult to blame the role players too much when the Big 3 was so bad at making passes that they usually make in their sleep.

    -The players on the weak-side have to be more aware of what's going on. If the strong-side is overloaded, the players on the weak-side have to either cut to the hoop or space things out beyond the three-point line.

    -The Thunder's defensive adjustments in Game 3 were gimmicky, to put it nicely. If the Spurs were anywhere near competent with their passes, they would have gotten at least a dozen more wide open shots. Now going forward if the Spurs fail to make these passes or players miss wide open shots, this gimmick defense will continue to be successful. But, personally, I believe these Spurs are simply too good at passing and too good at shooting for this style of defense to be effective once the Spurs have time to adjust. One look at the film and it'll be obvious what needs to be done.

  2. #2
    Earth, Wind, and Fire. BlackSilver's Avatar
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    Excellent as always. My impression from watching was that the Spurs were pig-headedly trying to get their way, regardless of what the defense was giving them. I'll admit though that I didn't get the feeling we were as wide open as your film study shows, mainly because OKC seemed to be everywhere in their swarming style. But Timmy stubbornly shooting in horrible positions was a sad thing to see. Reminded me of last year when we had no bench and maybe the big 3 forgot they have teammates this year. Even Bonnet.

  3. #3
    Focused Chaos benefactor's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Pretty much affirms what I thought initially...no big adjustments needed...just play better and they win the game.
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  4. #4
    Veteran roycrikside's Avatar
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    I think Pop needs to show game film of that one game last year where Bonner went 7-of-7 from downtown at OKC. Maybe it will renew confidence both in the big three to pass it to him and for Bonner himself to take and make that shot.

  5. #5
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    The Spurs panicked early on.

    They seen to have gotten their composure back midway through the first quarter but they lost it again in the second and never recovered.

    That crowd was intense. I knew they were going to play a role on how the Thunder came out and play.

  6. #6
    Relax, It's just a game... But we better win!
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    I do not understand why (well I do...) singling out Bonner while it is BLATANTLY obvious that the Thunder were leaving EVERYONE open not just Bonner, just look at your pictures..., even before Bonner ever set foot on the court...
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  7. #7
    Believe. gambit1990's Avatar
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    i think our ball movement stalled because our sloppy passes ended up as turnovers.

    lack of ball movement means no spacing, which allowed okc to pack in the paint.

  8. #8
    Believe. RodNIc91's Avatar
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    Pictures worth one thousand words. I do remember them not passing as good, but this is just hideous. After taking a look at this Im much less worried. On any win of the 20 streak we wouldve played better. I think the referees got a bit in their head and they got desperate. The lack of energy was obvious as well.

  9. #9
    Damn You Commies T Park's Avatar
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    I still think if Parker is going to be shut down driving the basketball the offense is going to falter.

    Its almost 2004 all over again.
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  10. #10
    Believe. ginobilized's Avatar
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    Super duper breakdown!

    Tomorrow will be a different story, I bet.

  11. #11
    Believe.
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    I do not understand why (well I do...) singling out Bonner while it is BLATANTLY obvious that the Thunder were leaving EVERYONE open not just Bonner, just look at your pictures..., even before Bonner ever set foot on the court...
    Because the only thing Bonner brings to this team is his ability to "spread the floor." Everyone else brings other things: Kawhi is a great defender, hustler, and rebounder. Neal can create shots for himself and at times run the pick and rolls / orchestrate the offense to give TP/Gino a break. Jackson brings toughness, some nasty, defense and rebounding.

    ETC ETC ETC.

    Bonner brings nothing but 3 point shooting, and not only is he shooting badly but he isn't spreading the floor. If he isn't spacing the floor we might as well bench him for Blair or just more of Tim/Tiago/Diaw/smallball.

  12. #12
    5. timvp's Avatar
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    I do not understand why (well I do...) singling out Bonner while it is BLATANTLY obvious that the Thunder were leaving EVERYONE open not just Bonner, just look at your pictures..., even before Bonner ever set foot on the court...
    Because the only thing Bonner brings to this team is his ability to "spread the floor." Everyone else brings other things: Kawhi is a great defender, hustler, and rebounder. Neal can create shots for himself and at times run the pick and rolls / orchestrate the offense to give TP/Gino a break. Jackson brings toughness, some nasty, defense and rebounding.

    ETC ETC ETC.

    Bonner brings nothing but 3 point shooting, and not only is he shooting badly but he isn't spreading the floor.
    Exactly. If Bonner isn't spreading the floor, what exactly is his purpose on the basketball court?

  13. #13
    Duncan 5.... 100%duncan's Avatar
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    Good stuff. Pretty much affirms what I thought initially...no big adjustments needed...just play better and they win the game.
    I agree.
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  14. #14
    Lab Animal Capt Bringdown's Avatar
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    In other words, Spurs are still betting that Bonner will be a productive player in the playoffs.

    That's a bet they're gonna lose. Hope there's a plan B.
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  15. #15
    Believe.
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    would running a double pick and roll work
    by double i mean 2 guys coming to set a pick

    it could be either duncan/diaw
    duncan/splitter
    duncan/blair
    splitter/diaw

    where one guy rolls and one pops
    it could give parker more room to operate since its less predictable where hes going and id imagine its harder to switch/keep up with 3 guys who could all do 3 different things
    it would also create more mismatches

  16. #16
    Finals Mode DMC's Avatar
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    Great analysis, but what the photos do not show is that Bonner needs more room than 10-15 feet separation before he will even attempt a shot. There were many times Bonner caught the ball with plenty room to shoot and he instead pump fakes and drives the lane.

    When you pass the ball to a guy with plenty of room to shoot and he doesn't shoot (all year basically), you don't feel he's going to suddenly start shooting the ball in the playoffs, especially when he's a proven choke artist in the post season. Still, you would think they would want to move the ball through him just to spread the defense some, but all those shots of people sagging off Bonner are times when Bonner does not have the ball. Can you show a photo of the easiest shot he actually got? It takes him a couple of seconds at least to get a shot up, and those defenders can cover that ground in a short amount of time, and like I said, you only have to get close to Bonner, you don't have to actually contest the shot.
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  17. #17
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    Thank you for putting it in pictures. Spurs played poorly, and that was evident watching the game... here's to hoping we don't lay another egg saturday...
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  18. #18
    Believe. ginobili fan's Avatar
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    you're absolutly right on every points.
    the spurs need to spread the floor. create more spacing.
    but this won't happen if they play like an afraid little girl like they did last night, cheap passes, lost confident quickly on what the spurs are usually very strong overall.
    looking simplicity, keep shooting, not forcing the ultra extreme extra pass, they don't need that to be strong.
    I expect an offensive explosion from the spurs.
    if they score more than 100 points this one is for the spurs.
    Maybe for the game 4, the key is more offense than defense...

  19. #19
    Believe. ginobili fan's Avatar
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    make it happen pleaseeee....
    and I'll keep my post number 1000 for tomorrow night game blog, hoping this gonna bring some luck to the spurs.

  20. #20
    🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆 ElNono's Avatar
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    One other thing that stands out: Who guards Matty? In 3 of those pictures, it's a big... Ibaka or Collison... in the other 3? perimeter guys... Harden or Durant... which means that in half of those instances, even if Matty would be drawing a guy on him, he wouldn't necessarily be creating space inside...

  21. #21
    Moss is Da Sauce! mouse's Avatar
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    You only need one picture to describe last nights ass waxing.

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  22. #22
    Redemption complete Budkin's Avatar
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    Barkley would be totally right about Bonner having a huge series... if he could make a shot.

  23. #23
    Redemption complete Budkin's Avatar
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    You only need one picture to describe last nights ass waxing.

    Yup! Good to see you back mouse!

  24. #24
    You have no idea UZER's Avatar
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    Great analysis, but what the photos do not show is that Bonner needs more room than 10-15 feet separation before he will even attempt a shot. There were many times Bonner caught the ball with plenty room to shoot and he instead pump fakes and drives the lane.

    When you pass the ball to a guy with plenty of room to shoot and he doesn't shoot (all year basically), you don't feel he's going to suddenly start shooting the ball in the playoffs, especially when he's a proven choke artist in the post season. Still, you would think they would want to move the ball through him just to spread the defense some, but all those shots of people sagging off Bonner are times when Bonner does not have the ball. Can you show a photo of the easiest shot he actually got? It takes him a couple of seconds at least to get a shot up, and those defenders can cover that ground in a short amount of time, and like I said, you only have to get close to Bonner, you don't have to actually contest the shot.

    So yes Bonner or no Bonner? Which one is it now?

  25. #25
    Veteran
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    no bonner. he sits. jax takes his minutes from now on.

  26. #26
    Believe. Richie's Avatar
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    Great analysis, but what the photos do not show is that Bonner needs more room than 10-15 feet separation before he will even attempt a shot. There were many times Bonner caught the ball with plenty room to shoot and he instead pump fakes and drives the lane.

    When you pass the ball to a guy with plenty of room to shoot and he doesn't shoot (all year basically), you don't feel he's going to suddenly start shooting the ball in the playoffs, especially when he's a proven choke artist in the post season. Still, you would think they would want to move the ball through him just to spread the defense some, but all those shots of people sagging off Bonner are times when Bonner does not have the ball. Can you show a photo of the easiest shot he actually got? It takes him a couple of seconds at least to get a shot up, and those defenders can cover that ground in a short amount of time, and like I said, you only have to get close to Bonner, you don't have to actually contest the shot.
    This is an important post. Thunder were good at closing out our shooters, and with Bonner and jaxs slow motion release they can afford to give more space to them

  27. #27
    Boring = 4 Rings SA210's Avatar
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    In other words, Spurs are still betting that Bonner will be a productive player in the playoffs.

    That's a bet they're gonna lose. Hope there's a plan B.
    Plan B is more Bonner than before. Bonner starts, Bonner comes in for Bonner, Bonner shoots all technicals, Bonner, Bonner, Bonner

    Plan Bonner

  28. #28
    Believe.
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    You only need one picture to describe last nights ass waxing.


























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  29. #29
    Believe.
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  30. #30
    Moss is Da Sauce! mouse's Avatar
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    Yup! Good to see you back mouse!


    next ST GTG at TimVp and Kori's for game 4
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    It would be cool to make a slide show of these photos put them music.

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