Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers

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San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers 9:00 CST March 25, 2011

The Spurs lost a tough game in Denver on Wednesday. It doesn’t get any easier in the upcoming weeks. Their remaining schedule includes Portland (twice), Memphis, Boston, Houston, Phoenix (twice), Atlanta, Sacramento, Utah and the LA Lakers. The Spurs will presumably play many of them without the services of Duncan.

As I have stated before, staying or getting healthy while remaining sharp is more crucial than clinching the top seed. However, if the Spurs don’t win enough games to clinch the top spot, chances are that something is wrong.
Although the Spurs could have easily beaten Denver last night (the Nuggets shot 57% from 3 point range and Al Harrington was absurd), the defensive performance was definitely concerning. The Spurs defensive rating was 122.3, third worst of the season. On the season, the Spurs have been about 6 points per game better defensively when Duncan is on the floor. The Trail Blazers seem to be an even tougher matchup for the Duncan-less Spurs.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 40 points on 23 field goal attempts in a 99-86 Portland win on February 1. Aldridge has powered the inside game for Portland. Against the Spurs, the Blazers have scored an average of 12.5 points in 12 post ups. They also averaged 11.5 points on 8 pick and roll plays to the roll man. Aldridge averages over 9 post ups per game and 3 possessions as a roll man, 3 possessions as a cutter and 2 putbacks. His scary brilliance includes a February of 28 PPG on 56% shooting and 7 free throws made per game despite committing fewer than 2 turnovers per game in Portland’s sluggish offense.

The Spurs primary advantage in the prior two meetings was in three point shooting, which is very unreliable from game to game. The Spurs shot a combined 17 of 35 from 3 point range. Portland merely managed 7 of 28 from beyond the arc. The Spurs better-than-expected 3 point shooting accounted for 4.5 points per game and Portland’s struggles from deep accounted for 4.2 fewer PPG. An argument could certainly be made that Portland had more maintainable success than San Antonio.

The Spurs actually played pretty well against Portland defensively in their loss, but were unable to get to the line and barely shot 50% when they got there, shooting 8 of 15. Portland made 21 of 24 free throw attempts. In a 95-78 Spurs win in San Antonio, the trend was reversed. The Spurs attempted 26 free throws compared to the Trail Blazers’ 11 attempts. Home cooking can be a trend from time to time, but this vast difference is unusual.

Given their struggles against big teams and the temporary lack of a hall of fame “power forward”, this could be a very tough road test. A few things could help:
1) Effectiveness using small ball lineups – Although Portland plays at very slow pace, teams are able to create fast breaks against them.
2) If Camby doesn’t play, there is no real shot blocker to keep Ginobili, Parker and Hill at bay. Even if he does play, Portland allows the 4th highest percentage of shots at the rim. Attack the rim!
3) More value from Splitter – He’s the player who seems to have the most ability to step up his offensive and defensive contributions (Jefferson was also considered, but he will face tough defenders at SF tonight). Splitter has finally been given some time to adapt and a great opportunity to succeed. Will it click for him at some point?
4) Favorable outside shooting – You can’t count on it, but the Spurs have more 3 point weapons than anyone. A big night almost guarantees victory.

Key Statistics

SRS ranks:

Portland: 1.77 (13th)
San Antonio: 6.25 (3rd)

Player summary statistics from basketball-reference.com and basketballvalue.com:

Portland Trail Blazers Player Ratings 3-24

PlayerGMPGUSG%OrtgDRtgWS/482 Yr APM
LaMarcus Aldridge7139.725.91141060.1717.63
Wesley Matthews7134.321.31131080.126-5.25
Gerald Wallace1332.9201091000.156.35
Andre Miller7032.820.71111080.1266.21
Nicolas Batum7031.717.41161080.128-4.08
Brandon Roy3730.123.31071090.0920.04
Marcus Camby5126.812.5104990.116-0.21
Rudy Fernandez6723.5191091070.11-0.23
Patrick Mills5612.624.4981100.026N/A



San Antonio Spurs Player Ratings 3-24

PlayerGMPGUSG%OrtgDRtgWS/482 Yr APM
Tony Parker6932.425.11141070.166-0.35
Manu Ginobili7130.826.41161040.2024.92
Richard Jefferson7030.615.51151080.115-0.93
Tim Duncan6928.322.91101000.1676.46
George Hill6528.117.61141070.13-1.87
DeJuan Blair7021.820.11061000.137-0.54
Matt Bonner5521.6131281070.1543.91
Gary Neal6920.720.61091080.103-2.08
Antonio McDyess6518.414.91051030.1072.99
Tiago Splitter5011.717.41111020.14N/A
James Anderson2110.815.61121100.093N/A
Steve Novak158.216.71531080.264N/A



Player trends, based on Efficiency per 48 minutes:

Portland Trail Blazers Player Trends 3-24

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
Nicolas Batum19.825.55.7
Wesley Matthews19.321.82.5
Gerald Wallace26.728.41.7
Brandon Roy18.218.20
LaMarcus Aldridge28.227.6-0.6
Rudy Fernandez18.317.7-0.6
Andre Miller24.119.4-4.7
Marcus Camby27.522.5-5
Patrick Mills15.96.9-9



San Antonio Spurs Player Trends 3-24

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
Steve Novak28.433.65.2
Tiago Splitter23.1284.9
James Anderson14.618.74.1
Gary Neal18.9223.1
Antonio McDyess23.424.41
Tony Parker27.327.90.6
Manu Ginobili28.628.90.3
Tim Duncan32.7330.3
DeJuan Blair28.128.10
Matt Bonner19.917.8-2.1
Richard Jefferson17.613.4-4.2
George Hill21.915.4-6.5


Lineup data
Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Trail Blazers:
Miller, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, Camby +12 in 443 minutes (+1.7 per 100 possessions)
Miller, Matthews, Batum, Wallace, Aldridge +53 in 157 minutes (+19.3 per 100)
Miller, Roy, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge +37 in 36 minutes (+45.3 per 100)
Miller, Fernandez, Roy, Wallace, Aldridge +26 in 29 minutes (+43.9 per 100)
With Wallace on the floor, the Trail Blazers have outscored opponents by an average of 9.3 points per 100 possessions in the 428 minutes. Ironically, this is largely due to a significant offensive improvement.

Spurs:
Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, Blair, Duncan +147 in 669 minutes (+10.4 per 100)
Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, McDyess, Duncan +29 in 147 minutes (+10.2 per 100)
Hill, Neal, Ginobili, Bonner, McDyess +67 in 105 minutes (+35.3 per 100)
Parker, Hill, Ginobili, Bonner, Duncan +49 in 55 minutes (+39.0 per 100)

The Pick

Trail Blazers

I actually think the Spurs are a pretty good team, even without Duncan. However, they’ve faced a pretty tough stretch in the first 3 games after Duncan’s injury. Not only will they have to play on the road, but Portland is a team with a super talented big, who has played like a super star at times this season. In addition, Gerald Wallace has already made significant contributions. The Spurs have a tough schedule remaining, but few will be tougher than this one.

  • Chipp

    Oh, and can somebody tell me why Tony was in for defense at the end of the game? Brain fart.

  • Bob

    It’s hard to establish a defensive identity if you don’t play your best defenders. It’s ridiculous to say you want the defense to improve and then play the worst offenders more minutes. You can’t shoot lights out every game. The best defensive teams won’t allow you to do it. Definitively not 4 games out of 7 in the playoffs.
    The one thing I am really noticing about Popovich is that he has a hard time making adjustments on the fly. Hopefully he can figure out a way to use Splitter to improve the defense. But I won’t count on it happening this season. I think the Spurs may have won more if not for that. Two instances I can think of the top of my head are the 2004 West semis against Lakers and last years sweep against Suns. In the Lakers series, Spurs never adjusted once Lakers started packing the lane to stop Parker. Last year, Suns small ball was so much better but Pop kept trying to play small. Now he’s got better small ball and he still overuses it. Sure, it works at times. Got the Suns to the West finals. But you’re not going to win a championship that way.

  • Colin

    Everybody, quit blowing Splitter. We all know he has great potential but he’s not the 8th wonder nor would he have won or lost this game.

    Let’s all hope he continues to improve.

    @Mike

    You’re right. The players on the floor lost this game. The players win the games and the players lose the games. As I said earlier, up 10 pts with over 4 in left in the game, a 57-13 team should win the game no matter who is on the floor. Also, Pop didn’t tell Ginobili and Parker to commit 13 turnovers between them. Usually, when the Spurs win they commit 12 or less as a team.

    When the back court commits more than that alone we have problems regardless of who’s favorite player is not on the court.

  • DBAGuy

    Again, why hasnt Pop played Dice or Splitter in the 4rth, we have gotten leads with both of them on the floor and yet they have not played in the 4rth neither game. Pop is either really dumb or hes just training the guys and still giving up games trying to align playoff positioning and matchups. I don’t know, all i know is these 2 games have been very frustrating. Next game is a dvr game.

  • hassan

    wow…people i can’t sleep now after watching this game….

  • Titletown99030507d

    @DiehardSpur,

    “I would love to see him (Splitter) and TIMMY play together.”

    Yup. You and everyone else including me.. Come on back Timmy. Coming off the bench would be Dyess with Blair or Dyess and Bonner. Not the BB boys together.

  • spursfan25

    I hope Pop gives Splitter a lot more minutes especially in the playoffs. The guy is the Spurs’ last hope in a potential series against the Lakers. Without him, the Lakers’ length alone will be too much for the Spurs to overcome in a 7 game series.

  • Bruno

    @Colin

    I really disagree, Splitter was our second best player in this game. He deserved last 5 minutes, and if play the last 5 miutes the Blazzers, NEVER would get easy points with layups and free throws.

    Lamarcus Aldridge scores 40 points over Duncan/Blair/Macdyess/Bonner. Today he scores 6 points over Splitter in 20 minutes

  • Titletown99030507d

    @Miggy,

    No but, he does commit dumbass rotations.

  • Titletown99030507d

    For those of you that think Pop managed a great game please stand up! I rest my case. (nobody stood up)

  • TD = Best EVER

    OK looking back at that Novak inbound play. 0.9 seconds or basically catch and shoot situation and you need a person with a QUICK TRIGGER to get the shot off in time.

    WHY is Bonner(not a quick release shooter) Splitter(not a shooter at all) in the game. Why is Novak(very good quick release shooter) taking out the ball and being asked to make a pressure inbound pass when he is not known for his PASSING AT ALL……..

    The line up should have been
    Dice
    Neal
    Manu
    Novak
    TP – taking out the ball because the other 4 have quick releases on their jumpshots and can all knock down a 15ft with ease.

    Would have been o so simple just to run whatever play you wanted and then have Dice POP out as a last option for a quick catch and shoot. Even if he missed it we still would have had OT!!!!!!!! Nice job POP

  • SpursSt

    @TD = Best EVER

    I think Pop want to lose, is a stupid play, in 0.9 seconds is just pass the ball to alleyoop or a jump shot.

  • hassan

    @ Mike
    “March 25th, 2011 at 8:47 pm Hooray melodramatic overreactions!!!! Pop doesn’t deserve the blame for poor play from his crew”.

    Players on the floor loose the games esp with Manu & Parker with 13 turnovers…but the players on the floor on certain situations are POP’s responsibility and we went small ball too much in the the 4th… we also needed at least somebody to protect the rim on that last shot…

    This loss is just as much due to POP as much as players(50/50)…..and this would be my 1st time to fault POP on this Blog as I generally think the coaches give you plans but you have to execute them but POP player’s choices in the 4th where questionable…

    What’s up with not playing JA at all recently…manu is completely gassed…..

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Bruno

    “I really disagree, Splitter was our second best player in this game. He deserved last 5 minutes, and if play the last 5 miutes the Blazzers, NEVER would get easy points with layups and free throws.”

    Splitter would NOT have changed this game, because it wasn’t lost in the paint by post players. And Splitter IS NOT A SHOT BLOCKER so him being in the game or Blair as long as they body up Aldridge and not let him get going(Both players did very well), would result in the same. Blair was very physical with LA and that bothered him a lot. POP messed this up by simply not calling plays down the stretch and having the wrong people in the game doing the wrong things for the final 2 plays.

    That and Parker got served by Miller. How on earth did that happen. TP and ALL-STAR PG getting beat up and out played by an old man……..

  • Titletown99030507d

    Look people don’t try to take Pop off the hook. It would have never come to that point with 30 seconds left in the game when all the crap started to happen. All he had to do with a few minutes left in the game is put Splitter and Dyess in and call a plays for Tiago the bigger man for an inside play. This would have slowed the tempo down ate up some clock and forced them to defend big and then push hard up the court which is hard to do if your spending time battling the glass. I would have used the big man to generate some calls or even scoring the basket. Especially with one of the last plays not the 0.9 sec but the one before that. Eat the clock up take into the big man like they used to do with Timmy. Pop needs to start trusting Tiago for this sort of situation.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @TD,

    Actually I rather would have had Splitter in bound the ball since he won’t shoot in this situation. He’s a good passer and has more length than anybody out there and can see the floor better.

  • Miggy

    Phil Jackson has never taken a small market team to the promised land.

  • Miggy

    Hindsight is 20/20!

  • Bruno

    @TD = Best EVER

    Blair physical= Giving 5 free throws?? don’t look so good, but i am not saying to replace BLAIR, i am saying to play with 2 BIGS, Splitter is really really really good defensive player

  • Miggy

    Love Tiago’s game! Knew it would just be a matter of when. He’s going to make a great contribution to our playoff run this year. Just praying we get Timmy back healthy!

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Miggy

    And Pop will never take ANOTHER small market team to the promise land if he can’t remember how to coach. Lay off the Phil Jackson/Bill Walton hippy lettuce and Greatful Dead reunion tour and get back to being grumpy old POP who always had 1 or 2 well designed plays down the stretch of games to get good looks.

    @ Titletown99030507d

    “Actually I rather would have had Splitter in bound the ball since he won’t shoot in this situation. He’s a good passer and has more length than anybody out there and can see the floor better.”

    Splitter is a good passer but even having him there is a gamble. Think if that was Splitter there with the TO, what would we all be saying. POP wtf are you doing telling your big man to make a high pressure inbound pass. That pass should have been handles by you best playmaker/passer of the ball. Which is Manu – but we need him to take the final shot so it falls to TP.

  • lvmainman

    The only play Novak was involved in for the entire game was the inbound pass? Are you serious?

    47:59.1 of pure pine, bench splinters and 3 weeks of being on the team, home-court advantage on the line, and Novak is chosen as the inbound passer?

    Has Popovich lost his mind???

    Spurs up 4 games with 10 games to go? Spurs are in trouble! Fakers are like 15-1 since the all-star break and won’t lose any games for the rest of the season.

  • Colin

    Bruno

    You from Brazil?

  • Bruno

    @TD = Best EVER

    Of course Splitter would have changed this game, he is a BIG PRESENCE, after first 2 shots, Aldridge looks afraid to shot over Splitter

  • Bruno

    @Colin

    Of course i am!!Why u think i have this bad English. Lmao. But i am Spurs fan sice 2006

  • Hobson13

    So can someone explain to me why Pop has Novak inbounding the ball with a second left? The dude didn’t play all night. The only way he should have been on the floor in that instance is to shoot the ball. That was easily the stupidest coaching decision Pop has made all year. Second game in a row the Spurs threw the damned game away.

    P.S. Last time we played the Blazers, Alderidge blew Duncan up for 40pts. Tonight he gets 14pts. Pop is the best coach in the league, but the more he refuses to play Splitter more than 25min, the more he looks like an arbitrary old fool.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @TD,

    Your missing the point. Having Splitter in there in the 4th and towards the end getting plays called for him would attract bodies leaving some shooters open to take a comfortable shots all the while taking their time and eating the clock. (Slow ball) I’d rather play slow ball with Tiago late in the game than do what they did tonight. I’ll take my chances. It can’t be any worse than a loss. You need to start trusting the Big Brazilian because he’s only getting better and better. They would have won this one if they put the ball into Splitter’s hands down low or PNR and keep it out of Tony or Manu’s hands this late in the game. I don’t know about Tony but Manu just doesn’t have enough in him to make the moves he used to this late in the game playing that many minutes. He does look gassed late in the game.

  • hassan

    IF we play like this we can easily loose 6 games( at mem, vs POR again, vs BOS, at HOU & at LA) and that would put us at 61 wins and then LA can go 9/1 and that would tie us but they would get the 1 seed on conference record…

    Also CHI can go 9/2 and tie us but pass us on conf record too…but that won’t matter as these SPURS are not going to the finals…

    This sucks..i had big hopes for this season… I’ll give them 1 last chance once Duncan returns….

  • betsyduncan

    The ‘bigs’ got the memo about playing Timmy’s minutes ‘by committee’. Tiago was amazing.
    But you can NOT replace Timmy in these last minute situations. His stats are what they are, but they are also ‘hidden’ stats—intangibles that are magical.
    Our record has been/is as much Timmy’s contribution/s as it is anyone’s. We played ok enough to win, but the last minute ‘heroics’ we won by/with earlier this year came back to bite us this time. Karma reared its ugly head.
    Hurry back Cap’n Duncan!
    Please don’t let this team squander our gaudy record—or our chances at the HCA!
    Please don’t let JTurrible be right!
    Please don’t let KoMe have the last laugh!
    Please tighten up, team, for Tim-meh!

  • Bruno

    @betsyduncan No, without Ginobili Spurs would be 35-26, he won more games than Timmy. But if u replace Timmy with Blair or Bonner, of course Spurs lose a lot. Timmy is the second most important player

  • Titletown99030507d

    @TD,

    “Splitter is a good passer but even having him there is a gamble. Think if that was Splitter there with the TO, what would we all be saying. POP wtf are you doing telling your big man to make a high pressure inbound pass. That pass should have been handles by you best playmaker/passer of the ball. Which is Manu – but we need him to take the final shot so it falls to TP.”

    Comon I think he had more court awareness having played a butt load of more minutes than Novak tonight. He’s played under pressure before man. NBA or no NBA he’s been in those situations before. He knows how to handle it. Besides Tony couldn’t see the court as well as Splitter would. Use your height to your advantage. Even the pee wee leagues know that.

  • hassan

    BTW guys..

    Novak’s out of bound pass went out so he does not have time count towards that… Novak did play about 1 minute in 1st half then subbed out in a timeout…so I guess POP thought this is playing time………????

  • betsyduncan

    PS: I thought Pop coached his ass off tonight. I’ve only seen Pop out-coached a few times—and that was so long ago, I can’t even remember it! It was all about execution. And not having TD out there. Sigh.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ hassan

    We would have the head to head tie breaker with LA

    @ Bruno

    “Of course Splitter would have changed this game, he is a BIG PRESENCE, after first 2 shots, Aldridge looks afraid to shot over Splitter.”

    I know you are a HUGE Splitter fan but to say that LaMarcus was scared to shoot over him is just NUTS. Splitter did have probably his best all around game tonight, but Blair didn’t stink it up at all. He played well and LaMarcus didn’t really score on Blair at all either. SO our BIG’s all played well. Our Smalls lost this game on both ends of the floor.

    @Titletown99030507d

    “Your missing the point. Having Splitter in there in the 4th and towards the end getting plays called for him would attract bodies leaving some shooters open to take a comfortable shots all the while taking their time and eating the clock.”

    Yes I have been YELLING for slowing down the game all year long with some post ups….. But it isn’t going to happen. We didn’t do it with TD, and we aren’t gonna let Splitter go at it either.

    What we should do to slow the game down is run Neal of some picks like we used to do for Finley. Those plays slow the game down as well as allows POP to stay with his new guard led Offense game plan. So yes we need to slow down the game, but running a few catch and shoot plays off of screen works as well and possibly even better than a Splitter v Aldridge play call.

  • hassan

    We outshoot a team on their floor and still loose…
    man I am steaming……

  • Miggy

    Tiago is a straight up stud. I knew it would just be a matter of when. He’s going to make a great contribution in the playlets. Just praying Timmy is going to be ok.

    I’m a believer that Pop has been doing an outstanding job this year. He’s actually been awesome, almost perfect. He hasn’t had to blow a gasket every other game. He’s seemed to transcend his game completely.

  • Bob

    From ESPN:
    Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said he wouldn’t change much because of Duncan’s absence: “It’s so late in the season, it’s hard to change what you’ve been doing all year.”
    Pop supports what I said about making adjustments. That’s probably one of the toughest parts about coaching. It’s not easy but you have to do it. Nate McMillan has been doing it all season.

    I think Pop really misses a guy like Robert Horry. You had a guy who could allow you to play “small” since he could hit the three but still give you good defense and rebounding. The problem is McDyess defense and rebounding is good but he can’t shoot threes. Bonner can shoot 3′s but his defense and rebounding are not good.

  • hassan

    @ TD=best ever

    If we loose 6 and we are tied with LA at 61/21 we would loose tie-breaker to LA as LA would tie season series at their home court(one of the losses) and they would then have better Conf record winning 9/1 all in the west.. so check the numbers my friend… I love what you write but this was wrong..

  • Bruno

    @TD = Best EVER

    I am not a HUGE Splitter fan. But comming from a game what Aldridge scores 40 points over Duncan, playing against Splitter he made 2 first shots and miss all others. Its impressive. I know you are a HUGE Blair fan, but clearly Blair can’t play at CENTER position

  • Miggy

    Sorry. Playoffs.

  • hassan

    19 turnovers…wow..
    THE SPURS are allowing 9 more points/game in March and PA allowed are now at 97.3 ….. Pop used to look at 2 numbers FGA% AND PA and you see we are not evet even in top 7 anymore….

  • betsyduncan

    @Bruno. I love Manu, but he’s been playing outrageous minutes—and it shows.
    We need our ‘Big Three’ out there in the worst way!
    Timmy is the Captain of this ship. Call Manu Starbuck. Call Tony Ishmael. I don’t care. I just pray that our ‘bigs’ continue to play their hearts out in his absence!
    [And Tiago is making a believer out of me---rather Odom-esque on that pass from TP. Can't wait to see TSplit in the playoffs!]

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ hassan

    I stand corrected – I didn’t see LA up there in the teams we were loosing to in this scenario. So yes if we loose to LA on the 2nd to last game of the year we could very well loose HCA…… that would suck so hard…… He have to find away to pull out a few W’s here and there while TD recovers…….

    @ Bruno

    What did Blair do wrong tonight…… please explain…… and No I’m not a huge Blair or Splitter Fan….. I purposed trades before the deadline that would have traded both of them away……..Blair played well tonight and Splitter played better. But Tiago would have not changed this game. Or if you saw the game tell me what play did Blair miss that Tiago wouldn’t have missed. Because I didn’t see any plays where Blair’s height was an issue at all in the 4th.

  • Titletown99030507d

    @lvmainman,

    I think we’re up 5 with 10 to go. All we have to do is win 2 games without Timmy and 2 games with him and we’re good for HCA. Providing one of those wins is against the Lakers. Remember of the better teams LA still has to play are Denver, Dallas, Portland, OKC, and the Spurs. Now if La runs the table on those teams then Dayum! They deserve HCA. We really need to beat them in order to get our house in order before the playoffs. It’s just that simple. I don’t think we’ll be resting our starters too much unless Pop decides to go for rest and take 2 seed and play the Hornets here at home without David West

  • andy

    ugh. bitter, ugly taste in my mouth.

    i know my rep here is as an optimist and FO/pop backer. tonight is not one of those nights, and i can’t fathom why pop had novak inbound. there are at least four players i’d rather have had inbound the ball. big fail.

    and yes, i know pop didn’t lose it for us. the game should’ve been over long before that puzzling decision; 13 turnovers from tony and manu is unexcusable. however, pop sure didn’t do us any favors in that last second.

  • Nima K.

    It’s a shame we’re not seeing JA play any minutes, wasn’t he supposed to be Manu’s backup, to rest him and reduce his minutes?

  • Bruno

    @TD = Best EVER Blair miss 3-4 easy baskets and make some stupid fouls, but i am not SAYING TO REPLACE BLAIR!!!I AM SAYING TO PLAY WITH 2 BIGS!!NOT PLAY SMALL!!!

    Tiago played very well, 5-5 shot, very good defense, good rebound, no turnovers. Is a impressive game for him, how say can’t he changed the game?!!

  • Miggy

    How many more advantages does Laker land need. They get two more home games than everyone else. Now with Sacramento moving to Anaheim, they might as well lock up two more.

  • hassan

    Pop says: “We knew they were going to the rim,” Popovich said. “We were switching it, and we did a poor job switching it.”

    It didn’t have to be like that if we have less TO’s by manu & TP but Manu is gassed… A few more minutes for JA as manu or RJ back up to allow neal to back up may help… POP at least try it some Pleeeease…

  • Titletown99030507d

    Here’s the silver lining:

    1- Splitter is further along than the last time we played Portland. And remember he was a DNP- coaches decision for that same game.

    2- He was solid against Aldridge and Wallace. And with no Timmy.

    3- We we’re able to take back a lead late in the game.

    4- Pop won’t continue with these type of rotations late in the game when Timmy gets back. He never does. I guess hes trying to get Bonner and Blair’s confidence back by sticking by them. Fine but you will still need the services of Tiago in crunch time.

    When Timmy gets back I hope Pop plays Splitter instead of going back to the rotation they started with at the start of the season. Do you guys think Splitters playing time disrupted how Blair and Bonner and Hill has performed? (Hill and Smallz are pretty tight you know) I should hope not. If that’s the case they are weak minded and they need get that out of their heads. We will need all of them to make a decent run at the 5th.
    Another note: Timmy better be fine in the next couple of games.