Corporate Knowledge: Spurs back to being Spurs?

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Tim McMahon, ESPN.com: “Rick Carlisle has done a lot of good for Terry Stotts, such as bringing Stotts to Dallas as a lead assistant and lobbying hard for him to be hired when the Portland Trail Blazers had a head-coaching vacancy. Pushing the San Antonio Spurs to seven games? That was far from a favor to Stotts’ Blazers. The Spurs flipped a switch in the first round for Game 7, finishing off a surprisingly competitive series by routing the Dallas Mavericks. San Antonio hasn’t turned it off since, taking a 2-0 series lead over Portland with a couple of lopsided victories at the snake pit known as the AT&T Center.”

Dan McCarney, MySA.com: “Though he wasn’t exactly clamoring to take it, most of the credit for Aldridge’s struggles went to Splitter. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Aldridge made just 2 for 14 shots when bodied up by the big Brazilian. It was comparable to what Splitter did to bother Dirk Nowitzki in the first round — except for the fact that Aldridge is younger, stronger and more athletic.”

Caleb Saenz, Pounding the Rock: “The Spurs were determined to kill any space the Blazers were accustomed to, and in funneling the Blazers’ offense into uncomfortable areas, the Spurs were able to dictate the kind of offense they’d have to defend. It was the very essence of snake charming: a calm, experienced performer transforming something normally deadly into a manageable, even docile state.  For their part, this is an outcome the Spurs are structured to avoid in their own offense, creating an approach that can best be described as “headless.” While the Spurs aren’t going to win a title without a stellar Tony Parker, they are more than capable of winning games, even in the playoffs, where his shot is off or he is hobbled.”

Paul Garcia, Project Spurs: “Splitter’s not having too much difficulty shuffling his feet and beating Aldridge to positions when he tries to put his shoulder down and head to the paint, or when Aldridge sets a screen, and tries to pop out for a jumper, Splitter recovers relatively quickly. Lastly, Splitter has support behind him and around him with a paint protector in Duncan ready to contest a shot at the rim, and on the perimeter, where he’s got a player like Kawhi Leonard who can force steals, or get his hands in to create chaos for the opposing team on offense.”

Eric Freeman, Ball Don’t Lie: “Things will almost certainly be easier for the Blazers at home in Games 3 and 4. The Spurs’ terrific bench doesn’t figure to be quite as excellent on the road, and it should be easier to get open shots at home. But “things getting easier” doesn’t necessarily put the Blazers in a position to win games. The Spurs have dominated these first two games in impressive fashion, controlling every aspect of the game in their desired fashion.”

  • The Kawhiet Storm

    Splitter’s been in the zone on D. He doesn’t bite on jukes or head fakes, he denies space and make it very uncomfortable out there for LMA. If I am permitted a snake pun, the spurs D has been playing the part of an anaconda, not giving any space to Portland’s mercurial offense and constricting the life out of them. You hear of a lot of teams whose O feeds off their D, well I think the Blazers are the inverse, their defensive intensity and rhythm comes from their rhythm on offense. The spurs have negated that rhythm and taken them out of their comfort zone, this is huge against young teams who are more prone to emotional swings and frustration. Lets hope the Spurs keep squeezing.