Corporate Knowledge: Pop for USA
We’ve got a new little wrinkle on 48MoH right now. There’s a section just under the banner image called “Headlines.” If you go there, you’ll hopefully see small news bits added throughout the day that aren’t important enough to take up precious real estate on the main page, but you might be curious to read otherwise. Check back there throughout the day to see the latest news items. This is a feature that I’m absolutely stealing guilt-free from Royce Young over at Daily Thunder, who recently added a Headlines section to his site.
We’re also hoping to have corporate knowledge posts coming daily during the rest of the playoffs, especially since more people are now focusing their writing on the Spurs. There are plenty of good writers out there with stuff to say about the Spurs, so we’ll try and bring that to you.
David Aldridge of NBA.com: “Were the U.S. team’s terrible showings in ’02 and ’04 — the impetus, after all, for bringing Colangelo in the next year and giving him the power to unilaterally pick future teams — held against Popovich? (A source close to James said Sunday that James thinks “very highly” of Popovich, echoing public statements James has made, and would have no problem playing for Popovich in future international competitions.) Or is there some other reason — or someone else that Popovich has rubbed the wrong way? Popovich will never talk about this, but there are enough people who will. They make it clear that the Air Force Academy graduate, who spent five years on active duty for his country after graduating, and captained the Armed Forces team that won the 1972 AAU championship — earning an invitation to try out for the ’72 Olympic team in the process — was terribly hurt when he didn’t get the call after Brown.”
I had heard similar stories that Coach Pop really wanted the USA job when it was handed over to Coach K. With Pop’s knowledge of not only international basketball, but international culture in general, he seems on paper like a no brainer to take over following Coach K… If he still wants the job.
Personally, I’d like to see Pop get the USA job after the Olympics and pull double duty with the Spurs and USA until Manu Ginobili retires. Then, I would really like if he retired from the NBA and focused solely on Team USA. It would be cool to turn on a Blazers-Magic game in February and see Coach Pop in the crowd, scouting LaMarcus Aldridge and Dwight Howard, seeing how they are developing.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com: “It’s difficult to praise the Spurs without touching on the particulars of their game between the lines. There are few pyrotechnics because they’re not the quickest or most athletic group. The Spurs big men are nailed to the floor, but play virtually mistake-free ball. On the rare occasions the Spurs do err, you’ll know it from venom spewing forth from Popovich off the bench. But overall, this is a team that’s hyper-aware of spacing, rarely out of defensive position, and consistently willing to give up a decent look for a squeaky clean one.”
Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland: “When commentators and analysts look back at the San Antonio Spurs’ sweep of the Los Angeles Clippers, many of them will focus on the Spurs’ 24-0 run from Game 3. But they were successful because they continually out-executed the Clippers on offense, not just during the one run. In the second half of each game, we saw the Spurs perfectly execute one of coach Gregg Popovich’s set play just when they needed it.”
Wayne Vore of The Big Fundamental: “The defense of Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard was phenomenal in this game. In particular, I think Danny Green was great. He did a fantastic job of making Chris Paul work hard to get everything he got. Down the stretch, the last 4 minutes, the Clippers ran every play for Chris Paul and the Spurs made him a scorer. Only one other player took a shot in the last four minutes, a Mo Williams miss. The Clippers only scored on 3 of those last 8 possessions. Paul was 2-5 with a turnover (and 3 made free throws). Danny Green was the primary defender and he played great defense on the last Paul drive in a two-point game.”
It looks like Nando De Colo is signing a deal with Real Madrid for next season, so don’t expect him in silver and black anytime soon. Then again, I don’t think De Colo has a lot of long term NBA potential, so I don’t think this is all that big of a deal.
J.A. Adande of ESPN.com: “On April 11, 2000, Tim Duncan tore the lateral meniscus in his left knee in the 78th game of the season. He missed the final four games of the regular season and forced Spurs coach Gregg Popovich into a monumental decision: go with Duncan in the playoffs, or keep him on the sidelines.”
Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie: “Teams just can’t adjust to San Antonio’s spacing on offense, when the passes and decision making come correct, and there’s just absolutely no shame in being a step slow when they get either a shot at the rim, a corner three-pointer, or a free throw. Have you seen them attempt anything else since mid-March? We may have to check the tape on that.”
The one (unimportant at this point) problem with Danny Green playing as well as he is on the big stage is that financially irresponsible teams are probably lining up to over pay for Green’s services next season.
Beckley Mason of HoopSpeak: “He has proven the three times in which it is smart to foul: when you lead by nine or 10 with two minutes left and want prevent the other team’s 3-point shooters from catching fire and leveling the game (which is what he did in Game 3 against the Clippers), to break up the rhythm of a game and force a team to beat you in a way they are unaccustomed to, and to steal an extra possession at the end of the quarter (used throughout the second round).”