I think we can all agree with Pop about lots of things. He’s a super smart, interesting guy with lots of opinions. But one thing about which I think he is hell-bent to change is the NBA schedule. The man is clearly on a mission to force the NBA to deal with the schedule issue. What’s the issue? Too many games in “spurts”, like the one the Spurs are about to get into, where there are 9 games in the next 14 days. And then there are these weird 3 day off stretches for no good reason. And we all agree because Pop is right, of course: the schedule prevents us from seeing the best possible basketball. So as we reach the point where this crazy scheduled season is about 1/4 over, it’s a good opportunity to do some assessment about why they are winning a lot of games (other than, “they are really good”).
We have one more week of a bunch of lousy teams and boring games to endure. I like a good old fashioned ass kicking as much as the next guy, but this has been ridiculous. The team has to play a disappointing game for the margin to be under 15. The Wolves and Sixers are just awful teams. Those are not fun games to watch. The Nets? UGHHH!!!
Putting on my Pop hat for assessing my offense early in the season, I thought I would focus on shot selection. Shots go in and shots don’t. If your team is in a shooting slump, you can’t panic and change the offense. You need to be acutely aware of whether your players are executing your offense and whether they are taking good shots. That, as a coach, is what you can control. You can’t control whether they go in or not.
In addition, the Spurs offense has been struggling. I thought I would try to assess whether or not things were all that different.
It’s a late Monday Musings this week, but it’s Monday still, nonetheless. This has been an exciting week in Spurs land, a week that many will feel “righted the ship”. While I’m not quite that far along in my thinking yet, it was a fun week with a lot to like and a few things to dislike.
This is a new series I meant to start at the beginning of the season. I’m a bit slow, but I’m finally getting around to acknowledging the season has started.
We have three very unexciting games coming up. Well, they should be very unexciting. These are great candidates for the DVR because I have serious doubts about my ability to watch them live without falling asleep.
As a long time Spurs’ fan, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this line — or a similar sentiment — from a coach or player early in the season: it’s a process.
What kind of process? I’m assuming a building process. But, what I have always found odd, is that you hear it from long-time veterans in the exact same system. I mean, what kind of process is there to learning the exact same thing you already know. Isn’t it more like a quick review? I mean, if I had to do some algebra now, I wouldn’t read the whole damn book front to back and call it a process! I’d give myself a quick refresher and move along.
Of course, that might be why I’m a loser.
The title of this week’s Monday Musings is for two reasons: first, because I’m late (it’s Tuesday, last I checked); and second, it reflects the sentiment after the Spurs came oh-so-close to a perfect California road trip. The 4th game, against the Kings, was partly a schedule loss (4th in 5 nights) and partly a Boogie coming out party.
But for this post, I want to spend some time looking at two guys who have seen a dramatic increase in playing time this season, because of unexpected injuries.
Our Spurs look a bit hungover right now. Not in a just-got-off-a-3-day-bender kind of way. But there’s no question it’s been a sluggish start to the season. The defense has been really good in spots (like the Atlanta 2nd half), but really terrible in others (everything in week 1). The offense has looked very patchy as well. It’s hard to gripe at this point, since the team just had the greatest season in the history of the NBA (hyperbole alert!), but it would be nice, given the continuity of the roster, to see some better basketball at this point. But, it’s a long season and there’s a lot of basketball to be played.
Welcome to the inaugural post of Monday Musings, where each week I’ll review the week that was and talk about where the Spurs are in the Race for Seis (which is a terrible title for the title chase, but whatever). Look for this post each Monday of the season, along with some other intermittent posts occasionally about special or significant games.