There’s been a lot of basketball. I got back from Denver — where we played Friday and Saturday — late Sunday night. I stayed up until 3:00 watching game 3 and the first quarter of game 4. I finished game 4 on Monday. We had practice last night and I was our 10th man.
This is for one of my good friends. Big Head Todd and The Monsters “Bittersweet” off the album “Sister Sweetly”. You know who you are.
Tim Varner Lives
I know he doesn’t post or tweet any more, but Tim Varner does, in fact, live. He’s been hammering me with deep analysis. Things like “Cory Joseph is for real”. “Cory can play at this level”. “Kawhi is going to be an all-star”. I always reply with the same thing, “I know”. Sometimes I add, “Yes, just like I said at the beginning of last year”. Tim is also still Tim. All conversations devolve to the Spurs offseason moves and what trades they can make.
Here is what I said about Dwight Howard prior to game 3:
Howard is just such a dip and a clown. Flexing is one thing, but his smacking of the ball costs his team opportunities at possessions. And it thrills him to do this. The guy just has a tremendously low basketball IQ and almost zero basketball moves to go with it.
Well, his performance it games 3 and 4 just invites me to pile on. He really is a giant baby. Tim put the exclamation point on Dwight’s childishness when he trolled him. I’m still laughing. The Lakers can have him. I hope they pay him tons and tons of money.
I swear he was playing with a beer gut. He looked horribly flabby and out of shape to me. When he’s the focus of everything, he can put up some decent numbers. However, he played terrible defense and just got clowned by Tim Duncan on the perimeter.
Cory made solid play after solid play. Did he make mistakes? Absolutely. He also made some really nice plays, ran the offense, took care of the ball and hounded the Laker’s guards. I think the best thing about him is that he knows his role. He’s going to play 10-12 minutes and he plays all out the entire time. Fast, fast, fast. This is what the Spurs really need in their second unit point guard. It’s a big difference between this year and last year when our second unit ground to a halt with Gary Neal running the point.
Manu looks like he has very comfortably slipped into his role. Get shots for the second unit. Be the secondary attacker when Tony is in the game. Play 20-25 minutes and be Manu Ginobili when he’s out there.
Ball and Player Movment
Since I have started coaching, I’ve been drawn to player and ball movement. I watch for various techniques, how hard players run, how they cut, how quick they make passes, etc. I try to find positive examples that I can use for the players that I coach. As a result of watching a little closer, I’m amazed at the difference between the Spurs’ offense and the offense of the other teams. The crispness, intricacy, and decision-making by the Spurs is phenomenal. I’ve always enjoyed it, but now I’m in awe of it.
Late last year I decided I wanted to get in shape again. I’d spent 5 years as a desk jockey and I had gone to hell. I was not only heavy, but I’d lost all my muscle mass. I started walking, then running, and then added weights. I’m in pretty decent shape right now having dropped 25 pounds and put on a little muscle to boot. We only had 9 players for practice last night and the coach wanted to work on full court press offense and defense. Therefore, yours truly was enlisted to be a guard.
Oh. My. Gosh. I’m not in that kind of shape. The only positive for me was that my head stayed clear — I could still think and see my teammates — but I just couldn’t get up and down the court at the end.
Aron Baynes was unbelievable in game 4. I was blown away at how effective he was. He’s so big and strong that Dwight just couldn’t move him. Aron beat him down court, fought him for every inch of position, muscled him up. We saw what happens when the bully gets bullied.
Props to Baynes my view of him has skyrocketed and I see a clear role for him on this team in the future.
We went to Denver this past weekend for a tournament. We played a team from Colorado in our first game on Friday night. We got down by 10 (as always) and fought back to be up a few toward the end. We had a bad turnover that led to a 3-ptr for them and then we gave up a layup to be down 1. We went down and scored on an offensive rebound with 15 seconds to go. We played great defense and then their player flung one up from the free throw line at the buzzer. And banked it in. What a tough loss.
We then played a team from Texas from our own organization. Which is a complete bummer. They are an older team and we folded. We had turnovers on 8 of our first 11 possessions and 17 total in the first half. It was an abysmal show of basketball.
That left us with one game to play. We got another team from Colorado. We beat then in OT in a very hotly contested game. It was a lot of fun and a great way for our players to end the tournament.
Why I Coach
In our last game, one of our players really figured out what he needed to do to be a contributor on our team. He’s an undersized big with some skills, a good motor, and good strength. He’s not an elite athlete and he’s not a top-tier fluid basketball player. He’s a glue guy type. In the previous couple games, he had been unproductive and a bit of a liability on defense. In the last game, he GOT IT. He played a phenomenal game banging, hustling, fighting for post-position, tipping balls, making steals, and crashing the offensive boards. And he knew it. He knew he had figured it out. You could see the pride on his face a mile wide. It gives me goose bumps of pride just thinking about it. It’s a wonderful feeling
This one is for my players! Ha. I don’t think they know quite what to make of me yet. I stumbled across this the other day and I get a big kick out of it. It’s MC 900 Ft Jesus doing “The Killer Inside Me“. Note: I don’t care for the video much.