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Against All Odds?

This will the first time in awhile(Lakers in LA) where I would be happy just to see this team compete hard. That's saying something. Even during the Magic game I felt at times like we were the better team. I find myself yelling at the TV screen when we don't play as well as we can and my expectations for the team grow every day. This is a totally fun team to watch with likable(not you Hawes) players. It's been a pleasure to follow the team this year and I can't wait to see what the future brings with this group.

Totally agree with Iguodala on Manu. Get him on the list!

Hey guys, were two weeks out, so do you forsee any trades for the Sixers or are we playing to well and management likes what they see? How about Melo stay or go?

I really have no idea what's going through Thorn's head. A minor trade wouldn't surprise me, but I doubt we see anything major. I think Melo leaves, probably to the Knicks in a package that gives Denver next to nothing.

I gotta agree I think the Spurs are too good. And we don't have Dalembert to put on Duncan anymore, that used to work well.

Would take a heck of an effort to make this a real close one. Hopefully Jrue has a good game.

We were talking about the Spurs defense a few weeks ago. they were an anomaly compared to other good defensive teams- in that they seem to convince opponents to take bad shots (long jumpers) early in the shot clock. Other top defenses tend to force offenses into longer possessions that result in forced shots.

I'm interested to see how they do it.

If I had to guess, I'd say they aggressively chase teams off the three point line, and then pack the lane behind it. Essentially, "We aren't going to let you shoot the three, but make a fake and we'll gladly give you the 20-footer" smart stuff like that. They also don't gamble for steals.

tk76 reply to Brian on Feb 11 at 15:57

Sort of what Collins tries to do. the whole keep them inside the fence but outside the yard mumbo-jumbo (outside the lane but inside the 3 pt line.)

Yep. It's smart, if you ask me. Popp probably chuckles whenever he faces a team running the PO. Like, "Don't even bother, we'll let you shoot 20-footers all night."

tk76 reply to Brian on Feb 11 at 16:13

There are a handful of players who you do not want shooting a 20 foot jumper. But in general, its a great approach.

Tray reply to Brian on Feb 11 at 17:18

I'm sure he chuckled himself to death back when he was facing the Princeton Offense-running Kings in their heyday. Or the two-time NBA Finalist New Jersey Nets, or the Hornets under Byron Scott.

Well, he never faced those devastating Kings teams that never got out of the West in the playoffs. He probably did have a good laugh at the Nets while he was mopping the floor with them in the finals in 2003.

To take it a step further, during Sacto's dominant period, '00/01 to '04/05, the Spurs were 11-9 against them in the regular season. They never met in the playoffs.

In those games, the Kings "high-powered" offense averaged 42.5% from the floor, 31.4% from three and scored 92.3 points per game.

So yes, I think Popp had a good laugh at the Princeton Offense, even when it was run by studs like Doug Christie.

Tray reply to Brian on Feb 11 at 17:32

The point is that they were good offensive teams. It's a system that can work with the right personnel and coaches. Maybe Eddie Jordan's version = open 20-footers, but I don't think that was the general idea.

See the post directly above to see what a smart defense does to the PO on the professional level.

Tray reply to Brian on Feb 11 at 17:38

So basically the team that was 2nd in ORTG one year and 3rd another was really running a stupid offense, because they didn't do too well against the best defensive team in the league during that period, in a sample of 20 regular season games.

Yes, that sums it up perfectly. The team that was dominant, was complete shit against Popp's defense. That was kind of the point of my original comment, no? That Popp's defense encourages the crap shots that the PO generates.

Those two Nets teams that ran the PO were ranked #17 and #18 in the league in OFR.

The Kings teams were all top 10 offenses, and top 10 defense twice as well. They just couldn't get it done in the playoffs.

Tray reply to Brian on Feb 11 at 17:40

I thought pretty much everyone agreed that the Kings were robbed that one year.

Does that mean they actually made it to the finals? They weren't robbed as badly as the Suns were against the Spurs.

Let's hope the Spurs don't score 39 points in the first quarter like they did back in November.

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