Thursday, October 28, 2010

Notes on the Season Opener

I was able to catch about 2 and a 1/2 quarters on League Pass before going to bed last night (I got home late and I was tired, sorry), and overall, seeing the 122-109 victory we had over the Pacers I'd say that we're looking in pretty good order for the most part.  Of course, that being said, there are points of concern for me personally.  This probably isn't going to be a full-fledged recap, but just some things that I've noticed with in this game.

The Good
- Early in the game the Spurs were pressuring the ball on defense, causing a lot of miscues and were able to poke the ball away for some easy buckets.  Good job at keeping the ball in play, I like how Tony knows to leak on those opportunities.

- RJ is playing aggressively, some easy shots aren't falling, but he's not letting that get to him.  I also like how he's starting to be very active without the ball and attacking the basket consistently.  He won't be the Paul Pierce or even Corey Maggette type foul machine, but he'll get to the line a good bit if he keeps this up.  16 points on 6 shots, I like the efficiency.

- Timmeh is hitting mid-range jumpers like he's a shooting guard.  10-12 from the field, 23 points that I didn't catch watching most of the game.  He's sticking with what he knows works.  He won't be backing people down, but the pick and pops with Tony are working very well. 

- James Anderson has a sweet shot.  I hope they find him more.  I also liked his hustle on both ends of the court.  Michael Finley 2.0 people, I'm calling it.

- Antonio McDyess has a very smooth 12-15 foot jumper, gives Manu and Tony a ton of room to operate.

- DeJuan Blair has developed an immensely smooth free throw.  I like how he's hustling for the ball, while the box score may not have been entirely favorable for him last night, if he does the dirty work he'll get more than his fair share of free throws, and with his touch from the line now I'm sure it'll make a huge difference.

- Overall everyone looked really comfortable with whatever lineup on the court, there is excellent chemistry and everyone seems pretty comfortable with their parts are whatever role they need to do.

- Manu is healthy, and Manu.

The Bad
- I shouldn't have a whole lot of call-outs here, but I can't say that the game was perfect, I mean, I know the Pacers are a hot-shooting offensive team, but we did allow 109 points.

- While I liked the hustle on the defensive end, and I understand what Dwight Howard means when he says Darren Collison is "jerky", there was way too much penetration.  Defense seemed to be sort of like an every-other play thing.  I appreciate us being able to run with the Pacers and keep up with them, we mirrored them too much defensively as well.

- There were a couple (not a whole lot) of broken plays which ended in ugly Matt Bonner dribble-drives.  Can he please not put the ball on the floor?  2nd unit needs to develop a go-to guy (not Matt Bonner).

- Until Tiago Splitter gets back I'm concerned about size.  Roy Hibbert kind of had his way out there with us, which makes me sad because we were projected to have drafted him but Pacers took him early (we got Hill instead, so it ends up being okay).  At the end of the 1st quarter Pop had a lineup of TP, George Hill, James Anderson, Matt Bonner, and Antonio McDyess.  Yikes. 

The Ugly (and other random thoughts)
- Manu drew a 3pt shooting foul on Danny Granger by doing the leg flail and accidentally kicking Granger in the 'nads.  Ouch.  Sorry Danny.

- Mike Dunleavy drew a foul away from the ball for not being able to move backwards near Manu without falling over.

- Overall, the reffing as per usual was a little suspect, but hey, it is what it is.

- Can somebody please box out Josh McRoberts?

- George Hill and RJ got in some foul trouble early in the game.  Fortunately RJ had already done his damage by the end of the first half.

- While the Spurs were able to cling on in the frenetic pace, they need to set the tempo.  I know they want to run, but at times it seemed they were trying to play a little too fast; not every team is going to be as sloppy passing the ball around as Indiana.

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