Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Grizzlies blown out in game 1, adjust for game 2

Game 1 against the Spurs was almost as ugly as it gets. ZBo had one of his weird off nights that he has from time to time. Surely that won't happen again. And even though we played horrible defense, the Spurs aren't likely to shoot quite as well as they did. So I'm not terribly concerned about this series yet. But there are some problems we have to deal with. And they weren't things we didn't know about coming into the series. Here's what I said after we beat the Thunder:

The only weakness I see in this team is 3 point shooting on both ends. Defensively we leave 3 point shooters open too much. Late last night we left Derek Fisher (I'm not sure why he was in the game. But thanks Scott Brooks) wide open several times. That happened throughout the series. And that could be a big problem facing either the Spurs or Warriors, both of whom shoot the 3 very well. Offensively we don't have many good 3 point shooters. Conley is pretty good. But Allen and Prince aren't, which kind of hurts since it would probably make it a bit easier on ZBo and Gasol if they could pass to shooting threats out of the post.

That's exactly what happened in game 1. Tony Parker used the pick and roll to get into the lane and pass to wide open 3 point shooters when our defenders moved to help on Parker. The adjustment should be to back off Tony Parker when they run the pick and roll, going under the screener. If that doesn't work and Parker gets by, let Gasol patrol the lane. Parker is so good at mid range jumpers that I don't want to just give him those shots all night. If going under the pick and roll doesn't work I'd consider switching to some sort of zone to try and give him a different look. Our wing defenders don't need to help as much when Parker gets in the lane. Only one player needs to help while the others need to stay on their man and run them off the 3 point line.

The Spurs focused most of their defense on making things very difficult for ZBo and Gasol to post up on the low block, forcing the ball into Prince and Allen's hands to make a play. If I'm the Spurs I keep double teaming ZBo and Marc and forcing Prince and Allen to make shots. I might even force Mike Conley to make a few open shots. But I wouldn't leave him open too much because he can be a very good shooter.

The Grizz might want to consider playing Quincy Pondexter more if the Spurs are going to double our bigs. And I've long advocated that Ed Davis needs to be playing instead of Darrell Arthur. Arthur got burned multiple times on the pick and role, leaving a very good 3 point shooter in Matt Boner wide open. Arthur also lets the Spurs put double the other Grizz big in the game because he doesn't shoot a high % and has no post game. These shouldn't be too difficult to deal with. I'm pretty confident we can at least handle them a bit better than we did in game 1 and make game 2 much closer.

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