Western Conference Semis Game 1 Recap: Spurs vs. Rockets
…sigh. I mean just…that’s my reaction. I’ve watched a lot of Spurs games but I don’t think I’ve personally seen us get manhandled like that in a game, wire-to-wire. It was just embarrassing.
126-99 was the end score but it took 3 quarters for us to crack 40 points. I mean what else can you say? I give props to the Rockets, since they seemed to find that gear we thought they would show OKC against us and made their case for the team with the best chance to beat the Warriors. Anyway, I got some takeaways and some possible adjustments to get us back on track:
Rockets 3PT shooting+Pace
The Houston Rockets made waves all season as the new face of the 3 point line, even over Golden State, by shooting them early and often from way behind the line. This game, they reached the zenith of their philosophy and knocked down 22 of 50, many coming in the early quarters. We don’t need to match them shot for shot there, but 9 for 29 isn’t gonna cut it. We need to force them to slow down earlier in the game and limit some of those fastbreak 3s. After watching the 2014 Spurs, I will admit it that it sucks to be on the other side of the barrage.
Clint Capela owned our frontcourt for most of the game, snatching lobs and rebounds out of the air like Hulk and those Ultron copies from Avengers 2. Ryan Anderson took LaMarcus Aldridge to school, ate his lunch, married his mother, and disowned him in possession after possession on both ends of the floor. We need to answer them back.
LMA has been much maligned since leaving Portland, with smear articles from his former home’s media to constant talk (even from me) about his relative value. But he’s still got some grown man game in there and we need him to be deft and decisive. He came to SA to win. And now I want him to show everybody outside the fanbase that he can do just that.
Also using this to call for more Dewayne Dedmon. He looked like the only guy up front who was willing to challenge the Rockets frontcourt. I know he got taken out for good reasons and he can’t fly too far off the handle like he did before. But play him earlier so we don’t need to have garbage time like that.
Even though both teams had equal turnovers by the end of the game, San Antonio’s seemed to backbreaking. We had no rhythm. Our passes got deflected all game, and Kawhi was double teamed whenever he even breathed on the ball. We might need to take good shots until the Rockets stop getting all our rotations correct on “great” shots. Also it may be time to bring back the mid range barrage, just to get the Rockets shot blockers off balance. Cutting down the unnecessary turnovers and end of clock heaves should keep the pace where we want it, and give us a better shot to win.
In the end, Pop is going to adjust what he needs to and hopefully it works. I saw a brief glimpse of our old time “Beautiful Game” days in one sequence and D’Antoni called a timeout to get us out of that. We may need a way to revive that somehow if we want to win this series.