If They Weren’t Coaching…engaging in rampant job-related speculation
1. If they weren’t coaching the Western Conference Semifinals, these coaches might be:
– Mark Jackson is a preacher, so it’d be easy to say he’d still be a preacher, leading a congregation.
– Gregg Popovich learned about Soviet politics and strategy, was trained by the Air Force in espionage, and spent six years in the army, so it’s be easy to say he’d be the Head of the CIA.
– Lionel Hollins would work in some high-up form of consulting, dealing with companies and making them more efficient. Cutting out the fat.
– Scott Brooks would be leading a wilderness retreat in New Mexico.
By the way, they’d all be great at what these jobs, if they weren’t coaches. I’m glad their coaches, though.
TNT’s Inside Trax with Popovich
TNT’s “Inside Trax” can be compelling once in a while. Here’s a particularly great moment from San Antonio-Golden State, Game 2:
Gregg Popovich, to his huddle, after San Antonio cut the lead to 7 (77-70):
“You guys just gotta believe me. The last three minutes, your intensity is ridiculous. It’s fantastic…compared to the first two quarters. That’s what it takes. They got skill, they got talent, we gotta beon ’em, we gotta be after ’em, and that’s what you did for three and a half minutes. And it shows.It’s gotta continue.”
If a few more Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard three-pointers go down, the Spurs and Warriors might have been back in overtime, following the Game 1 script. To their credit, the Warriors took better control of the ball down the stretch. And Klay Thompson was never in foul trouble.
Golden State Game Scores and Splits
If Curry is “The Human Torch”, is Thompson “The Kindling”? Clearly, both are highly flammable. Thompson’s first-half was sparkling. Forget the 29 points and the 6-7 shooting from range. Every shot was a swish. The man got blocked by Duncan at the rim, grabbed the ball and tossed up a 10-footer from the baseline. The ball didn’t go in. It didn’t matter. Klay simply had his mind made up. And with Mark Jackson’s green-light, he was in a rhythm from the opening tip. Impressive showing. Historically good shooters? Yes. Game 1 for Curry. Game 2 for Thompson. What will Game 3 on Friday bring?
Game 1: 14.0
Game 2: 28.2
Regular season wins (47): 45.4% FG, 18.4 ppg, 45% 3-PT FG%
Regular season losses (35): 37.6%, 14.1 pppg, 33% 3-PT FG%
Bogut’s influence is impossible to measure by traditional stats. His defensive presence influences everything paint-related. One example, he took a critical charge on Ginobili with 3:14 left after the Spurs had cut the lead to 8, the score at 97-89. Bogut knew Ginboli’s Euro-step tendencies, his wait shifting to his right, Ginobili’s left (and favorite hand), and got the 50-50 call.
Game 1: 11.7
Game 2: 8.5
Sometimes the numbers tell a fraction of the story. This is the case with Draymond. Green’s defense has given San Antonio fits. His three-pointer is somehow dropping consistently in these playoffs, and he’s making the right passes at the right times. Green had three huge assists (all Thompson three-pointers) in the second quarter, which expanded the lead to 19 at halftime. Draymond’s game scores are low because he rarely shoots, and his offensive game is lacking (except for those corner 3’s), but the 7 rebounds, 5 assists-to-1-turnover and 1 block are all significant. He’s now blocked 8 shots and grabbed 6 steals in the playoffs. Green does all the little things, can match up with swing-men and power forwards, and gives Golden State great energy.
Popovich has to be proud of the defensive job that Danny Green did on Curry (7 of 20 from the field, 2 of 6 from range, only 4 assists), but maybe that extra energy was the reason Danny Green’s jumper was short a few extra times in Game 2. Curry moved the ball well, and his passing led to the great flow that Draymond Green and Bogut helped provide the offense in the second quarter. Curry doesn’t have to score 40 points every game. Popovich adjusted, but the Warriors offense adjusted to the adjustment. Well done, Warriors coaching staff.
Game 1: 30.4
Game 2: 11.8
My guess is it will still take two better shooting nights from Steph back in Oakland for the Warriors to keep the home court advantage they’ve just stolen from the Spurs.
San Antonio Game Scores
Danny Green: shooting splits
Game 1: 18.8, 8 of 14 FG, 6-9 3-PT, 3 steals, 2 blocks
Game 2: 7.3, 4 of 12 FG, 2-6 3-PT, 1 steals, 1 block
Regular season wins (57): 47.9% from 3-PT
Regular season losses (23): 35.5% from 3-PT
Regular season home: 47.6% from 3-PT
Regular season road: 38.6% from 3-PT
If you remove the 16 back-t0-back games, Green shot 44.6% from distance in the 64 games with rest.
Amazingly, Steph Curry shot a higher percentage in back-to-backs (47.7%) than he did overall (45.1%).
I love Kawhi Leonard’s all-around game. I love his defensive instincts. I love his rebounding in traffic. Leonard grabbed 7 offensive rebounds last night, to give him 11 in the series. The only thing he can’t do is knock down a 25-footer on a regular basis. Like Paul George, he can find a groove from the corner, but on the perimeter, he can struggle. The way Golden State is playing, Popovich needs all of his wings (Green, Ginobili, Leonard) to hit their open looks from distance.
Game 1: 18.1
Game 2: 11.9
Regular season wins (43): 39.3% from 3-PT
Regular season losses (15): 32.7% from 3-PT
Parker has to do a better job of creating for teammates against the swarming Warriors defense. Three assists in Game 2 is not enough. It’d help if Danny Green and Manu Ginobili hit those open looks.
Game 1: 20.4
Game 2: 11.8
Andrew Bogut is one of a handful of big-men in the game today who can keep Duncan in check.
Game 1: 12.6 in 34 weary-looking minutes (ill)
Game 2: 15.0 in 37 minutes.
Ginobili looks old and un-Ginobili-like for the first time I can remember in his playoff-career. A few months from turning 36, Ginobili’s end-of-season rest seemed like it rejuvenated him in limited minutes against the weak Lakers defense in the first round. Against Golden State, Ginobili has gone 10 of 32 from the field and 3 of 15 from distance. This is a problem.
Game 1: 10.0
Game 2: 8.1