• Hey guys, I’m not sure how many of these I can do but I was able to break free from the many things we’re doing right now at Hoop Ball to get my notes on to digital paper for you.  There won’t be a lot of frills here but if you’re a basketball nerd or scout you’ll appreciate that I went through this film comprehensively so you don’t have to.

    Here are a few main takeaways:

    • The Spurs’ switching scheme isn’t dead on arrival, even if Kawhi misses time.  Jonathon Simmons, Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, Kyle Anderson and David Lee can survive, but being real the Spurs need Kawhi out there for any number of reasons, obviously.
    • With Kawhi they can absolutely compete with this Warriors squad. They’re taking away all of the easy stuff and that’s before we broach the topic of LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol.
    • Speaking of Aldridge, he was an albatross in Game 1 and there’s no great hope he can be better.  He can’t beat Zaza Pachulia let alone Draymond Green.  Running offense through him is a fool’s errand because even if he can improve, convert shots, etc., he’s not going to command any sort of gravity.  The Warriors are fine with him beating them and the Spurs need to strongly consider capping his and Gasol’s minutes severely.
    • You’d think they can try and improve their post entry passes and positioning but the Warriors’ defense isn’t going to allow for that, especially with the Spurs lacking perimeter playmakers.
    • The Warriors’ switching scheme will also put a premium on perimeter playmaking for the Spurs.  That means Dejounte Murray might be needed because he can get into the lane and handle a little bit (read: a little bit).  Lee at center, minutes for guys like Davis Bertans and Dewayne Dedmon should be explored, and Anderson at small ball four are ways to improve the skill level against this pressure defense.
    • If Aldridge and Gasol are getting outplayed by Pachulia they have no business on the floor, because really they should be punishing the Warriors for using Zaza and that’s not happening.
    • I don’t know what to say about Aldridge other than that I’ve been predicting this decline for a few years and it was always going to be due to injury and/or a lack of athleticism.  And right now he looks either hurt or overweight and with that comes the inability to do almost anything he could do before.  He has flashes but the deficiencies are too great.  He’s a rich man’s Kendrick Perkins in these playoffs and especially in this series.
    • The Warriors played lackadaisical ball in the first quarter and turned it over a whole lot in the first half.  That’s not to say this is a walk in the park for them but they lost the chance to punch first at home.
    • When Leonard returns, they’ve got something with Durant covering him. Leonard can’t really beat him on the ball, but off the ball he had a lot of success and that will be the counter if the Warriors decide to keep Durant on him rather than switching everything.

    On to the bullet points….if you turn on the game, put on some Dark Side of the Moon and watch it with these notes it will all sync up.

    FIRST QUARTER

    •    Warriors extremely lazy early on with defensive assignments. Durant takes Aldridge on a switch as the Spurs slow transition for no apparent reason other than convenience.  Green jogs back after hitting the ground on offense, GSW gives up easy on.
    •    There is no place for Pachulia in this series.
    •    LaMarcus Aldridge looks out of his element out there – like Kendrick Perkins but with basic levels of offensive ability.
    •    The Pau and Aldridge combo doesn’t look great, but as long as Pachulia is out there it’s way more palatable.
    •    Continued issues matching up on defense for the Warriors – leads to bad matchup with Steph covering LMA and the next switch gave LMA easy position on Draymond for a bucket.
    •    SA covering Klay with Patty (first post-up face up was a miss, but good look)
    •    Spurs getting easy switches out of the GSW scheme, get LMA against Durant and he makes his old man hook shot.
    •    Next time down SA puts Mills on Curry, perhaps after seeing the Klay shot the last time down.
    •    Zaza loses an easy assignment and Green gets an open three as a result.
    •    Kawhi late and not springy enough on Gasol’s wide open alley oop attempt. Pau threw it where he thought KL would normally be.
    •    Klay has had the Mills assignment for the Warriors. Steph was on Green and then Simmons.
    •    Aldridge struggles to control tempo on post-up attempt vs. Durant. Klay’s dig ruins the possessions.
    •    Kawhi lets Durant get free a lot easier than we’d normally see. A few possessions later he nearly airballs a wide open three.
    •    Dejounte Murray airballs a baseline floater long – welcome to the WCF kid.
    •    Aldridge moves Durant out of the way in the post for an and-one. Weird he can’t do that more often.
    •    Spurs were able to pick off Curry covering Simmons within about 4-5 possessions (spin move for two at the rim)
    •    Curry airballs a 35 footer in a 2-for-1 situation and the Warriors are very sloppy offensively to end the quarter. McGee one hard burst from defending LMA dunk on a TO.

    SECOND QUARTER

    •    Murray was dicey on defense in the first quarter and he gets lost for an easy two on the first possession.
    •    Then the Spurs appear to be running offense through Simmons rather than Murray. They go right to a Lee PnR and Simmons gets a jumper swatted away sort of ridiculously.
    •    David West has good hands to poke a Manu PnR with Lee just enough so Klay can recover and steal the bothered pass. West turns it over on the other side with an unnecessary elbow on the pivot/spin in the post vs. Lee.
    •    Kawhi torches West for a dunk in the PnR switch.
    •    Spurs expertly go right back and it and this time Kawhi misses the elbow jumper on a good look.
    •    Draymond with another terrible turnover.
    •    Warriors run so much of this second unit offense through West and the Spurs must love that (Klay, Barnes, Iguodala, Draymond, West, not enough defense bending playmaking).
    •    Barnes falls asleep after a PnR coverage and Manu drills a wide open three.
    •    Lee leaves West wide open at the foul line to help Patty cover Klay in the post. West bricks the easy shot.
    •    Draymond can’t cover Kawhi.
    •    Both teams have been switching everything all game.
    •    Durant falls asleep watching nothing in particular, Ginobili draws an easy shooting foul attacking a bad closeout.
    •    Spurs covered Durant with Green and put Kawhi on Iguodala. Iguodala throws a lazy unforced error pass intercepted by Manu for an and-one fastbreak foul that was equally as dumb by Draymond.
    •    Matt Barnes out there committing stupid fouls like he saw Dave Joerger in the building.
    •    Kawhi takes Barnes to the hole shortly after.
    •    It’s so sad to think the Kings thought they could win more games with Barnes on the floor. Not sure who was entirely responsible for that call but it wasn’t a good one.
    •    Durant is a pretty good cover on Kawhi. Has the lateral quickness, wingspan and leaping ability to recover.
    •    Aldridge doesn’t go back to get the ball on a simple inbound after a made FT, leaves Lee out to dry and Curry hits a three after the turnover.
    •    Kawhi is just relentless. After numerous efforts on a long offensive possession he still grinds to get an offensive board (Durant no box out)
    •    Kawhi gets Draymond again.
    •    There’s that Zaza illegal screen that was as ridiculous as you’ll see (Curry three)
    •    Durant can definitely cover Kawhi.
    •    Klay bites on a Manu shot fake and gives up a runner.
    •    Kawhi just pushes through Zaza after the PnR switch for an and-one. Not fair.
    •    Warriors once again getting sloppy toward the end of the quarter.
    •    Durant grabs Danny Green’s arm in some screen action to open up a post chance. Clever but almost a little desperate. Foul called and he gets to the line for two because of the bonus.
    •    The Warriors have gotten a bunch of free throws because of the bonus and Manu adds to that with a needless foul in transition and a bad foul on a driving Zaza. The Spurs will regret these last few minutes.
    •    Steph helps one pass away on a play that Iguodala had covered (Kawhi drive). Green three.

    THIRD QUARTER

    •    Patty starts out covering Curry
    •    Spurs still switching everything and Curry makes Pau pay on an up-fake, runner.
    •    Durant on Kawhi to start.
    •    Aldridge gets beat back down the floor by Zaza Pachulia on a fast break. So bad.
    •    Klay covering Mills to start.
    •    Curry gets a three on a Zaza screen that Pau can’t come within 10 feet of. Then again.
    •    Durant gets burned on the Kawhi floppy set. That’s one way that Kawhi can be very effective against him.
    •    Aldridge blocks Durant at the rim. His game will be remembered by having a handful of good plays and bigger numbers but many more bad ones.
    •    Simmons in for Kawhi after the ankle injury at his own bench.
    •    Gasol can’t get an advantage against Zaza in the post. On the same play Durant gets sucked in watching a Patty Mills baseline drive and Simmons gets a corner three.
    •    Gasol can’t cover the Curry PnR three. He’s killing them.
    •    The way Draymond attacks the PnR defensively is impressive. There should be a counter to his overplay but it’ll be hard to scheme or execute against. He essentially charges the play and establishes position to block the ballhandler before they get there. Slipping the screen will result in easy advantages but the pass will need to be threaded.
    •    Curry toasting the SA bigs on the PnR. This time it was Aldridge so Zaza could get a jumper.
    •    LMA turnover as the focal point in first possession.
    •    Make that two. He is terrible offensively.
    •    Spurs offense struggling for identity and it’s starting to crank up the GSW attack. Manu gets subbed in. Lee in for Gasol a few plays earlier.
    •    Warriors aggressively overplaying LMA and their defense is cranking.
    •    Green doesn’t box out Durant who gets free for a board and bucket.
    •    Pachulia gets torched on a Mills PnR but Lee isn’t able to convert (Zaza block)
    •    Aldridge cannot get any offense going and it’s forcing the Spurs into some desperate choices, igniting the GSW fast break and they’ve come roaring back.
    •    Curry still on Simmons.
    •    Manu throws a pass right to Curry’s elbow after Curry switched on to Slo Mo. Complete chaos for SA on offense and Manu is playing right into it.
    •    Aldridge squeaks in a fadeaway over Green after getting decent position. You wouldn’t bet your life he makes the next one.
    •    Aldridge gets worked by Curry because he can’t establish position and go for verticality. Fouls Curry on a simple transition speed push that Simmons had walled off fairly well.
    •    Aldridge roasted by Curry PnR on an elbow jumper. Gave him 10 feet of space.
    •    Aldridge fouled by Durant on a Manu alley-oop chance (but needs to make that play) and then turns it over after the subsequent scramble. Dribbled off his foot.
    •    Matt Barnes bricks a somewhat contested three because he was empowered to do that in his Sacramento days and he can’t stop doing it.
    •    Aldridge commits fourth foul in no-win situation after offensive board. Gasol back in after Lee replaced him throughout the middle of the third quarter.
    •    Gasol can’t beat Zaza in the post. Zaza has been a way bigger factor than I thought he would be in the first quarter. SA can’t afford to let him beat Gasol and LMA.
    •    Dejounte Murray gets behind the defense for a big and-one against a trailing Durant (lazy foul).
    •    Barnes with a good, albeit cheaply aggressive play and that’s fine for the situation. Ties up Gasol for a jump ball.
    •    Kyle Anderson giving the Spurs good minutes. They might look at him as a small ball four to eliminate LMA/Gasol minutes.

    FOURTH QUARTER

    •    Ian Clark brought on and defends Murray. Klay on Simmons.
    •    Murray splits a PnR and gets Simmons an open jumper.
    •    Green throws away PnR situation and Pau simply has to be the primary there. Fastbreak three the other way for Clark.
    •    Pau gets a post chance against David West and draws a foul. It’s not a lot but it’s a start.
    •    Warriors defense is cranked up and the Spurs are having trouble with inbounds passes. Mills subs in for Murray. Next possession, more struggles getting decent offense for SA as Simmons can’t keep the handles on a Gasol PnR, audibles into speed drive with trafficked dumpoff that doesn’t go anywhere.
    •    Aldridge back in and can’t get anything in the high post against West. Another bad possession.
    •    Simmons loses his handle/footwork in a poorly executed PnR chance with LMA and turns it over. They started with 12 seconds on the clock after no effective action.
    •    Klay has missed a bunch of shots and forced some stuff. He’s getting lost in the shuffle. Look for the Warriors to find more ways to get him involved in Game 2.
    •    Aldridge breaks free after almost-steal by West in the backcourt and gets a key and-one to stop the bleeding.
    •    Aldridge covering Livingston (Durant, Klay, Green, Clark). Thompson drives past Simmons after up-fake and throws it away in traffic. Should have shot it. No rhythm.
    •    Manu successfully slips to Aldridge on a PnR but it’s too slow, Durant is able to help, the next pass to Anderson isn’t fast enough to keep Klay from blocking his reverse layup.
    •    Clark turns it over after having the defense backpedaling in transition.
    •    Aldridge and Simmons can’t convert when GSW hard doubles (Green, Klay) in the pinch post. Simmons was wide open didn’t know it, Aldridge didn’t see him. Aldridge gets pressured into turnover. Durant three in transition.
    •    Aldridge takes open shot and converts it into poorly executed spin move and terrible fadeaway that Green almost blocked (miss). Durant toasts Anderson for a big dunk on the other end.
    •    Aldridge gets a nice look in the paint and misses the fadeaway. He’s making the shot too hard but theoretically he’s better like that. Still, ouch.
    •    Steph airballs a three against LMA on the perimeter. Surprised he didn’t go around him. He was getting work on his elbow on the sideline before that.
    •    Aldridge can’t convert the spin move and reverse layup against Durant in the post.  He had a good look and executed well but it didn’t fall.
    •    Durant buries a contested three with Manu’s hand right in his face.
    •    Ginobili gets him on the other side and makes an incredible bucket with Draymond all over him at the second level.
    •    Manu still assigned to Durant (Mills on Klay, Green on Livingston, Murray on Curry, LMA on Dray).  LMA gets burned by the elbow jumper by Durant after the PnR switch.
    •    LMA has yet another terrible post possession against Draymond. Bricks a fadeaway after Dray cut off his hard charge right.
    •    Livingston cuts hard after setting a pindown for Durant. Dray hits him for the dunk and Murray wasn’t aware enough to stay home in the lane.
    •    Murray makes up for it by toasting Durant in iso with a floater.
    •    Spurs put Green on Curry and then Livingston goes right into an and-one in the post against Murray. Probably keep that the other way around. No foul actually committed but he’s too light to cover there.
    •    Murray asked to beat the Livingston/Green PnR and gets elbow jumper blocked by Livingston.
    •    Spurs trying to enter to LMA in the post with Green just under the break. Warriors deflecting everything. Warriors block the next shot with the clock winding down on the SLOB. LMA passed to Patty with 2.7 seconds left because he doesn’t have any moves.
    •    LMA gets good post position on Draymond and draws the foul.
    •    Durant throws the ball away on PnR.
    •    Aldridge stuffed by Durant on an alley-oop but collects and makes a fadeaway.
    •    Klay misses a wide open three after attacking the LMA PnR (LMA guarding Livingston). The Warriors know Mills and LMA aren’t bothering that pass, it’s a gimme layup or three every single time.
    •    Warriors attack the LMA coverage on Livingston with SL as the screener and it results in a bunch of open threes in one possession (o-boards).
    •    Spurs hold for the whole clock and go with Simmons iso vs. Green. Terrible possession. Just walked it up and some simple denial around the ball killed it off.
    •    Simmons gets lost on defense on the next play and Klay finds Dray for an and-one chance.
    •    Another Simmons iso (against Livingston this time) that kills off the clock. He passes to Green in the corner for a very contested three (miss). Aldridge gets the board and misses yet another fadeaway.
    •    Danny Green inexplicably loses Curry on a give and go. The Spurs have given this game away.
    •    Ginobili drives past Livingston and quickly converts a dunk to get the 2-for-1. No help from teammates who were faceguarding against the three.
    •    Spurs double team on Klay works as Patty Mills rips the ball from him and then Klay fouls him.
    •    Curry makes a runner over LMA after the switch, Mills brings it up on the push with time winding down and LMA misses the corner would be tying three. Mills fouled on the scramble and needs a make/miss/make and it doesn’t happen. Warriors win.

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