One learns to dread playing the Spurs, because they illustrate the chasm that exists between the quality of play of both teams that took the court tonight. The Spurs are the Wizards kryptonite because they will execute they offense with ruthless efficiency and no single player is allowed to break that unless the want to suffer Popovich's wrath. The Wizards can take the Lakers on an off night, because there is always a chance that Kobe goes cold. The can stick with Celtics on occasion, because Boston isn't as deep as it was in the past. San Antonio, however, has roles defined for each player 1-12. For a team that has exactly one (possibly two) roles figured out, that proves to be a nightmare matchup.
Notes after the break
- Pick and roll was once again a sore spot for the Wizards, and the Spurs killed them off of it for most of the night. The Wizards frontline failed time and time again to identify the roller or react quickly enough to deny the outlet pass for the corner three.
- Of course, none of this was helped by John Wall, who may as well have been a traffic cone on the evening...more on this below.
- Great shooting performance by the guards early on which continued throughout the game. Unfortunately, the Spurs shot at a slightly higher percentage on better chosen shots. If Young and Crawford weren't lights out tonight, it would have been a blowout.
- On the other hand, both SGs decided that the catch and shoot game wasn't good enough and instead transitioned into stopping the ball and going it alone. Key example is Young waving off Mack in the 4th quarter, only to lose his feet and dribble out of bounds.
- Good things happen when you constantly move without the ball and always make the extra pass. Its boring to say, but it remains true. You don't need to be super athletic (Matt Bonner) as long as you are wide open.
- That said, I think the Spurs could gave been had because they are just not that good defensively, especially on the interior. JaVale McGee had an exceptional game, but his success goes a long way to explaining why San Antonio was upset last year. A team like Memphis or Denver will eat them up inside.
- Tony Parker just shredded John Wall on the night. There is a key difference between running an offense and for an entire game and running an offense when one's coach demands it. Parker does the former, while Wall is stuck in the latter.
- Wall has to learn that he can't turn his defensive game on and off at will. There are simply too many dominant PGs in the league and the Wizards interior defense just isn't good enough to make up any lapses of efforts.
- I'm not sure what can be done to save Andray Blatche at this point. I don't mean this in a cruel or nasty way, but he isn't 20% of the player he was last year. I hope the Wizards do the right thing and move him or let him ply his trade elsewhere.
- Jan Vesely should be fined for every game he doesn't have a shot attempt. Fined and then locked in a gym.