One of the game commentators the other day was saying how he thought the Philly players look like they hadn't read the scouting report on the Spurs. It got me thinking how if I was a coach I would try to stop and score on the Spurs. Here are a few of my thoughts, which I hope no other opposing coaches read =]. Share your thoughts as well!
Overall, I would be physical as much as possible. Because the Spurs rely so much on cuts and passes, a bit of pushing and wrist slapping would usually hurt the Spurs more than the other team. Refs don't call as many fouls if a player hits your arm while passing as much as when you would shoot.
Tony Parker: Make him shoot the 18 footer and make him a scorer. Tony's 18 footer has improved a lot, but he does go through a lot of cold stretches and its much better than him creating havoc in the paint. Teams that usually beat the Spurs are able to limit TP in the paint (going underneath screens and putting longer defenders on him) and allow him to shoot 18 footers (which he also stops shooting if he misses a couple).
Tim Duncan: Duncan has lost the ability to post up better defenders such as kendrick perkins or a marc gasol. He has his bright points (such as the dunk on gasol), but he's no longer a force that can pound it and create good looks. One weak point ive noticed lately is he doesn't use his left hand to shoot a lot.
Manu: Make him a scorer and go right. As Manu starts to regain his form this might be a bad idea. Also making him a passer could be better as he tends to be turnover prone.
Not going to go into to much detail on the other players. Most of them cannot create their own shot consistently(Green, Leonard, DeColo, Diaw) and can be TO prone when trying to run the PNR. I would also keep base on shooters and make cutters try to finish on their own inside.
On defense, I would try to keep Duncan away from the basket as much as possible. He's best at protecting the rim. Run the high PnR since we lack athletic bigs ( I bet no one knew this!).
Overall I would try to make the Spurs a 1v1 iso ball team rather than the fluent passing team they are by being physical and staying home on shooters.
Please share your thoughts!