Game Thread for Round 2, Game 3: vs Hornets

Anybody that has been reading the game threads knows I think the officiating has heavily favored the Hornets. I think it has for two reasons: 1) The Hornets were at home. 2) They have been far more aggressive.

As the series moves back to SA, here's what I think the Spurs need to do to turn the series and the calls in their favor.

We have to hit our outside shots. We have had a ton of open looks that we have passed up and we have missed a ton of open shots. We need our shooters to shoot and we need our shooters to make shots. NOTE: This does not include Bruce Bowen shooting 20' jumpers from the wing on the break or having him curl around screens looking for his shot.

We have to play aggressive defense. Our decision to back off Paul has killed us. We have turned into a passive team instead of an aggressive team. The way we are playing defense reminds me of how we play the Mavs some times. In our focus to cut off penetration, by backing off Harris, we open up all the passing lanes and the Mavs could pass the ball without any pressure on their passes (neither the passer or the receiver is challenged). This makes ball movement too easy. Any decent team will shred you if they can move the ball around the court with impunity.

Also, a lack of pressure on the ball allows the passer to throw much more accurate passes allowing the receiver to catch it where they want to establish their shooting rhythm. The Spurs need to make the Hornets passers uncomfortable.

Lastly, the lack of aggression on the ball handler means that we don't have bodies around the guy with the ball. This is the main reason the Hornets are getting calls and we are not. When we drive the lane there is more than one guy with his body against or near our guy. It is very difficult for the refs to call a foul, especially a reach foul, in a crowd. However, if only one defender is near the driver then it is very easy to see contact.

In summary, we need to play aggressive Spurs defense. We need to pick Paul up at half court. We need to go over screens and have our bigs show like we do against Nash and Amare. We need to pressure the ball constantly. We need to make them uncomfortable. They have looked way too comfortable on offense.

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