SCOUTING REPORT: SAN ANTONIO SPURS
Clippers.com talked about Wednesday’s matchup against the San Antonio Spurs with a Western Conference front office executive. Here’s a look at what he expects to see from the Spurs, including some information that has carried over from last season’s playoff series as well as new details.
SAN ANTONIO STARTERS
Tony Parker, PG (6-2, 185). "Tony Parker's probably one of the fastest guys in the NBA in transition going from one end to the other. He's a one-man fast break," the Western Conference Executive said. "His floater game is extremely impressive. He can get to the lane and finishes real well in the paint." … According to HoopData.com, 31.8% of Parker’s 14.8 attempts per game last year came at the rim. … The executive called parker “efficient,” evidenced by Parker averaging 8.5 assists with just 1.8 turnovers through four games for the undefeated Spurs.
Danny Green, SG (6-6, 210). The executive called Green “just a solid all-around player.” … "He’s a good defensive player," the executive said. "He usually ends up guarding the opponent's best wing." … “He spaces the floor for them offensively, hitting 3-pointers.” … Green leads the Spurs with nine made 3-pointers. He’s shooting 52.9% from distance in four games.
Kawhi Leonard, SF (6-7, 225). The executive said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich called Leonard a “Spur for life.” … “I would expect him to continue to improve,” the executive said. “[Popovich] is using [Leonard] more as a pick-and-roll player than he did before. They have a great respect and value for him in the organization.” … Leonard has picked up 10 steals in the last two games, which, according to the executive, is a sign that “his defense is only getting better.” … Leonard is fifth in the NBA in total steals (11).
Boris Diaw, PF (6-8, 235). “He's a good teammate," the executive said. "He's got a good rapport with Tony Parker." Diaw was the best man in Parker's wedding. ..."He's a smart player," the executive said. "He's been around the league forever. He can play, plain and simple." … The executive added that Diaw’s most significant asset offensively is arguably his passing out of both the high post and the low post.
Tim Duncan, C (6-11, 255). Duncan is averaging 19.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game so far this season, leading the executive to say, “What he’s doing at the start of the year is incredible. He’s putting up numbers that he would have maybe four or five years ago.” … "He might be the best power forward to ever play this game," the executive added. "He’s the ultimate pro and works extremely hard in the offseason.” ... "In the post he's tough, you know he's going to hit that bank shot," the executive said. "You can put a wall there; he'll still get it off. He's expanded his range and is very strong with the elbow jumper."
The executive praised the Spurs bench, saying that while they were deep last season with addition of French national team member Nando De Colo and a full season of Patrick Mills they’re even deeper. He emphasized the San Antonio bench “has pretty much everything they need. Wing toughness? Stephen Jackson. A big to space the floor? Matt Bonner. Toughness on the paint and on the boards? DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter. A wing shooter? Gary Neal. And, of course, Manu Ginobili is ‘Mr. Everything.’”
Manu Ginobili, G (6-6, 205). Ginobili missed the first two games of the year for San Antonio with a minor back injury. He played 16 minutes in his season debut versus the Jazz. ... "Manu Ginobili would start for any other team in the league," the executive said. "And he did start [in San Antonio], but he's that boost off the bench." … The executive said he'll get to his left hand even when the entire defense knows that's what he wants to do. ... Additionally, the executive called Ginobili one of the league’s “fiercest competitors, probably right up there with Chris [Paul] and Kobe [Bryant]. He doesn't quit on plays. He'll do whatever it takes to win."
NOTES ON SAN ANTONIO
- They execute their game plan extremely well. “They are more of a pick-and-roll team now than a post-up team. They do it with Parker and with Ginobili in the game,” the executive said. “They’ve been together for so long, they are really good at anticipating where each other are going to be on the floor.”
A team so good at the pick and roll game makes stretch big men like Bonner more deadly, the executive said. "You've got to help on the inside on the roll guy and right then and there they find their open shooters and they're going to drill these open shots."
- Attacking and exploiting. “They do a great job of attacking and exploiting other teams’ weaknesses,” he said. “They’ve seen it all.”
"They rotate well defensively. They're very aggressive defensively. In pick and rolls they push everything towards the baseline," the executive said. "They know their system, their routine. Listen, Coach Popovich is one of the best in the game, if not the best. They've drilled the rotation into these guys and they're a phenomenal rotating team. They help each other. They help the helper. It's constant rotation. They're on a string. One man moves, the other four react."