Pregame Post-Ups: C’s Look to Disrupt Spurs’ Balanced Attack
Friday, Dec. 8 - Celtics at Spurs
Pregame – C’s Look to Disrupt Spurs’ Balanced Attack
SAN ANTONIO – If an NBA team has five players reach double-figures in scoring, it’s considered to be balanced scoring attack. If a team has eight players score 10 or more points? That’s downright phenomenal.
The San Antonio Spurs accomplished that feat Wednesday night when they had eight players score between 10 and 18 points during a 117-105 win over the Miami Heat.
The even scoring distribution was nothing new for San Antonio, as it currently has 10 players who are averaging at least 6.0 points per game, led by LaMarcus Aldridge (22.6 PPG). It will be up to the Boston Celtics to figure out how to stop that balanced offensive attack Friday night, when they take on the Spurs at AT&T Center.
“I think [the equal scoring] is a testament that those guys all play to their strengths and to their abilities,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said ahead of tip-off. “They’re all really good players. And obviously (LaMarcus) Aldridge draws a ton of attention, (Pau) Gasol draws a ton of attention, and I think having (Tony) Parker back, and his ability to really get into the paint, opens up a lot of opportunities for everybody.”
San Antonio currently ranks among the top half of the league in offensive rating, despite the absence of their reigning leading scorer Kawhi Leonard, who has missed the entire season with a quad injury.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich anticipates that their star player will return soon, but in the meantime, he says his team needs to continue to embrace a next-man-up mentality.
“We’ve gotta take care of as much of the business as we can, just like Boston is doing (without Gordon Hayward),” said Popovich. “In our case, [Leonard] gets there when he gets there. But in the meantime, a lot of the guys are getting time. We’re playing a lot of different people, a lot of different combinations. Some nights it doesn’t work out real well, and other nights it looks real good.”
The Spurs have experienced the latter more often than not. They’ve won eight of their last 10 games and boast the third-best record in the Western Conference with a 17-8 mark.
The Celtics, who own a league-best record of 22-4, will look to put a stop to San Antonio’s winning ways tonight. The key to doing so will hinge upon their ability to disrupt the Spurs’ balanced attack.
- Taylor Snow