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Box out!

By Daniel Strickland on January 13, 2006.

Memo to all of the Spurs’ big men except Timmy: This is called boxing out.

It’s really important, especially against the team that kicked our asses just a couple of weeks ago. I guess we need to send you guys to training camp with the Leola High School Girls’ Basketball Team.

Seriously, I didn’t see the game, but I’m guessing the problem is that the Spurs’ defensive system, which relies so much on help, is being expertly exploited by the Pistons; i.e. they’re forcing our rebounders out of position with penetration and interior passing (and perhaps forcing our big men to switch out onto the perimeter), and then we’re left scrambling for the rebound. Which is bad, because we can’t compete with their athleticism.

Solution: Our perimeter defenders need to concentrate a lot more on staying in front of their man instead of just funneling him inside. If we’re switching on pick and rolls against them, we need to stop. Stick with the hedge. And if one of our bigs moves out of position to help out on a penetrator, another player needs to rotate over to box out his man. Easier said than done.

Oh, and we need to grow some testicles.

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  1. Dingo January 16, 2006

    I couldn’t agree more. The Pistons outrebounded the Spurs 56-32, and 16-4 on the offensive glass to add to their 57-30 clinic on Christmas Day.

    Contrast those numbers to last year’s NBA Finals, when the Spurs outrebounded the Pistons 49-35 in Game 1, 45-42 in Game 5 and 38-34 in Game 7.

    In only two of those seven games did the team that had the advantage on the glass NOT get the win.

    So who were the top Spurs rebounders in that series, per minute?

    Duncan: rebound every 2.88 minutes
    Mohammed: rebound every 3.76 minutes
    Horry: rebound every 5.91 minutes
    Ginobili: rebound every 6.15 minutes

    And how did these players perform against the Pistons in this season’s matchups?

    Duncan: rebound every 3.17 minutes
    Mohammed: rebound every 3.8 minutes (in just 19 minutes)
    Horry: rebound every 7.33 minutes
    Ginobili: rebound every 9.67 minutes (missed the Christmas game)

    If these guys don’t get back on track, or someone else doesn’t step up and block out, the Spurs chances of beating the Pistons, should they face them again in the Finals, are slim.


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