San Antonio Spurs News

NBA Playoffs 2017: Spurs vs. Rockets Game 5 Preview

May 7, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with media before game four of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
May 7, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich talks with media before game four of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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Addressing potential adjustments and changes for the San Antonio Spurs in their upcoming Game 5 against the Houston Rockets.

What went wrong in Game 4?

The Spurs struggled with two things in Game 4: transition defense and defending the Rockets’ small lineups .The Spurs will need more defensive intensity in Game 5.

Here, James Harden is not picked up in transition and gets an easy bucket.

James Harden (@JHarden13) with the coast-to-coast finish! #Rockets pic.twitter.com/b1rZTUNoG3

— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) May 8, 2017

Also, the Rockets were not able to contain the lineups in which Ryan Anderson was at center.

The Rockets simply had too many weapons on the perimeter and too much spacing for James Harden to operate.

Ryan Anderson drains the deep 3-pointer to beat the buzzer! #Rockets pic.twitter.com/KgBvFVFaVX

— Chat Sports (@ChatSports) May 8, 2017

How can they try to slow down the Rockets explosive offense?

For the spurs, giving up easy shots at the rim was a problem throughout the game. Per Basketball Reference, while in Game 3 the rockets shot 15-26 at the rim, in Game 4 they went 25-34.

The Spurs need to add more rim protection to their lineups so that they can prevent the rockets from getting these easy buckets.

What is the point of Kyle Anderson getting minutes?

Kyle Anderson saw an expanded role and major minutes in Game 4, playing 16 minutes. When the Rockets played their small lineups with Ryan Anderson at center in third quarter, Kyle Anderson struggled.

Anderson is simply not the answer for the Spurs in this series. He can handle the ball, but is a minus defender as he is not a great athlete and cannot defend the rim. I don’t think he has any business being on the floor against such a potent Rockets offense.

Where has Dwayne Dedmon been?

Dwayne Dedmon was a fixture in the starting lineup during the latter part of this season. However, in both the Grizzlies and Rockets series, Dedmon has received limited minutes.

Kyle Anderson and David Lee do not offer much defensively and Dedmon has provided energy and effort all season. While it seems Pop has deemed that he will not be effective in this series, I think it is worth giving him a look in Game 5. Dedmon is a mobile big man who might be able to contribute against Houston’s small lineups.

Do they still have a chance against the Rockets?

While this game is disconcerting for any Spurs fan, doubting Coach Popovich and the Spurs is generally a very unwise idea. I think with a few defensive adjustments and more contributions from the bench, they can win Game 5 and get the momentum back in this series.

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