Learn some of the Gregg Popovich Defensive Tactics today!
If you watched the game last night, then you saw some of the Gregg Popovich defensive tactics that they have used to slow down the Houston Rockets. They are leaning on Pau Gasol to help slow down the “spread you out” Houston Rockets.
Last year, the San Antonio Spurs were shocked by the Oklahoma City Thunder during the playoffs. Gregg Popovich didn’t adjust to what OKC was doing last year. It seemed like the rookie coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder was always finding ways to outsmart him. The big lineup of Adams and Kanter did the Spurs in, plus Kevin Durant too.
This year, Coach Popovich has adjusted his defensive tactics. He started Dejounte Murray who isn’t something that Coach Popovich likes to do. He is very stubborn when it comes to rookies and changing the lineup. Murray wasn’t very good in the Spurs’ Friday night win of 103-92. It’s not a huge game adjustment, but the fact that “Pop” is willing to be flexible and change with the times.
Game 1 wasn’t a good picture of how this series was going to go. San Antonio looked old and couldn’t handle the NBA Houston Rockets Offense. Houston shot the ball so well, and the Spurs turned over the ball a lot. The Spurs decided to test the Gregg Popovich Defensive Tactics.
Game 2, Coach Popovich started Pau Gasol, and they were able to handle the Rockets. What happened? The Spurs played great defense with Gasol in Game 2. The Spurs decided not to let Harden get into the lane where he could get a layup, kick out pass or lob to Capella. Gasol clogged up the lane to make that impossible.
Gasol isn’t great in space because he isn’t fast. The Spurs decided that one of the Gregg Popovich defensive tactics would be to limit the space that he has to defend. On the Pick & Roll, Gasol switched on to the Houston guards to slow them down. The Spurs have been able to keep him in the paint where his size is trouble for them.
The Rockets didn’t shoot well inside the restricted area in Games 2 and Games 3 where Pau was on the floor. The Spurs went over the top of most screens especially when James Harden had the ball. They directed the action into the paint where Gasol could make an impact.
The Rockets are a high-powered octane offense when you allow them to run their stuff. In Game 1, the Spurs gave up 126 points. The loss of Guard Tony Parker is a huge one. Kawhi Leonard got hurt last night, but they moved on.
We will see what the NBA Houston Rockets Playbook has for the Gregg Popovich defensive tactics next game.
Click on the pdf link to download the Gregg Popovich Defensive Tactics- Ettore Messina – Individual Defense Notes:
Click on the pdf link to download the Gregg Popovich Defensive Tactics- Ettore Messina – Defending Off Ball Screens