View Full Version : Mock Trade Game (Round 2) San Antonio vs Memphis

02-18-2015, 04:51 PM
The Bulls' forum hosted the Mock Trade game again this year. Teams were combined to make an even 20 team league. Conferences were adjusted to compensate for disparity in talent. The top-8 teams in each conference made the playoffs. Vote on the poll for which team you think would win in a 7-game series. Players are considered 100% healthy. If they have been out the whole year, use the last season that they played and take about 80% of their production to vote (e.g. Paul George).

1. San Antonio (Home Court Advantage)
PG: Chris Paul | Patty Mills | Jose Calderon
SG: J.J. Redick | Khris Middleton | Iman Shumpert
SF: DeMarre Carroll | P.J. Tucker | Anthony Morrow
PF: Tim Duncan | Carlos Boozer | Kyle O'Quinn
C: Al Horford | Rudy Gobert

6. Memphis Grizzlies
PG: Ty Lawson -Isiah Thomas- Beno Udrih
SG: Wesley Matthews -Evan Fournier-Nick Calathes
SF: Batum -Shabazz Muhammad-Richard Jefferson
PF: Zach Randolph -Brandon Bass- Jon Leuer
C: Marc Gasol - J.J. Hickson

San Antonio Write-Up

Defensive End

The reason the real life Memphis Grizzlies are such a dangerous offensive team is because of their elite inside/outside game. Mike Conley, the Grizzlies leader, and Courtney Lee shoot over 40% this season from 3, which allows Randolph and Gasol to thrive offensive.

Thankfully for the Spur, this Memphis squad is without their team leader and 3 point sniper Mike Conley, and their starting SG Courtney Lee who is shooting a whopping 44.8% from 3 this year. In fact, no one on this revamped Memphis starting unit shoots above 40% from 3. Without enough perimeter offense to keep the Spurs honest on defense, the paint will be clogged making Lawson’s penetrating ineffective and causing disastrous spacing issues that Randolph and Gasol require to excel on the offensive end.

Defensive Assignments on Randolph/Gasol

It’s no secret that Randolph and Gasol are talented big men. Fortunately for the Spurs, they have 3 starting caliber defensive anchors in Tim Duncan, Al Horford, and Rudy Gobert. Historically, Randolph has struggled against taller players. Coach Pop plans to start out with Horford guarding Randolph due to his massive muscular physique which will prevent Randolph from doing what he typically does to smaller and leaner big men. Duncan will initially start out guarding Gasol as Gasol is more of a finesse player, allowing Duncan to conserve his energy. Coach Pop will occasionally even switch up the defensive assignments when the timing permits (substitutions). The Spurs secret weapon in neutralizing the Memphis big men is Rudy Gobert. Rudy Gobert will play a key role coming off the bench in guarding whoever has the hot hand (Gasol or Randolph). With his other worldly shot blocking and rebounding skills, Gobert will focus his 20 (or so) minutes protecting the rim and acting as a wall against their post-ups. He will allow the Spurs the luxury of ensuring 2 of the 3 players (Duncan, Horford, Gobert) will be on the floor at all times, protecting the rim and covering the opposing bigs (Randolph and Gasol). All three players (Duncan, Horford, Gobert) have the shot blocking, size and bulk, and basketball IQ to shut Memphis down.

Defensive Assignment on Lawson/Matthews/Batum

Chris Paul is the league’s best defensive PG. Coach Pop will put Paul and his defensive skills primarily on Ty Lawson. Occasionally however, Paul will be put on Matthews as it’s not uncommon for Paul to be put on the best perimeter player (even on players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant). With virtually no playoff experience leading a squad, Lawson will be exposed and abused by the superior Chris Paul.

Wes Matthews is their best perimeter player who has a decent post game. As a result, Coach Pop will put DeMarre Carroll, the Spurs (Hawks in real life) elite bulldog defender. Wes doesn’t drive too often, he mostly shoots from the perimeter and backs down smaller guards in the post. Carroll is 6’8 (3 inches taller) and bigger/stronger than Matthews which will discourage Matthews from attempting any post game. In pick and rolls, Coach Pop will tell Carroll to go in front of the pick, knowing Duncan/Horford/Gobert will protect the rim in the rare event Matthews decides to go to the rim. By doing so, Matthews efficiency will drastically go down.

Due to Batum not even being a double-digit scorer anymore (8.9 ppg, 9.5 points per 36 minutes, yikes…), Redick will be put on him initially. Redick has astronomically improved his defense, making him more than capable of guarding Batum (and on occasion Matthews). Redick will go under the pick on pick and rolls, where Batum has shot an abysmal 37.5% fg, and 27.2% from 3 pt.

Perhaps the biggest factor in guarding Memphis 1 through 3 is the Spurs having the league’s premiere 3 and D guys: the Sun’s defensive specialist PJ Tucker, the Cavs defensive specialist off the bench Iman Shumpert, and the Bucks 3 and D starting SG, Khris Middleton. All of these players are well above average defensively, and versatile enough to guard positions 1 through 3, which will allow the starters to focus a tiny bit more offensively.

Offensive End

The Spurs best 2 players (Chris Paul and Tim Duncan) play the position that the Grizzlies are incredibly weak in defensively (PG and PF). Ty Lawson is NOT capable of playing elite or even mediocre defensive and Zach Randolph would be a top 7 PF if he knew how to play on the defensive end of the floor.
The Spurs starting 5 unit are all team-first players who are capable of passing the ball and setting teammates up to succeed. The Grizzlies don’t have the defensive intelligence, size, and speed to stop the Spurs’ offensive juggernaut squad.

Offensive Strategies

Chris Paul is not only arguably the league’s best PG, but most selfless and spot on passers in the game today. He will destroy the Grizzlies in transition by lobbing/passing it to one of the twin towers (Duncan or Horford), one of the lightning fast wings (Redick or Carroll), or use his own quickness and attack the rim to score himself.

The Spurs were constructed primarily to play in the halfcourt setting(which is what the majority of playoff basketball is), but still have the ability to play fast pace and up-tempo as well.

Pick and roll: Chris Paul/JJ Redick will play pick and roll ball with Horford/Duncan for a large portion of the game. These 4 players are elite at pick and pop ball. They only have one Gasol... Is Randolph going to suddenly play defense and protect the rim? Who is going to stop it?

The Spurs have the most efficient and skilled big men in the league who are able to score in the post, or spread the defense out by shooting the mid-range jumper. Remember, Gasol can only guard one of Duncan or Horford, even then, they will still get their points regardless. Whoever Randolph guards will abuse and expose his lack of basketball IQ, especially on the defensive end. Randolph is NOT a rim protector, which will allow Paul/Redick/Carroll to attack the rim at will anytime the defender goes over the screen. If Gasol wants to contest the drive, he has to leave Duncan or Horford (whichever one he is guarding) who is away from the basket, thereby allowing the driving/slashing Spurs player to make the kick out pass to the big man for the open mid range jump shot.

The ability to post up and have exceptional passing skills by BOTH Duncan and Horford cannot go overlooked either. Chris Paul is shooting 38.2% from 3, Redick is shooting 43.6% from 3, Carroll is shooting 39.7% from 3, Middleton is shooting 42.3% from 3, Shumpert is shooting 44.7% from 3 for the Cavs, Tucker is shooting 36.5% from 3, Patty Mills is shooting 38% from 3, Jose Calderon is shooting 43.6 from 3, and finally, Morrow is a career 42.1% from 3 (not to mention all but Morrow and Calderon are WELL above average defensively). With literally the worst 3 point shooter being 36.5%, which is still above league average, Duncan and Horford will probably average way more than the 3 + assists they currently average with their respective teams (Spurs and Hawks). The attention they will seek down low will make the spacing for the perimeter players that much easier to score. If they don’t double down on either Duncan or Horford, Randolph will be abused in the post, without question.


While the Grizzlies are a great opponent, they are out gunned, and out manned. Having the 1st, 2nd and 4th best player between the two teams helps drastically. Having the vastly superior bench will also prove to be an incredible advantage. The only player on the Grizzlies bench that would even crack the rotation for the Spurs would be Isaiah Thomas. His starters will have to play 38-40 minutes per game just to prevent a blow out 15 point blowout. Meanwhile, the Spurs starters have the luxury of substituting quality for quality, allowing more players to come in and play stingy defense, all the while, not losing ANYTHING on offense.

02-18-2015, 06:16 PM
The Spurs and it's not even that close. They have too many high basketball IQ players who play team basketball and the perfect stacked bench of role players who do their job extremely well. Spurs in 4-5.

CP3 + Duncan + Horford = :drool:

02-18-2015, 06:36 PM
Spurs in 6

02-18-2015, 07:09 PM
Memphis is a really tough team, but I think San Antonio has less question marks about their overall team than Memphis does. Spurs in 7.

02-18-2015, 10:10 PM

02-19-2015, 10:56 AM

02-19-2015, 12:13 PM
Spurs were one of my favorite teams in this game but this shouldn't be a shut out. I love the additions of Matthews and Batum to that frontcourt. Great D and plenty shooting/offense

02-19-2015, 06:04 PM
Six votes after 25 hours is pathetic

02-19-2015, 08:46 PM
Six votes after 25 hours is pathetic

The GMs dont even post in the threads. That kills any debate.

02-19-2015, 08:53 PM
The GMs dont even post in the threads. That kills any debate.

Agreed. I have tried to post in my matchup but like 2 people (Shammy being one) actually attempted to debate the topic. I think weight should be given to teams whose GMs are actually active in the process (though that is a somewhat biased sentiment from me at this point).

02-19-2015, 09:12 PM
I'd be willing to debate. What am I suppose to debate though? I did my write up and no one has countered it.

02-19-2015, 09:19 PM
The GMs dont even post in the threads. That kills any debate.

Yup, GMs don't update clubhouses, don't respond to trades, don't vote on the other GMs' matchups either. Games are dying.

Agreed. I have tried to post in my matchup but like 2 people (Shammy being one) actually attempted to debate the topic. I think weight should be given to teams whose GMs are actually active in the process (though that is a somewhat biased sentiment from me at this point).

I wish i could do that, give the top picks to teams that are active, but then the inactive GMs will just continue to be inactive.

02-20-2015, 08:19 PM
Spurs advance