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View Full Version : Pop/Spurs don't really scout opponents



kdspurman
01-20-2016, 03:23 PM
SAN ANTONIO David West pinches his index finger and thumb together, leaving the slightest sliver of space between them. Small, hes telling you. The smallest hes ever been handed in basketball.

The scouting reports are like this, West told Yahoo Sports.

One of the biggest adjustments for me has been the lack of focus on other teams, West told Yahoo Sports. Its all about this group, and what were doing every day. Maybe we spend three minutes on who were playing that night. We watch a few clips. Here, you just realize that its not really about anybody but us.


http://sports.yahoo.com/news/spurs--evolution-includes-same-brilliant-level-of-dominance-231013698.html

I don't typically post Spurs stuff in the main forum, but I thought it was interesting to hear this. I know Pop always joked about not watching film, maybe he wasn't fully joking... I'd guess in the playoffs things probably change of course, but interesting nevertheless.

Do other teams operate similarly in that regard?

ewing
01-20-2016, 03:41 PM
great article thanks

sheesh
01-20-2016, 03:44 PM
I don't typically post Spurs stuff in the main forum, but I thought it was interesting to hear this. I know Pop always joked about not watching film, maybe he wasn't fully joking... I'd guess in the playoffs things probably change of course, but interesting nevertheless.

Do other teams operate similarly in that regard?

They must focus on their execution.

Also I just looked at your sig and that was incredible. Can you give me the link to that gif? I don't want to make my own sig, but I want to show my buddies.

ManningToTyree
01-20-2016, 04:18 PM
Thanks for posting here instead of the Spurs forum. I find Pops approach to the game fascinating. He truly is one of a kind

kdspurman
01-20-2016, 04:20 PM
They must focus on their execution.

Also I just looked at your sig and that was incredible. Can you give me the link to that gif? I don't want to make my own sig, but I want to show my buddies.


Yea, they make it all about them pretty much which I thought was somewhat surprising. Any adjusting is done in-game. But the focus/emphasis is really on how they play & execute...

Here is a link to the video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ib8PWExH_w

If you just wanted the sig it's here- http://i.imgbox.com/k3Mmlwde.gif

sheesh
01-20-2016, 04:21 PM
Yea, they make it all about them pretty much which I thought was somewhat surprising. Any adjusting is done in-game. But the focus/emphasis is really on how they play & execute...

Here is a link to the video- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ib8PWExH_w

If you just wanted the sig it's here- http://i.imgbox.com/k3Mmlwde.gif

Thanks.

ghettosean
01-20-2016, 07:15 PM
I'd like to say thanks as well that was a good article.

mngopher35
01-20-2016, 07:32 PM
It would be interesting to see what other teams do and how much that changes in the playoffs. I think it definitely is the best way to go to focus on your own srategies/sets instead of focusing on adjustments every game through an 82 game schedule. I think there are general things for each team to go over but in reality with possibly 24 hours to fly and play a game there is limited time.

Playoffs tend to be much different though due to that extra time and it being the same opponent along with just whats at stake. I have no doubt Spurs are ahead of the curve here especially in mastering their own offense (14 playoffs is up there with best I've ever seen) and defensive responsibilities. I just would guess a lot of teams take a somewhat similar approach during the season. With what West said I guess I can question my initial guess though, maybe part of it is playing on teams needing wins for seeding whereas with the spurs its just a "lets be healthy for the playoffs and win as many as we can with that standard" type of deal since they will be up there anyways.

kdspurman
01-20-2016, 08:11 PM
^ I was thinking the same, but it was West's comment about it being one of his biggest adjustments, was the lack of focus on other teams. It made me wonder maybe if things were different in Indy or New Orleans and how different they were just in general when compared to other teams.

I thought maybe it's more of a let's master what we do and force teams to adjust to how we want to play, and if we need to adjust things it'll be during the game. Other times you see teams from the jump with a certain plan in place, whether it's double teaming, or trapping, or whatever in certain situations

JasonJohnHorn
01-20-2016, 08:22 PM
Scouting other teams can be hard for a couple of reasons, one that teams scout you and change their method to accommodate you.

It's better to perfect what you do every night than perfect what you can against a team one night of the month.


But that said, scouting is huge. Pop is great at mid-game adjustments though, so I think that might be about all he needs at this stage with this group.

KG2TB
01-20-2016, 08:23 PM
I know Thibs was the exact opposite. He watched film obsessively. He's probably watching film right now. I remember back in the Jordan championship days, Phil Jackson watched a lot of film as well.

mngopher35
01-20-2016, 09:26 PM
^ I was thinking the same, but it was West's comment about it being one of his biggest adjustments, was the lack of focus on other teams. It made me wonder maybe if things were different in Indy or New Orleans and how different they were just in general when compared to other teams.

I thought maybe it's more of a let's master what we do and force teams to adjust to how we want to play, and if we need to adjust things it'll be during the game. Other times you see teams from the jump with a certain plan in place, whether it's double teaming, or trapping, or whatever in certain situations

Ya I agree his comment is interesting. I wonder if Pacers defense during that time was maybe the main reason for the difference he is talking about? They were first in the league defensively and part of that might be attributed to really getting specific with defensive schemes and tendencies vs. each team throughout the year? I don't know enough about the situation but that seems like a possible reason to me.

I bet that last paragraph in your post is part of it too though as Pop obviously is capable of adjusting quicker than most. Pop also probably keeps things a little more basic just to have a surprise element come playoffs if he truly sees something specific that could help/work.

IndyRealist
01-20-2016, 11:40 PM
.

IndyRealist
01-20-2016, 11:43 PM
Ya I agree his comment is interesting. I wonder if Pacers defense during that time was maybe the main reason for the difference he is talking about? They were first in the league defensively and part of that might be attributed to really getting specific with defensive schemes and tendencies vs. each team throughout the year? I don't know enough about the situation but that seems like a possible reason to me.

I bet that last paragraph in your post is part of it too though as Pop obviously is capable of adjusting quicker than most. Pop also probably keeps things a little more basic just to have a surprise element come playoffs if he truly sees something specific that could help/work.
The Pacers are extremely heavy into scouting video, especially defensively. Coach Vogel started as a video assistant.

Scoots
01-21-2016, 12:18 AM
I don't typically post Spurs stuff in the main forum, but I thought it was interesting to hear this. I know Pop always joked about not watching film, maybe he wasn't fully joking... I'd guess in the playoffs things probably change of course, but interesting nevertheless.

Do other teams operate similarly in that regard?

I don't think they don't scout opponents as the thread title implies, I think they limit their scouting reports to just the minimum reminders for the matchups. I think the Warriors do something similar, but guys like Iguodala who likes to do homework they make cut ups available to him if he wants them so he goes beyond the scouting report. Draymond said their pre-game planning is usually under 5 minutes. Of course the Warriors are trying to be the Spurs :)

The Warriors assign an assistant coach to put together the prep for a team in the next batch of games, so Collins gets one game, then Adams, then Uren, etc ... then rinse, repeat. Walton was doing them last year too. I think they try to make them fun.

ewing
01-21-2016, 12:46 AM
Scouting other teams can be hard for a couple of reasons, one that teams scout you and change their method to accommodate you.

It's better to perfect what you do every night than perfect what you can against a team one night of the month.


But that said, scouting is huge. Pop is great at mid-game adjustments though, so I think that might be about all he needs at this stage with this group.


while thats true i wonder if a lot teams are over scouting at this point. I see so often a team not get on a dude's left hand who is all left. Maybe in the regular season its best to focus on your game and just a handful of other things you really need to keep in mind for a given opponent.

kdspurman
01-21-2016, 01:14 PM
I don't think they don't scout opponents as the thread title implies, I think they limit their scouting reports to just the minimum reminders for the matchups. I think the Warriors do something similar, but guys like Iguodala who likes to do homework they make cut ups available to him if he wants them so he goes beyond the scouting report. Draymond said their pre-game planning is usually under 5 minutes. Of course the Warriors are trying to be the Spurs :)

The Warriors assign an assistant coach to put together the prep for a team in the next batch of games, so Collins gets one game, then Adams, then Uren, etc ... then rinse, repeat. Walton was doing them last year too. I think they try to make them fun.

Yea, that's why I put "don't really" cause from David West's explanation, it's practically nothing. Perhaps it wasn't too clear though, I couldn't figure out how to word it. :)

That's interesting, I was hoping to get some info on how other teams are doing it. Kerr being there and a disciple of Pop for a bit as a player, I'm not surprised if it's a similar approach. Though I wonder if it was different with Jackson/Malone there?


BTW, Pop has spoken about this before sort of, this is what he said:


I dont see any reason to watch film, Popovich told reporters over two years ago. When my team has a game and [they] have zero turnovers and shoot 60 percent, and the other team scores 40, then Ill start worrying about the other teams. But until that happens, Ive got enough to correct and teach on my team, and thats how I spend my time.

While Pop isnt deriding the film junkies who predominate NBA front offices in these days of Synergy and SportVU data for seemingly every on-court movement, his explanation is eye-opening in its simplicity.


One of the assistants will tell me something. I believe whatever they tell me. So if they say, were gonna do this on the pick-and-roll, I say, OK, or I dont know if I want to do that, and then you go play. I mean, have you seen a sercret play lately? Or a new pick-and-roll defense? Or some new amazing continuity offense that nobody can guard? Its the same stuff every night. Whoever executes the best; whoever is the most competitive and does both on a consistent basis for more of the 48 [minutes], thats the team that wins. Take it to the bank.

His approach is really simplistic overall on this

Scoots
01-21-2016, 01:26 PM
I think Pop is being Pop though ... The Spurs do scout and they do hedge on player tendencies it's just that the vast majority of the game plan doesn't change by opponent. You can bet that the Spurs will guard the Warriors differently than they guard the Grizzlies and that difference is a result of scouting.

Did you know that as a Warriors fan I claim a tiny bit of ownership of Pop since it was as a Warriors coach that he learned what he needed to learn to be the Spurs head coach? :D ;)

Scoots
01-21-2016, 01:28 PM
Kerr's approach is fundamentally that if the Warriors play the Warriors way that they will win regardless of opponents ... much like Pop. But, they are still taking the time to know who is the hot shooter and out of what sets the opponents best players have been most efficient etc.

Part of keeping the scouting reports short is having very smart and dedicated players who don't need a lot of hand holding I think.

Chronz
01-21-2016, 03:14 PM
I think Pop is being Pop though ... The Spurs do scout and they do hedge on player tendencies it's just that the vast majority of the game plan doesn't change by opponent. You can bet that the Spurs will guard the Warriors differently than they guard the Grizzlies and that difference is a result of scouting.

Did you know that as a Warriors fan I claim a tiny bit of ownership of Pop since it was as a Warriors coach that he learned what he needed to learn to be the Spurs head coach? :D ;)

I claim Pop too, he started off coaching about 10 minutes away from where I've lived most of my life. Cal Poly Pomona baby

Chronz
01-21-2016, 03:43 PM
Part of keeping the scouting reports short is having very smart and dedicated players who don't need a lot of hand holding I think.
Or its just a matter of talent. A smart and dedicated player like Shane Battier loves absorbing all that information, whereas his equally influential teammate (Ron Artest) hated in depth reports. Its not about hand holding, some guys do more with that information, sometimes some guys just dont want to over think things. Battier once explained, you dont want to cage a tiger. Artest went off instinct of the moment, Battier was more pre-determined, both were great defenders.

Scoots
01-21-2016, 06:15 PM
Or its just a matter of talent. A smart and dedicated player like Shane Battier loves absorbing all that information, whereas his equally influential teammate (Ron Artest) hated in depth reports. Its not about hand holding, some guys do more with that information, sometimes some guys just dont want to over think things. Battier once explained, you dont want to cage a tiger. Artest went off instinct of the moment, Battier was more pre-determined, both were great defenders.

But Battier didn't want short scouting reports ... he's like Iguodala that way. But the report to the whole team is short and to the point. If you do that with an un-caged tiger you don't know if they got that the team is going to ice the PG high but switch if they go to the sides and pretty soon your un-caged tiger is making his PG look like an idiot while the opponent makes a wide open layup.

That's why I said the key to a short team wide scouting report is that you have to have smart dedicated players who will read it (the longer it is the less likely that happens) and then remember to DO it in game.

The reason the best defensive teams are the best defensive teams is usually much more about teamwork than individual brilliance (though that certainly helps) ... and that teamwork includes a teammate being where they are supposed to be to cover up for your hedge on your man.

mngopher35
01-21-2016, 06:26 PM
The Pacers are extremely heavy into scouting video, especially defensively. Coach Vogel started as a video assistant.

Cool, I didn't know for sure but it seemed like a reasonable guess to me with their defense. I think that could be part of the difference for him then if the Pacers were changing their gameplans based on the video of each team in the regular season.

I wonder if that helped propel them to the top of the defensive ranks throughout those couple of seasons (not that they weren't really good, just maybe it put them over the others near the top).