Sometimes you can over-analyze a situation. In the case of the San Antonio Spurs today, it was simply a matter of rest and sleeping in your own bed after a week on the road. The Spurs played great today, shooting over 50% and getting 72 points from their big three.

During one of the timeouts, coach Gregg Popovich had just a couple of simple things to remind his players,

1. Play hard and stay agressive
2. Rebound and defend

Here is the clip,

Play hard and stay aggressive:

Just a good exchange with his players. I especially like how Tony Parker responded to Pop's "Don't stop being aggresive" with "I got you coach". Respect, and accountability, you can tell that Parker and Pop have that mutual understanding. That's what I call coachable.

Rebound and defend:

I like how they end their huddle with a "defense" chant. I'm a defense first coach, so I'm for anything that can remind players of their responsibilities.


The Spurs have had a pretty long week, Game 7 against the Hornets on Monday, their plane breaks down and so they spend the night sleeping on the plane Monday night. They get to Los Angeles with essentially just 1 day to prepare for the Lakers. They play well to start Game 1 on Wednesday (perhaps spillover effect from Game 7) but tire down the stretch and lose a heartbreaker. They come back for Game 2 on Friday in LA with 1 day in-between games and get run out of the building. Finally, the Spurs get to go home, sleep in their own bed, eat home-cooked meals, drive their own car to work. Voila, Sunday Game 3, they blowout the Lakers.

It is a big deal having to play on the road. Especially since the Spurs have essentially opened the playoffs on the road, and finish their series on the road. They are an older team, so you have to wonder if they have what it takes if this series goes the distance on the road, then go on to the Finals to play another great team on the road.

The Lakers are in a good spot. They still have home court advantage, but Game 4 is another potential series clincher. If they win, they can gain enough separation and put the Spurs away at home in Game 5. They need to get more out of the transition game though, they need to use their youth and athleticism to their advantage against the slower older Spurs.

For ideas on game preparation and scouting, check out Pat Summitt's new DVD on Game Preparation. Coach Summitt is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history. Don't forget to check out the X's and O's Basketball Forum to talk hoops with other coaches.