Spurs notebook

Evolving San Antonio Spurs offense is more fluid

San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan scores in front of Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis (9) during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on June 5, 2014.
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan scores in front of Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis (9) during the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on June 5, 2014.
Michael Laughlin / MCT


One of the takeaways watching the Spurs is how crisply they move the ball in a free-flowing, aesthetically-pleasing offense.

That offense has changed significantly during Tim Duncan’s career, from a low-post oriented attack built around Duncan to one that emphasizes quick passes and finding the open man.

“You watch tape of how we played before — we are very different,” Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said Saturday. “Now we’re more mobile, move the ball much better, more passes. Everyone is feeling important. It’s more fun, more unpredictable.”

Coach Gregg Popovich said over the past couple of years, “we’ve changed our pace and the way we approach things at the other end of the floor to make up for what we’re going to lose defensively.”

Despite relying a lot on the three-point shot, Popovich said: “I hate it. To me, it’s not basketball, but you’ve got to use it. If you don’t use it, you’re in big trouble. But you sort of feel like it’s cheating.”

• Asked about Popovich’s dislike of the three-point shot, Heat guard Dwyane Wade said: “I’m sure [Heat coach Erik Spoelstra] has things he doesn’t like. He doesn’t like it when me and LeBron [ James] go one-on-one. He wants team basketball, but sometimes one-on-one is successful when you have players capable of doing that.”


Guard Danny Green used the word “remarkable” to describe the Spurs’ ongoing streak of eight consecutive home playoff wins by margins of at least 15 points — two more than the previous record, set by the 1985 Lakers. “At home, we’re more comfortable,” he said. “It helps us make shots and shoot more confidently.”

• Popovich insisted Saturday that Duncan has inquired in the past about playing point guard, and Duncan asked a reporter to help convince Popovich to allow him to play there at times. “I’ve been arguing that point for years now,” Duncan said.

• Popovich’s Game 2 prediction: “I don’t think either one of us will turn it over as much as we did” in Game 1, when the Spurs had 23 turnovers and the Heat 18.

Popovich monitors the minutes of his veterans during the regular season, and he admitted Saturday: “I’ve often felt guilty because their lifetime stats are going to be worse than everybody else’s because of the way I’ve sat them over the years. But it does develop the bench.”


• Sacramento guard Jason Terry suggested on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Dallas that AT&T Center’s malfunctioning air conditioning during Game 1 was orchestrated by the Spurs, something the team has denied.

“Pop has done that so many times. I don’t know if it’s a conspiracy, but I’m telling you, going into San Antonio is a tough place to play,” Terry said. “And I can remember very well one time where it was cold showers, there were about a thousand flies in the locker room. This year, there was a snake in the locker room.

“So, they’re going to pull out all the stops to get into your head. When you go to San Antonio, expect something like that. And Miami fell victim to it. For an event of that magnitude, to say that the AT&T Center’s air-conditioning is not working — there’s definitely something wrong with that.”

• Duncan is trying to join John Salley as the second player in history to win an NBA Finals in three different decades.

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