Pace Matters 02.06.12

For years the San Antonio Spurs were among the slowest paced teams in the NBA and it seemed, for good reason.  Their big three of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker were lethal offensively and the  San Antonio defense was often historically stingy.  If it was an NFL team, the San Antonio D would have a nickname, but television coverage of the NBA has done a poor job of highlighting positional defense (blocked shots and steals are telegenic, shot denial, not so much).

Then suddenly last season the Spurs stuck it in overdrive and for more than half a season and played at one of the faster tempos in the Association.   Everyone wondered what was up.  Some pointed out that the Spurs were an old team.  But “old” in NBA years isn’t old in human years.  Some of the best fast break teams were veteran squads.  Some pundits claimed the Spurs were covering for their defensive deficiencies but that didn’t really wash.  The Spurs were slightly worse defensively from ’09-’10 (9th in Defensive Efficiency) to  ’10-’11 (11th) but not enough to warrant an overhaul in offensive philosophy.

This season they’ve slowed down back to their normal pace; they’re 20th in possessions per game, and now the San Antonio defense has suffered.  They are 19th in Defensive Efficiency, by far their worst mark in the Duncan era.  Mebbe they should pick up the pace again.


About jmartin437

I've worked in and around the world of high end cheese for 27 years. I've been everything from a department manager who hired and fired and trained staffs to a weekend warrior who shows up ties on an apron the middle of a rush and talks to customers and cleans up the place. I enjoy it all, and I especially like my current situation conducting informal seminars about cheese at area bars and in class at the 92nd St. Y. The current schedule is always up at In addition I conduct private events that are perfect to lead off birthday parties for foodies and sommeliers and also they make great entertainment for corporate team building events and associates meetings at law firms. In addition, I've been a freelance journalist for 27 years. Currently my profiles of leading musicians and filmmakers appear in the Wall Street Journal and I also wrote about sports for the Root, and for five loooong years, which included the entirety of the Isiah Thomas Knicks era, I wrote about the NBA for the New York Sun. I enjoyed writing about basketball so much that I now do it here at rotations for free.
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One Response to Pace Matters 02.06.12

  1. Pingback: Blog brother thinks Parker will make West’s All-Star team | San Antonio TX DIRECTV Service

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