SAN ANTONIO – The pick and roll was the primary weapon in their offense that carried the Spurs to 50 wins in the regular season and a 20-game winning streak through the first two games of the Western Conference finals.
Now, after back-to-back losses in OKC, the Spurs are hoping to pick the lock on the Thunder’s pick and roll defense in tonight’s critical Game 5.
“It’s been the same defense that started with the Clippers. They’re showing that big wall and trapping and stuff like that,” said point guard Tony Parker following Monday’s pregame shootaround. “I just have to keep playing, attacking and stay aggressive.
“The bigs are coming more up to make sure I don’t get that pocket shot. We were doing the same thing on Chris Paul, make sure don’t get any pocket shots. It has nothing to do with Thabo (Sefolosha). It’s the bigs that are coming out higher.”
Manu Ginobili believes the Spurs need to get back to scoring early in the shot clock and playing at a faster pace.
“Push it a little bit more,” he said. “Pass the ball a little bit more, don’t hold it so much and be sharper. We’ve been playing the pick and roll, bring it back, set it up again, playing slow. We need to pick the pace up.
“There is always something you can do. Pick and rolls are hard to guard. The important thing is to create movement, penetrate and kick, do what we’ve done. It’s not the first time that a team has tried to stop the pick and roll. Everybody tries to do it. That’s why every team does it so much, because it’s so hard to guard.
“Because of their length and athleticism, that’s why they’re so good at it. They’ve got bigs that can play D on smalls too and they all rotate and they all go back out and contest shots. They are good. But this is not the first time we have faced a team that can do that. You expect that in the conference finals. Now it’s not that easy to score against anybody. So we gotta find other weapons and move the ball and attack and play more not so static. Try to be more energetic.”