Spurs Simple Solution: Take Care Of Ball

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SAN ANTONIO — We have a silly tendency to overreact, overanalyze and make skyscrapers out of molehills.

Had LeBron James lost his mojo? Has Manu Ginobili lost his entire game? Will Tony Parker be able to run freely for all four quarters with his sore hamstring? Would Dwyane Wade ever be able to zoom around the court again like the Flash?

So after eight days and four games under the intense pressure of the NBA Finals, it was time to come up for air and both teams took the day off Friday to get rest and perhaps give the media a new opportunity to make things complicated before the pivotal Game 5.

You can talk about lineup changes, whether it’s wisest to go over or under on the pick and roll or the price of crude oil on the open market.

Then again, to twist a phrase: It’s the turnovers, stupid.

The Spurs tied a Finals record by committing just four turnovers and were able to win Game 1. Since that time, they’ve coughed the ball up 49 times in the past three games and that, more than anybody’s attitude or horoscope reading is why the Heat have been able to tie it up at 2-2.

“For us it’s been the same during the entire season,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. “Oftentimes or most of the time, the great majority of the time, it’s about turnovers. It’s about not taking care of the basketball. Because it’s not just that you gave them another possession. But people forget you lost your possession. You might have scored one, two or three points, or four, I guess in rare situations. But you didn’t score and the other team oftentimes  especially the better the team you play, like Miami, you turn it over and they’re going to score. It’s basically a dunk or a layup at the other end of the court.

“So it’s always a swing of four points, at least. And that’s what really takes its toll. That’s why we were so happy after Game 1 when we just had four turnovers. Since then we’ve been plagued. Largely due to their outstanding defense. “

It’s the style the Heat have adopted and established as a snarling, hungry pack of attack dogs that can go for the throat at any time, creating havoc, making steals, getting the ball into the open court where James and Wade are virtually unstoppable. When the Spurs treated the ball as tenderly as a newborn baby in the series opener, they stifled Miami. Their Game 3 win was simply a product of making a Finals record-tying 16 3-pointers and that is not something San Antonio can count on happening again. The Heat just want to sink their teeth in and draw blood.

“Our focus has been getting to our identity, which is an aggressive, disruptive defensive team,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. “And you’re trying to do it against the best passing precision execution team in the league. Who gets to who more often? Sometimes the margin for error is a centimeter difference of our activity and their precision.”

So forget about the intricate Xs and Os. Never mind with the advanced metrics.

Just keep your eye on the ball and whether the Spurs can hang onto it. Nothing complicated here. It’s about the turnovers.

31 Comments

  1. Awesome win in gm 5 Spurs-yet still need to stop/cut way down the turnovers. I knew Ginobiliiiiiiiiiii would get hot-now he’ll stay hot-making plays is when he’s @ his best. TP & TD can just keep being themselves & everyone else Leonard, Green, Neal & the rest all have the confidence & fortitude to finish the job & win the next gm!
    GO SPURS!
    SPURS ALL THE WAY!!!

  2. Spurs will take gms 5 & 6!
    GO SPURS!!!
    SPURS ALL THE WAY!!!

  3. Miami B2B! says:

    doesn’t look like a simple solution to me, Heat’s defense forces turnovers, Spurs’s only chance is when the big3 do not show up

  4. Go Spurs Go!! says:

    @heat fan since wade, I will agree with you that the heat are a great team and played great last year in the finals but you put them in the west and they do not go to the finals 3 years in row or win 60+ games or 27 in a row. So to compare them to Three time champions and were talking big 3 here then I think jimmy’s got a good point.

  5. mikmaks says:

    If you will look at it closely, the Heat could have been up 3-1. The only game the Spurs were really good was game 3. Game 2 and 4 they we’re out of sync and they just got the breaks in game 1. If they can’t win the next game, then it’s Heat in 6.

  6. realist2013 says:

    Manu needs to relax. He’s already proven himself a beast. I think they should put him in the starting line up to get him going early. Put splitter on the bench to start. Having him and parker on the floor together is a look Miami hasnt seen either. Manu needs to find his groove.

  7. jimmy says:

    Is a matter of who wants it more…Heat was the aggressive team in game 4. I still think that intelligence beat force.

    Spurs is the best team in the NBA because of the organization behind them, the experience in playing together for so long, their basketball IQ and well leaded with Master POP the best Coach in the league by far.

    Big concerns for game 5, TP hamstring, Manu needs to play with more energy and confidence, TD have to lead the way and Tiago needs to wake up and somebody tell him that this are THE FINALS

    Green, Neal and Leonard will be more than ready. Boris Diaw is a great shooter, dont hesitate and let it fly!

    GO SPURS GO!!!

    • HEATFANSINCEWADE says:

      @Jimmy, If the Spurs are the best team and have the best Coach by far, and are the most intelligent team then why are they gonna lose? You Spurs fans are delusional and disrespectful. The Heat have been to the finals three years straight! They are the defending champs and are by far the best team in the league when playing Miami Heat basketball. The spurs haven’t been to the finals in 6 years! I think the Spurs are a great team and have been for years. They would be the best team if Miami and Okc weren’t around for sure, but Don’t disrespect the defending Champs. Until you beat the defending champions they are the best team! Heat nation stand up!

  8. baller says:

    The solution is simple. Why not let the fans participate in the decision-making process for the teams. Here is a refreshing basketball venture I recently came accross: http://basketball-united.com. It would be nice, if the NBA teams adopt that, right?

  9. gilbert tualla says:

    this series is so boring…. this is edited…. it will end in game 7…. the true fight will be in game seven…. heat win in game 5…. spurs in game 6…… then game 7 will be the hardwork for 2 team.

    • pakyaw says:

      well,what can u expect ,one of the team is known a boring team(Spurs)..no disrespect to POP and Timmy, a high basketball IQ of timmy(basic fundamental) and POP being perfectionist, why this team been called boring for years…

  10. Ren says:

    I wrote a few well thought comments on the game, but I think it was too detailed that it wasn’t posted. : (

  11. J says:

    easier said than done

  12. Spurs will take gm 5 & 6!
    GO SPURS!!!

  13. Arnoldphk says:

    My solution is let the shooters shoot

  14. Loki says:

    When Lebron has a bad night no one credits the Spurs defense.. Lol yet if you call out the spurs for playing sloppy in game 5 you’re just hating on the heat.

  15. YVAN FEREEIRA says:

    If they realize that lebrón james and pop played as center Tiago let you all know that this was the worst mistake
    The Heat did not play with their big men so spurs had to adapt and not put to play tiago
    if you re-play the Heat with center lebrón not see room for tiago, Pop has a good rotation with small team and very bn adapt to the Heat.

  16. YVAN FEREEIRA says:

    Si se dan cuenta que lebrón james juego como centro y pop dejo a Tiago todos saben que ese fue el peor error
    el heat no jugo con sus hombres grandes asi que san antonio tenia que adaptarse y no poner a jugar a tiago
    si vuelve a jugar el Heat con lebron de centro no veo espacio para tiago, San antonio tiene unsa buena rotacion con su equipo pequeño y se adaptaria muy bn al de los Heat .

  17. Willy Spurd says:

    Big Al, agreed, they didn’t play a bad game. But they got beat on the defensive end. Game 3 was all about D for the Spurs. I expect them to come back out with a stepped up Dfense again. If they don’t win this one at home, its over. For the Spurs to win 2 at Miami, wow, what are the odds on that? Regarding Manu, everybody needs somebody to blame, two games ago it was CBosh, he came through, a little. My opinion, need to get the high low going again with TD, TS and BDiaw. Then kick it out. TP is dribbling too much, ya he is great, but its not really working for the entire game. GO SPURS!

  18. Tom says:

    It’s about more than just the turnovers. If it was just about turnovers the Spurs would have won game 1 by 50 points. Instead they won by a miracle shot. So game one tells us that the Spurs can hardly turn the ball over and still be in great jeopardy of losing the game in the waning seconds.

  19. Kimmy says:

    Nobody can beat the Heat…this year. They have the best player on the planet, in the whole galaxy. He is the best because people who are the best allow others around them to shine, to grow, to excel, to be the best they can be, with his 100%support.. And he didn’t become the best in Cleveland-he grew into it while at Miami-its called maturity. I’m waiting for Kevin Durant to do this as well. ThisFfinals series will continue to be competitive, which makes it fun and exciting. But the Heat will probably win in 7 games-just my opinion.

  20. Big Al says:

    The Spurs didn’t really play a bad game today; it’s just that the Heat were finally back in business.

  21. Max says:

    Well, I as just a fan said too much yesterday about the writing of one Fran Blinebury, so like with POP, I a sorry for opening my mouth about game 3 and quacking about the greatness of LeBron James.

  22. da best says:

    the spurs need a better backcourt because no one has done much there for the past couple years and its starting to catch up with them and bite them in the butt.

    • alp says:

      manu ginoblii is a beast, hes just injury prone AND aging, a deadly combo for an athlete. tony parkers BEEN doin his thing thats why the spurs consistently finish the regular season top 3 in the west every year… what are you talking about bro?

  23. theholyspectator says:

    easier said then done, when spurs face “miami heat basketball” dont mattter who it is, their will be turnovers, you cant really do anything about it, you just gotta take miami out their comfort zone so that they dont establish that insane defense..

    • Loki says:

      Not really.. a lot of those turn overs were just really sloppy plays. Any team would have looked like an all time defensive Squad with the way the Spurs played last night. No offense to the Heat or anything but the Spurs just played sloppy.

      • alp says:

        stop not trying to give miami credit were its due. it was CLEAR AS DAY their defense pressure forced almost all of those turnovers. the spurs player sloppy because miami played GREAT defense. ALOT of the turnover were forced by the defensive play of d wade….

      • realist says:

        I know. are ppl not seeing the bad ball handling that is leading to the turnovers? spurs have been careless with the ball and thats all it is. some of the turnovers can be credited to miami but most of them are just from bad play by the spurs. the same thing happend against the mavs. they handled the ball poor;y and miami got the credit and then when mavs cleaned up their game it was no contest. same thing is about to happen here. spurs are much much better than how they are playing.

      • next game….they will be much more efficient cuz Parker is gonna have rest with that hamstring

    • Realist not so real says:

      So the spurs have had two record breaking games, game 1 4 turnovers and game 3 16 treys. So actually they are playing out of their skin as a team. if they play a normal spurs series against miami they loose everytime in 2013. but the finals are about lifting, being better agaisnt the best. lets see a game 7