AT&T Center – A reporter’s question to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich after his team took game one against the Los Angeles Lakers 91-79. “Are you concerned with your team shooting 37.6 percent tonight?”
“Not really,” responded Popovich, “It (the ball) goes in or it doesn’t.”
Yes, the Spurs’ offense wasn’t machine-like on Sunday as the numbers show there were an assortment of issues. Along with shooting 38% from the field, the Spurs also made just 7-of-22 three pointers (32%), and they only assisted on 20 of their 32 made shots, while not reaching 100 points.
A majority of their players too needed almost as many shot attempts to score their points. For example, it took Tony Parker 21 shots to score 18 points. Tim Duncan needed 15 shots to score 17 points. The pattern continues all the way down the line for a bulk of the roster.
However, what the box score doesn’t tell you, was that a majority of the Spurs’ shots were open shots throughout the night. Parker and Kawhi Leonard realized this and won’t look too much into the poor shooting performance in game one.
"I'm not worried about it,” Leonard told me after game one of his team shooting 38%, “that's what happens." Leonard said there were games every-so-often in the regular season where his team had good looks throughout the night, but they just didn’t go in.
“I thought we had great shots,” said Parker after the game. “Me personally, I had great shots. Timmy had great shots on top of the key. Manu had great shots; they were all shots that we like to take.”
Parker, for one, is hoping the Lakers’ defense offers him and his teammates those same shots in game two.
“We’ll do the same thing on Wednesday;” continued Parker, “I don’t think we have to do anything differently. We just missed, it happened. It’s a good win for us. To win like that and we shot badly. Hopefully we can shoot a little bit better.”
Metta World Peace of the Lakers had no idea his team held San Antonio to such a low shooting percentage. “I didn’t even realize that,” said World Peace after the game, “No matter what we have got to move on.”
Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Devine had a tweet that summarized both game one and maybe a prediction of how the future of this series could go.
The Spurs are shooting 39.7 percent from the field and lead by 16.— Dan Devine (@YourManDevine) April 21, 2013
The Spurs’ main issue Sunday wasn’t even about having to work harder or make adjustments to get open shots, the shots were there all night. The Lakers on the other end will have even more holes to patch up if somehow the Spurs start knocking down those open shots in game two or the latter.
For one, the Spurs outscored the Lakers 17-2 in fast break points. Transition defense is already looking like it’s going to be an issue for the Lakers who are a team that wants to slow the pace down and work from the post. Only, the Spurs are going to get quicker and faster with Parker and Ginobili earning more time off because of the schedule during the playoffs.
Sunday, the Lakers only lost by 12 points due to the Spurs shooting 38%, but if San Antonio starts to clicking and hitting on offense while holding the Lakers to 79 points, this series could take a turn for worse for the team from Los Angeles.