Game 4 Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Houston Rockets

Posted May 07, 2017

"You know how a player is playing you", he said. That means one more win in San Antonio as well as taking care of business in both remaining Houston games. It's been the story of the season for them, as they went 19-26 ATS at home.

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (quad) could miss up to eight months after undergoing surgery to fix his ruptured left quadriceps tendon on Friday.

The Spurs snatched home court advantage back in this series by winning their second straight game and leaving the Rockets, beaten to the punch basically all night, to wonder what might have been had they could scrap their way to what could have been their most critical win all season. "They've got guys that have been there". Since then, Popovich has been schooling D'Antoni in the chess game of a seven game series, with lineup tweaks in Game 2 and then massive adjustments sans Parker in Game 3.

Rookie Dejounte Murray will start at point guard in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich announced Friday during his pre-game media session.

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"Well, they are doing a better job of getting back", Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said of what changed for his team in transition. So I was just trying to make things happen tonight. But the Spurs were turning the ball over so often and missing so many shots that they didn't give their defense a snowball's chance in hell.

Houston finished 19-10 when Harden produced 30-plus points and 10-plus assists during the regular season. Harden recorded 20 points and 14 assists in the series opener, needing just 13 shots to orchestrate an offense that produced a 39-point lead and a 126-99 win.

On Friday night, the Rockets made just 3 of 16 3-pointers when defenders were 4-6 feet away. The Spurs have chose to stay off Harden in hopes of not picking up needless three-shot fouls.

"We've just got to play better", Harden said. If I have a shot be aggressive and shoot it. Juxtapose this with the Spurs, and Kawhi Leonard. Because of how much pick-and-roll the Rockets run with Harden, Gasol will inevitably be switched on to him (or other Houston guards) on a consistent basis.

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Spurs Special Forces is sort of a amusing version of The A Team with Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan being the best characters, although Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker have their moments.

"No, the intensitiy was right, we held them down to 45%". We have to make a better percentage.

San Antonio has elected to simply not let James Harden get into comfortable places in the lane where he can either get the layup, the lob to whichever center is in the game, or the easy kick-out pass to one of the many 3-point shooters he has around him at all times. "We had 10 in and outs". "As a unit we couldn't get it going consistently". "That's hard for a lot of players to do". "So we just have to go out there and do it". We are going to stay locked in. As a result, it didn't even matter that the 20-year-old Murray was overmatched in starting his first playoff game in the National Basketball Association.

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