Saturday, January 1, 2011
Spurs Attribute Winning Ways to New 7-Man Formations
San Antonio, TX - Sitting pretty with the best record in the NBA, the San Antonio Spurs say that their success is based largely on their team effort, work ethic during practice, and the innovative 7-man plays and formations drawn up by coach Gregg Popovich. "We were running a standard 5-0n-5 scrimmage in practice one day when I thought, 'hey, let's throw in another couple of players for one team,' recalls Popovich. 'Man, you should have seen how quickly the tempo of the game changed. We dropped them into a 3-4 zone defense and the other team just couldn't get anything off. They couldn't drive the lane, they couldn't shoot from the outside. It's really changed our philosophy." The Spurs' record is a testament to the effectiveness of Popovich's changes. The formations are flexible enough to allow double coverage on hot shooters with the remaining players shifting into a more traditional 2-3. On the offensive side of the coin, the Spurs are enjoying the benefits of throwing double pick-and-rolls and the pentagon offense. Popovich has denied suspicions that his team my transition into an 8-man offense: "There's no way that would work."