Always tinkering with the techniques and schemes that have made his team so successful, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich used the NBA All-Star Game to experiment with a new offensive set he calls Pace-and-Space-and-Only-Having-Superstars-and-Mostly-Just-Alley-Oops.
“You can’t argue with the success,” Popovich said after the game. “Putting up 196 points during a [regulation] game doesn’t happen every day, and I think the fact that all of our players are top-25 players in the world was a big part of that.”
Because the NBA features draft lotteries and salary caps to promote competitive balance within the league, it’s rare to find a team with more than one or two true superstars at any given time. However, on this night, Popovich utilized the 12 mega-stars on his roster to try some offensive sets he might otherwise have left in the playbook.
“You’d see the defense have to commit, because we’ve got [three-point assassins] Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] on the wings, but then you’ve got [Future Hall of Famers] Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook roaming,” Popovich noted. “So you sort of have to pick your poison.”
“It’s something I’m thinking of implementing on our team next year, because it definitely works,” Popovich added.