Most games we lose are lost in earlier stages of the game. In these losses I always feel like the team goes away from the hot hand or nate pulls guys/puts in lineups that are just not working. If we are not scoring we are not winning because our defense is bad.
We just played a team without 2 of their top 3 players, 2 players that are among the best in the world at their position. Greg Popovich is a good coach, he is probably a top 2 coach in the league at this moment. He takes guys like, well actually I cant remember any of their names but guys like that, and completely shuts down one of the most efficient offensive teams in the league. Its not like they have outstanding defensive players, it was the coaching that made them have outstanding team defense.
Portland repeatedly lets opposing teams shoot a very high percentage. You cannot tell me that the lineup the spurs put on the floor tonight has more talented defensive players than ours does. (Im not saying that we have the greatest defensive talents, but they should be better than the lineup the spurs had out there.) Yet they made us look pretty bad going against basically their second unit.
Now im not saying this game could have been won by just inserting bayless or playing parker a different way, but I think there could be some better coaching done for our team. I dont think Nate is a terrible coach, actually he could be considered one of the top 4th quarter coaches in the league. He could make better decisions early in games, come out with better gameplans, and make sure to recognize what is working and make the team realize and execute that.
You could chalk this game up to just a poor performance against a top team in the league. Problem is, we seem to have a lot of these and I think this has to do with the coaching too. A coach should be able to motivate his team, inspire them, set them up to be successful, and show them how they are going to win a game.
In half of our games Nates inability to do this is often covered up by the crowd at the Rose garden. On the road there seems to be a trend that we cannot get up to play with the top teams. We have the talent, albeit young, to do this, we just need our coach to step up our game.