Originally Posted by choppsboy
I find this somewhat bogus since I have seen Ginobili or Parker at the top of the key at the end of games probably over 100 times.
I've watched probably 80% of the Spurs games since Popovich started coaching them.
Here's how it breaks down:
You'll notice that Ginobili or Parker isolate at the top of the key on 99% of End of Quarter plays.
However, if you watch End of Game plays, you notice that probably less than half the time does the play start with an isolation by Manu or Tony. The reason you have to do this at least some of the time, is that you have to set up the other team for the isolation. You don't always start with the changeup, you gotta throw a few fastballs sometimes to set up your changeup.
Anyway, even on end of game plays that start with as isolation, about half of the time, the isolation is a diversion for a weak-side play. I studied this back in 2008. The Spurs had about 7 end-of-game possessions that year, and on 5 of them they ran a weak side screen off Duncan for Finley or Barry for a baseline 3 pointer, with the play starting as a strong side isolation then pick and roll with Manu and whoever was playing center. Only a couple times did they actually run a true isolation play for the last shot.
Remember in the playoffs against Phoenix in 08 (i think), when Duncan hit the 3 pointer in OT to win? Well to make it to overtime, the Spurs ran a play for Finley at the end of regulation which was a strong side isolation diversion with a weak side screen for Fin. And he made it.
I guess the most famous iso was when Manu beat Denver 2 years ago then got the offensive foul at the end on Carmello. But if you check out end of game plays by Pop over the last several years, you will find a weak-side screen play run at least as often as an isolation play.