THUNDER TRY "HACK-A-SPLITTER" APPROACH
In the first round of the 2008 NBA playoffs, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich resorted to the “Hack-A-Shaq” approach of having his players intentionally foul Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O'Neal, who struggled throughout his career at the free-throw line.
The move angered O'Neal so much he called it “cowardly.”
Late in the third quarter of Game 2 against the Thunder on Tuesday night, OKC coach Scott Brooks instructed his team to deliberately foul Spurs reserve center Tiago Splitter, who was shooting 32.0 percent from the line this postseason.
The tactic at least stopped the clock for the Thunder, which still wound up losing 120-111 at the AT&T Center.
Asked if he thought the “Hack-A-Splitter” approach helped OKC get back into the game, Popovich said: “Maybe, maybe. It was a good move. I might have done it.”
Playfully asked if he had ever tried such a tactic?
“No, I've never done that before,” Popovich said. “I think it's a really lousy thing to do. It's unsportsmanlike. No, it's a good move. If there's a reason to do it, and they did it. So it's a good move.”
NOT SO NASTY
The city of San Antonio has fully embraced Popovich's pep talk of “I want some nasty” in the fourth quarter of Game 1 on Sunday.
T-shirts with “I WANT SOME NASTY” have been printed. Fans held up various “Nasty” placards.
Center Kendrick Perkins, the Thunder's resident expert on nasty, chimed in on the subject at Tuesday morning's shootaround session.