The biggest shock from Monday night of basketball was the Houston Rockets demolishing the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 at the AT&T Center. The Rockets crushed the Spurs right from the beginning with their three-point shooting and ball movement, thoroughly controlling the pace. The Spurs looked slow and old, and only Kawhi Leonard seemed to be producing offensively. However, they have plenty of time to make adjustments to bounce back from a horrible Game 1 loss.

Insert Kyle Anderson into the starting lineup over David Lee

The 23-year-old Kyle Anderson logged just 12 minutes in Game 1, and it was mostly during garbage time in the fourth.

However, this is the series that Gregg Popovich must trust his youngster and insert him into the starting lineup in place of David Lee. The problem in Game 1 was that the Rockets put LaMarcus Aldridge in a ton of pick-and-roll situations involving James Harden and Ryan Anderson, who was popping out for three-point jumpers. Aldridge spent plenty of energy having to recover on those picks, which drained him on the offensive end.

With Anderson in the lineup, the Spurs can downsize a bit and matchup better. The two-year forward has the versatility to recover on those picks much faster than Aldridge and the ability to switch onto Harden if required. Most importantly, he is a young player, who has a lot of energy to spend.

Change the defensive matchups

The defensive matchups have to change in Game 2. As much as it may exhaust Kawhi Leonard defensively, he has to defend Harden for most of the game. Game 1 proved that the Spurs need to spend more energy defensively than offensively because ultimately they can find quality shots on the offensive end due to Popovich’s wonderful system.

With Kyle Anderson in the lineup, the Spurs can play Tony Parker on Patrick Beverley, Leonard on Harden, Danny Green on Trevor Ariza, Anderson on Anderson, and Aldridge on Clint Capela. These matchups would work much better for San Antonio because Leonard and Anderson could afford to switch on pick-and-rolls involving Harden and Ryan Anderson, while Aldridge wouldn’t need to step outside of his comfort zone.

The most important thing for the Spurs is to protect the perimeter, and the only way to do that is by downsizing but maintaining versatility.

Use Dewayne Dedmon off the bench a lot more

While Pau Gasol could still be utilized off the bench as a backup center, Dewayne Dedmon should also see more minutes than he did in Game 1. His athleticism and length would bother the Rockets in the paint from running alley-oop plays for their big men on pick and rolls. Plus, he is much younger than Gasol, Aldridge, and Lee and would provide tremendous energy off the bench.

Dedmon has been used scarcely during these playoffs, but in this series, the Spurs need to utilize him a lot more. Popovich has plenty of trust in his young guys, and Dedmon was the starting center of the team for 37 games this season. He has proven that he could handle a major role and would thrive in this series if given more time.