Game Preview #20: Charlotte Bobcats @ San Antonio Spurs

So we beat a Kings team pretty unconvincingly. Tonight, we're going up against another below .500 team. Will we play to their level or hand them a beatdown like we're supposed to?

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I'm going to stop making epic previews until the Spurs get their shit together. Like 12-game win streak-get our shit together. So for now, your pre-game entertainment is a slew of meaningless statistics of which experience I'd like to call "stats-gasm". They are as random as the Bobcats giving hell to unsuspecting championship contenders.

Bobcat Blues

- Ever wonder why the Bobcats SBN blog is called Rufus on Fire? Well, the scientific name for a Bobcat is Felis rufus. Betcha didn't know that.

- Bobcats can take down prey animals that are eight times their own weight. They routinely kill deer and sheep in parts of their range. (see: Denver Nuggets)

- Average lifespan in the wild: 10 to 12 years (I worry for the Bobs' lifespan with Michael Jordan managing the franchise)

- If a bobcat thinks that it is in danger, it will stay in its home for days at a time without ever coming out. (so that explains Charlotte's 1-8 road record... wait, the Spurs are 1-5 so I should just shut up)

- Bobcats should not be mistaken for lynx, although both are closely related. (do not, however, hesitate to compare the Bobcats to the WNBA's Lynx)

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Not a Bobcat.

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Definitely maybe Bobcats.

- Although both the bobcat and lynx have about the same build, the lynx has tufts at the ears and have long pale ruffs of fur on their face that gives the appearance of a beard.
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A rare photo of a Lynx in the wild. Notice the beard-like fur on its face.

- Average age kids stop believing in Santa Claus: 8

- Assuming Rudolph was in front, there are 40,320 ways to rearrange the other eight reindeer.

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Random Stats of the Young Season

PER Madness

- Tim Duncan is currently 3rd in PER in the league (1st among "Centers"... bleh) with 27.62, Manu Ginobil is 26th (4th among SGs) with 20.56, and Tony Parker is 38th (7th among PGs) with 19.48.

- Matt Bonner has the fourth highest PER on the team with 18.13 and ranks 15th among power forwards (somewhere, Fred Silva's head explodes)

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"Don't mess with me. I have the fourth highest PER on this team, dammit!"

- DeJuan Blair is 5th in PER among rookies with 16.68

- Statistics show that one out of four people have mental illness. (I think it's more of a 1:2 ratio when talking about PtR members)

- A different scoring leader each night (from Elias Sports Bureau and ESPN)

Richard Jefferson scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Spurs to a 118-106 win over the Kings. San Antonio has had a different outright scoring leader in each of its last five games; Matt Bonner, Tony Parker, DeJuan Blair and Tim Duncan did it over the previous four games. That matches the longest streak of its kind for the Spurs during the Gregg Popovich era. Parker, Duncan, Beno Udrih, Manu Ginobili and Brent Barry took turns leading the team in points over a five-game stretch in April 2006.

- Of the 240 million television sets in America, 2 million are located in the bathroom. (Watching Spurs games in the loo is probably normal, after all. Not that I'm saying someone actually does it.)

Turnover Watch: Maybe it's not as bad as we think?

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- The Spurs are 9th best in the league in limiting their turnovers (14.1 tpg), but rank 29th in forcing the other teams to turn the ball over

- Based on John Hollinger's stats, the team's Turnover Ratio (percentage of a team’s possessions that end in a turnover) is 10th best with a 23.7 rating.

- The Spurs average 12.8 TOs in wins, and 14.3 turnovers in losses.

- The most lopsided turnover comparison in a game so far this season was against the Mavs in a loss, where San Antonio committed 18 TOs to Dallas' 5. (that game was very close and went into OT)

- Turnover composition: 13% (32) came from offensive fouls, 41% (105) on bad passes, 43% (109) on ball handling, and 4% (9) on other kinds of turnovers.

- The longest dump ever verified was produced by an American, who produced a staggering turd over a span of 2 hours and 12 minutes. The toxic waste was officially measured at 12 feet, 2 inches. The offender has been banned from 134 washrooms in his state.

A Final Salvo of Random Stats-gasm

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Totally unrelated, but 20 games into the season, a T-Mac slant is in order.


- The Spurs currently rank 3rd in the league in Rebound Rate (percentage of missed shots that a team rebounds)

- Gerald Wallace leading the league in rebounding might be the craziest statistical abberation in the history of the NBA.

- Another in-depth statistical analysis of DeJuan Blair's short but stellar college career.

- The average person eats 8 spiders while asleep in their lifetime.

- New Jersey's 0-18 start reset the record for poorest start to an NBA season. (yeah, everyone knows this already but I just wanted to rub it in)

- 82games.com has the Parker-Bogans-Jefferson-McDyess-Duncan 5-man unit with the highest +/- of any 5-man combination that the Spurs have used so far with +26.

- A BAM unit of Hill-Mason-Finley-Bonner-Blair is second with +15, while our supposedly "most talented" unit of Parker-Ginobili-Jefferson-McDyess-Duncan registers a -12, the worst +/- out of the ten top five-man units used.

- Right handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left handed people.

- Tim Duncan ranks 26th in All-Time Rebounds with 10,728. To crack the Top 25, he has to surpass Dolph Schayes who has 11,256 boards.

- More impressively, Timmeh is already 11th on the All-Time Blocks list with 2,153 swats. He trails Alonzo Mourning, who has 2,356 blocks.

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Smile, Timmy! You're on PtR camera!

- At any random time, approximately 0.7% of the world's population is drunk. (I'd rate the PtR populace much higher than that)

- So far, 68% of our attempts have been jumpshots, 29% were near the basket, 2% on dunks and another 2% on tip-ins. Benchmarking it with our championship seasons, in 2003 it was 63%-29%-6%-2%, and in 2005 we had 64%-31%-3%-2%. So yes, we are shooting a little bit more outside this season.

- And lastly, based on various sources, an average 54.1% of all statistics are made up and 40% are completely useless to any relevant conversation.

The Bobcats are waiting. Let's move.

(thanks to Google, Basketball Reference, 82games.com and ESPN for the stats. My apologies for using them blasphemously)

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Charlotte Bobcats @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center - San Antonio, TX
When: December 11, 2009, 7:30 PM Spurs time
Watch: FSN Southwest

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How They Stack Up
9-4 Home 8-3
1-5 Road 1-8
100.0
Offense 90.3
97.1 Defense 90.6
46.6 FG% 43.3
36.1 3-pt% 31.0
74.5 FT% 70.8
42.4 Rebounds 42.2
14.2 TOs 16.3
5-5 Last 10 4-6
Won 1
Streak Won 2
3rd, Southwest Position 4th, Southeast

Country/Time Zone Game Time
argentinosaurus777's lair
11:30 PM
West Coast
5:30 PM
Pacman Country
9:30 AM
Central Europe 2:30 AM
Palestine/Egypt 3:30 AM
East Coast 8:30 PM
Snowville 6:30 PM
Perth, AUS 9:30 AM
Tokyo, JP 10:30 AM
Sydney, AUS 12:30 pM

Spurs
(10-9)
Matchups

Bobcats
(9-11)

Tony Parker
I Can Has Passing Skillz?

Point Guard

Raymond Felton is a decent point guard with decent numbers who's always subject of multiple trade rumors. Shows you how loyal MJ is to his Tar Heel guys. On the other hand, what Tony wants, Tony gets (and that's not just basketball stuff). TP all day.

Advantage: Spurs


Raymond Felton
Trade Bait

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Keith Bogans
Boganvillea

Shooting Guard

It's a homecoming of sorts for Captain Jack, who helped put up one of the banners in the rafters. I'm hoping he'll be on our side just for tonight. But if S-Jax heats up, the Bogeyman will be in for a long night.

Advantage: Bobcats


Stephen Jackson
Captain Jack

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Richard Jefferson
Dunk-thlete

Small Forward

Gerald Wallace has been a scary good player this season. How scary? He's 1st in the league in rebounding (12.4 rpg) and he's a small forward for chrissake! He's also one of the best defenders in the league at his position. This should be a good test for RJ offensively, so let's see how Rage follows up on his one-game revival.

Advantage: Bobcats


Gerald Wallace
Crash

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Tim Duncan
Prizefighter

Power Forward

Because Boris Diaw's hair is ugly, Tim gets the automatic ATS white box. On a more serious note, Tim Duncan is awesome. Just thought I'd rub that in on Diaw's face.

Advantage: Spurs


Boris Diaw
French Invader

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Antonio McDyess
SAM I Am Not

Center

No CPunk3 means lesser eye-in-the-sky opportunities for Tyson. Injuries have also been limiting him, so I don't think he poses such a big threat compared to when he was playing Scooby with the NOOCH. Old Man Dice FTW.

Advantage: Spurs


Tyson Chandler
No-Fly Zone

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Manu Ginobili
Mr. 4th Quarter

Bench & Role Players

I fear for the safety of Charlotte's bench when the BAM is unleashed.

Advantage: Spurs


Flip Murray
Strictly A Scorer

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Gregg Popovich
The Student

Coach

Much respect to Coach Brown. Let's just fuhgeddabout New York, okay?

Advantage: Tied


Larry Brown
The Mentor
images via yahoo.com

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Other Factors

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Intangibles

A Larry Brown-coached team always seems to play better than what its collective talents suggest.

Advantage: Bobcats

Mojo

The 'Cats are riding high after their conquest of Denver. They've shown that despite their record, they can hang with the better teams in the league. I don't know if that Kings win restored some of the Spurs' mojo, but I hope it did.

Advantage: Bobcats

Winner

Despite some of Charlotte's advantages, the Spurs are just flat out the more superior team - on paper, at least. If we don't take care of business tonight, it'll surely hurt.

Prediction: Spurs by twin digits

Keys To The Game

  • Mindset - The thing that the Lakers and Celtics have is that they immediately impose their will on opponents, showing them from the get-go who the superior team is. I wish our team had that kind of mentality against the weaker teams, and not let them hang around too long for them to develop belief that they can beat us.
  • Balanced offense - The Big 4 came through last game, but we're up against a much better defensive unit tonight. Say what you will about Charlotte's offensive woes (29th in the L), but they are second in the league in holding down their opponents' scoring. Sharing the rock and getting everyone involved should break down the Bobcats' tough D.
  • Bench - Slam BAM, thank you, ma'am. Let's end this early if we can and get the older guys a rest in preparation for a three-game West Coast swing.

Last Time They Met

We demolished the Bobcats on our home floor last March 10, 2009. RoMaJu still had his shot back then (21 points, 5-8 on threes).

Strength of Schedule

The every other day schedule continues. After this game, we embark on a three-game Western road trip in a span of four nights. Tiring days up ahead.

The 'Cats are coming off two days' rest after a home victory over the Nuggies, and is on the first leg of a Texas back-to-back.

Some Other Reading

Bobcats

Rufus On Fire - The Bobcats SBN blog is actually one of the places I like visiting. David Arnott is doing a heroic one-man job in running the site, and his pre-game Pump Up music choices are cool.

Queen City Hoops - This is the TrueHoop affiliate blog for Charlotte. Orange is a pretty nice color if used in the right amounts.

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell: I do wish Tim and Graydon would write more, but unlike us here at PtR, they have lives. Still, TBDTNOTP - The Best Damn TrueHoop Network Out There, Period.
Project Spurs: Part of the Bloguin network with lots of good content.

Other Things of Possible Interest

Here's a throwback moment from funny man Bob "Bobcat" Goldthwait on the Arsenio Hall Show. Old school.

Where to Tune In

TV

This game is not on national TV, so for those of you staying at home, you might want to read on below...

Online

As always, NBA league pass is recommended for those who are willing to pony up the cash. Almost every Spurs game will be broadcast there, which is especially helpful for those of us who aren't in the San Antonio area.

Please don't post links to illegal game feeds in the game thread. Links to illegal feeds are not permitted on SBNation, but you can probably find them out there on the internets if you're resourceful and desperate. In fact, nobody can stop you from googling "atdhe". You can also shoot an email to dmenendez@gmail.com for more assistance.

Spurs League Pass audio is still free this year, so check it out.

Radio

If you're in the San Antonio area and aren't near a TV, tune in to WOAI (1200 AM).

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