Game #5 Preview: Rockets @ Spurs

After narrowly defeating the team whose very name is synonymous with "offense", the Spurs face off tonight against yet another team that has a ton of scoring options. Lucky for us, this team's defense is even more horrendous than the Suns'. Will we have another barnburner? Or will the Spurs play defense well enough to put this game out of reach early on? Let's hope for the latter.

And now, the second first official hack preview of the season.


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Houston Rockets @ San Antonio Spurs
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio

When: 11/06/2010, 7:30pm Spurs Time
Watch: KENS; KTXH


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By the Numbers

Data source: basketball-reference.com

Category Stat Rank
Offensive Efficiency 108.1 11th
Defensive Efficiency 104.2 11th
Defensive Rebound Rate
76.3% 3rd
Offensive Rebound Rate 24.4% 23rd
Field Goal Percentage 47.8% 6th
3-Point FG Percentage 37.0% 11th
Free Throw Percentage
77.9% 9th
Turnover Percentage
15.7% 25th
Category Stat Rank
Offensive Efficiency 108.6 9th
Defensive Efficiency 115.4 30th
Defensive Rebound Rate
71% 25th
Offensive Rebound Rate 28.3% 10th
Field Goal Percentage 44.0% 21st
3-Point FG Percentage 29.1% 28th
Free Throw Percentage
82.4% 3rd
Turnover Percentage 13.1% 8th
Record Wins Losses
Overall 3 1
Conference 2 1
Division 0 1
Home 1 1
Away 2 0
Position Conference Division
Record T-4th T-2nd
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: DeJuan Blair
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
George Hill
Tiago Splitter
James Anderson

Record Wins Losses
Overall 0 4
Conference 0 4
Division 0 1
Home 0 2
Away 0 2
Position Conference Division
Record 15th 5th
Lineups

Starters
PG: Aaron Brooks
SG: Kevin Martin
SF: Shane Battier
PF: Luis Scola
C: Yao Ming

Key Bench Players
Brad Miller
Courtney Lee
Chase Budinger

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Center
Bench
Coach
Intangibles
Mojo
Winner

Starters

PG: These two speed demons going after each other on both ends of the floor should be entertaining to watch. Fast, fast, and more fast. If the other Spurs can cut off Brooks' passing lanes, Tony will have a better game due to his slightly better defense.

SG: Another fun matchup here, putting a scoring machine(Martin) against a guy that can do everything well and has no imbalance in his game, according to none other than the Rockets' starting small forward. Manu had an off night in Phoenix, so here's hoping he bounces back tonight.

SF: Battier is a long-term subject of PtR's unrequited love, and would probably still be a great asset to the Spurs. However, he seems to be slowing down with age, while RJ has been on an incredibl tear to start the season. Eventually, RJ's shooting numbers are going to return to normal human levels, but I'm not betting against him.

PF: Scola will abuse Blair, no doubt about it. It would be nice to get a surprise and see Timmy start here with a certain former teammate of Scola's at the center position, but I don't forsee Pop abandoning Blair just yet. DeJuan's numbers should also return to normal human levels at some point, but he has looked very, very bad so far.

C: Two years ago, most people would have told you that Yao vs. Timmy was a matchup of the two best bigmen in the league. Nowadays, some guy from Spain has crashed that party, but this still has the potential to be an epic battle.

Bench

George Hill should hopefully return tonight after sitting out the game aginst Phoenix. Maybe his shooting stroke will return, as well. Splitter has been amazing with help defense, especially on pick-and-rolls - I just hope he looks for his offense a bit more. The Houston bench is a bit thinner without Kyle Lowry, but Ish Smith, who killed us in preseason, will fill in for him in the interim. Someone needs to lock down their shooters.

Coaching

Adelman got robbed, as did the rest of that Kings organization, back in 2002. As crappy as that is for him, Pop has still had far more success, and deserves the star.

Intangibles

The Spurs found a way to win the other night by getting stops when they were most needed. If that isn't an intangible, nothing is.

Mojo

Tiago Splitter is undefeated. :P

Prediction

This has the potential to be a trap game, but I think the Spurs will take it seriously enough to win.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell - Our Spurs-blogging buddies are at it again, and they're cranking out the stories pretty quickly this year. Kudos to them for not missing a beat.
Project Spurs - PS has really stepped up to the plate this year. They're still doing the podcasts, but have added some new features as well, like "stat of the game", which I enjoyed reading, and a bunch more writers.

Rockets

The Dream Shake(SBNation) - Our SBN counterparts always have good analysis, even if they're feeling a bit shellshocked by how their season has started.

Following Along

TV

KENS(San Antonio); KTXH(Houston); NBA League Pass

Radio

WOAI 1200AM; Audio League Pass[streaming]

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. You can also shoot an email to poundingtherockmail@yahoo.com(IMPORTANT: Please include your PtR username in the email for reference) for further assistance.

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