Game #66 Preview: Spurs @ Rockets... It's just a game


Yesterday, I woke up to news that an earthquake registered at 8.9 on the Richter scale outside the Northern coast of Japan. This caused a tsunami which hit Japan and caused immeasurable damage. Even now millions of people are finding ways to cope with this disaster. Our prayers go out for them in this time of crisis.

What does this have to do with a Spurs blog and why would it even make it into a game preview? One of the biggest reasons I'm a Spurs fan is because of Coach Pop and Tim Duncan. Both of these guys want to win, want to be good at their jobs, rather want to be the best at their jobs. But they refuse to let it consume them. Michael Jordan will go down as the GOAT and one doesn't have to look far to find that winning consumed him. His Hall of Fame acceptance speech is a good example. Kobe is consumed by winning almost to the point of it being a disorder. But, Pop, and through him the Spurs, refuses to let the game of basketball be his life. We all joke around about how Pop would rather be running a vineyard and drinking Chardonnay than coaching. That Timmy would rather be DMing for a group of his nerd friends. Manu would probably not rather be changing his kids diapers, but I'm sure he'd love to spend more time with them. Tony would rather be texting (too soon?). Even joking about all these things, we're mostly right. Most of these players are mature enough to know that basketball moves on without them. Most of them know that while they might be retired at age 40, they won't be done living their life. And that's why this natural disaster deserves respect even on a blog that has little to no affiliation with Japan. Consider giving to the Red Cross or



Japan Tsunami Earthquake 8.9 Raw Video (via BreakingNewsTalk)


It seems callous to relax while this disaster is barely reaching the aftermath. But, to quote the only US president to be in office longer than two terms, "[Sport] provides a recreation which does not last over two hours or two hours and a half, and which can be got for very little cost. And, incidentally, I hope that night games can be extended because it gives an opportunity to the day shift to see a game occasionally." He was referring to baseball and World War II. Obviously we're not on the same extreme scale but providing some form of entertainment, no matter how small, does help.

So, cheer our Spurs on. They deserve it. They work hard to entertain us. They give more than anyone thought possible for the Spurs (and money before gunnin_gervin decides to let me have it again). Just remember that after the final buzzer sounds, whether or not they leave the hardwood as champions, it's still just a game.

Ptr_ambigram_white_on_black_medium
San Antonio Spurs @ Houston Rockets
Where: Toyota Center

When: March 12, 2011 7:30 PM Spurs Time - Timezone Converter
Watch: FSSW


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By the Numbers

Data sources:
hoopdata.com | basketball-reference.com | John Hollinger's team stats

Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 109.2
(2nd)
101.3
(7th)
Rebound %
25.3
(20th)
74.2
(14th)
Field Goal % 47.4
(4th)
44.9
(9th)
3-Point % 40.1
(1st)
37.1
(24th)
Free Throw %
76.9
(13)
75.5
(9th)
Turnover %
12.96
(9th)
12.66
(25th)
Assist % 60.09
(9th)
53.74
(4th)
Category Offense
(rank)
Defense
(rank)
Efficiency Rating 107.9
(8th)
107.2
(25th)
Rebound %
27.1
(10th)
72.2
(21st)
Field Goal % 45.5
(20th)
46.9
(22nd)
3-Point % 36.5
(12th)
36.6
(18th)
Free Throw %
79.2
(4th)
78.4
(29th)
Turnover %
12.3
(2nd)
12.49
(t-27th)
Assist %
61.03
(5th)
52.61
(2nd)
Record Wins Losses
Overall 53 12
Conference 32
7
Division 8 4
Home 31 3
Away 22
9
Position Conference Division
Record 1st 1st
Lineups

Starters
PG: Tony Parker
SG: Manu Ginobili
SF: Richard Jefferson
PF: Antonio McDyess
C: Tim Duncan

Key Bench Players
George Hill
DeJuan Blair
Gary Neal
Tiago Splitter
James Anderson

Record Wins Losses
Overall 33
33
Conference 19
23
Division 4
8
Home 17
13
Away 16
20
Position Conference Division
Record 11th 5th
Lineups

Starters
PG: Kyle Lowry
SG: Kevin Martin
SF: Chase Budinger
PF: Luis Scola
C: Chuck Hayes

Key Bench Players
Courtney Lee
Goran "Spur Killer" Dragic
Brad Miller
Jordan Hill
Patrick Patterson

Matchup Analysis

Point Guard

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

Starters

PG: I don't care if Parker dominates Fisher as long as we end the season as champions. That being said, while Lowry has been a serviceable point guard, Parker is one of the tops in the league.

SG: Manu has played very well of late. Most of it is because he's getting to the basket very well. I hope to see more of this as Martin is not a great defender. On the other hand, Martin can light it up so Manu has to be ready for that. Expect Hill to defend Martin.

SF: I really like Chase Budinger. He's an athletic guy who is unassuming and works his tail off. There's a reason that Houston was willing to trade Battier. RJ had a bounce-back game against Detroit and Sacramento. Let's see him continue.

PF: TThe one that got away. Though, the more I think about it, the more I like Blair and Tiago over Blair and Scola. Glad to see Scola is doing well, but Dyess can shut Luis down.

C: Hayes is a decent defender. Timmy might not have legs cause of the SEGABABA, but we still win this matchup.

Bench

Our bench has been a strong point over the season. I expect that to continue.

Coaching

Adelman is a fantastic coach. He was robbed of at least 1 championship earlier this millennium. But he's no Pop.

Intangibles

SEGABABA for us means they win this matchup.

Mojo

JRW had a birthday recently. No one on the Rockets did. We have mojo.

Prediction

I expect the Spurs to win a tight one. Houston always plays us well and we had a game the night before. Spurs win by 7.

Key(s) to the Game

Key 1 - Isolation - Weirdly enough, the stats showed that the Heat weren't that great at defending the assisted basket. The Rockets are. This shows me that they're good team defenders, but not necessarily good individual defenders. I expect Manu and Parker to get into the teeth of their defense with little problem.

Key 2 - Defensive rebounding. The Spurs have had trouble with this in the past few games and it needs to end now. Houston doesn't shoot well as a team, but they do get a good number of offensive rebounds. That's why their offensive rating is so high.

Key 3 - Keep them off the free throw line. They are among the best teams at getting to the free throw line.

Other Reading

Spurs

48 Minutes of Hell - Read their fantastic analysis. Ignore their commenters who like to post about how we need to trade Parker to get more size.

Spurs Planet - Our old friend Wayne Vore is back.

Project Spurs - They had a nice piece about Tim Duncan and the game over schpiel. Go read it.

Spurs Nation -Always worth the read.

OPPONENT

The Dream Shake (SB Nation)

Following Along

TV

TV LISTING

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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