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Spurs Pick Up The Pace

There's really not a lot to say about the Spurs 117-99 win over the T-Wolves that Tim didn't cover in the recap. We played well. Manu was a madman. RJ led us in scoring. We passed the ball really well.

But, did you know we played pretty good defense? I think we did even though we gave up 99 points.

It's called pace (read Graydon's take on Pace at 48MoH, I guess this is what happens when he and I talk about the game for an hour afterward.). The Spurs really pushed the ball up court and looked for early offense tonight. We did hava 29 fast break points, which is a lot. However, in general, we shot the ball pretty quickly. As did the Timberwolves. For the game, I charted us with 101 possessions. In the loss to the Blazers, I had us at 83. I'm going to make the assumption that the other team has the same number of possessions during a game.

The Blazers scored 98 points on those 83 possessions. The T-Wolves scored 99 points on 101 possessions. Holding a team below 1.00 points per possession is pretty solid. For the season, we are at 1.03 points per possession (via HoopData). Also consider that the T-Wolves scored 20 points in the last 6:31 of the game when we had gone up by 24. Prior to that run of 3-pointers, they had scored 79 points on 87 possessions and shot 35.9% from the field. It was garbage time basketball that uglied up our defensive stat sheet.

Still, those stats were good to great. We held the T-Wolves to 39.6% shooting from the field. We gave up 13 offensive rebounds, which is a lot, but we still grabbed 73.4% of the defensive caroms. We would really like that number to be over 75%. None of those defensive rebounds were cheapies either as they shot 23-25 from the line. So good, not great. The 25 trips to the line weren't that great. 13 of them were in the second quarter when we seemed to slap anything that moved.

I think most numbers you find that you don't like in last night's box score can be attributed to the pace and to garbage time stat padding. In truth, we were just really good at both ends of the floor.