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Stats breakdown: Spurs stymie Jazz with stifling defense

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The Spurs shot terribly from short range, hit a few threes and forced the Jazz to take poor shots as they held Utah to an absurdly low 69 points.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 89, Jazz 69 - Jan 18, '15

It sure is nice when they Spurs enjoy a comfortable lead essentially an entire game.  The Jazz started cold and stayed cold as the Spurs cruised to a comfortable victory against Quin Snyder's young team.  Let's see how it breaks down.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Jazz
Shooting (eFG%) 39% 35%
Ball Handling (TO%) 11% 16%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 23% 24%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 29% 19%

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Jazz
Pace (No. of Possessions) 91.6
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.97 0.75
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.11 0.82
2-PT FG% 36.5% 33.8%
3-PT FG% 47.1% 30.0%
FT% 82.6% 62.5%
True Shooting % 49.4% 37.9%
Spurs
Jazz
Offensive Rating 99.9 73.4
Defensive Rating 73.4 99.9
Net Rating 26.5 -26.5
Spurs Jazz
Passes / poss. 3.0 3.0
% of FGA uncontested 45.0% 41.7%
Points in the paint 32 40
Second chance points 14 10
Fast break points 2 16
Spurs Jazz
Assists 23 23
Steals 8 7
Turnovers 10 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.10 2.50
Spurs Jazz
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.8 12.5
Offensive Rebounds 11 12
Difference -0.8 -0.5

Spurs Shot Chart

Jazz Shot Chart

(Really funny looking shot chart for the Spurs - weird how much better the Spurs were from the right side of the court than the left.  Probably had something to do with Manu not having much in the way of a scoring game.)

The Spurs took care of the ball well, notching a 3.10 BCI, but the Jazz weren't bad in that respect either, with the Spurs netting just a small advantage there.  Likewise, rebounding was a tossup, with both teams grabbing about as many offensive boards as you would expect.  However, given that only one team had Rudy Gobert on their roster, you'll take a draw in that category.

The Spurs shot pretty terrible from close range, with Rudy Gobert making his presence felt, notching four blocks and holding the Spurs to an anemic 36.6% from point blank.  Something about having an athletic 7'2" behemoth with a 9'7" standing reach just seems to wreak havoc with opposing teams' shots near the basket.  Fortunately for the Spurs, they were hot from deep, notching eight triples on just 17 attempts and also were fantastic from the line, hitting 19 of their 23, for a solid True Shooting of 49.4%.  I'll take it.  It should be noted too that the Spurs' offensive efficiency really took a hit in garbage time, with the Spurs missing six straight shots in the waning minutes, dropping their shooting percentage a good bit. 

The Spurs enormous advantage and what really doomed the Jazz was simple that the Jazz could not buy a bucket.  They shot at a decent clip from right around the rim (42.6%), but hit a total of just eight shots in 37 attempts from everywhere else on the court.  Part of that is probably bad luck, but a lot of those shots were just not good lucks, so give the Spurs credit as they shut down the Jazz on defense and held them to an abysmal 73.4 OffRtg.  I wonder if team has ever posted an OffRtg that low and won. I seriously doubt it. (Editor's note: In the three-point line ear, the team that came the closest was the Bulls, who beat the Nuggets in 2000 with an offensive rating of 74.6. -Jesus)


Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Danny Green 20 14.5 0.73 13 Pts (5-7 FG, 3-4 3PT ) 6 Reb (2 Off), 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 20% 59% 108.6 71.9 36.7
Kawhi Leonard 30 13.9 0.46 12 Pts (4-11 FG, 1-2 3PT, 3-4 FT) 9 Reb (3 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 Stl, 1 TO 22% 42% 107.1 74.5 32.6
Tiago Splitter 22 12.8 0.59 14 Pts (5-12 FG, 4-4 FT) 4 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO 35% 53% 116.1 66.4 49.7
Tim Duncan 24 11.7 0.49 11 Pts (3-8 FG, 5-6 FT) 6 Reb (3 Off), 4 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 2 PF 25% 52% 101.9 76.4 25.5
Aron Baynes 23 11.2 0.49 12 Pts (4-10 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4-5 FT) 11 Reb (3 Off), 3 PF 24% 51% 82.6 75.3 7.3
Manu Ginobili 19 7.4 0.40 6 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-2 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 4 Blk, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 1 PF 25% 36% 95.6 52.0 43.6
Boris Diaw 18 6.9 0.39 5 Pts (2-6 FG, 1-2 3PT ) 3 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 PF 18% 49% 104.0 58.8 45.2
Patty Mills 23 5.7 0.24 8 Pts (3-7 FG, 2-4 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 Stl, 2 PF 14% 41% 106.4 53.4 53.1
Tony Parker 23 3.9 0.17 4 Pts (2-5 FG, ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 13% 44% 94.7 70.9 23.8
Cory Joseph 19 1.8 0.09 4 Pts (1-6 FG, 2-2 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 1 TO, 2 PF 20% 41% 109.6 97.3 12.2
Jeff Ayres 6 0.2 0.04 0 Pts 2 Reb (0 Off), 1 PF 0% 0% 61.8 114.8 -53.0
Matt Bonner 9 -0.1 -0.01 0 Pts (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 2 Reb (0 Off), 5% 0% 88.5 104.2 -15.7
JaMychal Green 6 -0.8 -0.14 0 Pts 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 TO 8% 0% 61.8 114.8 -53.0

Show Jazz Players

Danny freaking Green, man. Danny was quiet for almost the whole game, taking something like three shots in the first three quarters, but then he hit three straight threes in a two minute stretch in the fourth to claim his spot atop the AjdGS contributors yet again, passing up a devastated Kawhi Leonard who begged Pop to put him in at the end so he could beat out Green, but to no avail.  Even more impressive is that Green was able to lead the team in Game Score despite playing only 20 minutes, which has to be a season low for the guy who's played the most minutes of any Spur this season.

Kawhi Leonard also had a great game, continuing to look super confident and providing energy and athleticism to a Spurs team that sometimes lacks those qualities.  His defense was once again stifling, and the single block and pair of steals he pulled in didn't quite do justice to what a destructive force he is on the defensive end of the court.  

Offensively, Kawhi was assertive, even though the shots weren't falling at a particularly impressive rate. I hate to quibble, but I've noticed that it seems that in games where Kawhi decides he wants to be aggressive Kawhi, his efficiency seems to take a big hit, with barely any more than one point per shot.  Of course, higher-volume tends to lead to lower efficiency in general (look at Tony Parker), but I'd rather have the lower-volume, more-efficient Kawhi on any given night.  17 points on eight shots is the sort of line the young man seemed to give us a lot last season and I'd prefer games like that to the less efficient Kawhi we've seen lately.  I know it's a pretty small sample size with Kawhi being injured so much this season, but it's something I'll be watching as Kawhi comes into his own as the Spurs primary go-to option.

Bigs play: Duncan, Splitter and Baynes all played around 22 minutes, and put up a combined 37 points and 21 boards, coming in as the Spurs top 3-5 contributors.  That's awesome production from down low.  Duncan and Splitter pitched in seven combined assists, repeatedly hitting each other with perfect passes for easy buckets that highlighted just how fantastic the Spurs big-to-big passing is.  Splitter seems to be finding his groove once again and it's nice to see.

Rudy Gobert really is something else.  He is just such a giant man, and his stat line of 13pts, 18 boards and four blocks was ridiculous.  Doubtful he'll ever become a great offensive option, but I'd take an offensively limited center who could provide that kind of rim protection and dominance on the boards.  He grabbed just three fewer boards than the Duncan/Splitter/Baynes combo I was just lauding, and did it in just 29 minutes.  Impressive.

Spurs Index: 107.5 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 74.2% 35.8
Shooting (eFG%) 39.4% 14.7
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 76.0% 19.9
Defense (DefRtg) 73.4 27.3
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 41.7% 9.8
Total 107.5

Jazz Spurs Index: 102.1 Show Breakdown

Super Spursy game despite atrocious shooting from the field, thanks to great assist marks and an outrageous 73.4 defensive rating.  The Spurs don't lose many games with a DefRtg of 73.4.  Wow.

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Definitions

eFG%: Effective Field Goal percentage. (via) Effective Field Goal Percentage; the formula is (FG + 0.5 * 3P) / FGA. This statistic adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal. For example, suppose Player A goes 4 for 10 with 2 threes, while Player B goes 5 for 10 with 0 threes. Each player would have 10 points from field goals, and thus would have the same effective field goal percentage (50%).

AdjGS: a take-off of the Game Score metric (definition here) accepted by a lot of basketball stat nerds. It takes points, assists, rebounds (offensive & defensive), steals, blocks, turnovers and fouls into account to determine an individual's "score" for a given game. The "adjustment" in Adjusted Game Score is simply matching the total game scores to the total points scored in the game, thereby redistributing the game's points scored to those who had the biggest impact on the game itself, instead of just how many balls a player put through a basket.

Usage%: This "estimates the % of team possessions a player consumes while on the floor" (via). The usage of those possessions is determined via a formula using field goal and free throw attempts, offensive rebounds, assists and turnovers. The higher the number, the more prevalent a player is (good or bad) in a team's offensive outcome.

Floor%: Via Basketball-Reference.com: Floor % answers the question, "when Player X uses a possession, what is the probability that his team scores at least 1 point?". The higher the Floor%, the more frequently the team probably scores when the given player is involved.

Offensive Rating (offRtg): Points per 100 possessions.

Defensive Rating (defRtg): Points allowed per 100 possessions.

Spurs Index: The Spurs Index © is a just-for-fun formula that attempts to quantify just how "Spursy" a particular game is, based off averages for the 2013-2014 regular season. A perfectly average game would have a Spurs Index of 100. The formula consists of four factors which the Spurs are known for and lead or nearly lead the league in: Shooting (effective Field Goal %), Passing (Assist percentage), Defensive Rebounding Rate, and Defensive Rating. These metrics are weighted as follows:

Factor Weight Average
Passing (AST%) 30% 62.1%
Shooting (eFG%) 20% 53.7%
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 20% 76.4%
Defense (DefRtg) 20% 100.1
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 10% 40.8%
The values for each metric are determined based on how a particular game's performance compares to the Spurs 2013-2014 regular season average for that metric. For instance, the average effective Field Goal percentage for 2013-2014 was 53.7%. So if the Spurs shot 60% in a given game, the score for eFG% would be calculated by: (0.6 / 0.537) * 20, which would yield a "score" for that factor of 22.3.

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