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Spurs can't pass or shoot in loss to Bulls

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The Spurs were bothered by the Bulls' aggressive defense, unable to find their passing lanes or hit their shots, and the game was effectively over 2 minutes into the 3rd quarter.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 81, Bulls 104 - Jan 22, '15

Oof.  This was a real stinker.  I'll try to keep this fairly brief, because this one wasn't worth watching, let alone writing volumes about.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Bulls
Shooting (eFG%) 43% 51%
Ball Handling (TO%) 14% 11%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 19% 21%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 22% 42%

Spurs lost all 4 factors.  Some of them badly.

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Bulls
Pace (No. of Possessions) 92.5
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.88 1.12
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.00 1.37
2-PT FG% 40.0% 52.6%
3-PT FG% 28.6% 31.6%
FT% 83.3% 81.3%
True Shooting % 45.5% 57.7%
Spurs
Bulls
Offensive Rating 87.2 112.9
Defensive Rating 112.9 87.2
Net Rating -25.8 25.8
Spurs Bulls
Passes / poss. 3.3 3.0
% of FGA uncontested 32.1% 39.5%
Points in the paint 36 42
Second chance points 12 17
Fast break points 8 13
Spurs Bulls
Assists 17 19
Steals 4 7
Turnovers 12 10
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.75 2.60
Spurs Bulls
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.8 9.5
Offensive Rebounds 9 8
Difference -2.8 -1.5

Kawhi Leonard excepted, the Spurs for the most part looked lazy and indifferent in this one, playing with no passion or energy in what could have been a great momentum-builder.  Instead, they give what momentum they had away with a loss on the road to a Bulls team missing their best interior defender.  

Watching this game, it was apparent just how great the Bulls' defense is.  They hedge on the pick and roll, recover perfectly, rarely get out of position and put their hands in every passing lane.  The one thing that stuck out most to me in this game was just how much the Bulls took away the Spurs passing lanes.  I lost track of the times a Spurs player looked to make a pass to a cutting teammate, one they would usually thread through defenders, but couldn't due to Bulls defenders with their hands in the right place.  And when it comes to the Spurs' offense, the passing lanes are the Carotid artery.  Let's just say tonight was a bloody affair.

On a night when the Spurs needed a heroic barrage of 3 balls to save them from defeat, they shot 28.6%.  Too bad, a few well-timed makes from deep and this game could have taken a different turn, who knows.  

The Spurs played pretty solid defensively in the first half, and were down just 3 with 35 seconds to go in the 1st.  "Worst case scenario, they go down 6" I thought, which is exactly what happened as Tony Snell managed an and-1 to finish off the half.  That momentum carried over as the Bulls started the 3rd on a 7-0 run and the game was pretty much over at that point.  Kawhi Leonard was the only reason it wasn't over sooner, keeping the Spurs afloat in the 2nd quarter with 9 straight points, but he couldn't carry the Spurs much more than that, and Pop waved the white flag near the end of the 3rd.

Spurs Shot Chart

Bulls Shot Chart

[Content]

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Cory Joseph 14 14.3 1.03 11 Pts (4-7 FG, 3-5 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 1 PF 29% 65% 104.7 110.4 -5.6
Kawhi Leonard 27 13.9 0.52 16 Pts (5-11 FG, 1-2 3PT, 5-6 FT) 4 Reb (0 Off), 2 TO, 2 PF 28% 49% 77.6 131.3 -53.6
Danny Green 25 12.4 0.50 8 Pts (3-6 FG, 2-3 3PT ) 3 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 2 Blk, 1 TO 14% 44% 87.0 105.9 -18.9
Tony Parker 21 12.3 0.58 9 Pts (4-9 FG, 1-2 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 PF 21% 52% 73.2 123.7 -50.6
Patty Mills 22 11.6 0.53 12 Pts (3-11 FG, 2-6 3PT, 4-4 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 2 TO 30% 43% 89.0 91.4 -2.4
JaMychal Green 15 11.1 0.74 8 Pts (4-7 FG, 0-2 3PT ) 3 Reb (3 Off), 2 Blk, 4 PF 21% 56% 104.2 102.5 1.6
Tim Duncan 23 6.4 0.27 6 Pts (2-7 FG, 2-2 FT) 7 Reb (3 Off), 2 Ast, 2 TO, 2 PF 21% 36% 87.3 125.5 -38.1
Matt Bonner 13 5.7 0.43 3 Pts (1-1 FG, 1-1 FT) , 1 Ast, 5% 106% 104.6 119.7 -15.0
Tiago Splitter 21 4.5 0.22 4 Pts (2-5 FG, ) 7 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 2 PF 16% 31% 103.3 101.2 2.1
Jeff Ayres 9 -1.0 -0.11 0 Pts (0-1 FG, ) 3 Reb (0 Off), 2 PF 5% 0% 98.8 120.7 -21.9
Manu Ginobili 18 -1.5 -0.08 2 Pts (1-6 FG, 0-3 3PT ) , 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 PF 16% 22% 81.6 114.8 -33.1
Aron Baynes 9 -2.4 -0.26 0 Pts (0-1 FG, ) 2 Reb (0 Off), 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 5 PF 9% 0% 62.5 75.1 -12.6
Boris Diaw 23 -6.4 -0.28 2 Pts (1-9 FG, 0-3 3PT ) 5 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 2 TO, 3 PF 24% 15% 70.8 122.8 -52.0

Show Bulls Players

Outside of Corey Joseph's garbage time play, Kawhi Leonard was just about the only bright spot for the Spurs tonight.  Kawhi really did his best to keep the game close, and was once again very assertive offensively, with 16 points on 11 shots.  Unfortunately, he really didn't get a lot of help from his fellow starters. 

Duncan had an off night, pitching in just 6 points on 7 shots to go with his 7 boards, 2 assists and 2 turnovers.  On a night when the passing lanes were blocked and the deep balls weren't falling, the Spurs sure could've used some offensive output from the GOATPUFF, but he wasn't up to the task this time.

Splitter was bad and couldn't seem to hold onto the ball, but Diaw was downright awful, going 1 for 9 from the field and posting a -6.4 AdjGS.  Yikes.

Tony Parker looked pretty bad in the first half, but salvaged his stat line with a few good plays in the 3rd.  But still, he has not looked anything like his best self since returning from that hamstring injury.   The Spurs had a 73.2 OffRtg with TP on the court.  They sure do seem to be a better team with him off the court than on it right now, and that's discouraging to say the least.  Let's hope Tony rounds into form sometime this season.  It's been a long time since we've seen sustained stretches of great play from the Wee Frenchman.

Spurs Index: 92.0 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 56.7% 27.4
Shooting (eFG%) 42.6% 15.9
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 78.9% 20.7
Defense (DefRtg) 112.9 17.7
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 39.5% 10.3
Total 92.0

Bulls Spurs Index: 101.7 Show Breakdown

Not a very Spursy game when you shoot 42.6% eFG, give up 113 points per 100 possessions and only manage 17 assists.

Let's hope the good guys rebound tomorrow at home against the lowly Lakers.

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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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