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Stats breakdown: Spurs shoot worse, play better, beat Bucks

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The Spurs missed on over twice as many of their 3pt attempts but made up for it with huge free throws and points in the paint advantages to beat the Bucks

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 101, Bucks 95 - Jan 25, '15

The Spurs started pretty strong going up 12-8 in the 1st before giving up a 16-0 run to fall behind 24-12 during a scary stretch in which it looked like Milwaukee might run away with it.  A quick run of their own made it close again, but the Spurs would continue to play from behind until lockdown defense and some great play from Leonard and Diaw in particular late in the 3rd quarter gave them a lead they would never relinquish.  Great play from the young Bucks (pun intended) who have a bright future with so much length and talent, but they didn't have enough in 'em to stay on top of the defending champs for a full 48.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Bucks
Shooting (eFG%) 49% 52%
Ball Handling (TO%) 15% 22%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 33% 33%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 36% 16%

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Bucks
Pace (No. of Possessions) 96.5
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.05 0.98
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.22 1.16
2-PT FG% 49.2% 47.7%
3-PT FG% 22.7% 47.1%
FT% 86.7% 69.2%
True Shooting % 52.5% 54.1%
Spurs
Bucks
Offensive Rating 103.9 99.2
Defensive Rating 99.2 103.9
Net Rating 4.7 -4.7
Spurs Bucks
Passes / poss. 3.5 2.9
% of FGA uncontested 43.4% 37.8%
Points in the paint 52 34
Second chance points 29 12
Fast break points 11 17
Spurs Bucks
Assists 22 29
Steals 9 12
Turnovers 15 17
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.07 2.41
Spurs Bucks
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10.8 10.0
Offensive Rebounds 14 13
Difference 3.2 3.0

Spurs Shot Chart

Bucks Shot Chart

The Spurs shot over 24 percentage points worse from 3, connecting on just five of 22, but had their way in the paint and hit 86.7% of the fantastic 30 free throws they attempted, which was enough for the W.  After a stretch of games in which the Spurs shot 50% from right near the basket, it was great to see the good guys finish at a 60.5% rate from point blank. The Bucks have a lot of length, especially on the wing, (every player is at least 6'11" with a 7'10" wingspan, it seems) but not a lot of muscle to go with it, and the Spurs didn't seem too bothered by their bigs' rim protection.  

The Spurs were sloppy in the first half, turning the ball over 10 times, but settled down and only lost it five times in the second, which was better than the 17 Milwaukee gave away in the game.  The Bucks actually out-assisted the Spurs in this one, giving them a slight ballhandling edge despite the two extra turnovers.  Of course, part of the reason the Spurs' assist number was so low (their AST% was still a solid 62%) was simply because the Spurs shot so many free throws, rather than field goals.

The Spurs hit 26 of the 30 free throws they attempted, good for 86.7%, which was absolutely huge.  A poor free throw shooting performance like some we saw, especially in December, and last night goes from a solid win to a disappointing loss.  Let's keep it up, guys!

Interestingly, both teams were great on the offensive boards.  The Bucks have so much length at all positions that it's not surprising to see them net +3 expected ORebs, but the Spurs were able to match this, thanks Indubitably to the four offensive Rebound Leonard pulled down.  Sean and Bill pointed out that Leonard's rebounding was probably the single biggest contribution he has made since his return.  I think the turnaround on the boards shows them to be right.

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Kawhi Leonard 36 27.5 0.76 19 Pts (4-11 FG, 1-5 3PT, 10-12 FT) 14 Reb (4 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 Stl, 3 PF 19% 65% 96.3 93.5 2.8
Tim Duncan 31 22.3 0.72 20 Pts (9-13 FG, 2-2 FT) 11 Reb (4 Off), 2 Ast, 3 Blk, 1 Stl, 5 TO, 3 PF 26% 53% 89.5 92.1 -2.6
Tiago Splitter 17 13.3 0.80 8 Pts (3-3 FG, 2-2 FT) 2 Reb (2 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 PF 11% 105% 134.3 119.8 14.5
Boris Diaw 28 12.0 0.43 14 Pts (7-11 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 3 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 3 TO 22% 53% 114.4 100.8 13.6
Manu Ginobili 29 6.7 0.23 13 Pts (3-8 FG, 1-2 3PT, 6-8 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 4 TO, 4 PF 23% 46% 111.4 111.0 0.3
Aron Baynes 2 4.7 1.89 4 Pts (1-2 FG, 2-2 FT) , 1 Ast, 49% 82% 123.0 91.9 31.0
Tony Parker 35 4.5 0.13 10 Pts (3-13 FG, 0-2 3PT, 4-4 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF 21% 42% 96.2 107.7 -11.5
Patty Mills 6 4.2 0.64 5 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-3 3PT ) 1 Reb (1 Off), 1 PF 25% 52% 101.6 106.7 -5.0
Danny Green 23 2.7 0.12 3 Pts (1-9 FG, 1-5 3PT ) 2 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 20% 22% 118.3 109.1 9.2
Matt Bonner 16 2.4 0.15 5 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-3 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 18% 35% 82.4 100.8 -18.4
Cory Joseph 16 0.8 0.05 0 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 4 Reb (2 Off), 5% 0% 107.6 48.8 58.8

Show Bucks Players

Kawhi Leonard has basically reserved himself a spot at the top of the AdjGS column.  In the 6 games since his return, he has taken the number one spot three times, second twice, and 3rd place just once.  It's really unusual for this team to see any one player be the best or near-best player for 6 straight games, but if there's anyone you want to see playing with such dominance, it's the future face of the franchise.

Duncan had a phenomenal night, regaining his touch from the field as he put up a classic Duncan line of 20 and 11, with 3 blocks to boot.  Only black mark on the night wer his 5 turnovers, as he had a hard time handling a number of passes, including a costly one late in which he simply wasn't looking for a Parker pass off a pick-and-roll out high on the wing.  Still, you'll definitely take that night from Timmy, who dominated the Bucks over-matched bigs in the paint all night long.  

Tiago Splitter was absurdly efficient last night.  After going 0-4 from the field and 2-4 from the line against the Lakers, Splits hit all 3 field goals and both free throws he attempted, managed 2 assists and managed to break the Floor percentage calculation.  The Spurs scored on 105% of the possessions Splitter consumed, which is pretty phenomenal considering only 100% of those possessions occurred in this, our 4-dimensional universe.  I'm sure Tim Duncan is around to help explain the multi-verse theory and how such an outcome might theoretically be possible if anyone cares to ask.

Diaw was outstanding, especially in the 3rd quarter when he and Leonard turned up the heat offensively even as the Spurs held the Bucks to an absurd 12 points in the quarter.  Bobo was quite the study in contrast playing against the long, lean, explosive young Bucks.  On one play in particular Diaw looked like a man surrounded by boys as he grabbed his own miss, pivoted around clearing space in the paint and finishing with a nice layup.

Diaw offensive board

The only real cause for worry is Tony Parker's continued lackluster play.  Tony scored just 10 points on 13 shot attempts, and was just horridly inefficient.  The Spurs were a much better team for the first three quarters when Parker was on the bench, so when Parker returned in the fourth as the Spurs were fighting to retain their nascent lead, I was worried that his meandering dribbling that had killed the Spurs' offensive flow in the first half might do the same with their run.  Fortunately, I was wrong and Parker had a solid fourth quarter, going 1-2 and dishing out three assists to save himself from what might have been a negative AdjGS.  Hopefully that fourth quarter momentum carries over and Tony starts to look like himself again.

Spurs Index: 97.4 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 62.9% 30.4
Shooting (eFG%) 49.4% 18.4
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 67.5% 17.7
Defense (DefRtg) 99.2 20.2
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 37.8% 10.8
Total 97.4

Bucks Spurs Index: 100.2 Show Breakdown

The Spurs gave up a few too many offensive rebounds and didn't shoot well enough for a classically Spursy game, but hey, I'll take the W any day.  Go Spurs Go!

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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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