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Tony Parker and Danny Green help the Spurs swat the Hornets

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The Spurs survived another anemic 3rd quarter to beat the Hornets at the AT&T Center. Solid play from Tony Parker and the second string ensured the win.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 95, Hornets 86 - Jan 28, '15

The Spurs played great, then suffered an 8 minute stretch in the 3rd quarter without a field goal before coming back to life to hold on for a solid win over the Hornets. Just look how flat that black line above is in the 2nd half of the 3rd quarter. If it weren't for 5 straight free throws by Joseph and Mills, the Spurs would've gone into the 4th tied after holding an early 18-point lead.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Hornets
Shooting (eFG%) 48% 45%
Ball Handling (TO%) 15% 13%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 22% 17%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 22% 17%

The Spurs win 3 of the 4 factors, including the all-important Shooting. That's a good way to ensure a W.

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Hornets
Pace (No. of Possessions) 94.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.01 0.91
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.14 1.04
2-PT FG% 46.3% 43.1%
3-PT FG% 34.5% 33.3%
FT% 83.3% 85.7%
True Shooting % 52.2% 48.2%
Spurs
Hornets
Offensive Rating 100.1 92.3
Defensive Rating 92.3 100.1
Net Rating 7.8 -7.8
Spurs Hornets
Passes / poss. 3.5 2.8
% of FGA uncontested 44.6% 41.0%
Points in the paint 40 40
Second chance points 11 13
Fast break points 15 15
Spurs Hornets
Assists 23 23
Steals 7 7
Turnovers 14 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.14 2.50
Spurs Hornets
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.3 11.8
Offensive Rebounds 10 8
Difference -1.3 -3.8

The Spurs shot slightly better than the Hornets from all three spots, and their -2 turnover margin was mitigated by excellent defensive rebounding, which held the Hornets to -3.8 expected offensive boards. The Spurs also hit a higher volume of 3s at a similar percentage, which is another great way to gain an edge.

Lots of open looks for the good guys in this one. The ball moved really well for stretches of the game, especially in the first half with the lineup of Mills-Green-Ginobili-Diaw-Baynes. That group played phenomenally well in the 2nd quarter, showing flashes of their play during last year's playoffs and Finals. Let's hope that continues, as that group's ability to hang with opponent's first string and thump their second string is one of San Antonio's greatest strengths.

Spurs Shot Chart

Hornets Shot Chart

Oddly enough, those shot charts look an awful lot like it was Charlotte who won the shooting battle, with 5 green zones and 2 yellow to the Spurs 3 greens. You have to look closely before you notice the 0/7 and 0/6 holes in Charlotte's shot charts before you understand where all their good shooting disappeared to. Also, most of the Spurs red zones were just the Spurs shooting ~33%, which isn't that bad.

Also of note: Charlotte took exactly 0 corner threes, to the Spurs' 9. Someone needs to let those guys know it's the most efficient shot in the game. The Hornets also took 17 long-range 2pt jumpers (to the Spurs' 7), which is, well, less efficient than the corner three.

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Danny Green 26 21.0 0.80 16 Pts (6-11 FG, 4-8 3PT, 0-1 FT) 5 Reb (3 Off), 2 Ast, 3 Blk, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 21% 50% 117.0 85.7 31.3
Tony Parker 28 15.8 0.57 17 Pts (7-13 FG, 0-1 3PT, 3-3 FT) 1 Reb (1 Off), 5 Ast, 2 TO 28% 58% 100.3 115.1 -14.8
Tim Duncan 29 11.9 0.41 12 Pts (5-12 FG, 2-4 FT) 14 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 3 Blk, 2 Stl, 4 TO, 3 PF 28% 36% 102.1 104.9 -2.8
Matt Bonner 31 11.4 0.37 10 Pts (4-8 FG, 2-5 3PT ) 2 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 PF 12% 55% 102.6 118.5 -15.8
Kawhi Leonard 23 11.3 0.49 9 Pts (3-6 FG, 0-2 3PT, 3-3 FT) 5 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF 17% 62% 88.6 105.6 -17.0
Patty Mills 20 7.8 0.38 9 Pts (2-9 FG, 2-5 3PT, 3-3 FT) 4 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 24% 40% 99.8 65.5 34.3
Boris Diaw 17 7.6 0.45 6 Pts (2-4 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT) 5 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 TO, 1 PF 16% 61% 95.6 50.3 45.3
Manu Ginobili 23 7.2 0.32 10 Pts (4-11 FG, 2-4 3PT ) 3 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 TO 25% 37% 93.2 65.6 27.6
Aron Baynes 19 1.0 0.05 4 Pts (2-6 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 6 Reb (3 Off), 2 TO, 2 PF 19% 23% 97.2 75.5 21.8
Cory Joseph 18 1.0 0.05 2 Pts (0-2 FG, 2-2 FT) 3 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 TO, 2 PF 9% 37% 116.3 94.5 21.9
Jeff Ayres 3 -0.1 -0.04 0 Pts 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 PF 0% 0% 40.0 170.1 -130.1
Reggie Williams 3 -0.9 -0.31 0 Pts (0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT ) , 17% 0% 40.0 170.1 -130.1

Show Hornets Players

Man, Danny Green... Danny is the master of laying low in the AdjGS and then just blowing up in the final minutes of games to seize the top spot. Danny doubled his point total from 8 to 16 in the final 5 1/2 minutes of the game, tipping in a miss and hitting back-to-back 3s to seal the game and grab the top spot once again. It's great having a guy who can blow up at any point like that. Especially when it tends to come at the end of close games. Also, look at the rest of his stat line - 5 boards (3 offensive!), 2 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals with just 1 turnover to go with it. Beautiful production across the stat sheet, Danny, bravo!

The Return of Tony Parker: Tony's back! Wow, did it feel great to see Tony have a game like that. He's been... let's just call it rusty since his return, and he needed a big night to get his confidence back. OK, who am I kidding, Tony's confidence never left - I just needed him to have a big night to restore my confidence in him. Seventeen points on 13 shots and 5 assists - great to see that kind of production again from TP.

Duncan casually tossed in 12 and 14 with 2 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals, but struggled to hold onto the ball and gave up 4 turnovers, which brought his AdjGS down from where it would've been. Still, you'll take that from the 38-year-old vet.

Kawhi Leonard came back down to Earth a bit in this one, dropping to number 5 in the GS rankings after camping out in the top 3 for the past 6 games. Of course, he only played 23 minutes, which is really light for him, and he was actually very efficient, with 9 points on just 6 FGA, 5 boards, 3 assists and a steal. Kawhi's court vision continues to improve - one of Duncan's turnovers came from a slick pass from Leonard off an offensive rebound that Timmy just wasn't expecting. Hopefully as Kawhi continues to thread the needle like that, Timmy et al will learn to start looking for dishes like that.

Matt Bonner! Bonner led the Spurs in minutes played in this one (yes, you heard that right), joining the starting lineup for the 3rd straight game as Splitter rested. Bonner was super solid with 10 points on 8 shots, 2 assists, a block and a steal. The Red Rocket just wanted to remind us of the value he still brings. Go treat yourself to a well-deserved sandwich, Matty!

Mills-Diaw-Ginobili. These three didn't light up the box score, but their energetic play was huge in this one. They (along with Danny and Baynes) were primarily responsible for the Spurs' blistering play in the 2nd which wrought the 18 point lead, with the good guys scoring quick and stifling the Hornets on defense. Patty Mills plays with so much aggression and energy on defense he really is fun to watch. He only managed 1 steal, but he pestered the crap out of Hornet's guards and was a real factor. It's so great to have him back.

Reggie Williams: -130.1 NetRtg??? He's a disaster, send him back immediately!  The Spurs will never score again if he's on the court!  #SmallSampleSize

Spurs Index: 102.8 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 65.7% 31.7
Shooting (eFG%) 47.6% 17.7
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 83.0% 21.7
Defense (DefRtg) 92.3 21.7
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 41.0% 10.0
Total 102.8

Hornets Spurs Index: 98.8 Show Breakdown

Solid passing, fantastic defensive rebounding and great defense (this was Charlotte they were playing after all) more than made up for some unimpressive shooting to earn a SI of 102.8. Let's hope the solid play (3rd quarter excepted) continues on Saturday versus the Clips. 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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