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Spurs bench detonates Hornets

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After a back and forth start saw the Spurs struggle to find a rhythm, a 3rd quarter explosion quickly put this game out of reach as the Spurs topped the Hornets in nearly every facet of the game

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 114, Hornets 94 - Nov 7, '15

The Spurs didn't get off to the best of stars in this one, with an in-rhythm night from Aldridge cut short by early foul trouble and some outstanding play from Kemba Walker allowing the Hornets to trade runs with the Spurs until early in the 3rd quarter.  At that point, some classic moves by Duncan and continued great play from Leonard kick-started a run that the Spurs bench would continue, adding momentum to a scoring frenzy that resulted in an outrageous 28-2 run over the course of just 5:40.  

To put that in perspective, a full 48 minutes consisting of that stretch would have resulted in a final score of Spurs 237, Hornets 17.  While I admit I'm disappointed the final score did not approach that glorious result, I remain hopeful that by the end of the Rodeo Road Trip the Spurs will be handling the Charlotte's of the league in this manner on the regular.

If I tried to acknowledge all of the stellar performances in this game, I'm sure to run out of superlatives, so a list seems appropriate here:

  • LaMarcus Aldridge looked the most comfortable he's looked so far in a Spurs jersey.  The Spurs' first unit offense still looks very different than in the past, but it had something of a flow to it as Aldridge and Kawhi were both decisive in their isolation games.
  • Tim Duncan was assertive after LaMarcus went to the bench early in the 3rd with his fourth foul, finishing with 11 points on just 5 shots and 8 boards... and was just the sixth most productive Spur.  It was that kind of night.
  • Kawhi Leonard... more on him in a minute.
  • Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili both went 3-6 from deep, helping the Spurs notch a beautiful 42.9% from three, a wonderful number because it's fantastic without screaming "outlier!"
  • David West looked like he has been playing with this squad for years - his stat line of 9 points, 9 boards and 6 assists was just perfect for what the Spurs need from him.
  • Look at the Spurs' shot chart.  They shot well above league average in 12 of the 14 zones.  Just a beautiful sea of green.
The Spurs bench unit as a whole looked absolutely fantastic.  They tallied 19 assists and hit 6 threes and looked every bit as dizzying in their crisp ball movement and selfless play.  By contrast, the starting unit was also effective but featured a lot of iso looks for their two biggest threats, Leonard and Aldridge.

It's not hard to imagine a Spurs team which operates in two distinct modes: the constant motion and passing, ball-sharing offense we've become accustomed to seeing, and a more iso or two-man focused set that leans on the talents of Leonard and Aldridge.  It's certainly within Gregg Popovich's ability to find a way to blend the two styles, utilizing both within the same game.  One can even picture the two styles coexisting within the same possession.  Maybe I'm dreaming, but if anyone can pull it off, it's Pop.

Kawhi Leonard inches closer and closer each game to becoming an unstoppable force.  His mid-range game continues to more and more closely resemble all-time greats like His Airness and Kobe.  Just 18 months removed from his first 20 point performance, Kawhi is now averaging 21.8 points and 8.3 boards per game to start the season. And it looks sustainable. Leonard's 3 point shot is still sitting well below his career average, so if anything his averages could continue to climb.  And that's just scary.

It was a great win from a Spurs squad that executed beautifully, following up a 20-turnover doomed performance in DC with one in which they more than doubled their opponent in BCI, racking up a ridiculous (even by 2014 standards) 35 assists while cutting their turnovers down to a manageable 12.  That's how you make adjustments.  Let's enjoy this one, Spurs fans.  Go Spurs Go!

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Hornets
Shooting (eFG%) 57% 51%
Ball Handling (TO%) 13% 16%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 18% 14%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 28% 43%

[Content]

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Hornets
Pace (No. of Possessions) 96.9
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.18 0.97
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.41 1.29
2-PT FG% 60.0% 51.9%
3-PT FG% 42.9% 31.6%
FT% 65.2% 64.5%
True Shooting % 62.6% 54.2%
Spurs
Hornets
Offensive Rating 116.2 98.3
Defensive Rating 98.3 116.2
Net Rating 17.9 -17.9
Spurs Hornets
Passes / poss. 3.8 2.3
% of FGA uncontested 53.1% 45.2%
Points in the paint 40 36
Second chance points 11 3
Fast break points 8 15
Spurs Hornets
Assists 35 15
Steals 11 7
Turnovers 12 15
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.83 1.47
Spurs Hornets
Expected Offensive Rebounds 8.3 10.5
Offensive Rebounds 6 6
Difference -2.3 -4.5

Spurs Shot Chart

Hornets Shot Chart

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Kawhi Leonard 34 21.0 0.61 23 Pts (10-16 FG, 2-4 3PT, 1-2 FT) 4 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 3 PF 23% 61% 113.5 102.4 11.1
Patty Mills 19 15.9 0.85 15 Pts (6-9 FG, 3-6 3PT ) 2 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF 24% 63% 162.3 62.8 99.5
Manu Ginobili 18 14.4 0.79 13 Pts (5-9 FG, 3-6 3PT ) 3 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF 24% 52% 137.6 50.8 86.8
LaMarcus Aldridge 17 13.0 0.75 16 Pts (6-10 FG, 4-4 FT) 5 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 1 TO, 4 PF 36% 64% 98.9 108.2 -9.3
David West 29 12.0 0.42 9 Pts (4-7 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-2 FT) 9 Reb (1 Off), 6 Ast, 1 TO, 2 PF 14% 60% 118.1 94.3 23.7
Danny Green 27 11.0 0.41 8 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-3 3PT, 3-3 FT) 3 Reb (1 Off), 4 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 Stl, 2 PF 14% 53% 115.1 120.9 -5.7
Tim Duncan 24 10.1 0.42 11 Pts (4-5 FG, 3-4 FT) 8 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF 19% 57% 110.9 123.2 -12.2
Boris Diaw 16 7.1 0.45 4 Pts (2-3 FG, ) 2 Reb (1 Off), 4 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 PF 9% 78% 146.5 53.9 92.6
Tony Parker 25 5.8 0.23 7 Pts (2-5 FG, 3-6 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 TO, 1 PF 22% 41% 86.9 118.5 -31.6
Kyle Anderson 13 3.6 0.28 4 Pts (2-5 FG, 0-2 FT) 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 PF 22% 40% 101.5 98.8 2.6
Boban Marjanovic 4 0.6 0.15 2 Pts (1-2 FG, ) 1 Reb (1 Off), 3 PF 22% 46% 85.7 135.5 -49.8
Ray McCallum 4 -0.1 -0.03 0 Pts 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 PF 0% 0% 85.7 133.0 -47.3
Rasual Butler 10 -0.4 -0.05 2 Pts (1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 TO 19% 21% 103.7 103.3 0.5

Show Hornets Players

Spurs Index: 110.8 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 77.8% 37.6
Shooting (eFG%) 57.4% 21.4
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 85.7% 22.4
Defense (DefRtg) 98.3 20.4
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 45.2% 9.0
Total 110.8

Hornets Spurs Index: 86.8 Show Breakdown

Confused? Show Advanced Stats Glossary