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Stats breakdown: Clippers crush Spurs on the boards to get an easy win

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The Spurs got manhandled on the boards, going -11 in expected offensive rebound differential, and shot poorly to boot. It's hard to win when that happens.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 85, Clippers 105 - Jan 31, '15

This is a stats breakdown, but as a quick disclaimer, the obvious reason behind the Spurs' loss last night was pinpointed by Pop in his in-game interview: a lack of effort and execution.  Let's see how that affected the numbers.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Clippers
Shooting (eFG%) 44% 48%
Ball Handling (TO%) 17% 15%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 9% 33%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 37% 20%

The Spurs won one of the four factors!  Of course it was free throw shooting rate, and they only knocked down 67.9% of the freebies they took, so yeah...

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Clippers
Pace (No. of Possessions) 99.1
Points Per Possession (PPP) 0.86 1.06
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.13 1.15
2-PT FG% 40.0% 46.4%
3-PT FG% 33.3% 36.4%
FT% 67.9% 94.4%
True Shooting % 48.7% 53.1%
Spurs
Clippers
Offensive Rating 84.7 107.2
Defensive Rating 107.2 84.7
Net Rating -22.5 22.5
Spurs Clippers
Passes / poss. 3.3 2.9
% of FGA uncontested 58.7% 44.0%
Points in the paint 24 38
Second chance points 9 13
Fast break points 9 14
Spurs Clippers
Assists 18 20
Steals 11 12
Turnovers 17 15
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.71 2.13
Spurs Clippers
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.0 12.0
Offensive Rebounds 4 16
Difference -7.0 4.0

The number one thing that should jump out at you here is the rebounding margin.  The Spurs were an abysmal -11.0 expected offensive board differential.  This is pretty clear from the tiny -.02 points per shot difference, juxtaposed with the enormous points differential.  The Spurs also lost the BCI battle and gave up two more turnovers, which meant the Clips were afforded no fewer than 13 more scoring opportunities last night.  The Spurs would've had to shoot lights out from two and especially three to make up that lost ground, and they did neither, losing both shooting categories by small margins and imploding at the free throw line to boot.  And there you have the ball game.

The other crazy stat from this one: 58.7% of the Spurs field goal attempts were uncontested!  That's the highest number I've seen this season. Now, that number is partly skewed by the fact that the Spurs attempted 30 deep balls (which tend to be uncontested), and only 45 2 point field goals (most likely to be contested).  But still, it felt like the problem offensively was less that they couldn't get any good looks and more they just couldn't hit the ones they got.  Let's see what the shot chart says...

Spurs Shot Chart

Clippers Shot Chart

The Spurs shot 37.5% from right around the rim, almost 18 percentage points lower than the league average.  We all know how susceptible the Spurs are to being bothered by top-notch rim protectors, and DeAndre Jordan showed just how true that is, altering shots right and left and blocking four outright.  That's hard to deal with.  Also notice the Spurs went 0/7 from the right block area - many of those were probably also due to the lurking monster in the lane as well.

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Kawhi Leonard 34 28.0 0.81 24 Pts (8-18 FG, 4-8 3PT, 4-5 FT) 5 Reb (1 Off), 3 Stl, 3 PF 27% 47% 88.5 115.9 -27.4
Danny Green 30 23.4 0.79 16 Pts (5-11 FG, 5-8 3PT, 1-1 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 3 Blk, 3 Stl, 1 TO 19% 40% 75.5 87.8 -12.3
Boris Diaw 27 10.5 0.39 9 Pts (4-10 FG, 1-5 3PT ) 7 Reb (1 Off), 4 Ast, 1 TO, 3 PF 18% 42% 88.7 115.1 -26.4
Tiago Splitter 17 8.9 0.52 8 Pts (3-3 FG, 2-2 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 TO, 1 PF 17% 57% 79.0 101.8 -22.7
Tim Duncan 26 6.3 0.24 4 Pts (2-5 FG, ) 8 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF 11% 34% 97.2 110.2 -13.1
Jeff Ayres 5 5.2 1.10 3 Pts (1-1 FG, 1-2 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 22% 85% 117.8 118.5 -0.7
Manu Ginobili 22 3.9 0.18 9 Pts (2-7 FG, 0-3 3PT, 5-10 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 TO, 1 PF 30% 32% 82.7 115.6 -33.0
Tony Parker 30 3.1 0.10 5 Pts (2-10 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-2 FT) 6 Reb (0 Off), 8 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF 21% 33% 94.6 106.4 -11.8
Cory Joseph 9 2.5 0.27 2 Pts ( 2-2 FT) 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO, 1 PF 10% 56% 86.4 108.9 -22.6
Reggie Williams 5 -0.8 -0.16 2 Pts (0-3 FG, 0-3 3PT, 2-2 FT) , 1 PF 40% 28% 104.2 118.5 -14.3
Aron Baynes 13 -1.7 -0.14 1 Pts (0-1 FG, 1-2 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 2 TO 14% 21% 70.6 96.2 -25.6
Patty Mills 13 -1.9 -0.14 2 Pts (1-4 FG, ) , 1 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF 19% 17% 69.1 111.7 -42.6
Matt Bonner 8 -2.3 -0.29 0 Pts (0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 PF 13% 0% 50.0 94.5 -44.5

Show Clippers Players

Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green were the lone bright spots last night.  Kawhi was terrific, scoring 24 points on 18 shots, grabbing five boards and nabbing three steals.   It's exciting to see what he's capable of doing on the offensive end of the floor when he wants to.  Danny came to play as well, but after those two there was a huge drop-off.

The next best Spur was probably Boris Diaw, who was such a mixed bag it's kind of odd to see him in the top three.  He shot awfully, but rebounded and passed well and that's good for third top contributor for the Spurs last night.  It was that kind of game.

Tony Parker dished out eight assists ... and contributed a whopping 3.1 AdjGS in 30 minutes.  That's a lot of bad (mostly missed shots) to go with that good.  I hope he finds himself before the Rodeo Road Trip because the Spurs really miss having an effective TP.

Spurs Index: 92.9 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 64.3% 31.1
Shooting (eFG%) 44.0% 16.4
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 66.7% 17.5
Defense (DefRtg) 107.2 18.7
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 44.0% 9.3
Total 92.9

Clippers Spurs Index: 96.1 Show Breakdown

You can't get crushed on the boards and expect to have a very Spursy performance.  You can't lose by 20 period and expect that either though, so I guess 92.9 isn't as bad as it could have been.  

The Spurs had a huge opportunity to close the gap on the Clippers last night and didn't even show up.  Let's hope they figure out what ails them, and soon.  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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