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Spurs don't look like themselves, still beat Pacers

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The Spurs didn't show any of the characteristics often associated with their game and as a result had to rely on Marco Belinelli heroics to give Gregg Popovich his 1,000 win.

"Yes, a three. Could someone hit a three, please?"
"Yes, a three. Could someone hit a three, please?"
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 95, Pacers 93 - Feb 9, '15

The night was about Pop's 1,000 career wins, so the Spurs kindly played an uninspired game to make sure not to detract from the attention their coach was about to receive. Good three-point shooting, consistent focus throughout the game and a great Tony Parker performance would have been distracting simply because they have been uncommon. It's just the state of affairs right now for the Spurs: no win will come easily. Fortunately, the All-Star break is almost here and there's plenty of time to get back on track.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Pacers
Shooting (eFG%) 49% 46%
Ball Handling (TO%) 7% 13%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 17% 24%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 19% 15%

The Pacers have one of the worst offenses in the league, thanks in no small part by their bottom five eFG and bottom ten free throw rate. On defense, they don't force turnovers. So there was nothing surprising about how the four factors turned out.

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Pacers
Pace (No. of Possessions) 95.1
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.00 0.98
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.07 1.06
2-PT FG% 48.4% 41.8%
3-PT FG% 24.0% 38.1%
FT% 88.2% 100.0%
True Shooting % 49.2% 49.6%
Spurs
Pacers
Offensive Rating 99.5 98.2
Defensive Rating 98.2 99.5
Net Rating 1.3 -1.3
Spurs Pacers
Passes / poss. 3.5 3.0
% of FGA uncontested 44.9% 35.2%
Points in the paint 40 40
Second chance points 6 9
Fast break points 11 10
Spurs Pacers
Assists 18 24
Steals 8 4
Turnovers 7 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.71 2.33
Spurs Pacers
Expected Offensive Rebounds 11.8 11.3
Offensive Rebounds 8 11
Difference -3.8 -0.3

The numbers paint a pretty accurate picture of how close the game was. The Spurs shot worse from beyond the arc but better on two-pointers. They turned the ball less but didn't grab as many offensive boards. Overtime would have been appropriate, really. Thank you for stopping that from happening, Marco!

The team-wide three-point shooting slump is a problem. The Spurs shot 6-for-25 this game for 24 percent and over the last ten games have shot 32.6 percent. The curious thing is the misses often come off open threes. The shot chart really illustrates that.

Spurs Shot Chart

Pacers Shot Chart

Corner three-pointers are often uncontested, which is why they are easier to hit. The Spurs went 0-for-8 from the corners. Patty Mills and Danny Green, normally deadly when left open, went 2-13 from outside on Monday. As simplistic as it sounds, the Spurs are missing open shots and that's the biggest reason their offense isn't clicking.

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Tim Duncan 30 21.6 0.71 15 Pts (7-13 FG, 1-1 FT) 8 Reb (3 Off), 2 Ast, 5 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 TO 21% 54% 95.3 89.2 6.1
Marco Belinelli 26 16.9 0.66 12 Pts (4-6 FG, 2-4 3PT, 2-2 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 13% 80% 96.9 108.1 -11.1
Tony Parker 30 15.0 0.49 19 Pts (7-17 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5-5 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 6 Ast, 2 TO, 1 PF 31% 52% 95.3 89.2 6.1
Kawhi Leonard 31 9.3 0.30 10 Pts (4-12 FG, 1-2 3PT, 1-1 FT) 6 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 2 PF 17% 39% 93.8 95.3 -1.5
Danny Green 33 8.6 0.26 8 Pts (2-9 FG, 1-8 3PT, 3-4 FT) 12 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 Stl, 2 TO, 3 PF 18% 31% 100.6 93.7 6.9
Tiago Splitter 14 7.4 0.54 8 Pts (3-5 FG, 2-2 FT) 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO, 1 PF 25% 58% 97.5 117.1 -19.6
Boris Diaw 27 5.9 0.21 6 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-2 3PT, 1-2 FT) 4 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 17% 35% 88.3 105.5 -17.2
Cory Joseph 6 4.6 0.79 4 Pts (2-2 FG, ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 18% 100% 147.1 101.2 45.8
Aron Baynes 13 4.5 0.35 4 Pts (2-3 FG, ) 3 Reb (1 Off), 1 PF 10% 66% 105.1 63.2 41.9
Patty Mills 18 3.9 0.22 9 Pts (4-11 FG, 1-5 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 2 PF 32% 39% 107.6 114.0 -6.4
Matt Bonner 12 -2.8 -0.24 0 Pts (0-4 FG, 0-3 3PT ) 1 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 2 PF 15% 10% 126.3 124.8 1.5

Show Pacers Players

There were no eye-popping performances in this one, which is not surprising considering it was a battle between two of the league's stingiest defensive teams. Tim Duncan claimed the top spot by stuffing the stat sheet while Marco Belinelli did a decent Manu Ginobili impression.

On the other end of the spectrum, Matt Bonner, who got the start, finished with a negative adjusted game score. The starting lineup seems to be bad no matter who occupies that second big man slot, which is definitely cause for concern.

Spurs Index: 93.4 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 48.6% 23.5
Shooting (eFG%) 48.9% 18.2
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 75.6% 19.8
Defense (DefRtg) 98.2 20.4
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 35.2% 11.6
Total 93.4

Pacers Spurs Index: 99.4 Show Breakdown

No game can be considered Spurs-y with such a low assist percentage. Combined with poor shooting and only typical rebounding, the result was one of the lowest scores in the Spurs Index since we started keeping track.

The Spurs will play one more game before the seven-day All-Star break, against the Pistons in Detroit on Wednesday. They are tied in losses with the Clippers and the Mavericks, so getting a win, regardless of how good they look in the process, is all that matters if a push up the standings is in the horizon.

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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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