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Study Hall: Spurs done in by insane Warriors 3pt shooting

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The Spurs outrebounded the Warriors, bested them in 2s and free throws, but lost the turnover battle and were the victims of an impossibly high 51.5% 3pt from the best shooting team in the league.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 99, Warriors 110 - Feb 20, '15

I honestly felt a lot, lot better about this one after looking at the numbers.  The Spurs really didn't play too poorly all in all.  Maybe that's what's scary about this one - the Spurs performed well in a number of categories, but were still blown out by a Warriors team which was just unstoppable offensively.  That's really scary.

The Spurs actually bested the Warriors in quite a few categories, outrebounding Golden State and besting them in 2pt FG% and FT%, but lost the ball control battle pretty badly, turning the ball over 4 more times and not registering as many assists.  But quite obviously the biggest story of the game was the Brobdingnagian chasm separating the two teams' 3pt FG%.  While the Spurs struggled (though not as badly as at other times this season) from deep clocking in at just 31.6% on 6/19, the Warriors were other-worldly, nailing 51.5% of their deep balls despite 14 more attempts, coming in at a preposterous 17/33 from deep.  When your opponent hits 17/33 from downtown, there is almost nothing you can possibly do to negate that advantage.  

Let's look at it this way - the Warriors are already the league's best 3 point shooting team in the league, averaging 10.5 makes on 27.2 attempts per game for 38.7%.  Friday night, they took 5.8 more attempts than their season average and had 6.5 more makes to show for it.  That's 33% better than average for a pretty decent sample size.  

If both teams shot their season averages (38.7 and 36.3, respectively) on the same number of respective attempts, with some slight rounding, the Spurs would've hit 7 of their 19 (they hit 6) while the Warriors would've made 13 (they hit 17).  That's a +15 point differential which, you might notice, is greater than the actual final scoring margin.  

Obviously defense affects an opponent's 3pt FG% and the Spurs did a pretty terrible job, leaving shooters open time after time.  So I'm not saying that the Warriors were just lucky with their performance from deep last night.  But I am saying that poor 3pt defense by the Spurs doesn't come close to accounting for the statistical outlier that was last night's game.  Just as there was almost nothing that could be done by Miami in Game 3 of the Finals when the Spurs hit an impossible 75.8% of their shots, there was little the Spurs could do about the 3pt shooting clinic the Warriors put on last night.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it, anyway.

While I was as disgusted as any Spurs fan watching, I think that looking at the numbers it's clear that the Spurs did not playing as terribly as I wanted to believe - they just played poor perimeter defense against a team that also happened to be impossibly dialed in from deep.  That feels a bit better.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Warriors
Shooting (eFG%) 52% 59%
Ball Handling (TO%) 17% 12%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 23% 17%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 25% 21%

The Spurs split the Four Factors, but lost the eFG battle so badly because of the 3pt FG% discrepancy that nothing else mattered.

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Warriors
Pace (No. of Possessions) 96.4
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.03 1.14
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.22 1.31
2-PT FG% 53.2% 47.1%
3-PT FG% 31.6% 51.5%
FT% 75.0% 61.1%
True Shooting % 55.1% 59.8%
Spurs
Warriors
Offensive Rating 103.3 113.5
Defensive Rating 113.5 103.3
Net Rating -10.2 10.2
Spurs Warriors
Passes / poss. 3.6 3.5
% of FGA uncontested 50.6% 56.0%
Points in the paint 44 40
Second chance points 13 4
Fast break points 10 23
Spurs Warriors
Assists 25 29
Steals 6 10
Turnovers 16 12
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
1.94 3.25
Spurs Warriors
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10.8 10.3
Offensive Rebounds 10 7
Difference -0.8 -3.3

Spurs Shot Chart

Warriors Shot Chart

The Warriors shot >50% from 3 of 5 3pt sectors, *sigh*.

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Aron Baynes 25 11.8 0.47 12 Pts (6-12 FG, ) 10 Reb (2 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 3 PF 26% 45% 111.8 102.5 9.3
Kawhi Leonard 19 11.6 0.61 12 Pts (5-7 FG, 1-1 3PT, 1-2 FT) 6 Reb (2 Off), 1 Blk, 2 TO, 3 PF 23% 53% 94.0 110.7 -16.7
Tiago Splitter 16 11.3 0.70 8 Pts (3-5 FG, 2-2 FT) 5 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 19% 64% 95.5 110.1 -14.6
Cory Joseph 12 10.1 0.84 8 Pts (2-5 FG, 1-1 3PT, 3-4 FT) , 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 28% 64% 144.1 100.0 44.1
Manu Ginobili 18 10.0 0.57 8 Pts (4-7 FG, 0-2 3PT ) 3 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF 21% 57% 98.0 128.0 -30.0
Tim Duncan 21 8.4 0.39 8 Pts (3-8 FG, 2-4 FT) 3 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 PF 20% 50% 94.3 118.9 -24.6
Boris Diaw 21 7.7 0.37 11 Pts (5-7 FG, 1-2 3PT ) 5 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 4 TO, 1 PF 24% 43% 87.1 129.1 -42.0
Reggie Williams 12 7.0 0.58 7 Pts (3-7 FG, 1-4 3PT ) 2 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 28% 51% 144.1 100.0 44.1
Patty Mills 23 4.7 0.20 8 Pts (3-6 FG, 1-3 3PT, 1-2 FT) , 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 TO, 1 PF 17% 41% 114.2 103.3 11.0
Marco Belinelli 19 4.6 0.24 9 Pts (4-8 FG, 1-2 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 2 TO, 3 PF 24% 43% 95.3 128.0 -32.7
Matt Bonner 12 4.3 0.36 2 Pts (0-1 FG, 2-2 FT) 4 Reb (2 Off), 8% 64% 144.1 100.0 44.1
Tony Parker 21 3.8 0.18 2 Pts (0-4 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 2 PF 14% 40% 91.9 121.6 -29.7
Danny Green 21 3.7 0.18 4 Pts (1-4 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT) 4 Reb (2 Off), 2 PF 11% 46% 83.5 105.7 -22.2

Show Warriors Players

  • Kawhi took half as many shots as Thursday, hit 5x as many.  That's more like it.
  • Baynes led the Spurs in AdjGS.  Great performance from the Banger.  Not a good thing for the Spurs.
  • Diaw fouled up a fantastic first half performance by missing all his second half shots and throwing the ball away 4 times.  Sad, because he was a force in the first and it was fun to watch.
  • Last night would've been a good night for Danny Green to snap back into Hot mode.  Alas, another Icy performance only widened the 3pt FG% chasm.

Spurs Index: 97.1 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 64.1% 31.0
Shooting (eFG%) 52.5% 19.5
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 82.9% 21.7
Defense (DefRtg) 113.5 17.6
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 56.0% 7.3
Total 97.1

Warriors Spurs Index: 99.6 Show Breakdown

56% of opponent FG uncontested.  Granted, 39% of the opponent's field goal attempts were 3s which tend to be uncontested, but still, that's pretty terrible.  Perhaps more of the improbably prolific 3pt shooting on the Warriors' part was attributable to atrocious defense than I thought.  Let's work on that, guys.

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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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