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Leonard's brilliant play leads Spurs over Heat

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The Spurs out-everything'ed a sadly depleted Heat team, on fantastic nights from Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. Excellent passing, shooting and rebounding made sure this one wasn't competitive for very long.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 98, Heat 85 - Feb 6, '15

Apparently a visit from Miami was just what the Spurs needed to get their groove back.  This Heat team is a mere shadow of its former glory so it would be silly to project much based off of this performance, but the Spurs have struggled this year to put away even bad teams, so any game the Spurs run away with is reason for optimism.

It was awesome to see Tony Parker have a dominant game again after looking ... mediocre at best since his return from a hamstring injury.  I don't know if he did some extra stretching, saw a shaman or made sacrifices to Huitzilopochtli, but whatever he did, I hope he keeps doing it.  21 points on 12 shots is wonderfully efficient, especially after a string of performances in which TP took a bunch of shots for not a lot of points.  Maybe he needed all the misses to find his rhythm, but let's hope that's all out of his system and this is the Tony Parker we'll see for the rest of the year.  

Did anyone else find it amusing that Tony managed to step on not one but both sidelines for TOs in this game?  It's like he was trying to unlock some sort of achievement with that, but without those 2 dumb TOs his AdjGS would've topped 20.  That's Kawhi Leonard territory!

Speaking of Leonard, he played what may have been his most dominant game since last year's Finals.  24 points on 15 shots, 5 boards, 4 assists and 3 steals with a single turnover and no fouls.  His 25% Usage Rate (with 60% Floor percentage!) felt like it was really the sweet spot for Kawhi this year - very active offensively without trying to force things, while remaining super efficient.  His court vision seems to have take a leap forward in the past week, as he's suddenly started making the kinds of passes you see typically see from Parker, Ginobili or Diaw.  This play in particular was awesome:

If Leonard can continue to improve his passing ability while also becoming more and more lethal both shooting, driving, and working with his back to the basket, all while continuing to wreak havoc as one of the most feared perimeter defenders in the league, we'll have one of the most versatile, complete players in the league on our hands.

Tim Duncan put up another quiet double double with 10 and 12, Manu continued to pass at an incredible level, and Belinelli did lots of little things to contribute despite going 0-2 from three.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Heat
Shooting (eFG%) 52% 48%
Ball Handling (TO%) 18% 19%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 34% 26%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 11% 11%

The Spurs matched or beat the Heat in all 4 factors.  You literally cannot lose when that happens.

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Heat
Pace (No. of Possessions) 90.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.09 0.94
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.18 1.06
2-PT FG% 53.7% 48.4%
3-PT FG% 37.9% 31.3%
FT% 77.8% 88.9%
True Shooting % 56.3% 50.6%
Spurs
Heat
Offensive Rating 110.2 93.4
Defensive Rating 93.4 110.2
Net Rating 16.7 -16.7
Spurs Heat
Passes / poss. 3.6 2.9
% of FGA uncontested 43.4% 46.3%
Points in the paint 42 36
Second chance points 9 12
Fast break points 13 6
Spurs Heat
Assists 31 23
Steals 12 7
Turnovers 16 16
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.69 1.88
Spurs Heat
Expected Offensive Rebounds 10.3 9.8
Offensive Rebounds 14 10
Difference 3.7 0.2

It's hard to find a category which the Spurs didn't win last night.  I guess they missed one more free throw on the same number of attempts, and the Heat somehow scored 3 more second chance points despite 4 fewer offensive rebounds, but other than those minor quibbles, this one was all Silver and Black. In fact, the Spurs even beat a team in fast break points for what might actually be the first time this season.  Spurs were a bit sloppy with the ball but that's about the only thing they could've improved.  Way to go, guys.

Spurs Shot Chart

Heat Shot Chart

OK this is weird - the Spurs shot 11 corner threes from the right baseline, and 0 from the left.  But if I think about it - maybe that's a slightly easier shot for a right-handed shooter than the opposite side of the court. So maybe this is just an extreme example of Good to Great - Great to Greatest?  That or the Spurs just wanted to make a point of beating the Heat to death with shots from Ray Allen's infamous spot on the floor?  Either way, I'll take 11 shots from the most efficient spot on the entire court.

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Kawhi Leonard 33 25.6 0.77 24 Pts (8-15 FG, 5-10 3PT, 3-4 FT) 4 Reb (1 Off), 4 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 TO 25% 60% 123.2 82.4 40.7
Tony Parker 29 18.2 0.62 21 Pts (9-12 FG, 2-3 3PT, 1-1 FT) 3 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 3 TO, 2 PF 25% 63% 117.4 88.6 28.8
Manu Ginobili 24 12.5 0.51 6 Pts (2-4 FG, 2-4 3PT ) 4 Reb (1 Off), 9 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 TO, 2 PF 12% 59% 127.3 96.0 31.3
Tim Duncan 25 9.2 0.37 10 Pts (5-8 FG) 12 Reb (4 Off), 1 Stl, 4 TO, 1 PF 22% 37% 98.7 99.3 -0.6
Marco Belinelli 16 7.3 0.45 5 Pts (2-5 FG, 0-2 3PT, 1-2 FT) 2 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 Stl, 3 PF 17% 57% 105.5 76.2 29.4
Matt Bonner 16 6.8 0.42 3 Pts (1-5 FG, 1-3 3PT) 4 Reb (2 Off), 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 15% 41% 107.3 62.4 44.9
Danny Green 16 5.5 0.35 8 Pts (3-9 FG, 0-3 3PT, 2-2 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 2 Blk, 28% 45% 80.3 106.7 -26.3
Patty Mills 19 5.1 0.27 7 Pts (3-7 FG, 1-4 3PT ) 2 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF 19% 44% 98.7 100.7 -1.9
Tiago Splitter 18 3.2 0.17 4 Pts (2-5 FG, ) 3 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 4 PF 16% 37% 134.1 79.7 54.4
Cory Joseph 3 2.7 0.89 2 Pts (1-1 FG, ) 1 Reb (1 Off), 13% 100% 66.7 153.1 -86.4
Boris Diaw 18 2.6 0.15 2 Pts (1-3 FG, ) 2 Reb (0 Off), 4 Ast, 1 TO, 1 PF 11% 49% 132.8 115.9 16.8
Reggie Williams 3 0.0 0.00 0 Pts (0-1 FG, ) , 1 Ast, 13% 35% 66.7 153.1 -86.4
Aron Baynes 19 -0.7 -0.04 6 Pts (3-8 FG, ) 4 Reb (1 Off), 3 TO, 2 PF 25% 25% 89.0 103.7 -14.7

Show Heat Players

Spurs Index: 106.7 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 77.5% 37.4
Shooting (eFG%) 52.4% 19.5
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 74.4% 19.5
Defense (DefRtg) 93.4 21.4
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 46.3% 8.8
Total 106.7

Heat Spurs Index: 93.9 Show Breakdown

77.5% assist rate as the Spurs topped 30 assists yet again, plus good rebounding and shooting and great defense made for a solid 106.7 Spurs Index.  Let's see if the Spurs can keep it up against better competition tomorrow as they travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors. 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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