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Study Hall: Spurs shut down the Kings

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The Spurs shot a blistering 55% eFG and held the Kings to a meagre 39% in the same statistic en route to a 112-85 beatdown

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 112, Kings 85 - Mar 4, '15

The Spurs were locked in Wednesday night on both sides of the ball, shooting a scorching 56.5 percent from two and 43.5 percent from deep and racking up a combined 23 steals and blocks as they crushed a Kings team which was only able to hang with the reigning champs for the first quarter before things got out of hand.

After shooting poorly from deep across the board, the Spurs finally got on track and knocked down the open looks (and even some of those which weren't -- I'm looking at you, Belli) they seemed to have been getting, but missing for so long.  The Silver and Black were due a nice regression to the mean, so hopefully this is the start of longer trend of improved three-point shooting.

This game was really the opposite of last Friday's contest against the Boogie-less Kings in Sacramento, where the Spurs shot five percentage points worse than the kings in eFG%, but dominated ball control so completely that their poor efficiency was mitigated by the sheer number of looks.   On Wednesday, on the other hand, the Spurs managed pretty modest rebounding and BCI advantages, but generated tons of great looks and shot such a high percentage that the Kings couldn't compete.

The Spurs played absolutely ferocious defense, bolstered a bit by some decidedly passive officiating as the good guys swiped and swatted their way to 13 steals and 10 blocks.  It was beautiful to behold the Kings' complete discomfort on the offensive end.  Kawhi Leonard in particular tormented poor Rudy Gay, holding him to 4-16 from the field and a frustrated technical foul.

The Spurs defense led to a much-improved transition game, something which has been sorely lacking this season as the Spurs only average 10.5 fast break points/game, down from 13.2 last season.  Those 20 points were a welcome site for a team which has been missing out on a lot of easy ones in games they could've used them.  Hopefully Leonard's return and the nascent resurgence of Tony Parker will lead to an uptick in that mark.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Kings
Shooting (eFG%) 55% 39%
Ball Handling (TO%) 17% 18%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 23% 18%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 19% 44%

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Kings
Pace (No. of Possessions) 102.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.10 0.83
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.32 1.09
2-PT FG% 56.5% 37.7%
3-PT FG% 43.5% 33.3%
FT% 75.0% 70.6%
True Shooting % 60.8% 45.7%
Spurs
Kings
Offensive Rating 110.8 82.6
Defensive Rating 82.6 110.8
Net Rating 28.3 -28.3
Spurs Kings
Passes / poss. 2.8 2.6
% of FGA uncontested 45.9% 28.2%
Points in the paint 38 42
Second chance points 16 15
Fast break points 20 14
Spurs Kings
Assists 23 15
Steals 13 14
Turnovers 17 17
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
2.12 1.71
Spurs Kings
Expected Offensive Rebounds 8.8 11.0
Offensive Rebounds 8 8
Difference -0.8 -3.0

Spurs Shot Chart

Kings Shot Chart

That's a shot chart for the books -- look at that beautiful sea of green, just lovely.  Notably, the Spurs apparently hit every mid-range jumper they shot, in addition to excellent finishing at the rim, which is a nice way to ensure a stellar FG%.  I'll take it.

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Kawhi Leonard 29 24.2 0.84 21 Pts (9-11 FG, 2-4 3PT, 1-4 FT) 5 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 21% 69% 111.8 75.6 36.2
Tony Parker 25 18.1 0.74 19 Pts (8-14 FG, 0-1 3PT, 3-3 FT) 1 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 29% 63% 113.8 65.3 48.5
Danny Green 23 12.0 0.53 13 Pts (3-7 FG, 2-4 3PT, 5-5 FT) 2 Reb (0 Off), 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 19% 57% 111.6 66.4 45.3
Manu Ginobili 21 9.5 0.46 13 Pts (5-9 FG, 2-3 3PT, 1-1 FT) 6 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 Stl, 6 TO, 3 PF 32% 39% 107.8 80.9 26.9
Tim Duncan 19 9.1 0.47 5 Pts (2-4 FG, 1-2 FT) 6 Reb (1 Off), 4 Ast, 3 Blk, 5 PF 11% 66% 110.3 63.2 47.1
Boris Diaw 23 8.6 0.37 8 Pts (4-7 FG, 0-2 3PT ) 5 Reb (1 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 1 PF 17% 50% 107.8 97.0 10.8
Marco Belinelli 25 8.0 0.32 13 Pts (5-12 FG, 3-6 3PT ) , 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 4 PF 24% 41% 114.3 86.9 27.4
Jeff Ayres 10 8.0 0.78 3 Pts (1-1 FG, 1-1 FT) 7 Reb (0 Off), 2 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 PF 6% 108% 102.7 105.7 -3.0
Tiago Splitter 18 4.5 0.25 4 Pts (2-4 FG, ) 4 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF 13% 44% 126.3 91.6 34.7
Patty Mills 17 3.8 0.22 5 Pts (2-7 FG, 1-3 3PT ) 3 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 1 PF 18% 38% 122.0 93.0 28.9
Matt Bonner 7 3.6 0.54 2 Pts (1-1 FG, ) 1 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 7% 100% 69.2 122.5 -53.2
Aron Baynes 13 2.6 0.19 4 Pts (2-5 FG, ) 4 Reb (2 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 2 PF 23% 32% 104.0 76.5 27.6
Cory Joseph 10 0.0 0.00 2 Pts (1-3 FG, ) , 1 Ast, 1 TO 18% 32% 102.7 105.7 -3.0

Show Kings Players

Kawhi was feeling it from the tipoff, hitting his first five shots and looking completely dominant with a monster line of 21 points on 11 shots, along with five boards, an assist, a block and three steals in just 29 minutes. The Spurs seemed to have found a nice compromise between their democratic, whip-the-ball-around style of offense and ISOs for Leonard which was lovely to behold.

Tony Parker once again looked fantastic against the Kings, going 8-14 from the field and hanging 19 on a Kings squad which couldn't keep Tony from getting to his spots.  He looked quick, explosive and savvy and was able to get the kind of looks we expect from our future HOFer, even scoring on a lovely patented TP spin move which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Danny Green and Manu Ginobili were both efficient and played disruptive defense, although Manu's passes tended towards errancy as he tossed it away six times to lead the Spurs in that category.  I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that Jeff Ayres was second on the team in AdjGS points/minute, contributing eight in his 10 minutes of play, including a monster dunk which made everyone feel great after reading Erler's wonderful piece on the plight of guys like Ayres.  Good on you, Jeff!

Spurs Index: 105.2 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 51.1% 24.7
Shooting (eFG%) 54.7% 20.4
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 81.8% 21.4
Defense (DefRtg) 82.6 24.2
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 28.2% 14.5
Total 105.2

Kings Spurs Index: 86.7 Show Breakdown

Not a ton of assists (see: Kawhi isos), but excellent shooting, fantastic rebounding and lockdown defense add up to a solid 105.2 score on the Spurs Index.  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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