clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Looks like the Spurs remembered that three-pointers are good

New, comments

San Antonio avenged their Christmas Day loss against Houston in The Return of Danny Green, as the Spurs hit 13/24 from deep to put the Rockets away in a rousing team effort which saw 4 players score 18+.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 121, Rockets 103 - Jan 2, '16

The Spurs came into this one winners of all three since their Christmas Day defeat in Houston, while the Rockets had not won since, but you'd never have known that from the way the teams came out of the gate. After a quick but welcome Danny Green triple, the Spurs went scoreless for about 4 minutes while the Rockets jumped out to a quick 12-3 lead.

After a Popovich timeout, San Antonio snapped out of it and went on a quick 11-2 run to tie the game up thanks to a flurry of Danny Green threes (it felt really great typing that sentence). Green scored or assisted on all 14 of San Antonio's first points, a welcome reminder of just how much a dialed-in Danny elevates this team's offensive ceiling. 

It feels like Danny has been suffering from shooting-related amnesia this season, and this game was the following scene:

Outside of the thrilling conclusion of Danny's bout of three point amnesia, the story of this game was probably the Spurs' 3rd quarter evisceration of the Rox. The Spurs would outscore Houston 36-17 in the period, making the entire fourth quarter extended garbage-time. Of course, with this season's addition of Jonathan Simmons and Boban Marjanovic, garbage time is actually my favorite time (okay, second favorite).

Both teams shot the ball exceedingly well, with the Spurs only besting Houston in effective Field Goal percentage by 4 percentage points. They actually shot worse from inside the arc, but went berserk from deep (13/24) to gain the decisive advantage. Their 24 attempts from downtown was 5.1 over their season average. If Danny Green remains hot or at least effective, it's not hard to picture that number climbing over the second half of the season. If it does, watch out!

The Spurs boast an outright glut of offensive weapons, almost all of which were on display in this game. Despite a marginal performance from their 3rd leading producer in Tony Parker and a practically non-existent from a just-returned Tim Duncan, the Spurs had 4 players with 18+ points and took turns giving the Rockets hell throughout the game.

Danny Green kept the Spurs afloat in the first frame with 12 points on 4/5 from deep, assisted by 8 points from LaMarcus Aldridge who was a force all night. The second quarter belonged to Kawhi, who scored 12 on just 4 shots. The third quarter saw LaMarcus Aldridge add another 11, Manu 8 and Diaw 8 as well. Diaw continued his dominant play into the 4th quarter, adding 5 more points before garbage time ensued and the 3rd unit cruised to victory.

LaMarcus finished with a team-high 24 points on 10-16 from the field, 4-4 from the line, 9 boards and 2 steals with a single turnover. He looked like the alpha he was in Portland and was aggressive in getting his looks and taking Houston to task throughout the game. Just watching him play, he looked more like LaMarcus Aldridge, and less like LaMarcus playing the role of "Power Forward in the Spurs system." Although LaMarcus is in fact a fine actor, I'd rather see more of the former in this new year.

Danny finished just shy of LaMarcus's team-leading 23.0 AdjGS with 22.1 on a fantastic 18 points on 6-9 shooting (6-8 from three), 4 boards, 3 assists, a block and 3 steals. This is why Danny's $10 million/year contract was considered a huge hometown discount. So far it looks like the PTR staff's new year wishes are coming true so far.

Boris Diaw lived up to his new nickname in this one, as he effortlessly danced his way to the basket time and again en route to a 20 point performance that somehow looked both leisurely and dominant. Possibly one of the most unique players in NBA history, Boris. His little head shake at the end of this play was fantastic:

Kawhi had a marvelously efficient offensive game, scoring 22 on 8-12 shooting and 4-5 from the line, but he still looked a bit off at times. He very uncharacteristically got caught out of position on defense several times in the first half, even fouling Dwight on an and-one. On the offensive side, Kawhi experimented heavily with the drive-and-kick, with very... mixed results (2 assists, 3 turnovers and a couple of passes deflected out of bounds). I like that Kawhi is working on what I hope will one day become a major part of his game, but right now it's not coming quite as smoothly as we'd all like. Still, I'm excited by the effort and yes, I'm complaining about a player who put up 22 points on 12 shots.

Manu put in an explosive 16 minutes, scoring 8 and dishing out 5 assists with no turnovers. David West was deadly from mid-range as he put up 10 points on 5-6 shooting with 2 assists in his 21 minutes. His ability to knock down shots from the free throw line helps space the floor and prevent the other team's rim protector from helping when Diaw goes to work in the post, as you can see here (though this was a rare Boris miss):

Patty Mills appeared to have lost his hot hand (or perhaps he gifted it to Danny as a NYE present), but despite his rough 1-7 start from, he continued to play the odds and fire away.  It eventually paid off in the fourth quarter as he connected on a pair of back-breaking back-to-back threes, which put the Spurs back up by 33, a deficit from which Houston could not hope to come back.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Rockets
Shooting (eFG%) 60% 56%
Ball Handling (TO%) 11% 17%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 22% 21%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 22% 45%

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Rockets
Pace (No. of Possessions) 96.9
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.25 1.06
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.41 1.39
2-PT FG% 51.6% 53.8%
3-PT FG% 54.2% 40.9%
FT% 94.7% 60.6%
True Shooting % 64.1% 58.2%
Spurs
Rockets
Offensive Rating 124.3 106.7
Defensive Rating 106.7 124.3
Net Rating 17.6 -17.6
Spurs Rockets
Passes / poss. 3.0 2.8
% of FGA uncontested 62.8% 43.2%
Points in the paint 44 46
Second chance points 6 1
Fast break points 15 27
Spurs Rockets
Assists 31 26
Steals 9 7
Turnovers 11 15
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
3.64 2.20
Spurs Rockets
Expected Offensive Rebounds 9.3 9.8
Offensive Rebounds 8 8
Difference -1.3 -1.8

Spurs Shot Chart

Rockets Shot Chart

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
LaMarcus Aldridge 32 23.0 0.71 24 Pts (10-16 FG, 4-4 FT) 9 Reb (2 Off), 2 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF 27% 64% 129.8 93.9 36.0
Danny Green 32 22.1 0.69 18 Pts (6-9 FG, 6-8 3PT ) 4 Reb (0 Off), 3 Ast, 1 Blk, 3 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF 15% 62% 135.0 116.0 19.0
Boris Diaw 25 21.7 0.85 20 Pts (8-13 FG, 2-2 3PT, 2-2 FT) 8 Reb (3 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 3 PF 25% 62% 135.8 106.5 29.4
Kawhi Leonard 34 18.1 0.53 22 Pts (8-12 FG, 2-2 3PT, 4-5 FT) 6 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 3 TO, 3 PF 24% 58% 125.5 102.8 22.7
Manu Ginobili 16 11.5 0.72 8 Pts (2-5 FG, 4-4 FT) 2 Reb (2 Off), 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 PF 18% 73% 134.4 98.4 36.0
David West 21 9.5 0.46 10 Pts (5-6 FG, ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 3 PF 13% 85% 113.7 123.3 -9.6
Patty Mills 21 7.2 0.34 9 Pts (3-10 FG, 3-9 3PT ) , 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 20% 38% 139.1 105.6 33.6
Jonathon Simmons 9 4.9 0.53 6 Pts (3-4 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 TO, 2 PF 24% 59% 100.6 107.2 -6.6
Tony Parker 27 4.1 0.15 2 Pts (0-6 FG, 0-2 3PT, 2-2 FT) 4 Reb (0 Off), 10 Ast, 2 TO, 1 PF 15% 41% 99.9 107.2 -7.3
Kyle Anderson 2 2.3 1.08 2 Pts ( 2-2 FT) , 18% 125% 123.0 104.2 18.8
Matt Bonner 2 -0.5 -0.22 0 Pts , 1 PF 0% 0% 123.0 104.2 18.8
Tim Duncan 14 -1.0 -0.08 0 Pts (0-3 FG, ) 4 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 1 TO, 1 PF 14% 18% 107.9 107.3 0.6
Boban Marjanovic 4 -1.9 -0.49 0 Pts (0-2 FG, ) , 1 Ast, 1 TO 34% 12% 112.6 124.5 -11.9

Show Rockets Players

Spurs Index: 104.6 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 68.9% 33.3
Shooting (eFG%) 59.9% 22.3
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 79.5% 20.8
Defense (DefRtg) 106.7 18.8
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 43.2% 9.4
Total 104.6

Rockets Spurs Index: 98.0 Show Breakdown

Confused? Show Advanced Stats Glossary