clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Study Hall: Spurs stars outshine Bulls

New, comments

The Spurs gave up lots of good outside looks and failed to connect on their own looks from deep, but dominated the turnover battle and got good looks inside the arc to secure their 31st home victory of the season.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs 109, Bulls 101 - Mar 10, '16

The Spurs rode a huge night from their new Big Three to move to 31-0 at home on the year. Leonard, Aldridge and Parker combined for 75 points, 21 rebounds, 15 assists, 3 blocks, 5 steals and just 4 turnovers, good for 71.4% of San Antonio's total production. Despite their heroic efforts, San Antonio didn't run away with this one and had to fight to put away a Bulls squad which trailed by just 3 at one point in the 4th quarter.

On most teams, a Parker-Aldridge-Leonard trio would just alternate isolation plays, putting up ungodly individual stats and winning a decent majority of their games. But while it's always nice to be able to ride heroic performances from star players to victory, San Antonio are at their collective best when the ball flows more freely and role players make a bigger impact. Of course, as we saw many times last season, there are always games where the machine just doesn't run as smoothly as you'd like, and all those "good to great" shots dry up.

Perhaps the greatest strength of this year's Spurs squad is that while they are still capable of playing the Beautiful Game for stretches of time, when things get gunked up, they have a glut of individual offensive firepower they can rely on in a pinch. The ceiling for this style of play may not be as high, but good golly if the floor isn't high as well.

Even when playing disjointed basketball, this year's Spurs squad - with Parker comfortably orchestrating things and still capable of blowing up from time to time, Leonard spending half his time in god-mode and Aldridge moving beyond "comfortable" and closer to "transcendent" - is almost incapable of losing to an average NBA team even when they're playing below their potential.

Case in point: the last time San Antonio lost to a team with a losing record was November 20 of last year. Back then, everyone just knew that Donald Trump would flame out any day, nobody had heard of Flint, Michigan and you were rationalizing impending holiday weight gain with ill-fated New Year's resolutions. It's been awhile.

Outside of the phenomenal performances from San Antonio's stars, I suppose the biggest lesson from this game was that boy, three point shooting percentage matters.  The Spurs whipped the Bulls inside the arc - 50% to 43.8%, but Chicago made it rain from deep, connecting on 50% of their 22 looks from deep to just 35.3% for San Antonio.

It's really weird when a team's three point FG% exceeds their two point by over 6 percentage points. There were definitely some defensive breakdowns on San Antonio's part that led to a number of open looks, but good golly, even Derrick Rose got in on the action! Take away the unusually Bulls' high three point accuracy and this game looks a lot more like the blowout it always felt like it should have been.

The Spurs collect yet another home win and have a day of rest before playing host to the Thunder on Saturday. The Spurs will probably need some bigger contributions from their vaunted bench and role players to secure a win against an OKC squad coming off of a much-needed victory over the Clippers on Wednesday. Fortunately for San Antonio, fatigue may be a factor, as the Thunder will be playing the back end of a SEGABABA after hosting the T-Wolves the night before.

Four Factors (def.)

Spurs Bulls
Shooting (eFG%) 51% 52%
Ball Handling (TO%) 8% 21%
Off Rebounding (OR%) 19% 26%
Shooting FTs (FT Rate) 20% 15%

Team Stats (Definitions at bottom of post)

Spurs Bulls
Pace (No. of Possessions) 101.0
Points Per Possession (PPP) 1.08 1.00
Points Per Shot (PPS) 1.17 1.17
2-PT FG% 50.0% 43.8%
3-PT FG% 35.3% 50.0%
FT% 78.9% 92.3%
True Shooting % 53.8% 55.1%
Spurs
Bulls
Offensive Rating 108.6 99.3
Defensive Rating 99.3 108.6
Net Rating 9.3 -9.3
Spurs Bulls
Passes / poss. 3.1 3.2
% of FGA uncontested 53.8% 47.7%
Points in the paint 46 36
Second chance points 12 17
Fast break points 8 9
Spurs Bulls
Assists 29 23
Steals 14 5
Turnovers 8 21
Ball Control Index (BCI)
(Assists + Steals) / TO
5.38 1.33
Spurs Bulls
Expected Offensive Rebounds 12.0 10.5
Offensive Rebounds 9 11
Difference -3.0 0.5

Spurs Shot Chart

Bulls Shot Chart

Players (Definitions at bottom of post, columns sortable)

Spurs

Player
Min
AdjGS
GS/Min
Line
Usage%
Floor%
OffRtg
DefRtg
NetRtg
Kawhi Leonard 39 31.0 0.80 29 Pts (10-15 FG, 4-5 3PT, 5-5 FT) 7 Reb (1 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Blk, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 21% 70% 118.0 92.7 25.3
LaMarcus Aldridge 33 23.7 0.72 26 Pts (10-19 FG, 6-6 FT) 10 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 2 PF 31% 59% 111.5 97.2 14.3
Tony Parker 32 22.5 0.71 20 Pts (10-16 FG, 0-1 3PT, 0-1 FT) 4 Reb (0 Off), 12 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 1 PF 26% 64% 114.1 95.2 18.9
Tim Duncan 28 9.0 0.32 7 Pts (3-7 FG, 1-3 FT) 3 Reb (1 Off), 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 PF 13% 52% 106.2 101.4 4.8
David West 19 6.8 0.35 8 Pts (3-8 FG, 2-2 FT) 6 Reb (4 Off), 1 Ast, 1 Blk, 1 TO, 3 PF 21% 43% 120.8 88.9 31.9
Kyle Anderson 14 5.2 0.38 3 Pts (1-4 FG, 1-1 3PT ) 4 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 PF 12% 38% 100.8 118.2 -17.4
Danny Green 24 3.8 0.16 4 Pts (2-6 FG, 0-2 3PT ) 2 Reb (1 Off), 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 PF 11% 37% 111.6 109.3 2.3
Manu Ginobili 20 3.2 0.16 4 Pts (2-6 FG, 0-2 3PT ) 1 Reb (0 Off), 2 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 TO, 1 PF 16% 35% 94.1 80.7 13.3
Kevin Martin 8 1.7 0.23 1 Pts ( 1-2 FT) , 1 Stl, 5% 63% 114.2 106.6 7.6
Patty Mills 17 1.4 0.08 5 Pts (2-9 FG, 1-5 3PT ) , 4 Ast, 1 TO 25% 31% 89.8 104.2 -14.4
Boris Diaw 3 1.4 0.45 2 Pts (1-2 FG, 0-1 3PT ) 3 Reb (1 Off), 1 TO 43% 29% 66.7 85.0 -18.4
Andre Miller 3 0.0 0.00 0 Pts , 0% 0% 100.0 189.0 -89.0
Boban Marjanovic 1 -0.8 -1.31 0 Pts (0-1 FG, ) , 100% 0% 0.0 150.0 -150.0

Show Bulls Players

Spurs Index: 98.7 (def.)

Factor Value Score
Passing (AST%) 65.9% 31.8
Shooting (eFG%) 50.5% 18.8
Defensive Rebounding (DReb%) 73.8% 19.3
Defense (DefRtg) 99.3 20.2
Opponent % of FGA Uncontested 47.7% 8.6
Total 98.7

Bulls Spurs Index: 95.1 Show Breakdown

Confused? Show Advanced Stats Glossary