Originally written on Project Spurs  |  Last updated 2/8/12
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Briefing Session

The San Antonio Spurs (17-9) play the second game of their nine-game Rodeo Road Trip as the team stops in the “City of Brotherly Love” to face the defensive minded Philadelphia 76ers.

The Spurs come into Philadelphia on a five game win streak, 4-8 road record, and 1-0 rodeo road trip record after Tony Parker and Tim Duncan helped the team hold off the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

Case No. 27: Philadelphia 76ers (18-7)

Home record: 13-3. Last 10 games: 7-3.

Commendable Areas for the 76ers

Team Defense: The 76ers are ranked as the number one defensive team in the entire league by holding their opponents to 86.6 points per game. But across the board, their numbers speak for themselves. Have a look:

  • Opponent points per game – 1st – 86.6 points
  • Defensive rebounds per game – 2nd – 33.3 rebounds
  • Opponent three point shooting percentage – 4th – 31%
  • Opponent field goal percentage – 5th - 42%
  • Steals per game – 8th – 8.9 steals
  • Personal fouls – 28th – 17.5 fouls

Across the board, the 76ers’ defense means business as it shows their players have great communication and chemistry in holding their opponents to these low numbers. Then, when you throw in the fact that they’re second to last in sending opponents to the free throw line, you can see the attention-to-detail head coach Doug Collins has ingrained in this young team.

 

  • Efficient offensive machine: The 76ers are a classic team built around the concept of “team” before individual as they have a very efficient offense. The 76ers are ranked 1st in field goals made (38.4 FGM), 4th in three point shooting percentage (39% 3PT), 1st in turnovers per game (10.7 TO), 4th in assists (22.5 AST), and 5th in field goal percentage (46% FG). To be the number one team who commits the fewest turnovers amongst 30 teams, this speaks volumes for the amount of trust and responsibility each player on the 76ers has within each other while on the floor. No one player shoots too many shots, and the shots the players do take have to be high percentage for the 76ers to be ranked so high in those categories. In fact, when you add Philly’s top eight player’s points and field goal percentage together, and divide it, you come out with 11.4 points and 47% shooting. If those aren’t efficient numbers, I don’t know what are?

Deficient areas for the 76ers

  • Getting to the free throw line: I couldn’t find one specific area where the 76ers are bad at, the only thing I noticed was their free throw ability on offense. The 76ers are ranked 29th in the league at getting to the free throw line (19 FTA), 30th in made free throws (13.6 FTM), and 27th in free throw shooting percentage (72% FT). This number could be because of two reasons, a) The 76ers don’t have that elite slashing-attacking player who can get to the line possession after possession, or b) the team has such a disciplined system on offense that the majority of the plays they run usually result in high percentage shots.

76ers Top 8 players

Louis Williams – 15.5 points, 12.4 FGA for 42% shooting

Remember, Williams comes off the bench, and yet he’s their leading scorer. Let’s just say that Danny Green will have his work cut out for him againstthe 76ers.

Jrue Holiday – 13.9 points, 1.7 steals, 13.1 FGA for 43% shooting

Once again, there is a typing error on his first name or the hospital just misspelled the name on his birth certificate. All jokes aside, Holiday better be ready to work as Tony Parker has scored 63 points in his last two games combined.

Andre Iguodala – 12.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.8 steals, 10.4 FGA for 45% shooting

Though his scoring has dropped a bit from his career average, it’s good to see Iguodala is being more of a “LeBron” than a “Kobe.” Iguodala has all the athleticism like James to be a monster on offense and defense, and he’s showing it this season as he’s leading the team in assists, has good rebounding numbers, and defensive numbers. Rookie Kawhi Leonard will once again be receiving another NBA education as he defends Iguodala.

Thaddeus Young – 12.4 points, 1.4 steals, 10.8 FGA for 51% shooting

Spencer Hawes (doubtful for tonight's contest) – 10.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 8.4 FGA for 57% shooting

Elton Brand – 10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.6 blocks, 9.3 FGA for 47% shooting

Evan Turner – 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.5 FGA for 47% shooting

Jodie Meeks – 9.2 points, 7.1 FGA for 44% shooting

Game Expectation

This is a tough game to read, as both teams present individual matchup problems on each side. The biggest focus for the Spurs has to be Green-defending Williams. Leonard might even see time on Williams if he’s too much for Green. If the Spurs can once again stay on task with the defense-first attitude, and get a big night from their front court of Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, DeJuan Blair, and Matt Bonner, along with Green defending Williams, they should be able to stretch their winning streak to 6-0.

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