Found May 06, 2013 on Project Spurs:
One of the best aspects in watching sports is first seeing something develop with your eyes and then going back to a box score to see your analysis proven with real numbers. For example, when you watch a basketball game, you might say, “Player X shoots and misses a lot of jumpers.” From there, you get home, go to the box score and find that Player X attempted 10 jump shots and only made four of them, meaning Player X is a 40% shooter. When it comes to breaking down the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors, all we have is quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative is four Spurs games and six Warriors games. Qualitative is what my eyes saw both in person at the AT&T Center and at home on my TV screen. Going furthermore, in looking at the data of these two teams, you must also keep in mind that they came against two totally different opponents – The Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets, two teams that are not remotely built in the same mold of the Spurs and Warriors, and who were missing key players. I’ve broken down both teams from a numbers stand point and will be looking at these key areas: offense, defense, clutch performance, lineups mostly used, where each team favors to shoot from, and each team’s top individual players. All numbers used are coming from the playoff games, not the regular season. Offense and Defense Points Per Game – Spurs 104 (3rd), Warriors 107.2 (1st) Point allowed – Spurs 85.3 (2nd), Warriors 103 (13th) Offensive rating – Spurs 111 (1st), Warriors 107.7 (5th) Defensive rating – Spurs 90.6 (1st), Warriors 102.4 (9th) As Tony Parker said after the Spurs sent the Lakers home almost a week ago, “the next series is going to be a track meet.” Parker had the right idea here as we’ll see two of the top three scoring playoff teams facing off. The only problem for the Warriors is that the Spurs’ defense is not even close the Nuggets. The Spurs’ defense got praise from head coach Gregg Popovich almost after all four games.  He praised the defense in the postgame press conferences of both games one and two. The Spurs’ defense held the Lakers to 14 points in one game at their minimum and only allowed the Lakers to score 26 points at maximum in a quarter in the series. The Warriors’ defense is really shaky as it did hold Denver a few times to less than 20 points, but also gave up quite a bit of 30+ point quarters. The Spurs’ defense though must still stay true to itself because the Warriors have the potential to light up the score board with plenty of 30+ point quarters. Field Goal Percentage – Spurs 49.1% (3rd), Warriors 49.4% (2nd) Opponent field goal percentage – Spurs 44.2% (8th), Warriors 43.8% (7th) You have to give the Warriors credit. For being a team that mainly scores its points off of jump shots, they do it at an efficient rate. 3-Point shooting – Spurs 35.3% (3rd), Warriors 40.1% (1st) Opponent 3-point percentage – Spurs 27% (2nd), Warriors 31.1% (6th) 3-point attempts – Spurs 17, Warriors 24.5 3-Pointers allowed – Spurs 18.5 (3rd), Warriors 22.5 (11th) Free throw shooting – Spurs 80.5% (3rd), Warriors 40.1% (5th) These numbers are very high due to the quality of opponent each team faced. The Nuggets weren’t known as a dominant defensive team and even if the Lakers were healthy, they were never a top 15 defensive team throughout the year. So, the Spurs and Warriors got the 3-point shots that they wanted. For the Spurs, the 22.5 attempts the Warriors allow is a telling number that they shouldn’t have any trouble slicing into the lane and dishing passes out to open shooters. For the Warriors however, the Spurs’ 3-point defense only allowed the Lakers 18.5 three point attempts and that’s because the Lakers had a strong interior presence. The Spurs’ perimeter defense will have to be ready to make switches and make sure to run the Warriors off of the 3-point line. Rebounds – Spurs 42.3 (6th), Warriors 43.2 (4th) Offensive rebounding – Spurs 8.8 (12th), Warriors 10 (9th) 2nd Chance points – Spurs 10.5 (14th), Warriors 15.5 points (3rd) Offensive rebounding will be another key area the Spurs will have to be observant in. With the Warriors taking so many long jumpers, the rebounds are favored to go into their big men’s hands. The Spurs must box out and the wing players must help the post players rebound to avoid second chance opportunities, where the Warriors are top-3 in the playoffs. Assists – Spurs 23.8 (1st), Warriors 23.8 (1st) Opponent assists – Spurs 18.5 (5th), Warriors 21.2 (11th) Whenever you see that a team allows 20+ assists per game, that tells you their defense is full of holes and misses assignments. Both teams are the best passing teams in the playoffs, and while the Spurs shouldn’t have trouble carving up the Warriors defense, the Warriors might have more trouble getting some of the shots they had open against Denver, as the Spurs’ defense will take their passing out of its element. Turnovers per game Spurs 10 (1st), Warriors 18.7 (16th – Last) Opponent turnovers – Spurs 16.5 (4th), Warriors 14.5 (8th) Points off turnovers – Spurs 18.3 (4th), 17.7 (6th) When you turn the ball over five times in the final 1:37 of a closeout game, turnovers have to be a problem for your team. Meanwhile the Spurs, who averaged almost 15 turnovers per game in the regular season, really took care of the basketball and are the best team in limiting their turnovers. The Warriors could be categorized as a “hot potato” type of team coming in. If the Warriors continue turning over the basketball, they shouldn’t be surprised to see the Spurs capitalize on each opportunity, as that is what they do best - make opponents turn the ball over and score when that happens. Steals – Spurs 10.3 (1st), Warriors 6.5 (9th) Blocks – Spurs 5 (8th), Warriors 6.7 (2nd) Fouls – Spurs 18 (2nd), Warriors 23.2 (9th) Clutch Warriors - 8.3 points (3rd), 2 turnovers (Last), shooting 52.6% (4th), 3-point shooting 14.3% (7th) This information was taken in the last five minutes of close games. The Spurs don’t have any clutch data because their sweep of the Lakers came with no close outcomes. From the Warriors standpoint, they can score in those last five minutes but are prone to turning the ball over. Lineups Here are the top-5 lineups coach Popovich and Warriors head coach Mark Jackson have preferred to use in the playoffs thus far. Keep in mind, these lineups could change since Boris Diaw will be making his return and possibly Tiago Splitter, while David Lee’s minutes could increase as well. Spurs 1.      Tiago Splitter, Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tony Parker 2.      Duncan, Matt Bonner, Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Parker 3.      DeJuan Blair, Bonner, Ginobili, Gary Neal, Cory Joseph 4.      Duncan, Bonner, Leonard, Green, Parker Warriors 1.      Andrew Bogut, David Lee, Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry 2.      Bogut, Barnes, Thompson, Jack, Curry 3.      Bogut Carl Landry, Barnes, Thomspon, Curry 4.      Bogut, Landry, Barnes, Jack, Curry 5.      Bogut, Green, Thomspon, Jack, Curry Where each team likes to shoot from Spurs When it came to their shooting, the Spurs got plenty of open looks against the Lakers. However, their shooting from the outside seemed to be an issue. Whether it was an open Green, Leonard, or Neal, the Spurs just couldn’t seem to knock down their open 3-pointers. They should still be able to get some of those open looks against the Warriors, the question is will their eight days off making the outside shooting look even more out of rhythm?     Warriors As you can see, the Warriors come in shooting very well from almost all but two areas on the floor. The Spurs’ defense will have a real challenge on their hand limiting the outside shooting.           Top Players Spurs Tony Parker – 22.3 points (17.8 FGA, 49%), 5.5 free throw attempts, 6.5 assists, 1.3 steals, Spurs were a +12 with Parker on the floor. If Parker watched the Nuggets-Warriors series, he might be licking his chops to get his chance at scoring on the Warriors’ defense. Ty Lawson, who is a speedy point guard looked like he could drive into the Warriors defense at will at times whether in the half court or in transition. Parker will most likely see Klay Thompson defend him, since Thompson also saw many minutes defending Lawson in the last series. However, Thompson has a knack for racking up fouls. With Curry gaining a lot of hype from the last series, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Parker comes out even more motivated in this series, as he usually tries to do when he faces other point guards who are in the spotlight, like Chris Paul comes to mind. Tim Duncan – 17.5 points (14.5 FGA, 52%), 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1 block, 3 fouls, Spurs were a +8.3 when Duncan was on the floor. After battling Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, Duncan might be getting a break on both sides of the floor with Bogut, who can be foul prone, Landry, and possibly Lee. Duncan’s toughest job will be rebounding and making sure to get back on defense, as the Warriors like to push the tempo. He must also make sure to switch on shooters like Curry, or they can make him pay with an outside 3-pointer. Kawhi Leonard – 12.3 points (9.5 FGA, 55%), 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals, Spurs were a +11.3 when Leonard was on the floor. Barnes will have to decide if he wants to help on Parker and Ginobili’s dribble penetration and risk Leonard shooting an open 3-pointer, or Leonard can really get the Warriors defense guessing if he too becomes more aggressive on offense and starts attacking the rim. Manu Ginobili – 11.3 points (7.5 FGA, 47%), 3.5 three pointers (50%), 4.8 assists, 2 turnovers, 1.8 steals, Spurs were a +13.3 when Ginobili was on the floor. Ginobili will most likely see Jack and Thompson defend him, who are two defenders Ginobili should still be able to be productive against. In the open court, Ginobili can really make the Warriors pay with his playmaking ability. Matt Bonner – 7.8 points (4.5 FGA, 56%), 1 steal, Spurs were a +15.3 when Bonner was on the floor. Bonner’s minutes and role might decrease with the return of Diaw and Splitter. Gary Neal – 7.8 points (7.8 FGA, 36%), 4 three pointers (25%), Spurs were a +8 when Neal was on the floor. “The idea of Gary Neal being switched onto Jack or Curry on defense is terrifying” – I thought I read this on twitter, but couldn’t find the original source. Either way, it’s a statement that could mean so much for the Spurs’ second unit. Danny Green – 7 points (7.3 FGA, 41%), 3 three pointers (33%), 4 rebounds, Spurs were a +3 when Green was on the floor. Green could have a big role in the series because he’ll most likely have Curry defending him. If Green is hitting a high percentage from three, then Curry won’t be able to help on the Spurs’ dribble penetration. But, if Green continues to struggle from shooting from the outside, it won’t be surprising to see Curry lay off of him. DeJuan Blair – 6.5 points (4.3 FGA, 71%), Spurs were a +10.5 when Blair was on the floor. Tiago Splitter – 5 points (4.7 FGA, 36%), 4 rebounds, 2 turnovers, Spurs were a -0.3 when Splitter was on the floor. Cory Joseph – 4.5 points (4.3 FGA, 53%), Spurs were a +5.8 when Joseph was on the floor. Warriors Stephen Curry - 24.3 points (18.2 FGA, 47% FG), 9.3 assists, 2.2 steals, 3.3 turnovers, 3.7 personal fouls, 8.8 three pointers (43%), 3.5 Free throw attempts, Warriors are +8.7 when he’s on the floor. The Spurs’ defensive game plan will be centered on Curry. Coach Popovich will probably have several schemes in store for Curry from Parker to Green to Leonard to maybe even Joseph defending him. As our own Kyle Boenitz recently wrote, the Spurs can afford for Curry to score over 10 point in a game, they just can’t let him go on those crazy 10-1 run sort of deals where he starts making Coach Popovich think he’s watching Michael Jordan. Jarrett Jack – 18.8 points (12.7 FGA, 53%), 7 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 5.3 Free throw attempts, Warriors are +5.8 when he’s on the floor. Jack has been a problem for the Spurs over the years, and if the Spurs limit Curry, Jack will be the one attacking for the offense. Parker will most likely have to defend Jack and Green as well. The problem could be if a bench player like Neal has to defend him. Harrison Barnes – 14.8 points (11.7 FGA, 46%), 5.5 rebounds, 5.3 three pointers (41%), Warriors are +4.8 when he’s on the floor.  Klay Thompson – 14.7 points (13.3 FGA, 46%), 4 personal fouls, 2 turnovers, 5.8 three pointers (34%), Warriors are +4.5 when he’s on the floor. Like Green, Thompson also hasn’t been shooting a high percentage from the outside. Offensively, he won’t be able to create a lot since he’ll be expending all of his energy on the defensive end guarding Parker. Carl Landry – 12.8 points (9.7 FGA, 50%), 3.7 free throw attempts, Warriors are a -3 when he’s on the floor. Andrew Bogut – 8.2 points (6.3 FGA, 63%), 10.3 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 2.2 turnovers, 3 fouls, Warriors are a +4.5 when he’s on the floor. Bogut can be a force in the paint on both sides of the floor as evidenced in game six of Golden States battle with Denver. However, he must do his best not to get into foul trouble. Draymond Green – 7.3 points (4.5 FGA, 59%), 3.3 fouls, Warriors are a +2 when he’s on the floor. David Lee – 5 points (7.5 FGA, 27%), 7.5 rebounds, Warriors are a -0.5 when he’s on the floor. With so much of the numbers pointing in the Spurs’ favor, it wouldn’t be surprising if they defeated in the Warriors in four or five games. The offense and defense is in tune right now for San Antonio while Golden State will score, but hasn’t shown the consistency on defense and the discipline in taking care of the basketball. Remember, all of the above data is quantitative. But if the Warriors were too somehow shockingly win the series, then that qualitative data would conquer the quantitative data. All stats and shot charts from Tweets by @24writer

Gregg Popovich Wants To Cook Manu Ginobili Breakfast After Game-Winner

Gregg Popovich had one of the best quotes of the season following the Spurs Game 1 2OT victory over the Warriors on Monday night.  After rallying form 16 down to force overtime, Manu Ginobili, who struggled throughout the game (5-for-20), came up  with the game-winning three to seal the win with 1.2 seconds left – here’s what Pop had to say about it. According to USA Today...

Stephen Curry wonders if Gregg Popovich was sauced after Michael Jordan comparison

A lot of observers have called Stephen Curry the MVP of the playoffs thus far. Gregg Popovich has taken it a step further. The Spurs coach evoked Michael Jordan’s name when attempting describe some of the things Curry has been doing on the basketball court, recalling the 35 points he torched the Spurs for in the final week of the regular season. From 48 Minutes of Hell: “I was...

Manu Ginobili drains game winner in Game 1

How? How do you let Manu Ginobili get that wide open? How? The Golden State Warriors will be asking themselves that for the next day as they try to rebound in Game 2 after losing a heartbreaker to the San Antonio Spurs 129-127 in double overtime on Monday night. Sure, it took more than 57 minutes for Ginobili to hit his first 3-pointer of the night and he had missed his previous...

Popovich compares Stephen Curry to Michael Jordan, Curry offers Funny Response

Anytime Michael Jordan is brought up in a comparison with a current player, it should be taken as an extremely high compliment. So when San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich was on the receiving end of a 35 point explosion by Curry, he held nothing back when asked his thoughts on Curry. “It was like [...]

Spurs hit Clutch Shots and Buzzer Beaters to win Game 1

The Spurs were all but done last night in game 1 versus the Warriors. They however, mounted a huge 4th quarter comeback and hit a buzzer beater to win 129-127 in the 2nd overtime. With 4 minutes left in the game the Spurs Trailed by 16 points. The Warriors missed their last 8 out of 9 shots and the Spurs ended the game on an 18-2 run to force overtime. With the Spurs trailing by...

San Antonio Spurs 129, Golden State Warriors 127: Wow, Just Wow.

AT&T CENTER--Seated in press row, overlooking the court from the upper deck, one could see the play as it unfolded. As Manu Ginobili set a screen for Tony Parker, who dragged the defensive attention of Harrison Barnes and Jarret Jack along with him, leaving Kent Brazemore to decide between an open Diaw and Ginobili. Ginobili sank the three-pointer, the Spurs sank the Golden...

Spurs-Warriors Game One: The Game Of Any Year

I really couldn't imagine that the NBA playoffs were going to get better in the second round. Warriors vs. Nuggets was up-tempo magic between two highly likable, flawed teams. Dubs-Spurs was going to be a simple slapdown of the young'uns; Golden State hadn't won in San Antonio for 29 games. They clearly weren't going to do that against a rested and experienced Spurs...

Golden State Warriors Release New Arena Renderings

The Golden State Warriors are headed back to San Francisco following the 2017 season and they have released the latest renderings for what the arena and its surrounding area will look like. Here are a few facts from the Warriors’ website to give you an idea of how immense the 170,000 square feet venue will end up being.  The arena will be located on Piers 30-32 on the waterfront...

Warriors’ David Lee could see ‘significant minutes’ against Spurs

Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson believes that he could get more meaningful minutes out of forward David Lee during the team’s second-round matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. However, Jackson also said that there’s no expectation on Lee moving forward, as how his body responds will determine how much he plays, according to Carl Steward of The Contra Costa Times...

Gregg Popovich and David Aldridge have Funny Mid-Game Interview (Video)

If you have ever witnessed San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich get interviewed mid-game you know that sometimes it can be a struggle. Popovich traditionally doesn’t provide much insight and has little to say. So that’s why many found it funny when Popovich found himself getting interviewed last night by TNT’s David Aldridge. Watch [...]

Ginobili's 3 in 2nd OT lifts Spurs over Warriors

All it took was one shot from Manu Ginobili to undo Stephen Curry's monstrous performance. Ginobili hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 1.2 seconds left in the second overtime Monday night to lift the San Antonio Spurs to a 129-127 win over the Golden State Warriors and Curry, who put up 44 points in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals. Ginobili's shot and...

What's happened since the Warriors last win in San Antonio?

You may have heard a little about how the Golden State Warriors have not won a game in San Antonio since Feb. 4, 1997, which is quite some time ago. I, for example, was in 8th grade on that date, probably in my parents room watching Bill Nye the Science Guy on a little 19-inch color TV that got its fuzzy reception through an antenna. I turn 30 next month. So this demanded a little...

San Antonio Spurs Coach Holds Funniest Press Conference Ever

The Big Leagues Pop hung up the sass for once.
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.