Advanced Scouting: Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs
Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs 6:00 CST January 9, 2011
The Spurs begin a home-and-home against the Minnesota Timberwolves in San Antonio tonight. The Spurs have won both of their matchups against the Timberwolves this season, but each meeting presented a significant challenge. The Spurs needed overtime to win the first and came from 15 points back to pull out the second. Check out my scouting report on the Timberwolves prior to the first meeting.
The Spurs have been destroyed on the boards in both games. In total, Minnesota has collected 112 rebounds to San Antonioâ€™s 82. If the Spurs want to assure victory in tonightâ€™s game, boxing out Kevin Love (7 offensive rebounds in each meeting) should go a long way.
The Spurs have done a good job slowing the Timberwolves down so far this year. They have only allowed 5 fast breaks in each game, while creating 11 and 15 transition possessions for themselves. These plays resulted in 28 points for the Spurs compared to 9 points for Minnesota.
Michael Beasley has scored 17 points in 17 isolation possessions against the Spurs in the two aforementioned meetings. The Timberwolves have also relied heavily on the post game in both meetings, being credited with 36 total post possessions.
Despite the disparity in production, Darko Milicic continues to get more post opportunities than Kevin Love. In 124 post possessions since December 3, Darko has averaged a putrid 0.58 points per possession compared to the mediocre 0.84 rate produced by Love in 97 possessions.
Tony Parker has excelled running the pick and roll against Minnesota, scoring 25 points in the 17 possessions he finished himself.
Minnesota: -5.65 (30th)
San Antonio: 7.86 (2nd)
|Player||Fraction of teams minutes||PER minus Counterpart PER||On court +/-per 48 minutes||Off court +/-per 48 minutes||2 Year Adjusted +/-|
Ridnour, Johnson, Beasley, Love, Milicic -27 in 241 minutes (-5.4 per 48 minutes)
Ridnour, Johnson, Brewer, Love, Milicic +21 in 61 minutes (+16.5 per 48 minutes)
The Spurs barely escaped their third consecutive loss against Indiana Friday night. The Timberwolves present an easier matchup (the Spurs won all games last year by double digits), but they canâ€™t afford to get outrebounded 59-37 again. If the Spurs can keep the rebounding difference close, their chances are excellent. Minnesota stands a better chance at home on Tuesday, but the Spurs should hold the advantage in that one as well.