Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Hornets


San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Hornets 7:00 CST January 22, 2011

The Spurs travel to New Orleans in hopes of attaining their 9th consecutive victory. The Hornets have won seven in a row themselves, including a 100-59 spanking of the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday.

The season series currently stands at 2-1 in favor of San Antonio. New Orleans stole the first matchup between the two in the second game of the season. The Spurs overcame a 17 point margin to win 109-95 in New Orleans on November 28th. They coasted to a 109-84 victory on their home court on December 5th. In all three games, the Spurs were able to create easier shots and it paid dividends twice. If you haven’t already, check out my scouting report on the Hornets to see how I think the Spurs should play the Hornets.

In the three matchups against the Spurs, Chris Paul has led 48 pick-and-roll plays, resulting in 45 points. West scored 20 points on 18 post possessions. As I mentioned previously, the Spurs were able to force New Orleans to take difficult shots. Only 29% of the Hornets possessions were defined as transitions, cuts or spot-ups. These plays have the highest average efficiencies and are usually created by other play types or defensive lapses. On the season, 37.4% of New Orleans possessions are classified as one of these plays.

Offensively, the Spurs found the easy shot at a much higher rate. On spot-ups alone, Richard Jefferson scored 32 points on 21 possessions. Gary Neal had 21 on 14 such plays. Ginobili set up teammates in 21 pick-and-roll plays, creating 33 points. Parker leading the pick-and-roll resulted in 20 points on the 24 plays he found teammates. In total, 46% of the Spurs plays ended up as spot-ups, cuts or transitions.

The Spurs averaged an impressive 1.34 PPP on spot-ups. This conversion shouldn’t be expected every time out, but as long as the Spurs keep creating easy shots, you have to like their chances. Of course, Ginobili and Parker must continue to be aggressive to suck the defense in and create these opportunities. Duncan chipped in 16 points in 16 post plays.

Key Statistics

SRS ranks:

New Orleans: 3.26 (8th)
San Antonio: 8.05 (1st)

Key Player Statistics (courtesy of (effective January 19, 2011) and (effective January 19, 2011):

PlayerFraction of teams minutesPER minus Counterpart PEROn court +/-per 48 minutesOff court +/-per 48 minutes2 Year Adjusted +/-

Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Paul,Belinelli,Ariza,West,Okafor +38 in 732 Minutes (2.5 per 48 MP)
Paul, Jack, Ariza, West, Okafor +32 in 53 minutes (29.5 per 48 MP)

The Pick

Spurs, barely.

The Spurs continue to rack up wins in their historical season. However, tonight begins a stretch of 12 road games in their next 13 contests. New Orleans is among the most dangerous teams in this road trip. The Hornets should be in full health, and have played well lately.

I think the line of Spurs by 2-3 is a bit generous. In fact, if Bonner and Hill are unable to go, I would probably lean towards New Orleans, after accounting for home court advantage. Another impressive Spurs performance is needed for win number 38.

  • Jurroon

    The Spurs travel to New Orleans in hopes of attaining their 8th consecutive victory

    should be their 9th, right? 😉

  • Vaths

    Just one crib- The Spurs travel to New Orleans in hopes of attaining their NINTH consecutive victory.

  • Jose

    the spurs are on 8 game winning streak going for 9

  • Scott Sereday

    Thanks for the correction. It’s easy to lose count the way the Spurs have played this year.

  • Tim

    3 of our 6 losses this season have been SEGABABAs on the road…. just saying! hopefully we win tonight!

  • Jacob

    I noticed that ariza did not play last night. Are we sure that he is healthy?

  • Zeville

    Ariza is out tonight with ankle tendinitis.

  • VP of Common Sense

    No Hill or Bonner..

    Hornets gotta be the favorites at home.

  • DorieStreet

    A victory tonight will be the most impressive win of the season-beating a resurgent Hornets team on the road. NO was in a breather vs Hawks (only 59 pts??)-none of their starters played over 30 minutes while 4 of our 5 + Neal played over 30 minutes. But it is the start of a short road trip-maybe focus overcomes fatigue. Hopefully Hill can go tonight; Bonner is still day-to-day; don’t need to get anyone else hurt now.

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  • betsyduncan

    B2Bs are a b****. Focus and conditioning are HUGE keys to a win. I think that Quinn got good minutes last night. Cautiously optimistic, anyway!

  • SpurredOn

    Bonner will be missed tonight, and even if he plays he may be rusty. He was 4/5 on 3s last game vs NOLA and his floor spacing abilities have been missed the last few games. Spurs have averaged over 17 turnovers in the three games without Bonner, a sign of defenses that are less afraid to collapse.

  • Greyberger

    I never thought about that connection, Spurredon, but it does make sense. Matt is good at avoid turnovers himself, and it seems the team commits 12 turnovers per 48 with Bonner on the court versus 14 per 48 without…

    As for Ariza, I’m not sure the Hornets are missing much with him out. Maybe they’ll miss his defense, but the cat makes bad decision after bad decision on offense.

  • judd

    Tony loves to go head to head against the league’s top pgs and should have another monster night against the league’s best. he always seems to show up strong against paul and the hornets. i just fear any back to back road game with our two key bench guys out. the fact that they won by 41, against a quality opponent last night, only makes this scarier. i hate that they sat their starters for the entire forth, while we battled against a good knick team that wouldn’t go away. this is gonna be a tough one! west always seems to hurt the spurs. we need another amazing defensive effort from td, wolf man blair and san antonio mcdyess. neal will have to have a great night off the bench for the silver and black to have a chance.


    Tonight once again is a perfect chance to get Splitter some quality minutes and give TD/Blair a little breather….. They both played 34+ minutes and hopefully won’t have to play TD more than 30 min tonight……. But if we come out strong on the boards and in the paint – we should be able to open up a pretty sizable lead….. especially since we have better shooters on our side.

  • Judd

    i don’t think you put tiago into a game this tough. i also don’t think it will happen.

  • betsyduncan

    Just watched some of NBATV’s “Mid-season Report Card”. [of course, the Fakers got top-billing]
    =Very gratifying.

  • Ruel

    I wonder how G.I. Hill status tonight? Hopefully, he can play tonight and Private James Anderson as well even for limited minutes or a quick 3? Get well soon Matt and the Team needs you!!! It will be a good game tonight and Manu War will be looking for a bounce back. Tiago’s number should be ready to go? A must win tonight and don’t see our Team are ready to give up yet? Win or Lose Keep Pounding the Rock San Antonio!!! Let’s beat New Orleans Hornets and give them 48 minutes of Hell Team Defense!!!

  • Bry

    I’m having to watch the local feed for this game right now, and these two commentators are just awful. They are the worst I’ve heard in a while. Just because you’re for the home team doesn’t mean you need to be obnoxious cheerleaders for 48 minutes. Only the Washington Wizards have worse commentators than these guys.
    Oh, and is there a magnet in the ball or something? I can’t remember the last time I saw so many bricks and airballs in one half….

  • Jacob

    Wow… That got really ugly.

  • DorieStreet

    That has to be the worse quarter of the season for the Spurs. Getting outrebounded terribly–4 to 8 offensive, 26 to 44 total. Hornets have 10 more shots and made 12 more baskets; doubled our 3pt shot total. Only 10 points to their 31 in the third. Spurs: at least get 65 points for the game; Hornets hammer 4th best team in east & league leader on successive nights.


    1st of all let me say this – I didn’t watch the game, but I’m browsing the box score/shot charts now

    @ DorieStreet

    “Only 10 points to their 31 in the third. Spurs: at least get 65 points for the game….”

    Embarrassing – both teams were on B2B and they just whipped our butts…… Not sure if yall noticed while watching, but we didn’t get many easy looks….. Most of our shots were from the outside and not many in the paint at all. This tells me we had poor ball/player movement….. A lot of pick and rolls where we never hit the roll man and settled for Jumper’s of the pick instead of forcing it into the paint to get layups or fouls…. The spurs could really use a Steve Blake type PG, so when they go small they can put TP at the 2 and still have someone looking to set up players for easy buckets…… I know we shot poorly (TD/Manu 4-19 makes it a little hard to get assist) but your PG has to give you more than ZERO assists…. its like TD having zero rebounds in a game…. just can’t happen


    Also let me add that we need to get Owens in the game more often… Looks like he knows how to play and can help us out. Good to see Splitter get some extended burn as well(wish it didn’t come in complete garbage time, us being the garbage). Pop has to start giving him some minutes if for no other reason nights like tonight, when everyone (even BLAIR who always has energy) seemed half alive and half dead…….


    WOW – just saw the rebounding totals – was it this bad all game or did it get worse during Garbage Time?

  • DorieStreet


    I followed it on ESPN gamecast—we missed a good number of easy ones–layups & under 10-feet shots. And don’t forget the 8 blocked FG attempts (5 by Okafur). But no assists by Tony is ridiculous. You could almost book it that Duncan would be terrible on a BTB 2nd game after 35 min (season high?) the night before. Hornets wore the team out on the boards– 5 to 15 deficit offensive, 32 to 57 total. Just a plain old butt-kicking; an UGLY loss.

  • DorieStreet


    It got progressively worse as the game went on; I recall at halftime it was not a double digit lead (correct me if I’m wrong). But our shooting was bad the whole night–I think the best we did after the 3rd qtr was 37.5%–the Hornets were the same at the time, but they got better.

  • Daniel T

    At half the Spurs were down by 3 points and 9 rebounds. In the third quarter they were outscored by 21 and outrebounded by about 10.

    I didn’t see Owens as having that good of a game, though considering how his teammates played he did not have a bad game for someone who was essentially the 11th man. Once Bonner is back he’ll be the 12th man, and with Anderson back the 13th man and in civilian clothes. Seeing as how he is a 28 rookie playing his first NBA games, it seems his game is likely at his peak.


    @ Daniel T

    “Seeing as how he is a 28 rookie playing his first NBA games, it seems his game is likely at his peak.”

    Same can be said of Splitter – 26 you don’t add much to you game after 24 unless you have always had skills and just need time to show them……. But my bigger point is that RJ isn’t giving us that much lately…. and we need to start getting something from the SF position and when we go with our SF at the 4 position, I think Owens can play the small 4 better than RJ……

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