Advanced Scouting: Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs
Orlando Magic at San Antonio Spurs 7:30 CST November 22, 2010
Orlando: 6.38 (6th)
San Antonio: 8.5 (2nd)
Orlando Player Ratings
|Player||Fraction of teams minutes||PER minus Counterpart PER||2 Year Net PER||On court +/-per 48 minutes||Off court +/-per 48 minutes||2 Year Adjusted +/-|
Most valuable/utilized lineups:
Nelson,Carter,Richardson,Lewis,Howard +7 in 83 minutes
Nelson,Carter,Lewis,Bass,Howard +19 in 34 minutes
Nelson,Carter,Pietrus,Lewis,Howard +26 in 16 minutes
Preferred method to create shots: Establish Dwight Howard in the post
The Orlando Magic mix the inside/outside game as well as anyone. Usually this means that they play four 3-point shooters (most who can take the ball to the rim at times) and Dwight Howard.
Howard is not the most fluid post player, but he is beastly strong and very athletic. He has also developed an array of post moves. Over the past few years, Howard frequently led the league in post possessions, which in turn, opens up the outside game. Since 2007-08, 34% of the Magicâ€™s field goal attempts have been 3-point shots (league average was 22% and no other team exceeded 28% over that same period).
Appropriate Spurs counter: Force Howard to the middle
In 2008-09 and 2009-10 Howard consistently performed better on the post when he goes baseline. Facing single coverage (as defined by Synergy) Howard averaged 0.97 points per possession when he â€œturns his shoulderâ€ baseline, but only 0.83 turning to the middle. This year, Howard has taken far more shots turning to the middle, (perhaps many teams are starting to use this strategy). He also developed a move where he initially turns to the middle before spinning baseline.
When Howard goes middle, the damage should be limited as long as he doesnâ€™t get too far inside. A jump shot is probably the best defensive result, but if the worst happens (he gets by you), fouling him is not as great a penalty as it is against other playersâ€¦ as long as he doesnâ€™t score the basket anyway.
Defensive Weakness: Isolate Nelson and post up Lewis
The Magic are good on offense and even better on defense. There are few weaknesses to be found, but the best seem to be isolating Jameer Nelson and posting up Rashard Lewis. Over the past few years Lewis has been consistently below average defending the post. Last season, Nelson allowed 1.03 PPP in isolation situations (he ranked in the 16th percentile).
Tony Parker and George Hill are both very capable of scoring in isolation plays against Nelson. Tim Duncan is the only excellent post scorer for the Spurs. If Duncan is defended by Howard instead of Lewis, he might be able to put Superman in foul trouble early by being aggressive offensively (Howard led the league in fouls committed last year).
Something to keep in mind is that as great as Dwight Howard is at blocking the ball, he does make a lot of mistakes. Officially, he scores more points for the opposing team, by way of goaltending, than any other player. From 2007-08 to 2009-10, he goaltended 145 shots. Samuel Dalembert is the only other player with more than 50. Perhaps the most enticing shot for Howard to goaltend would be Tony Parkerâ€™s teardrop.
If you havenâ€™t read this yet, John Huizinga concludes that Duncan is a more valuable shotblocker than Dwight Howard.
It should help that the Spurs are playing at home, but this is a really tough matchup for them. Perhaps a slight advantage to the Spurs, but this oneâ€™s practically a tossup.