Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers

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San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Clippers 9:30 CST December 1, 2010

SRS ranks:

LA Clippers: -6.59 (27th)
San Antonio: 8.42 (1st)

Key Player Statistics (courtesy of 82games.com [effective November 29, 2010] and basketballvalue.com [effective November 26, 2010]):

PlayerFraction of teams minutesPER minus Counterpart PER2 Year Net PEROn court +/-per 48 minutesOff court +/-per 48 minutes2 Year Adjusted +/-
Griffin0.734.7N/A-10.10.2N/A
Gordon0.688.21.9-5.2-11.72.8
Gomes0.62-8.7-4.8-10.1-2.9-0.1
Butler0.44-8.6-3.2-7.7-70.3
Aminu0.39-6.1N/A-3.4-9.8N/A
Jordan0.39-4-7.6-7.6-7.1-7.2
Smith0.273.10.4-0.8-9.81.1
Kaman0.27-5.4-1.4-11.8-5.6-4.4


Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Bledsoe,Gordon,Aminu,Griffin,Jordan -44 in 109 minutes
Bledsoe,Gordon,Gomes,Griffin,Kaman +8 in 78 minutes
Bledsoe,Gordon,Gomes,Cook,Griffin +21 in 17 minutes

Preferred method to create shots: Blake Griffin in post

At 3-15, the Clippers have the worst record in the league. Despite this poor start, the Clippers show a ton of promise. Since Baron Davis and Chris Kaman have missed significant time, the Clippers relied heavily on Eric Gordon and rookies Eric Bledsoe and Blake Griffin. All three had success in the pick-and-roll and Griffin has produced significantly in the post game. Gordon ranks 9th in the NBA in points production when heading the pick-and-roll and Bledsoe ranks 24th. (Gordon jumped from 3.5 PnR PPG last year to 13.2 this season). Blake Griffin ranks 6th in points produced on post possessions. Griffin also ranks second in total offensive rebounds. If Synergy included offensive rebounds as a continuation of the current possession, Griffin could rank as high as 3rd or 4th in post production.

Appropriate Spurs counter: Dare him to shoot and don’t help too early

Blake Griffin is one of the best finishers in the game, but if you can keep him away from the rim, he is subpar. Although his 43.5% rate on field goal attempts inside 10 feet (but not at the rim) is well below average, he takes a lot of such attempts. (His 85 shots attempted rank 6th in the league). In addition, Griffin shoots a poor 32% from beyond 15 feet and has shot 59% from the line in all three college and pro seasons. In the Spurs previous game against the Clippers, there were times that Tiago Splitter practically dared him to shoot.

Griffin is a very willing passer and if you double him too early or from his line of view, he can burn you. Sebastian Pruiti breaks down Griffin’s passing abilities over at NBA Playbook. The Spurs were very effective in disguising and timing their double teams against Griffin the last time these two teams met.

There isn’t enough data to confirm this, but Splitter could be a good matchup against Griffin. He is generally well positioned and long, and he boxes out well. In truth, the Spurs preformed well against Griffin no matter who defends him, but they look to send fewer doubles with Splitter guarding him.

Griffin is very talented and is certainly capable of figuring out the Spurs and several of his missed shots were layups he typically converts, but it seems the Spurs have discovered a good strategy to defend him.

Defensive Weakness: isolate Bledsoe and post up Griffin/Jordan

The season is still fairly young, but the Clippers rank third to last in the league in PPP surrendered on isolation possessions. Eric Bledsoe has been the scored on more than any other Clipper in this play type; frequently allowing his man to get to the rim rather easily. When the teams met earlier in the season, Bledsoe defended Parker almost exclusively . Parker generally attacked Bledsoe on pick-and-rolls, but the Spurs could probably benefit from running a few more isolations for Parker.

Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan have also defended the post poorly (Jordan also struggled in this facet in prior seasons). Jordan is a much better shot blocker than Griffin, but appears to be less disciplined at times. Tim Duncan is probably the player most apt to take advantage of Griffin and, especially, Jordan.

Conclusion

The Spurs advantages against the Clippers only magnify with Baron Davis and Chris Kaman absent. The Spurs should teach the Clipper’s young guns a thing or two.

  • Jacques

    I wonder if Timmy will get a night off after playing 33 minutes last night. McDyess and Tiago didn’t play heavy minutes, so I think that is a possibility. Hope the results will not be surprising. Go Spurs!

  • duaneofly

    This should be an easy victory, but lets remember the Clippers shocked the Hornets.

  • Scott Sereday

    I forgot to mention that’s the back to back road game the Spurs will be faced with will hurt their chances some, but the Spurs still look good for this game (and the season).

  • AP

    So is it too early to celebrate how freaking sweet our team is?! With our best start ever, Spurs fans have never had more reason to be excited. Hollinger has us at 50% odds for the finals, with a 34% chance at winning it. Best odds in the league. Spurs doubters can suck it.
    Also, the Clippers are a high-energy team, which can be dangerous in a back to back on the road. I hope we stay amped for it.

  • Lukas

    The Spurs are 15-2, the best in the A, and here’s how many times they’ve been featured in ESPN’s columns – 0. Zero. 0 in Hollinger’s PER Diems, 0 in Daily Dimes, they got like 10 guys covering NBA and the result is 0. It’s ridiculous when you think about it. Go Spurs G0!!

  • Hobson13

    Wow! I really can’t believe we are 15-2. However, of our 3 game road trip against poor teams, this game worries me the most. Griffin has been playing out of his mind averaging almost 30/14/5 over the last 5 games. My god. I don’t know how John Wall can beat that. Plus, I really think that the Clipps are more talented than their 3-15 record would suggest.

    We really need to find a way to slow Griffin down and force the other Clipps to take contested jumpers. What especially concerns me is that this is the second night of a back to back and yet LA has had 3 days to prepare for us. At least we should get some bench help with Hill, Neal, Bonner, etc. Maybe we won’t have to rely upon Tim and Manu so much.

  • rob

    Hobson13

    “Maybe we won’t have to rely upon Tim and Manu so much.”

    I think if the Spurs really want to win this game they will have to.

    Then again….perhaps this will be one of those games that Pop plays some of the bench extended minutes just to get Duncan, McDyess and Ginobili some rest.

    We’ve seen that before….and if that happened…I wouldn’t mind if the Spurs were to lose this game.

    An experimental combination of a Blair/Splitter combination in the post?

    After all this debating…that would be interesting to see.

  • jwalt

    Hobson — don’t get too worried about Griffin. Deron Williams was asked about him after the last Utah-Clipper game, and he said that he thought Griffin was awesome, wonderful, etc. He also concluded by saying the “scary part is that he doesn’t even know how to play the game yet.” A subtle dig and a way of saying that even though the talent is there, Griffin really doesn’t know what it takes to win games. For now Griffin is a very talented guy who belongs on a team who is 3-15.

  • Dba

    Of all games to give up and experiment and maybe lose, this one isn’t it. This game should be an easy win and why give it up? We need to win all easy ones, because chances are we will lose some hard ones down the road. The goal is to maintain home court advantage. The starters should play an amazing 1st quarter, get a decent lead, and then have the bench finish the game.

  • Tyler

    @jwalt

    I don’t think Deron William’s comment was at all a dig at Griffin; I interpreted his comment as a compliment to him. Essentially, wait till the game slows down for Griffin and watch out! You thought he was amazing now….

    Either way, the Clippers are much better than their record and talents indicate. They’ve lost quite a few close games….

  • Nick

    Hopefully this isn’t a trap game. As an aside, I saw DWill’s comment as a compliment as well. Griffin is remarkably talented but much of that talent is very raw. Once he refines those skills…

  • rj

    nice game by blair. he’s really a guy you can let loose in small ball situations and teams lacking front court muscle. definately seemed like pop was juggling big lineups last nice with splitter making a brief appearance before garbage time and dyess getting a quick insertion. splitter defended griffin well in his 1st nba game. his length bothered him in the post and won a jump ball. hopefully this continues.

  • jwalt

    Well guys, I think he meant it as a double edged swrord. Williams was complimenting Griffin, while hinting that beating him and his team wasn’t all that difficult.

  • http://espn.com Treyjackson30

    the spurs are 15-2!!!! stop worrying it will be close at first but the clips ( or nips ) just dont have it! spurs win 110-98

  • Buford

    During the clippers broadcast, they pointed out some of the international players the spurs had picked up, and I’m pretty amazed how good they’ve been. For guys they were picking no earlier than 28th, they’ve got 6 guys playing serious minutes, and two of them are tony parker and manu ginobili. Goran Dragic was a major playoff contributor, Scola is still beasting, and we’ve got Splitter to look forward to. How many other teams have guys they’ve picked that late seeing minutes, much less starting on the best team in the league?

    I know that the front office has been praised plenty, but still, has any other team become a contender based on a 28th and 56th picks?

  • Jacques

    Not my favorite game… Matt Bonner 0 for 6…. Parker not playing…. Hope next game will be better. Go Spurs

  • andy

    i’ll go ahead and say what everyone’s thinking.

    too much bonner.

  • NYC

    What the hell happened?

    I only saw part of the second half. Why was Parker sitting on the bench looking pissed?

    Not a good way to start December.

  • Gebo

    A little hard to find anything to be upbeat about. Splitter, McDyss, Hill and Neal all played their roles well enough, and Jefferson’s off season conditioning was evident with no drop off in the back to back. I am not a Coach Popovich basher, but I did not like seeing Timmy and Manu out on the court at the end of a game we had given up on. Clippers looked so much better with Baron Davis running their offence. Things could be worse guys, we could be Laker fans.

  • andy

    @NYC

    there are reports that parker had lunch with eva before the game. that might explain the look on his face.

  • Flavor

    I love my Spurs, but a part of me is happy for The Clips (Griffin).

  • Flavor

    I also thought Davis did a good job for The Clips. I believe if it wasn’t for his play the Spurs may have been able to pull out the W.

  • nomoar

    Pathetic loss. Splitter comes in with 16 points down, his defense bothers Griffin, he draws fouls, the team takes the difference down to 6 points. Splitter goes out after 7 min of garbage time in a B2B game.

    Pop is going to ruin Splitter’s confidence, just watch, he already messed up with Tiago’s head, he used to be much better on offense, now he’s only defense.

    I really hop Tiago gets a real chance in NBA, not this pathetic joke by Pop. I’m disgusted watching this team. I need a break.