San Antonio Spurs 132, Charlotte Bobcats 102: Danny Green and Tony Parker drive an accelerating Spurs offense

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It’s still early in the season, we’re about a quarter of the way through the schedule, but the Spurs look to have recaptured all of the magic of last season’s 20-game winning streak. Nowhere was that more apparent than in the Spurs’ 132-102 dismantling of the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.

The offense, which sputtered out of the gate this season, has found its spacing, timing and execution. San Antonio hit a franchise-record 19 3-pointers on 34 attempts against the Bobcats. That charge was led by Danny Green, who hit 7-9 of his 3-pointers for 23 points on the night. Green was the beneficiary of open look after open look on the perimeter.

What’s good for Green and the Spurs is that several of Danny’s 3-pointers came from the corner. Green was shooting 30% (13-44) from the corners going into Saturday night’s game, according to NBA.com’s Statscube. Last season Green shot 42% from the corners. I shouldn’t have to tell you how much the Spurs rely on that corner 3-pointer, so for their top perimeter shooter to finally get back on track from that area is a sign of good things to come for the Spurs offense.

Also of note for the Spurs offense is the play of Tony Parker. The French point guard had a wildly inefficient start to the season, the Spurs offense seemed to follow Parker’s lead. In his first 10 games of the season, Parker scored 139 points on 139 shots. That’s not what you’re hoping for from a guy who finished fifth in MVP voting last season and generally makes your offense go. Parker has since picked up his play. In his last nine games, Parker scored 211 points on 141 shots.

Against the Bobcats, Tony Parker finished with 22 points on 10-12 shooting and nine assists. Three of Parker’s assists were for Danny Green 3-pointers.

With Nando De Colo’s growing comfort with the NBA game, Gary Neal has been able to play off the ball more. In doing so, players are fitting into roles they’re much better suited for. That’s helping the Spurs on both ends of the floor. When Stephen Jackson and Kawhi Leonard return to the lineup, we’ll likely see fewer minutes for many of the Spurs, and thus less production, but more reinforcement of those roles.

Things are trending up for the Spurs. Last season we saw a top offense coupled with a mediocre defense. Through 21 games this season, the Spurs rank fifth in offensive rating and sixth in defensive rating. I think that’s exactly where the Spurs want to be. The key is making sure they’re in a similar spot come late April.

Advanced statistics courtesy of NBA.com/Stats

  • http://www.facebook.com/yushan.fung Yu-Shan Fung

    When the lead reached 30 points in the third and the bench kept bringing the pain to the Bobcats, I was worried that a fine might be coming down from the commissioner. You see, the Spurs did a disservice to the league and the fans, who after all paid good money to come watch the game and want to see their team win or at least compete. Yet these Spurs players, from the stars to the guys at the end of the bench simply showed no respect for the home team and kept piling it on. This can’t be good for the game.

  • Crystakke

    6th in DefRtg I think is just were the Spurs want to be. One more spot up would be perfect. But I see no reason why we shouldn’t be No.1 in OfRtg again like last year. Or at least a close second.

  • GFoyle33

    Very funny, Fung!

    After watching virtually every minute of the Spurs 2011-12 season with its bitterly disappointing end, I promised myself that I would have more of a life this year, and not get so wrapped up in basketball. But these Spurs, especially their bench players, are making it tough to fulfill that promise to myself – they are so much fun to watch, and gorgeous passing. (At least I had a book open during the game, trying to read Roberto Bolaño.)

  • New_Mexico_Spurs_Fan

    The more i see of de Colo the more i like. Pop often seems to downplay the upside potential of incoming personnel (a savvy tendency, i believe . . . remember his downplaying what type of player TS’s potential to be a force for us?), and his comments about de Colo were no exception. Still, de Colo seems to have the same energy, creativity, and diverse skill set as Manu. Could he take over as our new Manu? just askin’ . . .

  • Titletown99030507d

    Any NBA team would take advantage of the situation just to get less played role players precious NBA experience. In the Spurs case this could pay dividends come playoff time. And the playoffs in everybody’s mind including Pop’s is what matters.

  • Titletown99030507d

    And I was on online looking at camera equipment. What a fun way to watch a spurs game.

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