Spurs-Mavericks Game 2 Adjustments, Wayne Winston Style
How shall the San Antonio Spurs proceed against the Dallas Mavericks? What Game 2 adjustments should the Spurs and Mavericks coaches consider?
The two Spurs lineups which were most abused by the Mavericks both violated the if-they-are-smart-they-wont rules set by Winston prior to the series.
The firstÂ lineup was Keith Bogans, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, George Hill, and Antonio McDyess. This lineup was a -113.57. Additionally, this particular lineup, despite its inclusion of both Duncan and Ginobili, performed very poorly in the regular season. The numbers have long indicated it was an underachieving 5-man unit.
The second Winston no-no was the Spurs lineup of DeJuan Blair, Keith Bogans, Richard Jefferson, Manu Ginobili, and Roger Mason Jr. During Sunday night’s Spurs-Mavericks tilt, this lineup underachieved to the tune of -124.63. Prior to the series, Winston warned that the Spurs should play Blair with Bonner, but without Duncan. Blair-Bonner combinations are good for the Spurs.
Winston continues to wonder why the Spurs play Keith Bogans, who, in his words, “killed the Spurs.”
San Antonio’s best lineup for the game was also highly successful during the regular season. The combination of Matt Bonner, Tim Duncan, Richard Jefferson, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker was too much for the Mavericks. The Spurs ran up a +69.57 against the Mavericks when playing this lineup.
San Antonio’s second most productive unit was the similarly constructed Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess, Richard Jefferson, Manu Ginobili, and George Hill. That Spurs grouping was +34.95, and much like the other clearly positive lineup, also performed well in the regular season.
Yes, that’s right. Winston’s genius ink thinks the Spurs are better when playing their stars. Who woulda thunk? But of course not all the lineups which feature Duncan-Ginobili-Parker fared well. So, it’s not as simple as having your best players on the floor, although that usually helps.
As for the Mavericks, for whom Winston was a paid consultant fortheÂ majority of the past decade,Â the road forward for is clear: play Brendan Haywood more. Winston’s exact words were that the Spurs could “bet Haywood will be in more.” For the Mavericks any combination that features Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, Shawn Marion, and Jason Kidd, regardless of the 5th wheel, beat up on the Spurs for +11 points.
Having said all this, Winston believes the Spurs should have beat the Mavericks in Game 1. And he thinks they should win the series, despite the Mavericks 9 wins in their last 11 contests against the San Antonio Spurs.
Winston will be providing APM-related commentary for 48MoH after each game of the series, in part to test his pre-series analysis against the actual games. For example, a few of the Spurs lineups Winston expected to outclass the Mavericks, based on their regular performance, underachieved in Game 1. Those sort of things force one to treat APM considerations alongside a host of other variables, and not as a standalone holy grail.
It’s not all wine and roses for Winston. He gladly admits that APM is not the final consideration. The Spurs committed costly turnovers in Game 1. Gregg Popovich thinks the Spurs’ overall effort was lacking against the Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki destroyed the Spurs. And so on.
It will be interesting to see which lineups the Spurs play this evening, and how San Antonio attempts to solve the other issues.