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?

Wayne Winston emailed shortly after Game 1 to say that the answer forward–from an Adjusted Plus/Minus perspective–looks very similar to his initial Spurs-Mavericks rotation advice.

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 first  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 forthe  majority of the past decade,  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.

  • Colin

    Great game. Was awesome to see all of the adjustments from game one……………………………………….now, where the haters at? Mavs trollers?

  • Bushka


    “As for our 7 foot developement player, Big Ian….It is literally a damn shame to witness such a waste of talent. Kid works hard, wants to be successful, has great size, good feet, and seems extremely coachable.”

    What are you talking about? How do you know how he works, or how coachable he is? Not to mention that i’m astounded at your good feet comment, I watched the summer league feeds, and have seen him on limited occassions with the spurs and he does not have the polish that you intimate he possess.

    Where are you getting this info……

  • Gary

    Manu is MY personal jesus…

    I don’t care what the boxscore says Hill made the difference in this game

  • SAS

    Wow!! Great win for spurs keep it up my boys .we are going to beat the F***ing MAVs. Today Spurs Haters especially Cuban saw what is timmy and spurs. GO Spurs GO!!!

  • Kevin

    The role players had to step up… the Big 3 will get theirs. RJ did it in the first half. Hill stepped up.

    God doesn’t Tim look good!?! Even during our impressive run at the end of the season (that we were lucky Pop didn’t completely derail) Tim never lookcd this good! He is a different player in the playoffs.

  • Ryan Davis

    Go Spurs!!! I decided tonight that we’re gonna win a championship this year. Mark my words.

  • http://www.goodtimescomic.net Jordan


    Him and Mcdyess. I love the effort today. Wonderful win! Gotta keep the momentum going though. Also, I think Pop listened to Winston. Bogans never played.

    To all the Pop haters, I love what this guy does during the regular season. With limiting the big 3’s minutes down, those guys are saved for the playoffs. The Spurs probably could’ve averaged 59-60 wins a season if they played TD Kobe minutes, but they would have gotten fewer championships.

  • Ballhog

    Ian works hard, has a great attitude, and is always the first guy in the gym and last to leave. He watches more film than anyone, and has the best basketball IQ I’ve ever seen. But the thing nobody mentions is how strong this kid is. I once saw him hoist a ’79 Cadillac right over his head with little to no effort.

    The funniest thing is how dominant this kid is in practice. He regularly whoops the starters all by himself. How this coach and the rest of the world has managed to miss this talent while I clearly see it… I’ll never know!!

  • Bushka

    I just loved that 3 that manu stuck at the end of the game, it was the dagger after Timmy had them on their knees.

  • Bushka

    Jordan i’ve been preaching that in opposition all season.

    Pop couldn’t care if you don’t like his haircut during the first 82 games he just wants a healthy big 3 and parts for the end of April.

  • http://www.goodtimescomic.net Jordan


    Something that everyone has to be reminded of. Thanks!

  • lvmainman

    Even though the Spurs played better with fewer turnovers, the Referees had an impact on the game.
    They called 4 fouls on the Mavs in the 1st 3 minutes, including 2 on Nowitzki that sent him to the bench. As a result the Mavs were more passive defensively and Nowitzki was passive offensively, kind of affected him like Jefferson did last game.
    And by getting Duncan with 2 early fouls, Duncan had the stamina to play the entire 2nd half.
    And there were no ticky-tack fouls on the Spurs this game that put the Mavs in the penalty.

    Glad to win when Parker couldn’t make but 1 jump shot all game. Glad Bogans got a DNP-CD. Still prefer Temple over Mason to start the 2nd qtr. Hopefully next game Blair will make his layups.

    Great win.

  • zack

    wow great game spurs fans!! i agree with the guy above, but i have to say i dont really give a crap seeing how the refs stuck it to us in game one, these refs were super soft to the mavs compared to spurs in game 1. i thought hills defense was huge!!! we really didnt see much of kidd at all except that three. im known as a parker basher, but i will admit parker showed great interest in defending kidd and barea so i was wrong about tp’s drive, but i will say he hasnt played like this (driven)..well probably in a year. jefferson needs to be consistent, but i think he will be alot better from now on & will not resort to his game 1 performance, hes a very cerebral player and i think he has egained confidence, against this team. the big fundamental was epic and it was beautiful seeing timmy do what he does best carry san antonio during crucial periods. i think we will take the series, ginobili hasnt even really gone off so im expecting a great game to come, hopefully he can take a load off timmy 1 or 2 of these games. im a lil dissapointed in hill’s offense as well as blairs i was hoping for blair to be amazing his first playoff appearance, i guess just spurs fanatic thinking ahhaa but overall the spurs just made my week!!! im glad to see the big three wrecking elite teams while proving analyzers wrong same ol story GO SPURS GO!!!!! WHERE THE PONY FANS????!!!!LMAO LOSERS


    What a day , a dog day night and its a pity cause we could have as well won G1!!
    Hill was a fantastic defender,that combination of Hill-Manu-TP , Dice-TD working together and Bonner RJ contributing was just fantastic to see a beauty ,that´s why we like you POP.
    And the LessMAVS and the Cuban know!!
    We are Spurs
    We won four of them
    We play defence
    WE are a championship caliber team!!

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