Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks


San Antonio Spurs at Atlanta Hawks 6:00 CST April 5, 2011

The Spurs not only snapped their losing skid in a 114-97 blowout victory over the Nash-less Suns; they were also able to limit Ginobili to 24 minutes and Duncan to 18 minutes. At this point in the season, I think everyone can be happy with results like that.

Although Atlanta is much more formidable than Phoenix, the Hawks have struggled since the All star break. The primary reason for these difficulties appears to be the loss of Mike Bibby. Atlanta’s performance with Kirk Hinrich in the lineup has not met expectations:

Hawks with Hinrich -7.2 per 100 possessions in 561 minutes
Hawks without Hinrich +1.3 per 100

The difference lies almost completely in the Hawks’ offensive production.

This dramatic discrepancy is somewhat surprising to me. Just in 2008-09, the Bulls were 12.2 per 100 better with him on the court. (In most other season, Hinrich’s impact appeared moderate in either direction.) Does this speak to the wild inconsistency of on/off court numbers? Is Hinrich struggling to fit in? Is it something else? Hinrich’s statistics such as Usage, Offensive Rating and PER have also suffered with Atlanta.

Not only has Hinrich’s failed to produce the equatable results, but Jamal Crawford also seems to miss Bibby’s presence. The following figures indicate that Crawford benefited strongly from playing with Bibby:

Crawford with Bibby +4.9 per 100 in 648 minutes
Crawford without Bibby -2.5 per 100 in 1515 minutes

Crawford with Bibby +7.7 per 100 in 825 minutes
Crawford without Bibby +2.4 per 100 in 1635 minutes

Perhaps Crawford’s historically questionable shot selection benefited from a strong point guard presence.

Of course, the Hawks last three games consist of wins against Boston and Orlando and a close loss in Houston. There may be signs that Atlanta is getting its act together.

Check out the summary of the Spurs victory over the Hawks in December (without Joe Johnson) and my advanced scouting report of the Hawks.

The importance of the trey

The Spurs shot 15-29 from 3 point range against the Suns on Sunday. I don’t think they “found” their touch. I think that the rapid swing in 3 point accuracy is mostly a reflection of the 3 point shot in general. You need to rely on a little good fortune.

As unreliable as it may be, the three point shot is an essential part of the Spurs title hopes. The ability to find good three point looks typically pays off in the long run. Although fewer free throws are drawn from this shot, a 3 point shot creates significantly more points per attempt, fewer turnovers and more offensive rebounds. Additionally, it spreads the floor and allows for easier scores in the paint.

One theoretical downside to being three point happy is that an elite teams would expect fewer wins than a three point adverse team with the same average scoring differential. However, this negative will be effectively washed away in the playoffs. The inconsistency of the three point shot penalizes the Spurs chances of victory when they are significant favorites; but against better teams, this penalty will be less or even favorable to the Spurs. With Bonner, Neal, Jefferson, Ginobili, Hill and Novak (if needed); the Spurs can never be written out of any playoff series.

Key Statistics

SRS ranks:

Atlanta: -0.30 (16th)
San Antonio: 5.79 (4th)

Player summary statistics from and

Atlanta Hawks Player Ratings 4-4

PlayerGMPGUSG%OrtgDRtgWS/482 Yr APM
Joe Johnson6736.226.21061090.0893.2
Al Horford7235.719.61201040.1893.96
Josh Smith7534.824.71041010.1191.78
Jamal Crawford7130.523.41051100.0732.5
Mike Bibby5629.9151111090.092-2.94
Kirk Hinrich1929.515.31051090.068-6.84
Marvin Williams6029.117.31111070.109-1.73
Zaza Pachulia7415.115.11111050.123-4.55
Jeff Teague6513.219.41021050.083-1.95
Damien Wilkins4712.312.31141060.109-1.43
Jason Collins4812.19.41001080.051N/A

San Antonio Spurs Player Ratings 4-4

PlayerGMPGUSG%OrtgDRtgWS/482 Yr APM
Tony Parker7432.625.51131080.155-0.3
Manu Ginobili7630.826.11151050.1925.99
Richard Jefferson7630.515.31161080.1150.18
Tim Duncan7228.4231101000.1665.63
George Hill7128.2181161080.137-1.64
Matt Bonner6121.813.21261070.1484.2
DeJuan Blair7621.520.11051000.129-1.89
Gary Neal7520.820.81091090.098-2.92
Antonio McDyess7018.814.91051030.1022.08
Tiago Splitter5612.217.31121030.143N/A
James Anderson2510.6161071100.071N/A
Steve Novak198.216.71391090.207N/A
Chris Quinn406.816.8981100.03N/A

Player trends, based on Efficiency per 48 minutes:

Atlanta Hawks Player Trends 4-4

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
Zaza Pachulia2232.110.1
Jeff Teague20.426.56.1
Marvin Williams20.524.13.6
Jamal Crawford18.619.81.2
Joe Johnson23.123.60.5
Kirk Hinrich15.7160.3
Damien Wilkins17.116.1-1
Josh Smith28.626.9-1.7
Jason Collins1310.5-2.5
Al Horford31.124.5-6.6

San Antonio Spurs Player Trends 4-4

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
Tim Duncan32.940.77.8
Steve Novak24.931.46.5
Tiago Splitter23.326.93.6
James Anderson1416.42.4
Gary Neal18.819.30.5
Richard Jefferson17.717-0.7
George Hill21.620.5-1.1
Matt Bonner2018.8-1.2
Tony Parker26.925.4-1.5
Antonio McDyess22.921.2-1.7
Manu Ginobili2825.9-2.1
DeJuan Blair27.621.8-5.8

Lineup data
Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Bibby, Johnson, Williams, Smith, Horford +49 in 384 minutes (+7.2 per 100 possessions)
Hinrich, Johnson, Williams, Smith, Horford -20 in 138 minutes (-7.1 per 100)
Teague, Johnson, Williams, Smith, Horford +33 in 55 minutes (+32.4 per 100)
Crawford, Hinrich, Johnson, Horford, Pachulia +10 in 36 minutes (+10.2 per 100)

Smith is questionable for tonight’s game.

Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, Blair, Duncan +148 in 676 minutes (+10.5 per 100)
Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, McDyess, Duncan +46 in 193 minutes (+12.2 per 100)
Hill, Neal, Ginobili, Bonner, McDyess +63 in 108 minutes (+33.0 per 100)
Hill, Neal, Ginobili, Bonner, Splitter +45 in 46 minutes (+48.9 per 100)

The Pick


This game will be much tougher than the last, but the Hawks have even less incentive to risk injury than the Spurs. There is a 4 game gap above them in the standings and another 4 game gap below them.

The Spurs play again tomorrow night and back-to-backs always seem to play a factor in resting the vets. However, San Antonio will play just one game over the following 5 nights. I suspect Coach Pop will only rest players with tweaks or when the Spurs create a significant lead (or deficit). However, the Spurs great depth should be more important now and less important during the playoffs.

  • grego

    Hayward led Utah Jazz are giving Lakers a run deep in the 4th quarter.

  • DorieStreet

    On the negative side (first of a few observations):

    515 points and counting-Blair’s blown scoring total for the season. And it has become contagious–everyone in the Silver & Black is now missing very makeable shots from a variety of reasons: not expecting a pass (blown assist); hesitating on a shot (McDyess); indecision on the method to score (Neal); not being agressive to the hole (Hill); bad hands (Duncan); no skill/’touch’/”want to” in the attempt (Bonner).
    Parker made need to have an afterclass session on how to do the ‘teardrop’.

  • grego

    If not for Favors and Hayward (missed 1) missing free throws, the game probably is over. Good game. Jazz up by 1 with about 6 seconds left.

  • grego

    Lakers LOSE! Spurs have more breathing room now.

  • Bruno

    Kobe chokes(again) and Lakers lose

  • badger

    There is one explanation for Pop’s decision not to play Splitter tonight. Namely, that he intends to play him heavy minutes tomorrow night against the Kings and worried that Tiago’s conditioning would not support back to back games (and the risk of injury that accompanies it). Also, the guy’s not used to enduring the grind of 82 game seasons plus the playoffs.

    If that is not what Pop is planning, I have NO idea why he didn’t play him tonight.

  • DorieStreet

    @ grego – April 5th, 2011 at 8:44pm

    +100 -Got to throw a big body at Dalembert & Cousins- 15 rebounds apiece in jamming up Rockets playoff push (1st HOU home loss since Spurs win March 12th– 7-0 before last night). And somebody is going to have to corral Thornton.

  • DorieStreet

    An aside—-

    Congratulations to the Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Team : 1st time NCAA Champions

    Who said they can’t ball in the Lone Star State!!

  • grego


    +1. Additionally, Pop is looking to give Duncan and Dyess a lot of the night off. He’s probably going to push Splitter to 25-30 minutes again.

    Dyess looks like he could use some time off since Duncan was out and he’s ramped up his minutes.

  • Titletown99030507d


    “Solid win against a wounded team. Two front-court players ended up out. No idea why Splitter didn’t play, but Titletown needs to calm down about it. If you freak out this much after a road win against a playoff team.

    Not really solid actually at this point of the season.
    I think more people than I won’t be calming down and freaking out if they roll this game plan against power hitters like Lakers, OKC, Celtics, Magic, and the Bulls. The Hawks are a playoff team that isn’t going to do jack in the playoffs. C’mon you should know better than that and they tooled around with our Spurs for the most part of the game till the end thinking we were going to start that nasty habit of loosing again. Numbers don’t lie Bry.

    Bonner and Blair a combined 34 minutes of playing time. Bonner -6, Balir -3 and a total of 11 rebounds and 9 pts for a combined grand total like I said 34 minutes. That’s not good for combined effort of 2 players seeing significant minutes. Those are Splitter stats in 20 minutes by himself much less. There is a wasted body (scorer from the bench good be contributing)) out on the floor with B/B combo. Add the fact for those two combined how many points did they (B/B) allow or get scored on? Add the fouls sending the opposition to the line they count as points too. It ain’t pretty.
    Don’t Cherry coat it like those B/B bandwagoners.

  • grego

    “Bonner and Blair a combined 34 minutes of playing time. Bonner -6, Balir -3 and a total of 11 rebounds and 9 pts for a combined grand total like I said 34 minutes.”

    Atlanta only had 3 offensive rebounds. Bonner and Blair still had negatives, but it wasn’t too substantial.

    Pop played them longer since it was the first night of a back-to-back. I would not be surprised to see Pop go with Tiago and give Dyess a DNP or try and get Duncan to 22 minutes or less and Dyess to 16 min or less.

  • TD = Best EVER

    April 5th, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I’m sorry dude but now you are starting to sound like you are a relative of Splitter’s or something…….. Did yall go to school together……..

    I for the life of me can’t understand why you and so many others can’t separate Bonner and Blair……. Blair ONLY played 13 min and had a pretty good stat line to show for it…….7pts/5rbs on 50% shooting…..It was Bonner that played 21 USELESS min….. 2pts 6rbs on 1-8 shooting…..So as you can see if Blair would have played 20 min, he would have had a 10/10 night or very close to it……. you guys just hate it so much that Splitter didn’t play that you totally disregard Blair when he plays well……. Why not just bash Bonner for having ANOTHER BAD NIGHT….. and be honest about Blair…… he played typical 50/50 ball…… some good and some bad….. but had a good stat line for his minutes……

  • Titletown99030507d


    “@NimaK – Splitter will play tomorrow. Pop will want to rest Duncan/Dyess on the 2nd night of a back-to-back.”

    That’s the only way Splitter is going to play? Rest Timmy and Dyess on a back to back! Where’s the motivation to keep pounding the rock if your only getting “mercy” minutes. My goodness all that is telling everybody Bonner/Blair are both better than Splitter and belong on the court before him. Let me tell you something, if any of the the power hitters of this league had Splitter on their roster right now he would be getting more than “mercy” minutes.
    It’s just damn retarded how they are wasting this contributer. “Oh but next year he’ll be in the starting line up.” I don’t give a damn about next year because next year is right now for him and everybody knows it. Damn shame. We get a win barely at the end of a game and some people revert to week one and its back to usual. Uh no that’s not going to happen. They have figured Bonner and Blair out people where as splitter they know they can’t for one stop him under rim once he gets going and two they know he stops the opposing teams progress in the lane, paint, boards etc…

  • Bruno

    @TD = Best EVER
    Agree, Blair plays well, miss some easy baskets and rebounds, but he has only 21 year old and can get better. Now Bonner is horrible, only skill is 3 point shooting, and he isn’t hit shooting well(but the fault is of combo!
    When Bonner plays with TD/Macdyess and even Splitter, he plays well. The same thing with Blair.

    Agree, everybody says next year will be better but they forgot this Summer TP, Manu and SPLITTER will play with NACIONAL TEAMS. If someone get hurt, start the drama. And for next year, Ginobili/Duncan are not getting younger…

  • grego


    No, it’s not the only way he’ll play. Otherwise he wouldn’t have played in the Suns game.

    However, If Pop wants to ride Splitter, but also get his the best out of him, giving him tonight off helps. Splitter will definitely have an extra gear without having played tonight.

    If he plays tomorrow, in no way are they wasting him. If Blair picked up 3 fouls in the 2nd half, they likely would have went to him, but it is smart if they can ride Splitter tomorrow and not play Dyess over 10 minutes and Duncan less than 20.

    Obviously if Kings play the Spurs tough, then all bets are off for Duncan and Dyess barely playing.

    @Bruno – there’s no guarantee that either Parker or Manu play. Manu has kids now so a lot changes. Parker, we’ll see. Both however know how much injuries have ruined their past few years.

    Nothing you can do about Splitter because he’s young, but luckily he hasn’t played a full 82 game season so his body can take it much better than a Parker or Manu who have more wear and tear.

  • Bruno

    Splitter and Manu already confirmed they will play in Summer by Nacional teams

  • Titletown99030507d


    Ok I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and give you those 10/10 for Blair if he had 23 minutes. Well looks like Splitter stats to me if he gets the same 23 minutes but difference between the two here is Splitter won’t give up as many easy points as your boy Blair will game after game. What the hell do you want that for? You know it’s true. And Splitter won’t miss a sorry ass dunk or two. He’ll fall on his ass dunking if he has to. How many miss dunks today for Blair?
    By the way be original. I’ve heard that before and honestly I don’t give a shit what you say. How bout you? are you Blair’s step-brother?

  • LPspursFan

    DB had 7 pts, 5 rebs and a steal without a turnover in 13 minutes. Nothing wrong with that.
    Bonner, obviously still fighting his shooting slump, had 2 pts, 6 rebs, an assist and no turnovers in 21 minutes. Couple of makes woulda been nice, but still, acceptable.
    Neither played “major” minutes and clearly Pop is planning on playing Tiago tomorrow in the B2B.
    And any road win in the NBA against any playoff team is a solid win.
    Spurs have the best record in the league (still), have beaten every team except Boston, all after being picked to finish no higher than 4th in their own conference, and so-called Spurs fans still complain and gripe about how Pop does his job.
    Go! Spurs! Go!!!!

  • Titletown99030507d


    In regards to playing Splitter against the Kings:

    The way you put it sounds logical, but didn’t Splitter play for 10 years as a pro? And hadn’t he just played in a championship series right before he got to the Spurs? He did accumulate games there. I really don’t think the layoff hurt him or the number of games he could have played with us. He is 26 and even if he played 42 games with 20 minutes or more I don’t think fatigue would have been an issue. If any thing it would have got him in game shape sooner plus he picked up the system faster than Pop thought he would. You would think they would play him the rest of the way and let the other two get small bench minutes now that he has gotten acclimated to this system and has gotten his game shape. Incidentally he had been playing better than those two since Timmy went out and up until the DNP-CD today. I don’t get it but the way you put it sounds somewhat believable. There are no back to backs in the playoffs. So does that mean Splitter will be an observer or cheerleader in the finals. Hope not.

  • Titletown99030507d

    From here on out since many of you here like to micro analyze the game to benefit your favorite players with stats I’m going to track the number of points scored and points allowed and number of rebounds for Splitter, Bonner, and Blair. If they all see near equal time from here on out and one out performs the other two then that person should see more time. Even if its Blair or Bonner. Just want the best performing big out there come playoff time.

  • Titletown99030507d

    I’m a fan and can complain even about a coach and its not embarrassing. I’ve been supporting them for 38 years here in San Antonio since the ABA years as a kid and adult in every arena they ever had. I just can’t see a great coach turn into a bonehead in his twilight years and potentially screw up something that had a great leagacy written all over it only to be remembered as the hardheaded, egotistical coach to ruin Timmy’s last years. Now that’s embarrassing!

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Titletown99030507d

    “By the way be original. I’ve heard that before and honestly I don’t give a shit what you say. How bout you? are you Blair’s step-brother?”

    No I’m not related to anyone on this team….beside TD(my alter ego)…….And Manu is our Next door neighbor……lol…… Everyone else can be traded or sent away and I’m fine…… But the reason I said you must be related to Splitter is that you have a problem with giving BLAIR any PROPS AT ALL…….All because Splitter didn’t play you don’t need to find BASH BLAIR……. Tonight wasn’t a bad night for Blair…… He didn’t commit any TO’s and made some good plays…… He also made some poor decisions. But everything being considered he played better than OK and earned his 13 min tonight……. He scored/rebounded well….. got his hands on 2-3 passed that resulted in Steals for us. And committed a silly foul and was beat trying to get steal by Zaza…….

    But in reading your post all you said was how Bad B/B played……. failing to mention that it was Bonner that stunk up the joint and Blair played better than average……So I’m not knocking you for saying Splitter should have played….. I feel the same way….. But it was Bonner who should have gotten less min not Blair….. he played well his 13 min and because you never seem to see the things Blair does RIGHT….. makes it harder to agree with you on other things……

  • Bob

    I am tired of people saying Bonner is having a shooting slump. Even if he shoots 50% he’s not going to shoot that every game. Plus he tends to have shooting slumps this time of the year and when the shots matter.
    The crazy thing about the Bonner/Blair combo is Pop can’t admit how bad it is defensively. He thinks it’s adequate defense. The Spurs also caught a break since Josh Smith was out. He’s the kind of athletic forward that would destroy a Bonner/Blair combo.

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