Advanced Scouting: Atlanta Hawks at San Antonio Spurs
Atlanta Hawks at San Antonio Spurs 7:30 CST December 10, 2010
Atlanta: 2.13 (11th)
San Antonio: 8.57 (2nd)
|Player||Fraction of teams minutes||PER minus Counterpart PER||2 Year Net PER||On court +/-per 48 minutes||Off court +/-per 48 minutes||2 Year Adjusted +/-|
Donâ€™t get caught up with Joe Johnsonâ€™s max contract, but also donâ€™t be fooled by his poor adjusted plus minus for the last two seasons. His adjusted plus minus over the past half dozen seasons averages about 4-5 points per 100 possessions and, although his production and efficiency are reduced this year, his injury still hurts the Hawks.
Bibby,Johnson,Williams,Smith,Horford +22 in 223 minutes
Bibby,Ja.Crawford,Johnson,Smith,Horford +23 in 92 minutes
Bibby,Johnson,Smith,Horford,Collins +30 in 43 minutes
Teague,Ja.Crawford,Evans,Powell,Pachulia +6 in 41 minutes
Bibby,Evans,Williams,Smith,Horford -20 in 32 minutes
Bibby,Ja.Crawford,Williams,Smith,Horford +5 in 25 minutes
The last three lineups are the Hawks most prominent lineups for 2010-11 without Joe Johnson. The Hawks expect Johnson to miss the remainder of the month.
Preferred method to create shots: Post up Al Horford
With Joe Johnson sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks, Al Horford becomes the Hawks best option to create scores for the Hawks. Horford continues improving and currently ranks 3rd in the NBA in PER, Win Shares, Offensive Wins Shares and Offensive Rating. Although his FG% of 55% on jump shots is sure to return to closer to his career rate (low 40% range), Horford will remain a strong offensive force.
In addition to an increase in production from Horford, Altantaâ€™s new coach Larry Drew has altered the Hawks offense to include more movement without the ball, better passing and a decreased focus on isolation sets.
Although itâ€™s tough to say Atlantaâ€™s offense is better at this point in the season, the effects are clear (they ranked 2nd in Offensive Rating last year and rank 8th for the current year). Atlanta’s rate of assists per field goal increased from 56% last year to 63% in the current year. Although no player, sans Johnson, is averaging more than 4 assists per game, 6 players are averaging 3.5 per 36 minutes or greater.
Additionally, the Hawks will run several pick-and-roll plays through Jamal Crawford. Crawford has been very effective running the pick-and-roll over the past couple seasons.
Appropriate Spurs counter: Force Horford left
Last year, according to Synergy Sports, Al Horford went left 67 times in post defined possessions (more concisely, he “turned his shoulder right”). He scored only 0.64 points per possession (PPP) in these instances. He went right 192 times, scoring 1.05 PPP. This season, Horford has favored the right side to an even greater degree, going left four times as often as he goes right.
The hook shot is Al Horford’s go-to move in the post. Even when he goes left, he is often just looking to finish spinning right. Horford also likes to face up, but he will once again tend to go to his right in these instances because his fadeaway is not as effective as his hook shot.
Perhaps Tiago Splitter and DeJuan Blair are good options to combat Horfordâ€™s blend of strength and athleticism.
Defensive Weakness: PnR Trans
The Atlanta Hawks struggled defending the pick-and-roll last year against the Magic and this year has not proven to be any better. The 95.5 points per 100 possessions allowed on pick-and-roll possessions are nearly five more than any other team, other than the Washington Wizards. Among players who have most consistently struggled defending this play, Mike Bibby is likely the safest target for the Spurs to attack on this play type.
Several teams have run effectively against the Hawks. With the success the Spurs have seen on the break this season, they should definitely also look to push the ball in this one.
Tony Parker could be crucial offensively in this game. His ability to score off the pick and roll could provide significant value when he is on the floor opposite Bibby. Additionally, Parker is the Spurs most consistent weapon on the fast break.
Atlanta is off to a 15-8 start. However, the Hawks constructed this record against one of the softest schedules in the league. Additionally, will have to visit Texas without the help of Joe Johnson. Atlanta certainly has the potential to be tough and maybe even steal one here; but once again, the Spurs are the better team.