Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Spurs at Chicago Bulls 7:00 CST February 17, 2011
The Spurs must be waiting to release their collective breaths. The annual “Rodeo Road Trip” ends tonight with one of their toughest matchups. The Chicago Bulls have a record of 36-16 and are on the lower end of the race for second place. Derrick Rose is getting plenty of MVP love and the Bulls have played very well as of late, winning of 12 of their last 15. John Hollinger’s Power Rankings place the Bulls 4th and the Bulls have the best average margin of victory over their last 14 games.
The last time these two teams met was on November 17, when the Spurs emerged with a 103-94 victory. Derrick Rose scored 33 points on 27 field goal attempts, but the Spurs balanced attack prevailed. Parker scored 21 on 14 field goal attempts; Ginobili needed only 12 shots to score 20 and Duncan managed 16 points (although he did require 19 attempts) to go with 18 rebounds and 2 blocks. George Hill also contributed 14 points on 8 shots and Matt Bonner scored 8 on 5 attempts (with a laughable +/- of 29 in 22 minutes).
The Spurs found success defensively when they were able to get the ball out of Rose’s hands. Rose had only 1 easy assist (finished at the rim) to go with 3 passing turnovers and his teammates struggled to convert their shooting opportunities despite the constant attention Rose commanded. Teammates made only 24 of 65 attempts (37%), including 4 of 13 threes (31%). The Spurs, meanwhile, made 48.3% of their shots, got to the line 22 times and grabbed 5% more offensive rebounds than the Bulls.
The Bulls scored 20 points on 23 pick and rolls and only 9 points in the 14 times they passed out of that play. The Spurs held the fast break edge 26-16, but didnâ€™t fare much better running the pick and roll. The ball handler scored 14 in 17 plays and the roll man had 8 points in 11 possessions.
The Bulls were without the services of Carlos Boozer the last time these two teams faced off. This time, they will be missing a different big man as Joakim Noah is unable to go. Both are exceptional players in different ways and Iâ€™m not sure that one playerâ€™s absence will hurt the team significantly more than the other.
The Spurs have a chance to close out the first half of the season (or 2/3rds or however you want to look at it), with a 7-2 record on the RRT and record 47-9 overall, but it wonâ€™t come easy. The Bulls figure to present a much steeper challenge than the likes of New Jersey, Washington, Philly, Toronto, Detroit and Sacramento; but a victory would be would be a exclamation point to what has been a sterling season to date as the NBA heads into the All Star break.
Chicago: 5.37 (5th)
San Antonio: 7.08 (1st)
|Player||Fraction of teams minutes||PER minus Counterpart PER||On court +/-per 100 possessions||Off court +/-per 100 possessions||2 Year Adjusted +/-|
Most valuable/utilized lineups:
Rose, Bogans, Deng, Thomas, Boozer +56 in 342 minutes (+7.9 per 48)
Rose, Brewer, Deng, Gibson, Thomas +39 in 68 minutes (+27.5 per 48)
Spurs, barely and with caveat
The Spurs have 2 days rest going into this one and Ginobili, Duncan and Parker have been able to catch extended rest in several of their recent games. Although the Bulls have played exceptional as of late and they have home court advantage, the Spurs rested starters could provide a significant advantage.
This prediction does come with a huge question, however. If Coach Pop decides to take it easy on the Manu and Duncan for one more night heading into the break, the Bulls should clearly be favored.