Advanced Scouting: Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs


Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs 7:30 CST December 8, 2010

The last time these two teams met, a little more than one week ago, the Spurs beat the Warriors handily by the score of 118-98. Tim Duncan had a triple-double and Manu Ginobili contributed 27 points on 13 shots to go with five steals. Stephen Curry scored 32 points on 22 field goal attempts, but also turned the ball over five times.

My scouting preview for this matchup called for the Spurs to force Ellis and Curry to pass out of pick and rolls, while attacking the Warriors backcourt on isolations in an attempt to get to the line.

The Warriors ran the pick-and-roll through Curry a staggering 18 times. Nine times the Spurs forced Curry to pass the ball off the pick, which resulted in only two points. In contrast, Curry scored 10 points when he took the shot himself.

On offense, the Spurs conjured up 31 free throws, nearly twice as many as the Warriors, but Synergy Sports only credited the Spurs with five isolation possessions. The Spurs predominantly thrived on the pick-and-roll and the transition. Parker and Ginobili combined to head 20 pick-and-roll derived possessions resulting in 25 points.

The Spurs also excelled at creating transition opportunities off Warriors turnovers. In total, they scored seven baskets (including one trey) and drew five fouls in 21 transition possessions. The Spurs held the Warriors to only 13 fast breaks.

Statistical Team Summary

SRS ranks:

Golden State: -5.11 (24th)
San Antonio: 8.25 (2nd)

Key Player Statistics (courtesy of (effective December 6, 2010) and (effective December 6, 2010):

PlayerFraction of teams minutesPER minus Counterpart PER2 Year Net PEROn court +/-per 48 minutesOff court +/-per 48 minutes2 Year Adjusted +/-

Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Curry,Ellis,D.Wright,Lee,Biedrins +62 in 354 Minutes


The Spurs are playing at home coming off two days rest, whereas the Warriors will be playing in a back to back road game. The Spurs are ranked by SRS as the second best team in the NBA and the Warriors are the 24th. The great thing about the NBA is that any team can win any game, but the odds in this one clearly favor the Spurs.

  • The Beat Counselor

    Does Synergy or SRS have a stat for how Richard Jefferson bull-riding David Lee affects our collective +/-?

    @ Scott
    Really starting to look forward to these game day write ups. They seem to give this blog a little game-to-game stability (the traditional articles are always fantastic and thought provoking, of course, but they can be a little….random–for lack of a better adjective).

    It seems that the commentors on this blog have been a little stand-offish with you and that might have something to do with you not being a veteran Spurs fan. But those comments left by the Warriors fans on your last write up against Golden State really opened my eyes to the quality of content you are providing us.

    And I suppose there is some value in you having an objective point of view when writing these game day analyses.

    Your contributions also give the blog a more scientific feel, which although I don’t always fully understand, I can see the value of. And I definitely like being exposed to them as I probably would rarely look them up on my own.

    LOVE the Synergy break downs (or whatever you call paragraph 3-5).

    Your effort is appreciated.

  • werdb

    So this is going to come off like a spoiled fan, and I must admit that is probably what I am.
    I watched the GS/Dallas game last night and the ONLY reason the Warriors lost that game was due to them not playing team ball. I have never seen so many isolation plays and one on ones in a Spurs game. The Warriors kept time and time again running all 5 guys to one side of the floor and then Curry/Wright/Ellis (whoever had the ball at the start of the “play”) went one on 5.
    Who plays ball like this at a pro level?
    With the amount of effort put out by the Warriors last night they should be gassed tonight.

    I amazes me to look at the brake downs of what the Spurs run and then look at other teams around the league and see such chaos in other teams.

    Makes me glad I grew up a Spurs fan even though I’m stuck out here in the bay area with the dubs…

    Oh and one more thing,
    Ian Mahinmi lucked into his double double last night, most of his points came on put backs and at the line. I don’t think the Warriors wanted any rebounds, they basically just got out of the lane when shots went up.

  • Greyberger

    At I’m reading the GSW starters as being 68 points better than even in 172 minutes.

    Either way, their starters do well and every other lineup gets hammered. That starting lineup is 120 pts. per 100 poss. on offense, and allows 101 on defense. All other lineups averaged together they’re only 102.9 on offense and allows 113.9.

    Lee and Curry are the key. The Warriors shoot 7% better when Curry is on the court. Lee improves their defense and their offense; they shoot 52.4% and allow 49.3% with him on court but just 47.5% and allow 52.3% without him.

  • rj

    mahinmi report- 12 pts 10 reb, 1 blk shot in 21 min against the warriors. maybe that was his nets game. hopefully splitter is productive tonight.

  • Scott Sereday

    @ Greyberger

    Thanks for the catch. I apologize for the error.

    @Beat Counselor

    Thanks for the feedback

  • DieHardSpur

    Beat Counselor


  • Flavor

    Interesting: Spurs are 14 and 0 when scorring 100+ a game so far…

  • ITGuy

    Thanks for the write up Scott, I’m not much of a stats guy but the more I read them the more I understand them.

    Two stats I do know.
    The Beat Counselor’s comment about RJ is a +1.
    The Spurs are 14-2 in the Chris Quinn era.

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • Scott Sereday

    Perhaps more impressive and more telling than 15-0 when scoring 100 is that they are 6-1 when allowing 100. That’s impressive stuff for the Spurs. All the evidence points to the fast break working for SA.

  • LPspursFan

    Tiago…12 pts, 6 rbs, 1 stl
    Go Spurs Go!!

  • andy

    Scott Sereday
    December 8th, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    while well noted so far, this is really one of the most intriguing developments of the season to me. to wholesale change one’s coaching philosophy speaks volumes about the kind of flexibility and willingness to experiment that i don’t feel the pop, and the spurs, get enough credit for doing. with the influx of youth from our recent shrewd drafting, i hope we continue what seems to be a sucessful strategy.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Spurs Stats | Advanced Scouting | Warriors 12/8/2010 --