Advanced Scouting: Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs


Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs 2:30 CST March 6, 2011

The Spurs follow up their ultra-impressive 125-95 victory over the Heat with yet another difficult and high profile test. The Los Angeles Lakers are defending champs for a reason, but their 44-19 record is no match for the Spurs who have already surpassed the 50 win mark.

The season series is currently 2-0 in favor of the Spurs. The first game resulted in a blowout victory for the Spurs while the second victory required a last second tip in from Antonio McDyess. For more background for what to expect, read my advanced scouting report on the Lakers. I also provided a preview of the second game, including analysis of Kobe’s volume shooting impact on the Lakers.

A theme in both games has been Kobe’s poor shooting. Combined, Kobe has made 13 of his 45 field goal attempts to score just 37 points while turning the ball over 8 times. (His usage was 54% in the first game!) After creating 27 field goal attempts and just 1 assist in the first game, Kobe went into distributor mode (at least for part of the game), setting up teammates for 6 dump-ins.

Thanks in large part to Kobe’s attempt to take over the games, the Lakers ran a ton of isolations (0.66 PPP in 48 plays) and more pick and rolls than they typically utilize (0.44 PPP in 26 possessions), struggling on both play types. (All statistics are based on total from both games in this season.) The Lakers actually found more success in the limited post plays they ran (1.13 PPP in 27 possessions). The Spurs more than doubled the Lakers production on fast breaks 39-17. The Spurs also found success running off screens (1.12 PPP in 17 attempts).

For San Antonio, the number of their three point attempts created should be considered a good sign. Richard Jefferson was able to attempt 16 three’s (making 6). Gary Neal attempted 10 in just 33 combined minutes (making 3). Matt Bonner made 2 of 3 in 26 minutes and Manu hit 3 of 12. Although the conversion rates were somewhat low, finding these good looks could pay off in several nights.

It might be very important that Tony Parker returned since he found a much easier time getting to the rim than Manu against the Lakers this year. Manu scored only 1 basket within 10 feet in both games combined, whereas Parker made 10 layups and scored 5 more times within 9 feet. Parker also had similar success getting to the rim against LAL last season. Meanwhile, Manu greatly struggled finding layups against the Lakers in 3 of the 4 meetings last season.

The Spurs played so well against Miami that they could arguable have won easily even without the return of Parker (who played well). However, Parker’s impact on this matchup could prove to be much more significant.

Key Statistics

SRS ranks:

Los Angeles Lakers: 5.71 (4th)
San Antonio: 6.91 (1st)

Player summary statistics from and

Lakers Player Ratings

Pau Gasol6337.121.51241030.2362.5
Kobe Bryant6333.834.51111060.1833
Lamar Odom6332.619.31201030.1914.19
Ron Artest6328.415.21041060.0851.97
Derek Fisher6327.212.71061060.081-0.8
Steve Blake6220.411.51011080.054-0.89
Shannon Brown6319.522.71071050.111-4.86
Andrew Bynum3826.2191191020.1961.81
Matt Barnes3720.816.81121030.1412.02
Luke Walton459.114.4891070.01N/A

Spurs Player Ratings

PlayerGMPGUSG%OrtgDRtgWS/482 Yr APM
Tony Parker6032.324.91141060.169-0.53
Richard Jefferson623115.71161070.126-1.3
Manu Ginobili6230.926.41161030.2085.02
Tim Duncan6228.723.2109990.1666.52
George Hill5628.217.61171060.15-1.32
DeJuan Blair6222.120.3105990.1370.07
Matt Bonner4621.912.71341070.1764.3
Gary Neal6020.320.21091080.104-1.51
Antonio McDyess5617.914.71041020.1092.7
James Anderson1412.816.11081090.081N/A
Tiago Splitter4411.317.81111030.141N/A
Chris Quinn396.616.3961080.032N/A
Steve Novak96.315.11461080.228N/A

Player trends, based on Efficiency per 48 minutes:

Lakers Player Trends

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
Pau Gasol33.434.20.8
Kobe Bryant30.626.6-4
Lamar Odom29.723.9-5.8
Ron Artest14.916.21.3
Derek Fisher13.612.6-1
Steve Blake12.811.9-0.9
Shannon Brown19.715.9-3.8
Andrew Bynum30.531.10.6
Luke Walton13.912.3-1.6

Spurs Player Trends

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
DeJuan Blair2828.50.5
Gary Neal18.623.14.5
Antonio McDyess23.2251.8
Tim Duncan32.731.9-0.8
George Hill2321.2-1.8
Manu Ginobili28.729.30.6
Matt Bonner2124.33.3
Steve Novak2119.5-1.5
Richard Jefferson18.114.1-4
Chris Quinn12.36.1-6.2

Lineup data

Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Odom, Gasol +172 in 760 minutes (+12.1 per 100 possessions)
Blake, Brown, Barnes, Odom, Gasol +65 in 139 minutes (+23.3 per 100)
Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Odom, Bynum +59 in 101 minutes (+27.6 per 100)
Blake, Brown, Bryant, Odom, Gasol +29 in 101 minutes (+9.8 per 100)
Blake, Brown, Walton, Odom, Bynum +27 in 78 minutes (+17.6 per 100)
I included so many lineups because both Fisher and Barnes are questionable to play tonight.

Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, Blair, Duncan +154 in 659 minutes (+11.1 per 100)
Hill, Neal, Ginobili, Bonner, McDyess +68 in 96 minutes (+37.9 per 100)

The Pick


If all goes as planned, this could be the last meaningful Spurs-Lakers game of the regular season. (They meet again on the 81st game of the year.) The Spurs have a healthy Parker back and the San Antonio fans backing them. This should be enough to give them a good shot to win.

  • Titletown99030507

    @TD, your right about shooting lights out in the playoffs becasue that’s what got them to this point. and yes hopefully the Mavs take out the lakers . So then you agree with me in regards to our lack of interior defense. But your wrong again in regards to Splitter. The poor dude just didn’t get adequate time on the court all season. Count up Blairs minutes and count up Splitters minutes for the entire season and tell me if Splitter would have been way further along had he’d been the starter from the get go. I don’t see much of an investment in regards to preparedness for Splitter as they did in Blair. Next season you will understand what I meant in this post. I cant wait. That is if those idiots don’t trade him.

  • Titletown99030507

    @rob, you know very well these games being close to the end of the season are damn important. They now have no respect for us and have gained the all important phsycological advantage on the players themselves. For Pop its no problem he’s not on the court playing but for some of these players it could linger in their minds the next time they meet up.

  • Titletown99030507

    “To me the most surprising thing about this game was that Splitter has hit all his FTs.”

    He want’s to frikin play. Somebody throw him a bone.

  • Titletown99030507

    @tradetp, Damn right they would have more wins and theyd have that void filled for the playoffs. Smallz my ass. Get real man.

  • Titletown99030507

    @Tradetp, If Splitter hung around the rim all season long as Blair has he’d get those easy put backs and have a higher percentage than Blair. His fifty % is deceiving. He can’t shoot a lick outside 5 feet man.
    and thank you for telling me I’m right. “No trophy for you” if Blair starts in th playoffs.

  • Daniel T


    Blair’s two shots made were both tip-ins at the basket. Most of his misses were also from right under the basket. Tim is taking a number of shots from 20 feet, so comparing field goal percentages between them is like comparing rebounds of a guy going against starters vs. one going against reserves like Odom.

  • tradetp…not right now

    Obviously you dont understand the concept of the team this year. Attack and Score. Blair is the more athletic of the two. He’s the better fit for the uptempo offense.

    Splitter would be the guy if we were still playing pound the ball into the post to Tim. Get with the times.

  • Titletown99030507

    @Daniel T,

    “Though Blair played the final 9:40 with those two, getting 5 rebounds, so you might be giving Novak too much credit as he was the SF. It does seem Tiago often does a good job of not allowing his man to rebound, so that while Tiago may not have recorded that many rebounds himself it allows players like Neal and Novak to get the rebounds.”

    Isnt that what we want?

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Daniel T

    As much as I hate to agree with Titletown99030507, because I really don’t think Splitter is the answer. how much worse could we actually be with him. We know we need more size/strength. And Blair’s strength isn’t getting it done, SO lets try Splitter’s Size the last 20 or so games and into the playoffs. At least we can see what we are getting out of him, in case we need to make a move in the off season.

  • tradetp…not right now


    Blair isnt going to take 20 foot jumpers like Tim for two reasons:

    hes not a touch shooter, and hes athletic enough to get putbacks and position. It doesnt matter where they shoot from, they both expect to make it every time. FG% is the number of shots you make out of the shots you take no matter where. The point isnt that Blair is the better pure shooter than Tim, he’s not. The point is that he makes his shots at a higher rate than Tim this year.

    20ft or 2 foot they’re both worth 2 pts. If they each take 10 shots and knock down their FG% Blair would win.

  • Titletown99030507


    “Obviously you dont understand the concept of the team this year. Attack and Score. Blair is the more athletic of the two. He’s the better fit for the uptempo offense.

    Splitter would be the guy if we were still playing pound the ball into the post to Tim. Get with the times.

    He (smallz)also gets scored on more of the two.

    And I am so with the times that’s why I’m telling you they aren’t winning squat depending on a yipy ka yay gung ho run and gun style of play. Not gonna happen. Pop will not be the first coach (team) to win a NBA ship with this style of play just ask Diantoni. Anything else?

  • tradetp…not right now

    Tim plays Center. He was on Bynum. Bynum had 17 rebounds. and 6 offensive. McD played Bynum as well. So how is Blair getting the blame for the rebounding.

    Without Bynum the lakers had 8 offensive rebounds 3 of them from Barnes in Trash time. Gasol had 1 Oreb.

    The game wasnt about size as much as it was about our poor shooting and our poor offense as a whole. WE WIN BY SCORING this year. WE WIN BY PLAYING UP TEMPO. We score over 100 we are 38-3 we score less, we are well whatever the balance is. SCORING A LOT AT A HIGH SPEED IS OUR STYLE THIS YEAR. NOT SIZE NOT POUND. GUN

  • Daniel T

    My remark about Splitter was a positive remark, I think he was doing a decent job of keeping his opponent from getting offensive rebounds.

  • Titletown99030507

    @TD, Good point, No Splitter is not the answer but part of it. and not a bad idea at this point to let coach and team see what Splitter has for the rest of the season and going into the playoffs utilizing major minutes. Actually you would be taking care of two birds with one stone (I don’t advocate animal violence) by doing this. one you’ll see if Splitter can actually make your team better in that respect and two if he doesn’t trade him next year. They have nothing to lose all they have to do is plug Blair back in the starting rotation if it don’t work out because the way it looks they could be losing some games anyway against the better teams down the stretch in the regular season. Everybody’s too worried about a record when really they should be worried about adjustments to get better. We’ll see.

  • Titletown99030507

    @Daniel T, Sorry Daniel I know, but it was really meant for those that think Splitters a scrub.

  • Colin


    “@Colin, Oh yes we do!”

    Look, I still love our chances in a 7 game series against any team in the league at this point. The Spurs got it handed to them today as they deserved (see my first post above).

    ……but again, there is no chance in the playoffs with Splitter getting any more 12 min/game against Gasol. McDyess is a much better player at this point. Come playoff time, Gasol would LOVE to see Splitter looking him in the face. It would be a clinic in the post.

  • Bruno

    I think Bonner shouldn’t play so much time, and with Bonner’s time Splitter can show what he can do.

    About this thing Splitter vs Blair, everybody forgot Blair always play with TD, TD not allow his man to rebound, so is more easy to Blair grab rebounds. Splitter, nobody knows why, never play with TD.
    I think TD and Splitter playing together we can grab a lot more rebouds than Blair+TD, just because Splitter can keep off his man to rebound, Blair sometimes can’t(like today).

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ tradetp…not right now

    “Tim plays Center. He was on Bynum. Bynum had 17 rebounds. and 6 offensive. McD played Bynum as well. So how is Blair getting the blame for the rebounding.”

    Yes Bynum ate TD up today, but that just makes my point. We have no answer for their size. Td is our biggest player and if he is gonna struggle, everyone else has to hold their own or out play their counter part. Gasol > Blair tonight as well….. and it was just as bad as Bynum > TD. We can’t have that. So a move to Tiago might fix it or might not. But at this point we aren’t going to be any worse off for it.

    Also FG% does matter, if you ask a player to constantly shoot the ball out of their comfort zone, they will miss alot more shots than if they shot in their zone. If Blair could shoot, TD would be closer to the rim and Blair would be the one outside shooting more J’s. But he can’t so Tim does it.

  • Daniel T


    Of course if Blair were able to shoot more efficiently at 20 ft, then Tim might be able to shoot more often from 2 ft where he makes closer to 60% of his shots. I think Tim has been conserving his energy by going outside more. If he moves back more to the low post come playoff time, Blair will likely see more time on the bench in favor of Bonner.

    I would think that Tiago would work well enough alongside Tim as his offensive game often starts way outside setting up picks. If his man leaves him to help on Tim he should be able to get to an open spot. In theory, Blair could do the same thing, though it would seem easier to see Tiago being open past 7 footers than it would Blair.

  • Hobson13

    Thank God! The Mavs lost too so that still keeps us 5 games up on Dallas. We sure needed them to drop one or two.

  • Nima K.

    The Mavs just got mauled by a Grizzly! Perhaps HCA for the Spurs isn’t a fading hope after all?

  • Alix Babaie

    I sure hope the Lakers draw Memphis, that team traded well for a change and could be a team ready to pull a 1st round upset.