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 Kobeâ€™s volume shooting impact on the Lakers.
A theme in both games has been Kobeâ€™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 Kobeâ€™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 threeâ€™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, Parkerâ€™s impact on this matchup could prove to be much more significant.
Los Angeles Lakers: 5.71 (4th)
San Antonio: 6.91 (1st)
Lakers Player Ratings
|Player||G||MPG||USG%||ORtg||DRtg||WS/48||2 Yr APM|
Spurs Player Ratings
|Player||G||MPG||USG%||Ortg||DRtg||WS/48||2 Yr APM|
Player trends, based on Efficiency per 48 minutes:
Lakers Player Trends
Spurs Player Trends
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)
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.