Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat
San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat 7:00 CST March 14, 2011
Just 10 days ago, the Spurs turned a highly anticipated matchup with the Heat into a 125-95three point shooting exhibition, led by Matt Bonner. Before the game, some considered this a potential finals preview. At the time the Spurs and Heat were 1st and 2nd in SRS rankings, respectively. The Heat proceeded to lose their next two games, completing a 5 game skid. After reeling off two impressive wins in the last 5 days, the Heat appear back on track. The two teams once again rank 1 and 2 in the SRS rankings.
Despite losing by 30, the Heat were able to get near the rim. Lebron made 7 of 10 from inside 10 feet and Wade scored 6 of 8 from this range. (Wade did only attempt 2 free throws and create one assist to go with 5 turnovers.) However, the Spurs did a good job enticing the Heat to take a lot of long two’s. The Heat attempting 29 shots from 16-23 feet, making 13. By comparison, the Spurs attempted 9 long two’s (making 4). San Antonio also attempted more threes (28-20). In addition, the Spurs assisted 16 of their 17 three point scores. Although we can’t expect the Spurs to make threes at that rate and pace, it should be promising that they were able to create so many open looks.
Tony Parker’s made a surprise appearance in the first meeting, playing much before his anticipated return date. He was a significant factor for the Spurs getting to the rim and sucking in the Heat’s defense. Parker created 4 layups off the dribble and made all 7 of his free throws. Tim Duncan was also significant offensively, scoring 5 field goals from close range (3 unassisted) to go with 14 rebounds. Manu Ginobili also distributed an impressive 5 assists on layups or dunks. Of course, Bonnerâ€™s 6 of 7 three point shooting were pretty significant and Novak, Hill, Jefferson, Ginobili and Neal were also efficient from that range. The Spurs three point preference also made it easier to take care of the ball. They committed only 8 turnovers.
The Spurs also enjoyed success defending the pick and roll in this game. Miami scored just 12 points on 22 ball handler possessions and 5 points on 7 plays to the roll man. The Heat ran a ton of screens, but scored only 12 points on 16 such plays. The Spurs defense managed to hold the Heat to merely 9 fast break points in 11 opportunities. The Spurs fast break contributed 16 points on 12 transition plays. The Spurs didn’t run the pick and roll with their typical regularity, but when they did, it was effective. 13 ballhandler possessions created 18 points while 9 passes to the roll man led to 10 more points. The area that the Spurs held the biggest edge, however, was obviously spot ups. The Spurs made an incredible 13 of 19 three point spot ups leading to 48 points on 27 spot up chances.
Miami’s Point Guard Situaion
One interesting thing to consider for this game is the Heat’s point guard situation. I suspected that the Heat shouldn’t want a point who dominates the ball. After all, Wade has never played with as dynamic a passer as James and James can probably say the same about Wade. Additionally, both players like to create off the dribble. Doing a quick check of Miami’s point differential with respective point guards this season, we find that the numbers seem to back my initial suspicion… probablyâ€¦
House +12.1 per 48 in 525 minutes
Chalmers +8.4 in 1808 minutes
Wade +8.2 in 182 minutes
Arroyo +7.0 in 981 minutes
Bibby +3.1 in 119 minutes
For lineups with multiple players above, the order of PG preference was Chalmers, Bibby, Arroyo, House and Wade.
Surprisingly, the team has done slightly better with Chalmers at point than Wade. However, Wade has only played 182 minutes at point guard.
House might be the Heat’s most dangerous option at point guard, since he is the most deadly 3 point weapon of the group. He is better as a three point specialist than a ball handler.
The Heat lost their first 4 games after acquiring Bibby, but he seems to be adjusting to the team in recent games.
If you haven’t already seen it, here is a link to my http://www.48minutesofhell.com/spurs-stats-advanced-scouting-miami-heat” target=”_blank”>advanced scouting report on the Heat.
Miami: 6.36 (2nd)
San Antonio: 6.59 (1st)
Heat Player Ratings 3-14
|Player||G||MPG||USG%||Ortg||DRtg||WS/48||2 Yr APM|
Spurs Player Ratings 3-14
|Player||G||MPG||USG%||Ortg||DRtg||WS/48||2 Yr APM|
Player trends, based on Efficiency per 48 minutes:
Heat Player Trends 3-14
Spurs Player Trends 3-14
Arroyo, Wade, James, Bosh, Ilgauskas +103 in 428 minutes (+10.5 per 100 possessions)
Chalmers, Wade, James, Bosh, Dampier +58 in 222 minutes (+13.2 per 100)
House, Wade, James, Bosh, Anthony +37 in 45 minutes (+43.7 per 100)
Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, Blair, Duncan +147 in 669 minutes (+10.4 per 100)
Hill, Neal, Ginobili, Bonner, McDyess +65 in 101 minutes (+35.3 per 100)
The Spurs basically have home court sealed up, but I suspect this is too early for Coach Pop to start resting his core players. Regardless, I suspect that the Heat’s home court advantage will be enough to favor them tonight.