Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at New Jersey Nets
San Antonio Spurs at New Jersey Nets 6:00 CST February 14, 2011
New Jersey: -5.78 (29th)
San Antonio: 6.85 (2nd)
|Player||Fraction of teams minutes||PER minus Counterpart PER||On court +/-per 100 possessions||Off court +/-per 100 possessions||2 Year Adjusted +/-|
Harris, Morrow, Outlaw, Humphries, Lopez -55 in 253 minutes (-12.4 per 100 Poss)
Harris, Morrow, Outlaw, Favors, Lopez -15 in 95 minutes (-7.5 per 100)
Harris, Vujacic, Outlaw, Humphries, Lopez +4 in 63 minutes (-1.4 per 100)
Harris, Farmar, Morrow, Humphries, Lopez +17 in 38 minutes (+16.9 per 100)
Preferred method to create shots: Devin Harris driving on the pick and roll
The Nets have an offensive rating of 102.5, which places them 28th in the league. Despite their struggles, New Jersey has a couple players who can create their own shot with good efficiency. Brook Lopez averages 0.9 points per possession (PPP) in the 7.5 post ups per game and possesses good range for a center. Devin Harris scores 0.94 PPP on 6.4 pick and rolls per game. (Note that offensive ratings do not count offensive rebounds as separate possessions and are thus higher than Synergyâ€™s PPP.) Harris looks to draw contact when driving to the rim and gets to the line more often than all point guards except Derrick Rose, Deron Rose and Russell Westbrook.
Make Harris and Lopez give up the ball
Although the Nets are good at creating and making the difficult shots, they have difficulty setting up the easy shots. It doesn’t help that they don’t have the best players to convert the high percentage plays. New Jersey ranks 10th in pick and roll efficiency when the ball handler attempts to score, but just 27th on plays for the roll man. Making matters worse, the Nets commit many passing turnovers. They have the 8th highest turnover rate in the NBA.
The Nets have a difficult time manufacturing the most efficient shot types. They rank near the bottom in the league in both percentage of shots attempted at the rim and percentage of shots attempted from three point range. Because of this, they have the 3rd worst expected eFG% according to hoopdata. Making matters worse, they have the 6th worst field goal percentage relative to the type of shots they do take. It doesnâ€™t help that a high percentage shots they take are created off the dribble.
The Nets rank 22nd in the percentage of close field goals created by assists. (Assisted close shots have a much higher conversion rate.) They also have the 2nd lowest assist rate on 3 point attempts. Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar have been relied on to create more of their own shots and their efficiency has predictably diminished.
The Nets assists tend produce low scoring expectations:
|Shot type||Lg %Astd||Nets %Astd||estAstd FG%||estUastd FG%||Approx Value|
|2 Point Jumpers||51%||56%||46%||36%||0.20|
The Nets also struggle to find good shots early in the shot clock. Their rate of 20% of field goals attempted in the last 4 seconds of the shot clock is only exceeded by the Detroit Pistons.
New Jersey does have a few players who can be dangerous on the receiving ends of passes. Anthony Morrow is very good at getting shots off screens, spot ups and even off a dribble or two, but he loses effectiveness when going to the hoop. Kris Humpries has increased his focus on high percentage plays such as cuts, pick and rolls and fast breaks. He has become the Nets most efficient option, along with Lopez, at receiving passes for easy layups and dunks.
George Hill and Tony Parker should defend Harris on most possessions. Parker’s ability to defend without committing fouls could be advantageous against Harris. Additionally, George Hill is a better option helping out by drawing fouls or creating turnovers.
Spurs offensive game plan: Look for Duncan
The Nets have a defensive rating of 109, which ranks 19th. This isnâ€™t exceptional, but its much more respectable than their offensive rating. Devin Harris, Jordan Farmar and Kris Humphries are all good help defenders and although Brook Lopez averages merely 5.7 RPG, the Nets rank 9th in defensive rebounding percentage.
The Nets most significant defensive weakness this season has been defending the post. The 0.95 PPP they surrender is worst in the NBA. Lopez is a decent man defender in the post, but Humphries, Favors and Morrow have allowed 0.96, 1.05 and 1.00 PPP over the past two seasons on such plays. Over the same time frame, Morrow has also allowed 1.01 PPP when facing isolations and 0.91 defending the pick and roll.
Opponents have also found success on cuts to the basket. 9% of opponent possessions are classified as cuts according to Synergy. Along with Lopez and Humphries, Derrick Favors is a solid at contesting shots, but has significant foul troubles (nearly one foul every 6 minutes). Attacking him could result in several trips to the charity stripe. In addition to their other defensive liabilities, New Jersey also creates turnovers at the lowest rate in the NBA.
Tim Duncan’s post production is below his normal standards, but still respectable (0.87 PPP). Duncan is still the Spurs top option as the roll man (148 points on 141 possession) and is a solid finishing on cuts (100 points in 83 possessions). Looking to set up Duncan with these looks attacks the Nets defensive weaknesses in all three areas. DeJuan Blair is also very good at finishing cuts and solid at scoring off pick and roll sets.
After playing four road games in five nights, the Spurs will “only” be playing their third in four tonight. Thatâ€™s just a reminder of how brutal this road trip can be. After a tough night in Philly, the Spurs looked good in DC. Assuming the Spurs donâ€™t succumb to fatigue or another terrible shooting performance, they should come away with a win.