Advanced Scouting: New Jersey Nets at San Antonio Spurs


New Jersey Nets at San Antonio Spurs 7:30 CST February 25, 2011

The Nets acquisition of Deron Williams this past Wednesday should make the Spurs feel a little cozier about the Western Conference playoff picture for this season and future seasons. However, Williams still has one more chance to make life difficult for the Spurs this year as the Spurs play host to the Nets and their new lead guard tonight. The Spurs had an easy time beating the Nets last meeting by the score of 102-85 on February 14, but the presence of Williams could make tonight’s matchup a bit tougher. My scouting report of the Nets often focused on how the Spurs should match up against Devin Harris. Of course, Harris and Derrick Favors was the primary active piece that New Jersey sent to Utah in exchange for Williams.

Williams shares Harris’ ability to score the ball. Harris was frequently utilized in the pick and roll, averaging 0.92 PPP (points per possession); which exceeded Williams’ rate of 0.83. Williams often worked out of isolation sets in Utah, averaging 0.95 PPP (Harris averaged 0.84 PPP). Despite their shared ability to score, the most significant difference between these two players is Williams’ ability to create easy scores for teammates. Beyond the decided difference in assists per game, Williams passes tend to be more meaningful. For instance, Williams sets up teammates for easy scores at the rim over 50% more frequently than Harris and the Jazz as a team score on cuts nearly twice as often as the Nets over this season.

In time, this advantage could dramatically help the Nets, but the New Jersey’s offense is different from Utah’s and I wouldn’t expect Williams’ ability to pass the ball to be fully utilized the first time out. However, it is his passing ability that poses the greatest threat to the Spurs. Check out my advanced scouting report on the Jazz for more analysis on defending a Deron Williams led team.

On February 14 in Newark, Manu led all scorers with 22 points, including 8 from the charity stripe and 6 from deep. Tony Parker set up teammates for 5 scores at the rim and he also created 4 such layups for himself. In total, the Spurs converted 14 close scores compared to the Nets 8. In large part thanks to the Spurs ability to get to the rim and the Nets inability to defend with discipline, the Spurs attempted nearly 50% more free throws than the Nets (31-21). The Spurs also made 7 of 16 threes. Both teams had success running the pick and roll. Spurs ball handlers scored 19 points on 18 plays and Nets ball handlers scored 20 in 20 possessions. No Nets player scored more than 11.

Key Statistics

SRS ranks:

New Jersey: -5.94 (28th)
San Antonio: 6.87 (2nd)

Player summary statistics from and

Nets Player Ratings

Deron Williams5337.926.31161120.1646.1
Brook Lopez5734.427.81051090.093-1.52
Anthony Morrow4031.917.21141130.0871.64
Travis Outlaw5730.417971110.022-2.24
Sasha Vujacic3126.720.71041090.07-2.61
Kris Humphries5725.516.51141040.142-4.27
Jordan Farmar4923.922.1991100.037-0.6
Stephen Graham4216.812.688111-0.014-3.39
Johan Petro531117.6921040.033-3.01
Quinton Ross34109.79211303.12
Ben Uzoh279.2211021100.058N/A

Spurs Player Ratings

Manu Ginobili5731.1261151030.24.83
Tony Parker5732.724.91141060.172-1.16
Tim Duncan5728.823.2109990.1686.11
Richard Jefferson5731.216.11171070.131-0.6
George Hill5127.917.21181060.152-1.04
DeJuan Blair5722.120.2103990.129-0.55
Matt Bonner412212.61301070.1614.44
Gary Neal5719.9201091070.105-0.53
Antonio McDyess521814.91041010.1092.86
Tiago Splitter4111.217.71101030.138N/A
James Anderson1011.717.51131080.116N/A
Chris Quinn356.1161041080.068N/A
Steve Novak56.613.71421060.211N/A

Player trends, based on Efficiency per 48 minutes:

Nets player trends

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
Ben Uzoh19.229.510.3
Jordan Farmar18.421.53.1
Quinton Ross7.7102.3
Stephen Graham10.512.62.1
Sasha Vujacic18.219.91.7
Anthony Morrow16.1170.9
Travis Outlaw13.613.4-0.2
Brook Lopez23.822-1.8
Kris Humphries29.127.3-1.8
Deron Williams29.826-3.8
Johan Petro20.113.9-6.2

Spurs player trends

PlayerSeasonLast 10Increase
DeJuan Blair27.629.31.7
Gary Neal18.419.51.1
Antonio McDyess23.424.20.8
Steve Novak20.220.20
Tim Duncan32.732.2-0.5
Richard Jefferson18.616.8-1.8
George Hill2320.9-2.1
Matt Bonner19.617.1-2.5
Tony Parker27.424.7-2.7
Chris Quinn14.28.8-5.4
Manu Ginobili27.820.4-7.4

Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Farmar, Morrow, Outlaw, Humphries, Lopez -15 in 80 minutes (-15.4 per 100 possessions)
Farmar, Vujacic, Morrow, Humphries, Petro +14 in 35 minutes (+23.5 per 100)
Nets with Morrow at SG: -6.1 per 100 in 997 minutes
Nets with Morrow at SF: +1.9 per 100 in 277 minutes

Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, Blair, Duncan +115 in 625 minutes (+8.7 per 100)
Hill, Neal, Ginobili, Bonner, McDyess +65 in 94 minutes (+36.4 per 100)

The Pick


The Nets are certainly more formidable now that they have an elite point in Deron Williams, but they still shouldn’t be a match for the Spurs in San Antonio. This should especially be true for Williams’ first night with the team.

  • Scott Sereday

    Sorry Greyberger. I didn’t get a chance to do the Ginobili piece.

  • rob

    Avery has a little more to work with now and the Nets probably will get even more talent in the off season. For now though, it’ll be a learning curve for Williams. Nets have managed to play fairly good defense this year. I don’t look for a blowout by the Spurs more so than another hard fought game. The injection of a new player(s) can sometimes immediately boost a team to perform better . (See Denver against Celtics)

    Spurs by at least 7 in this game. 102 to 95?

  • rob

    ps….A good thing the Spurs don’t face OKC anymore this regular season. They just got better adding Perkins from Boston to their front court.

  • DorieStreet

    @ rob

    Despite the influx of new players, the “Lil’ General” matching wits with Pop, and all teams looking to notch a quality win vs. top teams no matter what their record is–this is one of those games the Spurs must not lose. Check the Mavs’ schedule. No matter how much you despise that team (playoff choke, Cuban, Terry, fans)–there is no way you cannot make the case that the next 6 games are Ws (which we give them a THIRD 10-game win streak this season). Ditto the consecutive games vs. the Grizz (especially without Gay) and the Cavs. Start with an intense defensive presence & keep up the pressure on both sides of the court. Put the Nets away early.

  • dave m

    This probably wrecks the Nets’ chances to build around Sasha. Also, as a Lakers fan, I’m disappointed that the Spurs didn’t drink the koolaid during trade madness. Baron Davis for Tony Parker would have worked just fine for me.

    ps, I’m trying to squeeze the last few drops out of a putrid links post I wrote yesterday so if anybody’s looking to expand their headache, click here.

  • Alix Babaie

    I feel really good about the Spurs coming away with a W tonight against the Nyets.

    D-Will is going to make them better but right now they do not have enough complimentary pieces to compete with a team like the Spurs.

    I was shocked with how stupid Boston was to give away the ONE key thing that had them favored to come out of the East, even over the Heatles….size.

    I think the Thunder made a huge leap to near front of the pack with their moves. I sure wish the Lakers could draw the Thunder in the playoffs in the 2nd round but that would mean we draw Dallas.

    Adding Perkins and having Mohammed and Robinson coming off the bench is going to help OKC big time.

    Still, overall, I feel like the Spurs have too much for anyone else in the West and having HCA is a critical element.

  • ITGuy

    @dave m, I stopped reading your comment after these words; “Also, as a Lakers fan,”

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • este

    Am I missing something? From what I’ve seen of Perkins he still looks like he’s not back from a pretty serious knee injury. I think maybe the C’s know something that OKC maybe about to find out.

  • Bruno

    Yes We Can!!26-0 after ASG!!

  • zainn

    By the way Neal is out for concussive symptoms and splitter is out hamstring for this game. im sure anderson will get extended playing time!

  • JTEX

    Well it appears the Spurs are going to stand pat with what they have. I think they should have attempted to get at least another big but they’d have to give up too much or it just wouldn’t have been worth messing with the team’s chemistry. I’ve been a Spurs fan for 38 years and there is nothing like being loyal to your team but the Spurs have been very lucky. They have shown their areas of weakness(rebounding) against the better teams. The Thunder have just become a very big physical team with their trades. The Spurs are a very good team but lady luck better be there the rest of the season or reality will eventually catch up to the Spurs. It’s going to be very demoralizing if the Spurs don’t make it to the finals and everyone thinks it an automatic that it’s going to happen. When we play the Heat that will be a good game to measure how really good the Spurs are. Lady Luck don’t fail us now!

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ JTEX
    + 10
    Especially about the lady luck. We need to stay healthy and still need to get something out of Splitter this year if we can’t get someone after a buyout.

  • SAJKinBigD

    What happened to Neal?
    The hammy for Splitter is a real concern for me, btw.
    Looking forward to Neo getting more time, though I’d prefer better circumstances.

  • jwalt

    Looking for Manu to have a bounce back game tonight.

    I know breaking up a starting lineup sounds dumb when you are 47-10. But I think McDyess should be the starter from now on, he’s minutes have been monitored, properly, but now is the time for him to step it up in preparation for the playoffs. Bonner should continue as the first big off the bench and Blair should be the 4th big. And then he become like most bench players, ride him when he’s playing well and sit him when he’s not. He just too often hurts the team at the start of games, and more importantly at the start of 3rd quarters. McDyess is going to play the bulk of the minutes in the playoffs, time to prepare him for 30 minutes a game as opposed to the 15 (or whatever) he is playing now.

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  • Bruno

    Without Neal today, we will need Ginobili playing well, hopeful to JA get some minutes

  • DorieStreet

    Man, that’s “pro sports” life-Neal gets a feature on the ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” show the same week he puts on a stirring performance on the national TV stage to help his team get needed win to start the final stretch in a record-breaking season–and he gets hurt. Hopefully is is not a lingering thing as we have seen in this and other leagues with this injury. Step up time for James Anderson now? You know if he’s wants to get in and contribute after all this time, especially now. I hope he gets the opportunity.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Jared Jeffries just got waived – we should pick him up and play him at the combo SF/PF position.

  • spursfanbayarea

    @TD=Best Ever
    Jared Jeffries just got waived – we should pick him up and play him at the combo SF/PF position.

    You beat me to it. Just read it and agree he would be a great pickup for vet minimum. Would be a great defensive option against kobe, durant, dirk. Rumor is that he will go back to ny. But would love for the S and B to pull off an upset and get him.

  • Dingo

    Jeffries is overrated. If rated at all. I was at IU and saw him during the 2002 final four run and only against Duke did he live up to the hype. He just hangs out on the perimeter and doesn’t contribute on the offensive end. His defense is ok, but think he is done. Let NY have him..

  • Len

    February 25th, 2011 at 9:02 am”

    Exactly right.

    Perkins stats (blocks especially) have been down since he returned from the knee injury. I’ll bet he’s still partially hurt and needs significant time off before he has a chance to be 100% again.

  • TD = Best EVER

    In the playoffs you don’t need 12 offensive players. 1 defensive specialist will go a long way. especially one that can play multiple positions. 3/4 – we need backups at both. So it makes sense to make a run at him. Plus he will not be playing big minutes. 15 or so a game will go a long way.

  • Nima K.

    Nice to see JA back. Hope he can get back into his form by playoff time.

    Hope Neal’s injury wasn’t serious.

    Hope to see something from Splitter before the season’s out. Especially in the final games of the season when we need to rest our key players.

    Cavs beating Knicks? That’s gotta hurt!

    Hah, nice to see Orlando beat the fearsome scary OKC, which has freaked out some spurs fans.

  • Hobson13

    TD = Best EVER
    February 25th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I wouldn’t mind making a run at Jeffries. Perhaps he has the lateral quickness to slow down some of the better 4’s in the league. OKC and Boston, both very good teams, decided to make some changes/upgrades so perhaps we should look to stay ahead of the curve. Even though I never thought we would trade anyone, I would like for us to look into the free agent market for a decent piece. A team can never have too many good options.

    Nima K.
    February 25th, 2011 at 8:32 pm
    “Nice to see JA back. Hope he can get back into his form by playoff time.”

    I can’t see Pop giving a rookie many minutes in the playoffs with the depth this team has displayed. One also has to take into consideration that Anderson has missed the majority of the regular season. Besides, we have enough good wing players with RJ, Parker, Manu, Hill, and Neal. JA will be a good player, just not this year.

    “Hah, nice to see Orlando beat the fearsome scary OKC, which has freaked out some spurs fans.”

    I didn’t see anyone “freaked out” about the Thunder’s newest acquisitions. I did see that many had a healthy respect for the fact that they may have gotten better.

  • dave m

    ITGuy – and I can respect that, just as I have much respect for the Spurs. I’m not above coming on another blog to troll for readers but I’d never be a troll about it, if that makes any sense. Congrats on another solid win tonight.

  • Ian

    Jefferies won’t likely come to SA. The guy wants to be a Knick again and the Knicks feel the same way too it seems. And Jefferies will likely be a 5th big in the Spurs rotation at the best – why would he even want that? Spurs need a backup 3 and unless McGrady gets waived, I don’t see anyone that can come in and be serviceable (contribute A LOT better than Udoka or Novak did) at that position – unless I’m missing some other candidate who’s about to be bought out.

  • rob

    @ Ian

    “Spurs need a backup 3 and unless McGrady gets waived, I don’t see anyone that can come in and be serviceable..”

    I think Anderson is going to play b/u to Jefferson as the season moves along. It’s unfortunate he had his injury and missed about 3 and a half months, but Anderson is a top notch rookie and probably will be ready for steady minutes by the time playoffs role around.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Jeffries can play the 3… or at least he could 2 years ago when he was getting stead minutes…… He really hasn’t played much at all in Houston. They are just 2 deep of a team and are far more concerned with a players offensive talents than his defensive abilities. If anyone here watches as much basketball as I do then you should remember a few years back (05-07) when Jeffries would guard King James in the playoffs. SO even if he has lost a step or 2. He can still help with Durant/Artest/Odom/Gasol/Aldridge who are all slower than LBJ


    Jefferies is likely going to the Knicks. Reports are that the Knicks are looking to waive Kelenna Azuibuike. Idk might be worth picking up to play the 3.

  • Ian

    @TD = Best EVER
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Knicks never qualified for the playoffs after 2003-2004 season, when they were swept by the NJ Nets – not Cavs who weren’t even in the POs. That fact aside, the real question is whether he can help or not, but whether he’ll sign with teams other than NYK.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Yes he played for the Wizards – they met in the playoffs like 3 years in a row. He went to NY in 07 I think – but still guarded LBJ when they played. But you are right if he want to go to NY then we really can’t do much about it. Just wishful thinking.

  • spursfanbayarea

    The spurs have been looking all season for a back up sf. Danny green, udoka, owens. None of which are on the same caliber as Jeffries. Jeffries will not be our saviour but could give us great minutes at sf for a few minutes a game. That would also keep anderson at back up sg position.