Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers 9:00 CST February 1, 2011
The Spurs won game one of the season series against Portland by the comfortable margin of 95-78 on December 12 in San Antonio. It was the offensive floor where George Hill impressed this time; scoring 22 points while taking merely 9 field goals. Hill connected on 9 free throws and 3 treys. My scouting report discusses the Blazers offensive and defensive strengths and weaknesses.
The area the Spurs enjoyed the most significant advantage in this game was at the free throw line. San Antonio made 22 of their 26 attempts, compared to Portlandâ€™s 7 of 11 shooting from the line. Although teams typically draw more fouls at home (and do almost everything else better in their own building), the Spurs could hope to have the edge in free throws in this contest as well. On the season, Portland has attempted 106 fewer free throws than their opponents (1040-1146). The Spurs have an even greater disparity, but in their favor, 1196-946.
The Spurs will begin another road trip tonight, but they will be facing Trail Blazer team that is even more depleted than the one they met in December. Roy, who actually did play in the previous meeting against the Spurs is out indefinitely. Marcus Camby, who grabbed 13 rebounds to go with 3 blocks, is also unavailable for tonight. Nicholas Batum does seem likely to play. (Who knows when the Spurs will get Bonner back.)
As great as Roy has been in years past, this yearâ€™s hobbled version did not have nearly the same impact. In the Spurs game, he shot 4 of 16, scoring 9 points in 31 minutes. In all 23 games Roy has played this season, Portland has a 10-13 record. In the 24 games he missed, the record is an impressive 15-9. It seems this team is one of those clubs that always tends to outperform expectations (and always face significant injury problems).
One thing that is vital to consider for this game is the vast improvement of LaMarcus Adridge, almost immediately following his ho-hum performance against the Spurs. In his last 22 games, Aldridge has posted averages of 25.1 PPG, 10.3 RPG (4 offensive) while committing a still respectable 2.4 TOPG. His FG% was 52% and he attempted 6.4 free throws per game in 40 minutes of play (all would be career highs by a large margin).
In addition to Aldridge, Miller is still pivotal to Portlandâ€™s success. If they don’t bring the good stuff, the Spurs could have their hands full even without facing Roy and Camby.
Portland: 0.42 (15th)
San Antonio: 7.58 (1st)
|Player||Fraction of teams minutes||PER minus Counterpart PER||On court +/-per 48 minutes||Off court +/-per 48 minutes||2 Year Adjusted +/-|
Miller, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, Camby +8 in 323 (1.2 per 48)
Miller, Matthews, Batum, Aldridge, Cunningham -31 in 100 (-14.9 per 48)
Mills, Fernandez, Matthews, Aldridge, Cunningham +13 in 59 (10.6 per 48)
The Trail Blazers have impressed in the absence of Roy and Oden this season, but they are still an average team. The Spurs, meanwhile, have been relatively healthy and have played in another stratosphere. The fact that this game is played in Portland could make it testing, but the Spurs are reasonably likely to get off to a good start on this 9 game road trip.