Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors


San Antonio Spurs at Toronto Raptors 6:00 CST February 9, 2011

The Spurs overcame a cold 1st half of shooting to down the Raptors 104-95 on January 19. Dejuan Blair led the way with 8 offensive rebounds and 11 of 16 shooting (22 points +15 plus/minus). Despite shooting only 4 of 13 from the field, Manu Ginobili connected on all 14 of his free throws and finished with 23 points and 7 assists. For Toronto, DeMar DeRozan had made 10 of 19 field goals and 8 of 9 free throws for 28 points. DeRozan also had 5 turnovers and 4 steals. My advanced scouting report suggested the Spurs utilize Blair on a lot of cuts to the rim and limit the good three point looks for Bargnani.

The Spurs were able to limit Andrea Bargnani to 14 points on 20 field goal attempts, allowing only one made three pointer. Two Of Blair’s 11 made field goals were putbacks and the other 9 were all assisted. (3 on jumpers of 4, 6 and 10 feet and the rest were layups.)

The Raptors ran 19 isolations and Although the Spurs allowed a lot of fast break points (19), they forced Toronto to take difficult shots in the half court. Toronto only scored 4 points off of cuts and 11 by way of spot up attempts.

The Spurs shots weren’t falling, but they were able to create manageable shots. Despite missing 9 of 11 three point attempts on spot-ups, they scored 16 points on 22 such possessions (a missed shot counts as a possession in Synergy regardless of the rebounder). San Antonio also scored 9 points on 8 cuts and 22 points on 15 fast breaks.

Key Statistics

SRS ranks:

Toronto: -5.47 (27th)
San Antonio: 7.14 (1st)

Key Player Statistics (courtesy of (effective January 19, 2011) and (effective February 1, 2011):

PlayerFraction of teams minutesPER minus Counterpart PEROn court +/-per 48 minutesOff court +/-per 48 minutes2 Year Adjusted +/-

Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Calderon, Weems, Derozan, Johnson, Bargnani -29 in 185 (-5.7 per 48)
Calderon, Derozan, Wright, Johnson, Bargnani +11 in 93 (+7.5 per 48)

The Pick


The Spurs and Raptors will both be playing the second of a back-to-back. The Raptors, who also traveled from the Midwest, lost to Milwaukee 92-74 last night.

Toronto has struggled mightily as of late, 14 of their last 15 games. Since losing the Spurs, they have lost by double digits in 7 of their last 10 meetings, despite playing 7 of these games against subpar teams. Barbosa, Kleiza have been the most significant recent injuries suffered by the Raptors and Matt Bonner recently returned for the Spurs. (He looked pretty good to me last night, especially for the first game back.)

Back-to-back road games always create an added degree of uncertainty, but if the Spurs shots fall this time around, tonight’s game could be the easiest of their road stretch.

  • rob

    Spurs 97 Raptors 85

    Spurs dig deep and pull this one out.

  • AS

    Scott, it’s DeMar DeRozan.

  • Hobson13

    I think we see a heavy dose of Splitter, Blair, Neal, Hill and maybe even a Novak sighting. The Raptors unlike the pesky Pistons do not have a winning home record (9-15). Many teams we have played have a very poor overall record, but have a .500 record or better at home. This is not the case with the Raptors. As long as we can keep down the Big 3’s minutes, we will be ok. I expect a Spurs win tonight. It’s the 3rd and 4th games on this trek that bother me.

  • SpurredOn

    Spurs lost in Toronto the past two seasons and even going back to the years of winning there, the games are usually within a few possessions. Road games against average to poor teams out of conference can be ugly affairs as there is little familiarity. Add in energyless arenas and it has to be difficult to get up for some of these games. It certainly helps that the Raptors are also playing a back-to-back.

  • senorglory

    I’m hoping for plenty of “Splitter, Blair, Neal, Hill” during this string of back to backs.

  • idahospur

    I want to take some time to thank the author of these posts (Scott Sereday). When I first starting reading your articles, I didn’t appreciated your addition to the 48MOH team as I take a graduate level econometrics class and really didn’t want to have that in my sanctuary of the Spurs. But as you’ve been here longer, either your writing has improved or I’ve learned to appreciate it more. Regardless, thanks for your contributions.

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  • Judd
  • Titletown99030507

    @Judd, no thanks.

  • rob

    Well, lol, maybe I should start predicting by how many points the Spurs will win instead of the final score.

  • Jacob

    I noticed Gary Neal limp off the court at the end of the last quarter. Did anyone see what happened or if it looked serious? Hopefully he’s not injured and Splitter’s hamstring won’t be too long. We’ve been blessed to dodge any serious injury bug this long, hopefully we can continue.

  • andy

    yeah, didn’t see the game, but followed along. hope we don’t start suffering the injuries that other teams have.

    love to see us force-feeding teams some blair.

  • mooken

    just attended the raps-spurs game.
    blair’s touch around the basket is phenomenal; surprised me with the number of reverse layups he made.
    jefferson still looks lazy. not cutting or moving particularly hard.
    offense really stagnated in the late 3rd, a lot of isos, no more movement off the ball.
    spurs got plenty of easy baskets off set plays. a LOT of easy baskets.
    no matter how many times i see it, i’m always surprised by ginobili’s ability to dunk out of nowhere.
    late in the 4th, lots of easy buckets via parker->duncan->drop-off->blair plays. probably just poor defense by the raps, but blair’s always moving towards the basket the moment his man leaves to help.
    bonner’s shot looks off. his feet/legs are set a bit odd when launching 3s.
    hill/neal in the backcourt just don’t run the plays remotely as efficiently as tony. the picks seem slightly off, the angle of attack, something’s just nor right.

    the raps should never have gotten that close — a lot of open Js from derozan at the wing and amir just inside the 3. i’d leave them those shots too.

  • Bruno

    Splitter broke his ass again?? He have 6 points( 2-7 fts) and 8 rebounds in 15 minutes

  • betsyduncan

    Hamstring, Bruno. He sure is getting beaten up out there on the hardwood…

  • NYC

    So, uh, I’m not one for stoking the trade fires, but…

    IF Carmelo finally gets traded, then Denver would be looking to blow up that team. I hear they are exploring the possibility of dealing Nene to the Rockets should they finally deal Anthony. JR Smith, Kenyon Martin are both being talked about as possibilities if Anthony goes. I have to imagine Billups could be had as well by a team willing to pay the right price.

    I don’t think we could get any of those players.

    BUT, what about Chris “the Birdman” Andersen? He would fit our needs perfectly: he protects the rim and plays defense. He doesn’t score so he wouldn’t be competing with anyone, not even Dejuan since they have differing skill sets. We wouldn’t have to develop him. We already know what he does, and that’s all we would ask of him. He would be used for certain situations and for certain match ups.

    Is he injured anyway? He shouldn’t mind sitting on the bench most of the time. I think he does that in Denver as it is. If he comes to the Spurs, he would be doing the same thing for a team that could actually compete for a ring. It’s a win-win for everybody.

    What do you guys think? Am I talking out of my ass? I don’t know his contract situation at all. I’m just thinking out loud.

    Some of you have floated the idea of trading McDyess if he is to be bought out and then re-signs with us. Well, Denver isn’t going to want to keep a gimpy, oft injured Andersen around if they have a fire sale and trade all their starters. They should be looking to get rid of him too, no? We could give them McDyess’ contract, and they can save some money and free up a spot with a buy out.

    It’s probably only veteran teams expecting to go deep into the POs that will want an older player who is dealing with injuries and provides no offense. (Which is why he is perfect for us.) So everybody wins: Denver saves money and is rid of one more contract, we get a defensive specialist who won’t need many minutes and who won’t mess up the chemistry, Birdman gets to compete for a winner, and McDyess gets a month’s vacation.

    Only down side I can imagine is Peter Holt having to pony up more money and that we may lose a few more games w/out McDyess. But then Splitter would get more playing time, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The one thing I don’t know anything about is the details of his contract. (Kinda important detail, I know.)

  • rob

    @ NYC

    I for one have been known to “stoke” the trade mill on many occasions. What you suggest would give the Spurs that defensive big that many are thinking the team needs. However at this point and time…I think the Spurs are going to go with who they have for the rest of the season.

    Affording Duncan and McDyess rest throughout the rest of the season while Tiago is slowly amping his minutes on the court as well as Blair recently elevating his game, the team seems to be poised to ride out the season with who they have. Barring injury to any of our bigs…I think they stand pat without having to introduce, train and acclimate a new player in a difficult system to learn.