Advanced Scouting: San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz


San Antonio Spurs at Utah Jazz 8:30 CST January 26, 2011

The Spurs beat the Utah Jazz 94-82 on November 19 in their only meeting of the season. Tony Parker led San Antonio with 24 points on 11 of 17 shooting to go with 7 assists and 4 steals. The Spurs grabbed 38% of available offensive rebounds and 86% of all possible defensive rebounds, contributing significantly to an impressive road victory.

My scouting report on the Utah Jazz discusses my game plan for San Antonio.

The Spurs did a great job contesting shots, only allowing 6 unguarded jump shots all game. (The Jazz allowed 15 uncontested jumpers.) Consequently, the Jazz only scored 21 points on their 38 outside shots. The Spurs did a good job playing the pass defensively, forcing several passing turnovers. The Jazz only managed 6 points on the 9 pick and rolls pass outs. Deron Williams scored 12 points on 16 pick and rolls he kept himself. No other player was utilized in one play type more than 5 times.

As well as San Antonio played defensively, they struggled scoring the ball. The pick and roll produced 25 points in 38 plays. 15 isolations resulted in merely 6 points and San Antonio managed only 8 fast breaks and 6 cuts.

Tony Parker led 21 of the Spurs pick and rolls. He scored 7 in the 10 plays he tried to score himself. Parker’s passes led to 9 points in 11 plays. Ginobili only scored once from the pick and roll, but he created 7 points for teammates in 10 possessions.

Tim Duncan had a good night in the post, generating 11 point in 8 plays. He also scored 7 points off offensive rebounds.

Key Statistics

SRS ranks:

Utah: 0.54 (14th)
San Antonio: 7.43 (1st)

Key Player Statistics (courtesy of (effective January 19, 2011) and (effective January 22, 2011):

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

Most valuable/utilized lineups:

Williams, Bell, Kirilenko, Millsap, Jefferson -49 in 686 Minutes (-3.4 per 48 MP)
Williams, Bell, Hayward, Millsap, Jefferson -2 in 103 Minutes (-0.9 per 48 MP)
Williams, Miles, Kirilenko, Millsap, Jefferson +70 in 98 Minutes (-34.3 per 48 MP)

Facts and figures

The Spurs allow opponents to shoot only 56.7% inside of 5 feet from the basket, which ranks third-best in the NBA (Heat, Pacers). The league average is 60.5% from that range.

The Spurs, Nuggets, Pistons and Magic are the only other teams who do not have a 7-footer on their roster.
In isolation situations, Ginobili is shooting 63.6% when driving to the left and only 27.6% when driving to the right.
Deron Williams has already attempted 217 three-pointers this season. His career high is 259. He has made 81 this season and his career-high is 96.

This game features the two longest tenured coaches (with the same team) in the NBA:

Hire Date as Head Coach
Jerry Sloan, UTAH 12/09/1988
Gregg Popovich, SA 12/10/1996
Doc Rivers, BOS 04/29/2004
George Karl, DEN 01/27/2005
Phil Jackson, LAL 06/14/2005*
*second stint with team

Information courtesy of NBA Statistics and Information Research, ESPN, Inc.

The Pick


The Jazz are returning from an 0-5 road trip, which includes losses to New Jersey, Washington and Philadelphia. They were beaten badly by the Lakers last night, but are relatively healthy and could be re-energized by their raucous home crowd.

However, despite the Jazz’ 27-18 mark, SRS indicates that Utah might not be as good as their record implies. Although San Antonio has seen some favorable lineups (in terms of opponent injuries), their play this season suggests they should be good enough to be favored, even in Utah.

  • ITGuy

    Go Spurs Go!!

  • Carlos Martin

    GO SPURS !!!!!!
    Beat the off-key Jazz !!

  • DorieStreet

    As the post mentioned, the Jazz are coming home after an UGLY winless 5-game road trip. Spurs need to come out very efficient on offense and sharp on defense- don’t throw away this ‘get away’ game. That being said-how much will Duncanplay tonight?

  • DBAGuy
  • jwalt

    Watch the Daily Dime video that is featured on the front page. Tim Legler began the season predicting the Spurs would struggle to make the playoffs and now says the Spurs are his pick to win the West. Yes, over the Lakers.

    He also, correctly, points out the importance of Manu to the team.

  • Bentley

    I think this is a dangerous game for the Spurs. With the league’s loudest crowd energizing the slumping Jazz, a win is going to be tough

  • SAJKinBigD

    @jwalt: I once respected Legler, but I’m getting to the point that he’s just another flip-flopper @ the Mothership. :) Not sure I want him on our Bandwagon anymore…

    @Bentley: Completely agree. SLC is always a dangerous place, but top it off with their recent streak and the Spurs’ standing as best in the League right now and it should make for a seriously noisy arena. Gotta weather the early storm with near-perfect execution to silence the crowd and knock the Jazz down into “Woe-is-me” attitude which will hopefully get them to shut it down quickly. Sloan is elite, though and may keep them in it despite such a punch. I’m hoping Duncan’s sitting the 4th quarter out because our guys’re running away with it, though.
    Put the foot on their throat and press, guys! Show ’em the Silver and Black muscle!
    Go Spurs Go!

  • SAJKinBigD

    And omg – is it just me or does Phil Jackson look AWFUL? Wow…

  • Jacques

    I watched the Jazz game last night…. what a blowout. I think if the Lakers kept it close it would have been better for the Spurs b/c D-Williams would’ve played longer.

  • SpurredOn

    Jazz never play well in LA and have no confidence they can win there, but I’m sure the way they lost in addition to the winless road trip has their confidence in the garbage. Spurs need only come out and pick up where they left off the last game in Utah: challenging all shots and dominating the boards with superior energy. This should methodically stomp the Jazz and keep their confidence in the toilet. We can then flush them by finishing the 4th quarter with strong offensive execution.

  • Ruel

    It’s gonna be tough tonight but I believe on our Team…Win or Lose Keep Pounding the Rock San Antonio!!! Defense…Defense…Defense…

  • ruth bader ginobili

    Definitely a close game. Can’t picture Utah being trounced two nights in a row.

    Another fun fact: if we do win tonight, our road record (15-5) will only be 1/2 game behind Miami’s HOME record (16-5). Were it not for Boston, our road winning percentage (.750) would be better than EVERY OTHER TEAM’S overall winning percentage.

  • ThatBigGuy

    I hope Tim’s knee didn’t stiffen up since last game and he’s ready to go 100%. We’re going to need a solid game from him tonight, especially defensively.

  • dingo

    For those interested, James Anderson had 12 pts in 11 min 35 seconds today for the Toros. 4-6 fg, 1-2 3pt.

    Good to see him get some action, and hope he’s ready to join the spurs for the rodeo road trip!

  • Brian

    How’s Bonner doing?

  • Titletown99030507

    @Brian, Bad , not good. Its one of those injuries that should have healed already based on the MRI findings which was negative. Don’t know if they used contrast dye to look at the ligaments but looks like there’s more to it than suspected because of the pain he still has. Hope he doesn’t need surgery. Just plenty of good old fashioned rest. My guess poor ol Bonner might have a slight case of arthritis.

  • Tyler

    “The Spurs allow opponents to shoot only 56.7% inside of 5 feet from the basket, which ranks third-best in the NBA (Heat, Pacers).”

    That’s an interesting stat. That statistic directly contradicts the general consensus on this blog- the Spurs need another big to protect the rim.

    @ Scott Sereday

    Can you shed any more insight on that ranking? While I’d hypothesize it speaks to the value of a harassing perimeter defender (i.e. George Hill or Manu) and not just the value of big men in the paint, is there any data that speaks to why we are that high?

  • jwalt

    Tyler, this pure conjecture but I think it points out just how good Duncan is defensively. I have thought for years that no one affects more shots around the rim then he does. No post player is involved in more plays around the basket defensively than Timmy.

    TDBestEver — notice I am once again praising Tim?

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ jwalt

    That’s music to my ears…..lmao….. but really that is interesting how we allow such a low % when watching games you can surely see the need for another Big that can protect the rim. I wonder what our Offensive rebounds given up and 2nd chance points given up are…..

  • Scott Sereday


    A big part of it could be that the Spurs rank second to last in fast breaks allowed, with very low conversion rates. They also allow few cuts or dump offs (which are categorized as cuts), the Spurs allow the lowest percentage of these high efficiency plays in the NBA. Therefore, the opponents must rely more on lower percentage plays such as pick and rolls, isolations and especially post-ups. I don’t know how the Spurs do when the perimeter players are beat, but the Spurs do rank 23rd in PPP defending the post and 19th in block rate.

    Duncan is also having a great year playing help defense and blocking shots. It’s impressive that the Spurs allow a low FG% despite committing few fouls.

  • Tyler

    @ Scott

    I see. That makes way too much sense. So, essentially the Spurs get back on defense and don’t give up anything easy, and when there’s penetration, the defense does a good job of collapsing and not allowing dump offs.

    Also, 23rd in defending the post (meaning only 7 teams give up fewer points per possession in the post correct?) and 19th in block rate – Doesn’t that signal that we might in fact be just fine with the bigs we have, or am I misinterpreting those stats?

  • Scott Sereday

    Actually, I meant that only 7 teams allow more PPP in the post than SA, so they are the 7th worst in the NBA is post defense.

  • Jacob

    Can’t wait for Tiago to find his touch around the rim… He seems so unaware of potential passes.

  • Jacob

    Msdyess is so valuable to us this year, he’s playing really well. All except for his freethrows lately. : )

  • AmyfromLA

    I think Tiago is just going through some growing pains. He just needs a little more time on the court to develop chemistry with his teammates. I remember when Dice use to bobble Manu’s passes last year. And just like Dice, I have confidence that Tiago will be better at anticipating Manu’s passes. =) Now, if only the others will pass him the ball more often. =P