VIDEO: Spurs vs. Grizzlies: By The Numbers
HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The San Antonio Spurs had the best season in franchise history. They’ve made 39 trips to the playoffs in their 43 seasons in the NBA and they had never won more than 63 games before.
No team had ever won 67 games and not been the No. 1 overall seed in the league … until this year. The Spurs fell short of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference by six games. As good as they were, they weren’t close to being the best.
The playoffs are a new season, but the Spurs are 4 1/2 weeks from seeing the Warriors again. And if the higher seeds win out in the first round, they’ve got a tough matchup in the conference semifinals. Before they get there, they have to take care of business against a depleted Grizzlies team that somehow held on to its playoff spot despite season-ending injuries to its two best players and a never-ending series of roster changes.
Here are some statistical notes to get you ready for the 2-7 series in the West, with links to let you dive in and explore more.
San Antonio Spurs (67-15)
Pace: 95.7 (26)
OffRtg: 108.4 (3)
DefRtg: 96.6 (1)
NetRtg: +11.8 (1)
- Allowed 7.3 fewer points per 100 possessions than the league average, the eighth best mark since the league started counting turnovers in 1977 (39 seasons). They ranked third in defensive efficiency last season and were the most improved defensive team this year, allowing 3.0 fewer points per 100 possessions.
- Allowed just 91.5 points per 100 possessions in the first half of games, 11.8 fewer than the first-half league average and 10.4 fewer than they allowed in the second half of games. They ranked fourth in defensive efficiency in the second half, but had the league’s best second-half offense.
- Only 30 of their games, fewest in the league, were within five points in the last five minutes.
- Players off the bench had an aggregate on-court NetRtg of plus-10.9, the best mark in the league by a wide margin.
- Took only 51.4 percent of their shots from the restricted area or 3-point range, the lowest rate in the league and down from 57.9 percent last season.
- Their opponents took only 55.7 percent of their shots from the restricted area or 3-point range, the second lowest opponent rate in the league.
- Went 34-0 when they shot 50 percent or better.
- LaMarcus Aldridge attempted the most 3-pointers (16) without a make.
Memphis Grizzlies (42-40)
Pace: 95.7 (27)
OffRtg: 102.6 (22)
DefRtg: 105.4 (19)
NetRtg: -2.9 (22)
- Their point differential of minus-2.2 per game is the third lowest for a playoff team in the last 20 years, trailing last year’s Nets (minus-2.9) and the ’96-97 Clippers (minus-2.4). Memphis was 42-40 with the point differential of a team that was 34-48.
- Effective field-goal percentage of 47.7 percent ranked 29th in the league, ahead of only the Lakers.
- Forced 16.8 turnovers per 100 possessions, the highest rate in the league.
- Opponents shot 33.8 percent of their shots from 3-point range, the highest rate in the league.
- Opponents also attempted 32.6 free throws per 100 shots from field. That was the league’s highest opponent free throw rate.
- Allowed 7.0 more points per 100 possessions after the break (109.9) than they did before it (102.9). That was the league’s biggest post-break DefRtg regression.
- Kawhi Leonard missed both March meetings. Kyle Anderson and Matt Bonner were the only Spurs to play in all four games. Four different Grizzlies played in all of them, but they used 19 different guys in the four meetings.
- Zach Randolph‘s 29 minutes (all in the Dec. 3 meeting) and nine points were the fewest he played and scored against any Western Conference opponent this season.
- Aldridge’s average of 27.0 points per game and field-goal percentage of 65 percent were both his highest marks against any opponent.
- Leonard and Manu Ginobili combined to shoot 17-for-25 (68 percent) from 3-point range. Danny Green was 1-for-13.
- The Spurs won the first quarter in each of the two March meetings by 14 points (37-23 and 32-18). Over the four games, they were a plus-32 in the first quarter, plus-12 in the second, and plus-3 in both the third and fourth quarters.