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What A Box Score Can Not Tell Us

By Jeff Koch on January 11, 2012.

Tony Parker played tremendously well tonight against the Rockets; he played rather poorly last night against the Bucks. Looking at the box scores of the respective games, there aren’t many numbers to indicate that. Really, the only difference between last night and tonight is the 8 TOs to only 2 tonight. And that’s big, obviously. But the difference really lies in the eyeballs, and what you see (and perhaps esoterically “feel”) when watching the team play.

Tonight it felt like Parker had complete command of himself and the offense. He appeared to be engaged. His decision making was spot-on. He got his own, but also kept the entire team engaged. He never tried to be the hero; and, consequently, was the hero, hitting key shot after key shot, and, perhaps most importantly, hitting Jefferson in the corner for the shot that finally broke that rock.

The only number outside of the TOs that indicates the difference: +13 tonight, -2 last night. +/- can be a dangerous stat when just looked at for one game, but, at least for 48 hours, it is instructive.

A few more thoughts:

–It appears Kawhi Leonard has won the “next Bruce Bowen” battle against Danny Green…for now. Both have tremendous upside and athleticism. I’m still high on Green, but Leonard has played really well these last two games. I’m particularly impressed with his ability to rebound. As a 2-Guard and as a SF, he gives us a big size and athleticism advantage over many other teams in the league.

–Green made a HUGE mistake near the end of regulation sinking back to far on D on Lowry and letting him pull up for an uncontested 3 that helped to send the game to an unnecessary OT.

–Neal seemed more comfortable as the back-up PG tonight. He still works best creating for himself, but he did show a bit more creativity tonight.

–I loved Splitter’s game tonight. Loved it. Active on defense and offense. When the guards play smart, they can always find Splitter for some easy points. And the post move he put on Jordan Hill in the 2nd quarter was filthy. As I’ve been suggesting recently, having him in the low post and Duncan in the high post might form our best front line, both offensively and defensively. He started the OT with the rest of the starters; I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the starting line-up soon.

–Another “blackjack” game tonight; we lost last night’s hand, and were lucky to win this one. A day off, then a hot Portland team comes to town that has given us fits for the last several years. We need to keep protecting home-court.

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