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A Certain Kind of Homecoming

By Jeff Koch on December 8, 2012.

Sometimes numbers don’t lie.

–19 made 3-pointers, at a 56% clip (a franchise record);
–38 assists, a season high (eclipsing last night’s previous season high), on 50 made baskets;
–Yes, 76% of our baskets were assisted;
–56% shooting overall;
–No player over 26 minutes, none under 12.

After playing a near-perfect offensive game against Houston last night, many of us wondered what would happen if we played with the precision on offense AND made our 3-pointers? Wonder no longer. When this team is hitting 3s, it’ll take a special performance to topple them. There was a wonderful article on Grantland this last week talking about the “Kobe Assist“, arguing that certain types of missed shots are actually valuable. It’s a dense article, and the Spurs are mentioned a few times. One of the more interesting points of the article is the notion that since basketball is such a fluid, team-dependent sport where outcomes are rarely based on individual performances, but rather complex interlocking systems, the “touchdown” of an offensive possession is not a made basket, but rather the wide open shot. It’s a make or miss league, as the cliche goes, and if you can get a wide open shot that has a higher probability of being a “make”, then you’ve done your job.

This point is driven home by the Spurs. No offense in the league probably generates more good shots. The offense “wins” most of the time. This year, for whatever reason, the 3-pointer in particular hasn’t been falling as frequently as in past seasons.

But as tonight illustrated, that is not a function of the offensive design. And once they do start falling, watch out.

Because Charlotte didn’t even play that poorly! I thought they competed hard, and stayed within themselves. They were just overwhelmed by a better offense, scoring touchdowns, and then making touchdowns after the touchdowns.

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