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LAL at San, 5/21

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  • Dean Oliver
    I know this was a while ago, but I ve been traveling. I actually missed the end of this series and, given the scores, I m glad I did. This game and the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 2, 2001
      I know this was a while ago, but I've been traveling. I actually missed
      the end of this series and, given the scores, I'm glad I did. This game
      and the previous were at least competitive.

      What really upset me about this game was David Robinson's passiveness. A
      lot of people have given him a bad rap for no killer instinct. I've been
      able to see it, but never felt it was enough to take away from what he
      does do. This game, though, it did. I would have yelled at him if I were
      coach, Top 50 be-damned. I know he got in foul trouble and it was
      somewhat unjust, but he just played like a whimp. He should take over for
      Duncan. He should show the young guy that he was and still can be a big

      I'll put the soapbox away now.

      A big thing that San Antonio NEVER did in this game was cut. Whereas the
      Lakers send cutters through the lane and/or rotate around the perimeter,
      the Spurs only go to Duncan and stand around on the perimeter. Ugly ball.
      Duncan had that awesome first half where it didn't matter that no one cut,
      but he couldn't keep it up (he got a bit lucky in that first half).
      That's where Robinson shoulda stepped up... oh yeah, that soapbox.

      Defensively, I really wanted to get a sense for who was doing more
      defensively on the Spurs -- Robinson or Duncan. My numbers have always
      shown Robinson to be the better defender, but I've never taken stats as
      indepth. So here is what I saw for these 2:

      Stops Scores Stops/Poss
      Duncan 23 11.8 0.661
      Robinso 20 14.4 0.581

      Both very good numbers. I think Duncan did look better defensively, but I
      am biased. Seeing Duncan at Wake Forest for 4 years, it was always my
      opinion that he was the best defensive player I'd ever seen. Watching the
      Spurs, I generally felt that way again. The numbers did support this
      pretty well, too. 2 games is just not enough make a full case.

      I will point out that Shaq had poor games in both of these against the
      Twin Towers, suggesting that they're pretty good. The guards just went
      off for the Lakers, though. ( I need to check Gs 3 and 4.)

      The question is -- Could even an All-Star team of the Philly defense and
      the Milwaukee offense beat the Lakers? I need to look at it, but I don't
      think so -- not using the established playoff levels...

      Dean Oliver
      Journal of Basketball Studies
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