In this update, I'm only using games since Jan. 30. The sample size is 40 games in which the Spurs have gone 33-7. I included all minutes except for when Thomas, Dawson or Dentmon were on the court. A green cell means that the player in the column improved the number for the player in the row. A red cell means the opposite. So basically, the more green in a player's column, the better.
Point Differential Per 100 Possessions
Points Scored Per 100 Possessions
Points Allowed Per 100 Possessions
-Hold onto your hats before taking a look at what Duncan and Splitter have done next to each other in the last 40 games. The scoring is still a bit underwhelming but the defense ... wow. 68.25 points per 100 possessions is ridiculous, even though the sample size is small. Speaking of the sample size, as you can see Pop has played Duncan and Splitter together for fewer than 32.3 minutes in the last 40 games. Less than a minute per game? Let's hope Pop knows what he's doing, especially since the defensive numbers are so great.
-Overall, Tim Duncan's numbers look a lot better using this set of games rather than the whole season. That in itself tells us that he was unusually bad to begin the season, which was pretty obvious to anyone who was watching. Defensively, he's been really, really strong. Offensively, Duncan has a lot of red but most of the numbers are in the ballpark.
-The other player who looks much better when looking at this time frame is Kawhi Leonard. His numbers offensively are great, especially considering he spends so many of his minutes next to Blair and/or Green. He's not a playmaker so you wouldn't expect him to make so many of his teammates better on the offensive end ... but it appears as if his efficiency has the same effect. Defensively, Leonard is very good as long as he has Duncan behind him.
-It's pretty amazing that Manu Ginobili's numbers are so good considering that this stretch of games eliminates his hot start to the season from the equation. Offensively, Ginobili is otherworldly. His offense is so good in fact that it almost doesn't matter that his defensive numbers are the worst on the team.
-The only player Tony Parker doesn't make better is Duncan ... and even that is slight. Offensively, he's pretty strong considering he plays so much with Blair and Green. Defensively, he's pretty close to Duncan.
-Ginobili and Parker being so great next to each other bodes well for the playoffs.
-Danny Green is surprisingly a really weak offensive player. I wouldn't suspect that since he's a good shooter and a pretty good passer. Defensively, he's really good -- especially when you keep him away from Neal and Blair.
-Overall, Gary Neal looks like a useful player as long as you keep him next to Duncan, Parker or Splitter. Duncan is able to hide Neal's defensive shortcomings. Next to Parker, he's apparently very capable of defending shooting guards. Neal seems to have good chemistry with Splitter and that shines through here.
-DeJuan Blair being a liability on offense isn't a surprise. But what is shocking is that he has actually been good on defense when next to Duncan. Really good. That's extra shocking because his minutes next to Duncan are usually spent defending starters ... so there aren't many cheap minutes involved. Blair's defense doesn't become exploitable until he's playing with the reserves.
-As long as you keep Matt Bonner away from Blair, you can't find much fault with The King. He's the best offensive player next to Ginobili and decent on defense. However, it should be noted that Bonner hasn't been helping Duncan's defense. In fact, Bonner is well behind Blair and everyone not named Ginobili (and Diaw, if you count him) in terms of helping Duncan.
-Tiago Splitter's offensive numbers are strong. That's logical. But why are his defensive numbers so weak? The only players with weaker defensive numbers overall are Ginobili and Neal. Just judging by these numbers, you'd think he has a lot of trouble protecting the rim because his numbers are bad with those who allow penetration and decent to good with those who excel at cutting off penetration. Hmmmm...
-Boris Diaw and Stephen Jackson have both been positive additions. Diaw makes the offense better, which makes sense since that's why he was added to the team. Jackson's defense is strong, especially when paired with other strong defenders.