Did I think that the Spurs might have managed to gut another win against Memphis as Matt Bonner’s second three ripped through the net? Yes I did. Did that glimmer of hope soon get squashed like mosquito on a Summer’s eve in Texas? Yes it did.
In John Hollinger’s piece earlier today on the playoffs, he borrowed a point from a beat writer for the Grizzlies, that I am going to borrow here (I’d rather Holligner get the hits). Since January 1st, both the Spurs and Griz are 33-18. Not only that, but for the season they are 2-2 head-to-head. So what happened yesterday wasn’t entirely shocking; unfortunate yes, but not entirely unexpected.
In this new age of statistics, the one thing that your hear maybe more than anything is that everything regresses to the mean once you have enough data. What I was hoping to find when I looked at the data was a series of numbers that if the regressed to the mean would indicate good things for the Spurs in this series. What I found wasn’t quite the picture I was hoping for.
In five games this season, the Griz have on average outscored the Spurs 103-100. The teams did blow each other out once a piece, but by and large that is the point total we should expect in this series. Almost every other stat from Sunday matches up with the series splits for this match-up. The Spurs will probably log more than 13 assists in the upcoming games, and the Griz will probably net more than five offensive boards, but I don’t think the Spurs can count on 47 free throw attempts. Of course not all is lost, as the games must be played, and right now the two teams are about even.
Wednesday night is about as close to a must win game as the Spurs could have, so let’s all hope that Manu can play with some semblance of regular self and that given the opportunity to knock down an open three at the end of the game RJ doesn’t muff it again.