Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spurs' Record Hot Shooting Lifts Them to NBA Title

As all NBA basketball fans undoubtedly know by now, the San Antonio Spurs are this year's champions, having dispatched of the two-time defending champion Miami Heat in five games. Red-hot shooting was the story for the Spurs.

The Heat looked poised to capture a road victory in Game 1, leading 86-79 with 9:37 left in the fourth. The Spurs then proceeded to hit 6-of-6 on three-pointers (including three by Danny Green) and, before you knew it, San Antonio had won going away, 110-95.

Miami won Game 2 by a 98-96 score, but that was the Heat's last hurrah.

In Game 3, the Spurs hit 75.8% of their shots from the field in the first half, an NBA record for a half of a finals game. This shooting exhibition gave San Antonio a 71-50 lead at the break, en route to a 111-92 rout.

Game 4 (107-86) and Game 5 (104-87) were likewise blowouts. Miami, feeling great desperation on the brink of elimination, jumped out to a 22-6 lead in Game 5. However, San Antonio outscored the Heat 98-65 the rest of the way to clinch the title.

The website Five Thirty Eight has conducted some statistical analyses of the Spurs' dominance, focusing on their passing game and offensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions). I plan to conduct some analyses of my own, when I have some time...