The Spurs Possession Advantage

One big advantage for the Spurs during this playoffs has been their possession differential.  Over the last two series San Antonio has done a great job at holding onto the ball and forcing turnovers.  The Spurs forced Portland and Oklahoma City into an average of 15 turnovers per game.

The Western Conference champs gave the ball away an average of only 11 times/game vs. the Blazers and Thunder.  When you win the possession battle your team can afford a few missed shots and still win the game.

The key to the Spurs “D” has been great wing play.  Four of their guys are averaging over 2.5% steal rate.  Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard are combining for 3.5 steals per game in the playoffs.

Turning the attention to the offensive side of the ball the secret has been The Big Fundamental.  Tim Duncan has only turned the ball over 14 times in 18 games this playoff season.  This is by far the lowest rate of his playoff career.

In fact among high usage players Duncan is averaging the lowest turnover rate in NBA playoff history.  In the nearly four decades that turnovers have been tracked Duncan is tied with the ’03 version of Peja Stojakovic for the least turnovers in a playoff season.

The complete list from Basketball-Reference.com:

                                 Tota
Rk            Player  Season  Tm    G FGA AST TOV TOV%
1         Tim  Duncan 2013-14 SAS   18 234  34  14  5.0
2    Peja  Stojakovic 2002-03 SAC   12 202  30  12  5.0
3          Raja  Bell 2005-06 PHO   17 165  37  10  5.2
4       Ricky  Pierce 1988-89 MIL    9 141  25   9  5.3
5      Alex  English* 1987-88 DEN   11 255  48  16  5.5
6        Joe  Dumars* 1990-91 DET   15 245  62  17  5.6
7     Terry  Cummings 1986-87 MIL   12 215  28  15  5.6
8       Shawn  Marion 2005-06 PHO   20 333  31  22  5.7
9      Jerome  Kersey 1990-91 POR   16 226  49  17  5.9
10    Reggie  Miller* 1999-00 IND   22 385  60  28  6.0
11      Reggie  Lewis 1991-92 BOS   10 218  39  16  6.1
12    Michael  Finley 2006-07 SAS   20 178  22  13  6.2
13   Kiki  Vandeweghe 1982-83 DEN    8 160  32  12  6.2
14      Derek  Fisher 2000-01 LAL   16 159  48  12  6.5
15     Kerry  Kittles 2001-02 NJN   20 216  45  17  6.7
16   Michael  Jordan* 1997-98 CHI   21 526  74  45  6.7

*minimum 140 Field Goal Attempts + 20 Assists in the playoff season

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