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NBA Playoffs: Oil and Water

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The Rockets and Spurs face off for Game 5 of the tied series

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Spurs (2) at Rockets (3)
7:00 CST
TNT
Series tied 2-2

The Rockets and Spurs series has been a battle back in forth like many of us had hoped, but the actual game to game results have been extremely noncompetitive.

  • Margin of Victory in Game 1 - 27 points
  • Margin of Victory in Game 2 - 25 points
  • Margin of Victory in Game 3 - 11 points
  • Margin of Victory in Game 4 - 21 points

The average across these four games, in terms of margin of victory, has been 21 points.

This disparity is likely due to the diametric styles that the teams play with. The Rockets are certainly looking to push the pace, while shooting as many threepointers as possible. The optimal Moreyball would punish the Spurs, as they do not have the athletes to be able to keep up with the fast-paced Rockets. In the Rockets’ victories, they have made 22 and 19 threes. In their losses, 11 and 12 threepointers.

However, if the Spurs are able to dictate the game on their own terms, they can demolish the Rockets in their own fashion, usually on the back of a dominant performance from Kawhi Leonard.

Now both teams are dealing with their own devastating injuries. The Spurs are without Tony Parker for the remainder of the season and the Rockets have just lost Nene for the postseason as well. The Rockets will likely be shortening their rotation to a 7-man rotation as such, which will certainly exhaust the team if they continue to play an up-tempo style.

The Spurs have had to rely on Dejounte Murray in Parker’s absence, as well as giving Patty Mills and Jonathon Simmons more responsibility. They do not seem quite up to the task, as they were already having to step up as Manu Ginobili has been fading in his old age.

Now that Nene is out for the rest of the series, it will be interesting to see how big the Spurs try to go in order to take advantage in the interior. That may just play into the Rocket’s strategy, as Dewayne Dedmon has barely been able to see the floor this series, but the Spurs could theoretically punish the Rockets on the boards. The Rockets just might not care and keep on letting the threes fly.

Regardless, it will hopefully be another interesting game tonight. Let’s just hope the end score is a little closer than the previous games.

Happy Chatting Away