AT&T CENTER – The San Antonio Spurs will make an adjustment to their starting lineup in game two against the Houston Rockets, as the Spurs will start center Pau Gasol at the 5, while the Spurs’ other starters will remain the same.
The Spurs had previously been starting David Lee at the 5, but, with San Antonio losing Game 1 by 27 points and that lineup posting a Net Rating of -60.4 Points Per 100 Possessions, it seems San Antonio is looking to find more spacing to open the game on offense, as the Spurs were held to eight points in the first six minutes in Game 1.
With Gasol on the floor, he can provide that spacing as he shot 53.8% from 3-point range during the regular season and he’s still shooting 45.5% from three in the playoffs. This could help LaMarcus Aldridge get more room to operate on his post-ups, as the Rockets had a help defender ready to duck in for help when Lee or Dewayne Dedmon were on the floor.
Earlier in the season, Gasol was the Spurs’ starting center before sustaining a finger injury. In 34 games with the starters (392 minutes), the Spurs scored 113.0 PP/100 and held teams to 105.6 PP/100 during the regular season, which led them to a +7.4 Net Rating.
In the playoffs, the starting unit with Gasol scores 131.6 PP/100 but on the other end, their defense is allowing 130.0 PP/100, which is a Net Rating of +1.5 in 25 minutes (six games).