For this week’s #StatStudy, basketball coach/guru @C1ayMitche11 questioned an offense predicated on launching three pointers and chasing down the loose ball was an effective strategy in the NBA. He estimated that 60% of teams that won the rebound battle and attempted more triples would win the game and that the number would rise to a 75% success rate if the team tallied more offensive rebounds and 3PA.
Our sample size this week was 54 games, but with a few tied totals, most of these totals are out of closer to 50 games. First, let’s take a look at rebounds and three point attempts as two separate entities. The team that had the most rebounds in a given game won 64.7% of the time while the team with the most 3PA won 55.1% of the time. Clay’s guess that 60% of teams that led in both categories would win was accurate, as 64.3% of such teams came out with a W. It is interesting, however, that teams who led in both were less likely to win than a team that led only in rebounding.
The results for offensive rebounding were even less conclusive. Exactly half of the teams that tracked down more of their own missed shots and attempted more three pointers won the game. The Knicks and Lakers combined for 36.4% of all such wins this week, while the Thunder went undefeated this week despite attempting fewer threes and grabbing fewer O-boards in each game. In general, teams that won both categories and won the game were often playoff teams that manhandled bottom feeders while teams that lost the game while winning the stat battle were also underdogs. The winning percentage is staggeringly low, but it proves that we have a top heavy NBA. The best teams are capable of winning regardless of the style of play, while the bad teams will struggle to win even if the ball is bouncing in their favor.
What’s next my statistical analysis? Should we evaluate bench play on playoff bound teams? Should be measure league wide scoring of home teams versus road teams? Any stat your heart desires, and I’ll work with you to form it into a #StatStudy. Tweet me @unSOPable23 your ideas and we will have a study chosen by Tuesday morning.
Here are this weeks 35 unique stats and trends.
- Brandon Jennings tallied his second consecutive game with at least 17 dimes, guiding his Bucks to an overtime win over the Jazz. Jennings, who played his 276th career game tonight, has managed 17+ total assists in a two game winning streak only three other times in his career. The 36 assists at home in March are nearly as many as he had at home in the entire month of February (40).
- After losing on Christmas Day, the Nuggets have won nine straight games in which Kenneth Faried recorded at least as many rebounds as points. With tonight’s win over the Hawks, the last six wins under those circumstances have come against teams currently in the playoff position.
- It was Dwyane Wade’s turn to carry the scoring load tonight against the defensively challenged Timberwolves. He knocked down 15 of his 23 shots from the field, thanks in large part to his ability to get to the rim. Wade didn’t attempt a single three pointer for the sixth time during this 15 game win streak. Interestingly enough, Miami had lost three straight games in which Wade didn’t attempt a triple before this win streak started 29 days ago.
- The Knicks saw their bench step up and score 68.6% of the team’s points in a come from behind win against Cleveland. Two thirds of the New York reserves failed to make a two point basket and JR Smith equaled his total assist count (7) over the last four games (140 minutes) in 38 minutes of work. Hard to call it a standard win for New York, but it’s a win they needed nonetheless.
- Meyers Leonard has caught a bit of fire lately, knocking down 12 of his 15 field goal attempts for 27 points in his last two games. He made 11 baskets and scored 35 points in all February.
- For the second game in a row, Spencer Hawes was the most efficient 76ers player who scored more than 10 points, making 13 of 23 total shots. Oddly enough, Philadelphia has lost both of those games but won last Saturday, a game in which Hawes missed all nine of his shots.
- Jrue Holiday turned the ball over five more times, giving him 15 turnovers this month. The Rockets are averaging 127 points per game this month, yet their leading scorer (James Harden) has fewer FGM (13) than Holliday has turnovers.
- Russell Westbrook lit up the Lakers for 37 points, already tying his season high for 35+ point games in a month (2) in March. The Thunder average 5.3 more points per game this season when their point guard scores at least 35 points than when Kevin Durant does, but neither has resulted in a ton of success lately. For a team that wins nearly three out of every four games, OKC has split the last four games in which Westbrook pours in at least 35 and dropped three of the last four games in which KD does it.
- Marcus “Garbage time” Thornton was up to his usual tricks Tuesday night against the Nuggets. Over Sacramento’s last three losses, the team is averaging 114.7 points and Thornton 31. In the Kings last three victories, the team is scoring even more (120.3) but Thornton’s point production is considerably lower (13.7).
- The Nuggets have now won six straight and Danilo Gallinari is just starting to produce. He made five triples, four free throws, handed out four assists, and scored 23 points against the Kings. He totaled just four three pointers, two made free throws, three assists, and 20 points since Denver’s last loss.
- A quick glance at the Hawks/76ers box score and it would be tempting to assume that Atlanta won in spite of a 1/6 performance from the free throw line by Josh Smith. But upon further review, the Hawks are as good as ever when their top player can’t cash in from the stripe. Since April 2009, Atlanta has won eight of nine regular season games when J-Smoove misses at least five free throws.
- The Warriors welcomed the Kings tonight in what figured to be the highest scoring game of the night, and they way both teams entered action, potentially of the year. Golden State came into play with a top 10 scoring offense at home (102.3 points per game) and had given up 109.7 points per game over their last 14. The Kings had followed the theory that “the best defense is a good offense” for about a month prior to this game, giving up 113.8 points and scoring 110.9 over their last 12 contests. The 170 total points scored in the Warriors victory ranked as the tenth most total points in a game tonight.
- The Charlotte Bobcats ranked higher entering tonight’s game when it comes to points scored in the second half (21st) per game than they did in points scored in the first quarter (29th) of games, yet their first quarter total against the Nets (29) out did the final 24 minutes (25).
- The emergence of Paul George means the Pacers have legitimate star power for the first time in a few years, usually thought of as a positive thing. The downside, however, is when the star player doesn’t perform, the team struggles as opposed to past Pacer teams that could overcome a bad night from any individual. In Indiana’s last three losses, George has made just 15 of 50 shots from the field, including 7/25 from distance.
- Don’t look now but Ricky “Testigo” Rubio is starting to look comfortable again, which means the Timberwolves are at least entertaining. The Spanish stud has recorded a two game quadruple double (29 points, 19 assists, 12 rebounds, and 12 steals), something the great LeBron James last did 113 games ago.
- Jason Kidd recorded a season high 10 rebounds against the Thunder tonight, but failed to score a single point. The future hall of famer has had a game in six consecutive seasons in which he has snagged double digit rebounds without scoring more than three points.
- The Thunder won their second game in a row that Kevin Durant attempted 10+ free throws, something that doesn’t sound like earth shattering news. However, this is the first time OKC won back to back 10+ FTA games since late December/early January.
- The Thunder’s top two scorers (Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant) each had at least an AR (assist + rebound) total of 11. The Knicks top two scorers (J.R. Smith and Raymond Felton) had a combined AR of 10.
- The Clippers lost at Denver (and who doesn’t these days?) with a minimal impact from Blake Griffin who grabbed a measly three rebounds. Los Angeles had won every regular season game in which Griffin records fewer than five rebounds since March 20th 2011.
- Corey Brewer knocked down a three pointer, typically a very good sign for the Nuggets. The 107 points Denver put up was the lowest total in a game in which Brewer nailed at least one triple since January 28th. They have scored at least 100 points in every such game since January 3rd (16 qualifying games).
- Both the Rockets and Warriors rank in the bottom eight when it comes to scoring defenses and the top eight when it comes to scoring offenses, so why not assume a high scoring affair (the Vegas over/under was 223 points, 13 higher than any other NBA game on this night)? The Rockets won 94-88, not exactly what was expected. Houston has scored more than 94 points in each of their last eight and 12 of their last 13 losses.
- In the last nine days, the Raptors have lost three games that Rudy Gay takes at least 20 shots and makes less than half of them. In the 19 days prior, the Raptors won all three games in which their newest member struggled in such a fashion.
- Speaking of Rudy Gay, the man scored 17 points in 41 minutes while missing 19 shots. The Kings top four scorers scored 97 points in 127 minutes of action and only missed only 16 shots.
- Deron Williams was in an undeniable rhythm, dropping a season high 42 points on the lowly Wizards. His magical performance included only four two point baskets, a number he has at least matched in 53.2% of his games this season.
- Jose Calderon may have changed jerseys this year, but his game has not transformed a bit. He registered his seventh game this season with at least seven assists and no turnovers, and has done so in 21.9% of his last 32 games. That is more often than LeBron James drops double digits dimes (18.3%) or Kevin Durant takes 22+ shots from the field (21.0%).
- Andray Blatche led the Nets over the Hawks, completing an undefeated week for Brooklyn. The Nets had lost eight straight (and nine of ten) games against playoff teams when Blatche attempts at least ten shots.
- Pablo Prigioni isn’t exactly a dead eye three point shooter, but his game has adapted to his surroundings. Since the beginning of February, the 35 year old rookie has made just one of three two point attempts.
- Anthony Davis came into the NBA being billed as the next Bill Russell, a strong rim defender with offensive potential. Interestingly enough, the Hornets have been more successful when Davis doesn’t block a shot (.444 winning percentage) then when he does (.340).
- Nene hasn’t exactly been a part of success during his two seasons in Washington (.315 winning percentage), but when he attempts double digit free throws and field goals as he did tonight, the Wizards are undefeated.
- Ty Lawson deserves much of the credit for the Nuggets current eight game winning streak, but it is the “old man game” that comes off of the bench that has given Denver its greatest edge. Andre Miller is averaging 19 points and 12.5 assists per 48 minutes during the hot streak while shooting at least at least 50% from the field in seven of the eight wins.
- The NBA is generally a game of runs, and we’ve got a few under the radar on remarkable runs. First, it could be said that LeBron James was channeling his inner Thad Young during his epic six game run. That may be overstating things a little bit, but given the different expectation levels, it is hard to argue against Young’s three game run. Although the 76ers have lost all of those games, Young is averaging 22.3 points on 76.7% shooting. The 22+ points per game is especially impressive when you consider he has made just one free throw during his three game tear.
- Brandan Wright has been the most efficient scorer in the NBA over the last two weeks. Don’t believe me? Try these numbers on for size: 11.2 points per game on 75.6% shooting from the field. Wright had one more FGM per game until last night, a game in which he regressed from seven makes to six. If the trend is going to continue, we should expect five field goals made on eight or fewer shots.
- Joakim Noah (17 rebounds), Carlos Boozer (10), and Dwight Howard (21) grabbed seemingly every rebound in the Lakers/Bulls game and were the only three players to record double doubles. Interestingly enough, the rebounding trio combined for a lower percentage of the games total rebounds (50%) than the three leading assist men (Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake, and Nate Robinson) did the game’s assist total (57.9%).