We are back with another group of of statistics that found a way to fly under the radar for the week that was in the NBA. No player is exempt from this collection of far-reaching oddities, pointing out trends that you likely missed in the excitement of watching the games. On days with a full schedule, the top five stats are highlighted, and on days with fewer than five games, I’ll give you a stat from each game. One thing to remember: these stats are current on the day listed. That is, a trend can break as the week progresses, but for that moment in time, the numbers held true.
Without further adieu, the always interesting and never replicated Weekly Stat Pack.
In what has become a star driven league, you’d assume that the more involved a team’s best player is the better the results. Such is not the case in Minnesota, as the Timberwolves lost for the sixth time in the last eight games in which Kevin Love attempted at least 20 field goals.
The Warriors beat the undefeated 76ers behind a 32 point outburst by Andre Iguodala, but it was the triple double from Steph Curry that was provided us with a nice little statistic. Golden State won a game in which their star marksman pulled down more rebounds more 3PA, something that had not done since December 28th 2012, a game that also happened to be played in Philadelphia. Interestingly enough, Klay Thompson made five field goals (four of which were three pointers) and recorded multiple steals (averages less than one for his career) in both of those games.
The second Zach Randolph steps onto a court, we assume that he is going to produce a double double. However, Z-Bo failed to do so tonight, the second non double double he has tallied early in this season. Surprised? Don’t be. This is the fifth time in six seasons in which he failed to record a double double in at least two of a seasons first five games.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Houston Rockets combined to score208 points, yet didn’t have a single player score more than 18 points. The Los Angeles Clippers racked up 137 points and had three members of their backcourt (Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford) score at least 21 points.
LeBron James may have become the fifth player in NBA history to score at least ten points in 500 consecutive games, but he did so in a rare fashion. For the first time since January 2, 2009 (361 games), The King handed out at least eight assists, grabbed at least eight rebounds, and made all eight of his free throws.
Brook Lopez led the Brooklyn Nets to a dominating 16 point win over the winless Utah Jazz with 27 points on only 13 shots. The high point total is nothing new for the 7-footer, but neither is his lack of rebounds. For the 27th time in his last 32 20-point games, Lopez snared fewer than ten rebounds.
Paul George received much of the praise for his Pacers impressive win over the Detroit Pistons, but it was Roy Hibbert who was the most valuable player in this game. He blocked seven more shots, giving him more blocks than any other player in the league … and more than 17 entire teams.
For the second time in four days, the Houston Rockets won a game in which Dwight Howard made at least 70% of his free throws. Howard’s team had only won three of the previous nine such games.
Every starter, and 17 of 18 players who recorded at least 14 minutes, in the Atlanta Hawks win over the Sacramento Kings game attempted a three pointer.
Two days after shooting 52.1% as a team in a 137-118 win over the Houston Rockets, the Los Angeles Clippers failed to have a single player shoot over 50% in a 98-90 loss at the hands of the Orland Magic.
Enes Kanter and Gordon Hayward combined to score 50 points on 34 shots, but they lost to the Celtics, whose starting five managed 53 points on 49 shots.
The Pacers won their fifth straight game and are the last unbeaten team in the NBA. How have they been able to do that? They have won every third quarter this season and are +76 points in the second half games. On the flip side, they have been outscored by an eye popping 42 points in the second quarter.
The Memphis Grizzlies lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 99-84, continuing a streak of alternating wins/losses to open the season. It was the fourth time in five games in which they gave up at least 99 points: the fourth such instance didn’t occur until December 22 last season.
Ricky Rubio has now played 103 games in his NBA career and has shown the tendency to get stuck in brutal three game shooting slumps. Over his last three games, the third year man has connected on just five of his 26 field goal attempts (19.2%). He has gone through a three game stretch with a lower shooting percentage than that four times in his career.
The Heat made a point of it to take the ball out of Chris Paul’s hands last night, but the point guard managed to real of his sixth consecutive double double to open the season. That stretch matches the sum of all of CP3’s season opening double double streaks in his first eight seasons.
Paul Milsap did all he could to give his Hawks a chance to beat the Nuggets in Denver, recording 29 points on 15 shots, ten rebounds, five assists, and zero turnovers. He also made multiple three pointers, a part of Milsap’s game that has developed over the last year or so. In fact, it was his sixth game with multiple three pointers made in the last 369 days after recording just two such games in the first 2,191 days of his NBA career.
The Lakers beat the Rockets behind yet another solid shooting night. In their three wins this season, Los Angeles has scored more points from the free throw line or from behind the three point line (166) than they have anywhere else (154). On the flip side, they’ve scored more points via the two point bucket (152) than FTM/3PM (131) in losses. The Lakers are keeping their head above water for the time being, but this is no way to make a serious playoff run.
With Amar’e Stoudemire a shell of himself and Tyson Chandler out for the next month, the Knicks turned to Andrea Bargnani to pick up the scoring slack. For one night it worked, but the seven-footer stood out on the perimeter for the entire game, something that the Knicks have plenty of. On a roster with almost no interior scoring, you’d think Bargnani might finally develop a short range game, or at least drive to the basket. In five games (119 minutes of action), Bargnani has attempted two, count’em two, free throws and has attempted more three pointers (19) than rebounds grabbed (16).
A prototypical point guard is asked to initiate the offense and set his teammates up for good looks at the basket. It is becoming more and more evident that the Cleveland Cavaliers need someone else to do that and Kyrie Irving to focus almost exclusively on scoring the basketball. He has missed at least ten shots in four of five games this month, with the lone exception being the Cavs lone victory. Interestingly enough, that win was Irving’s worst assist to turnover game (0.67), as he totaled as many turnovers in the game (nine) as he has in the other five games of this season. The assist numbers are nice, but the early season trend seems to be that Irving needs to be an efficient scorer for his Cavs to have a chance.
Bradley Beal scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, helping his Wizards outlast the Nets. He is second in the league in minutes per game (40.6), and Washington is a much better team with him on the court. They have outscored their opponents by 19 during the 200 minutes Beal has been on the court and been outscored by 10 in the sharp shooters 45 minutes of rest.
Speaking of Beal, he ranks behind Josh Smith in terms of three pointers attempted per game. But then again, that is true for all but five players in the NBA. We wondered all off-season what the impact of the Smith/Greg Monroe/Andre Drummond front court would be, and if these first five games are a peak into the future, it is going to be a long season for Detroit. Smith has connected on only ten of his 35 3PA (28.6%), which sounds awful but has actually raised his career 3P%.
The Spurs were able to defeat the high scoring Warriors despite scoring a total of 25 points in the second and fourth quarters combined. How were they able to do that? The Warriors (sans Steph Curry) failed to score more than 22 points in a single quarter after averaging nearly 28 per quarter in the season’s first five games.
The Jazz lost again today, making it seven in a row to open up the 2013-14 season. Gordon Hayward once again paced the offense (24 points on 10/18 shooting) and he once again got very little help. The Jazz have now lost eight straight road games in which Hayward scores at least 20 points (their last such win was in April of 2012).
Most young point guards struggle to find a rhythm in the half court game but find some success in the open court (i.e. Ricky Rubio). Michael Carter-Williams can play the transition game, but I’ve been impressed by his ability to succeed in half court basketball. He tallied 21 points and 13 assists against Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the 76ers only scored four points in transition. Carter-Williams is probably overachieving right now, but his ability to execute is well beyond his years.
Want proof that it’s not how you start a game but rather how you finish? The Indiana Pacers have gone into the half time intermission leading one game and trailing in six. They’ve won the second half of all seven games and are the last unbeaten team in the NBA.
We live in an era that is obsessed with instant gratification, so when J.J. Redick was averaging just over five PPG 76 games into his NBA career, we labeled him a bust. “He was just a catch and shoot guy at Duke, and that doesn’t work in the physical NBA” we said. Well, he has improved his scoring average every season since, and after another 20-plus point performance last night, Redick is averaging just as many points per game this season as Dwight Howard (17.6).
The only two players in the league that are taking at least 15.5 shots per night and making at least half of them were both at it again last night. LeBron James? Nope. Kevin Durant? No dice. Evan Turner (31 points) and LaMarcus Aldridge (20-plus for the sixth straight game) are scoring often and efficiently.
The Spurs dominated the Knicks from start to finish in large part due to their ability to clean the glass. Subtract Carmelo Anthony from the picture and the Knicks starters totaled five rebounds in 88 minutes of action. To put that in perspective, Danny Green, who takes over 56% of his shots from beyond the three point line, pulled down ten rebounds in 23 minutes.
Bradley Beal is averaging 25.5 points on games played on November 8-10 and 13.6 points on all other days of the year.
Jrue Holiday had a decent game against the Suns as he scored 16 points on 47.1% shooting from the field, his best FG% up to this point. The slight uptick in shooting percentage is nice, but the Pelicans starting point guard recorded more turnovers than Eric Gordon did assists for the seventh consecutive game.
Home sweet home. Jordan Hill was one of the few Lakers to have a nice game against the Timberwolves as he connected on three of his five field goal attempts for seven points and nine rebounds (six offensive) in 19 minutes of action. Dating back to last season, Hill is now shooting 59.3% from the field at home, including 72.2% this season.
The Memphis Grizzlies are playing as good a brand of basketball as any of the eight teams left in the NBA playoffs, with the emergence of Mike Conley
being a big reason why. But when Tony Allen
, following an emotional road victory in which Conley led the way (26 points, ten rebounds, and nine assists), declared that his floor general was “one of the top five point guards in the league,” it smelled a lot like an overreaction. As an elite perimeter defender, I value Allen’s opinion on this matter, but the conversation regarding Conley and the top five point guards in the Association is a short one: he’s not there right now.
That being said, he safely resides in the next tier of point guard and is more than capable of heading a championship level team. I hardly have the NBA experience of Allen, but as a reasonably efficient high school point guard in my day (Kyle Soppe, the pAssman), here are my PG rankings with a regular season Conley (25 years old) related tidbit for each. It is important to note that these rankings are for next season. This isn’t a “you’re starting a franchise now and need a point guard” list, but rather a snap shot as to where we stand at the PG position for the 2014 regular season.
1. Chris Paul (28 years old) – Regardless of where he plays, he is simply the gold standard when it comes to properly running an offense. The six time All-Star and four time All-NBA Defensive team member has a career 4.03 assist to turnover ratio, 25.2% better than Conley’ best season.
2. Russell Westbrook (24 years old) – The explosive leader of the Thunder has the ability to do things athletically than Conley simply will never be capable of. Westbrook’s shot selection is as criticized as anybody’s, but his FG% over the last two seasons (44.7%) is better than any season Conley has ever produced in the NBA.
3. Kyrie Irving (21 years old) – The general public seems to have forgotten just how special (brief reminder) this former Blue Devil is just because he isn’t still playing. He’s a high level athlete that has playmaking abilities and instincts than cannot be taught. Since leaving college, Irving has scored 1.25 points per FGA while Conley has averaged 1.20 over the same stretch.
4. Stephen Curry (25 years old) – Yes, I’m buying this postseason breakout to a greater degree than that of Conley. We all know that Curry has arguably the sweetest stroke we’ve ever seen, but he is far from a one trick pony. In fact, the baby-faced Curry has muscled up for 30% more rebounds than Conley over his career and holds the edge in steals per game.
5. Derrick Rose (24 years old) – Say what you will about this season, but Rose at full health is as tough a cover a there is in the league. His size and athleticism demand the attention of the opposing team’s best defender (players like Tony Allen), thus creating mismatches for his teammates. All you have to do is look at his 2010-2011 season to realize that his ceiling is significantly greater than that of Conley. In Rose’s MVP campaign he scored 2,026 points, a 70 point edge over Conley’s total number of points scored in the last two seasons combined. Scoring is his greatest attribute, but he does average 23.6% more assists per game over his career than the Grizzlies’ guard.
OK, so that settles the debate over the top five point guards in the league today. Conley has been excellent this postseason and is developing into a very good point guard, but he simply isn’t in the class of the five listed above. I’d listen to an argument at placing him anywhere in this next tier of PG’s, but I’ve got him sandwiched between Holiday and Williams.
6. Rajon Rondo (27 years old) – It is entirely possible that Conley is playing at a top-five level (based on his hot streak and the rash of injuries among the PG’s ranked above him), but that wasn’t the quote. Rondo is the best table setter in the league (149 more assists than Conley over the past two season despite playing 51 fewer games) and among the best defensive options at the point. Those qualities are well known, but did you know that since Conley entered the NBA in 2007-2008, Rondo actually averages more FGM per game (5.02 to 4.60)?
7. Tony Parker (30 years old) – The elder statesmen of this strong crop of point guards will turn 31 in less than a week, but Parker is showing more signs of improvement than decline. His experience is a factor that cannot be measured statistically, so let’s stick with some numbers. As a five-star recruit, Conley was part of a loaded Ohio State team that lost in the national championship. During that season, Conley shot 51.8% from the field against comparatively inferior competition for the most part. Parker has shot a higher percentage from the field than that in two of the last three seasons.
8. Ty Lawson (25 years old) – His choice in headband style may be declining, but every other statistic is on the uptick for this road runner. In each season of his budding career, Lawson has increased his point, assist, and steal totals. His extreme speed is an advantage he holds over nearly every point guard in the league, making the fact that he owns a better career 3P% than Conley icing on the cake. I trust Lawson’s ability to penetrate/create a bit more and believe that he is a slightly tougher matchup on the perimeter.
9. Jrue Holiday (22 years old) – It is easy to forget just how young the 76ers leader is, especially when you consider the increasing maturity of his game. This past season saw Holiday tally 17.7 points and 8.0 assists on a nightly basis, numbers that may define the ceiling for Conley. When comparing Holiday’s 2012 season totals with the totals from when Conley was 22 years old (424 more points and 200 more assists), it is clear that Holiday is on the fast track to ascend to the top of this second tier. After a strong campaign in his first season as the 76ers go-to player, Holiday proved more than capable, a quality that is hard to find in players (especially point guards) his age.
10. Deron Williams (28 years old) – It feels like DWill was atop this list not very long ago, and while he has dropped off a bit, he still deserves to be considered a strong option. He has developed a lethal outside game (169 3PM this season, three more than Conley over the last two seasons), allowing him to stretch defenses and thus create single coverage situations in the paint. Williams has a higher scoring upside than Conley but lacks general consistency on both ends to still be considered with the best PG’s in the league.
This list doesn’t include Damian Lillard (need to see more), Ricky Rubio (my favorite player, but he’s a poor man’s Rondo at this point), or whoever you consider to be the point guard in Milwaukee (inefficient and lacking the ability to lead a team).
What did I get wrong? Tony Allen has forgotten more today than I know about basketball, but is he too close to the situation to properly analyze where his teammate ranks? Or am I just off my rocker and failing to accept that Memphis is home to an elite point guard? I’d love to hear your thoughts (@unSOPable23) and see how you’d rank the top point guards in the NBA for 2014.
This week I decided to take a look at the impact of free throws on the final outcome. Is getting to the line more important than taking advantage of the freebies when a team gets there?
During a 54 game sample, I recorded the free throws attempted and the free throw percentage for every team. Winning teams shot an average of 77.1% on 21.9 free throws per game while losing teams made 76% of their 21 free throws per game this week. That equates to less than one point per game gained by winning teams, hardly enough to call free throws a consistent deciding factor. In fact, on three of the seven days this past week, the losing teams totaled a higher FT% than the victors.
Are free throws overrated? We know that foul trouble can land a teams star player on the bench for an extended period of time, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Does it matter how a team scores? Obviously, you’d like to make your free throws (especially down the stretch), but statistically speaking, there doesn’t seem to be any correlation what so ever (for this week at least) between free throws (attempts or percentage) and team success.
With that knowledge gained, here are 35 stats from the past week in the Association.
For this week I decided to chart the importance of turning turnovers into points. In the 52 games this week, the winning team scored 18.12 points per game off of turnovers while losing teams managed just 14.02 points. That may not seem like much, but when you consider that 17.31% of the games this week either went to overtime or were decided by four or fewer points, the ability to score points off of turnovers is a game changer.
The victorious team averaged 1.23 points directly the result of a turnover, 13% greater than the rate at which losing teams converted turnovers into points. This week long study strengthened the common thought that forcing “live ball” turnovers is the best way to get easy buckets and win the game, especially for undermanned teams.
One more full week of the regular season which means one more chance to suggest a #StatStudy. Shoot me ideas @unSOPable23 and we can work out the details for the next seven days. Here are some stats you may have missed from the last seven days:
This week’s Stat Study was done with the intention to determine the impact of playing a back to back in terms of total shooting percentage (TS%) and turnover rate (TOR). To understand this study, one must be familiar with these metrics. Total shooting percentage created a total metric of shooting accuracy looking at three-pointers, two-pointers and free throws. Turnover rate is a simple tally of the percentage of possessions that end in a turnover.
TS% = Points Scored / (2 * FGA (0.44 * FTA)))
TOR = (TO * 100) / (FGA + (0.44 * FTA) + TO)
David Vertberger (@_Verts), was confident that a study along these lines would prove that fatigue does in fact set in, and that a team playing on the second night of a back to back is at a distinct disadvantage. But not so fast.
Surprisingly, 60% of teams had a greater TS% and 62.1% of teams had a lower TOR on the second day of a back to back (this week) than their season average entering action. On the week as a whole, the average team playing on consecutive nights saw their TS% jump 0.9% and their TOR get worse by 8%. The increase in TS% may not seem like a lot, but the fact that teams were more efficient this week when playing the night before is stunning.
The Los Angeles Lakers (Monday) and Toronto Raptors (Sunday) were the only two teams all week (there were 30 instances in which a team played the second game of a back to back this week) to buck the trend and support the common train of thought (decreasing TS% and increasing TOR). On the flip side: Dallas, Brooklyn, Minnesota, Portland, New York, Memphis, Chicago, and Sacramento all increased their TS% and decreased their TOR in such games this week.
Product of a small sample size? Maybe. But is it possible that we are over-blowing the impact of a back to back? The numbers would indicate an over reaction by the general public, myself included. An interesting result from a great study topic paves the way for another set of 35 unique stats and trends from the week that was in the NBA.
For this week’s Stat Study, I decided to look at average FGA, FTA, and 3PA in an effort to forecast winners. After each of the 54 games had been played this week, I charted every matchup and jotted down which team averaged more FTA, FGA, and 3PA to see if there was a constant link between any of them to the winner.
I posed the question of which statistic (FTA, FGA, or 3PA) would predict winners at the highest rate to the Twitter-verse. The team who entered the week averaging more FTA was the runaway favorite (58.8% of the vote) followed by 3PA (29.4%) and then FGA (11.8%). As it turns out the social media world had the right train of thought, but teams who averaged more 3PA won the week with a mark of 29-25, just edging out the team leading in FTA (28-26). David Vertsberger (@_Verts) nailed it this week as he projected that teams who live and die by the three pointer would ultimately prevail based on the premise that they get more points per shot made. He was banking on a big week from the Knicks, and it was their two wins that swung the scale for the week.
Ironically enough, the greatest predictor of victory was the team who averaged fewer FGA this the week (30-24). The Heat and Thunder, who both went 4-0 this week, proved that it is quality over quantity when it comes to shot selection, as they attempt the fewest shots per game in the league.
What’s on the books for next week? I’m going with an extended study this week, as it will carry through the All Star Break and include games played this week and next. What do you want to know? How can we enlighten the basketball public? Don’t be shy and get your tweets out to me (@unSOPable23) before midnight on Monday night and I’ll get the wheels in motion.
That being said, here are 35 stats that you may have missed from the past week.
This week I thought I’d take a look at the shot taking/making of offenses “at the rim” and behind the arc. Theoretically, offenses work hard to get a good look from one of these spots on very possession, and I was curious which had a greater impact on the game. My hypothesis was that winning teams would have the consistent edge “at the rim” while the three point shooting would be something of a crapshoot, an indication that a team can live/die by the long ball. I also wanted to see where the winning team gained the largest advantage on a per game basis. My thought here was that this study would prove that while three point shooting can win games, pounding the ball in the paint is the way to have consistent success in the NBA.
For the most part, my train of thought was on the money. Winning teams shot 69.3% “at the rim” and 39.0% from distance during the 54 game week while the losing teams shot 63.1% and 34.0% respectively. What surprised me about the results were the shots attempted at each location per game. The winning team averaged 25.5 field goal attempts at the rim while the losing team averaged 25.2. The results for three point attempts were nearly as symmetrical, with the winning team shooting 19.7 per game as opposed to 18.8 from the losing team.
For the week as a whole, the winning team outscored the losing team by an average of 3.6 points “at the rim” and 3.9 points from distance. There were a few outliers (the Bucks made 14 triples and 13 shots at the rim in a loss to the Cavs and the Knicks connected on a mere eight from point blank and 16 from distance in a win against the Hawks), but for the most part the data was pretty consistent. Teams that made 10+ three pointers won 60% of the time and teams that made 20+ shots at the rim proved victorious 75% of the time. My conclusion is that if you’re a good three point shooting team, let it fly, but if you’re an elite interior team, you will have more long term success.
Let your voice be heard and tweet me (@unSOPable23) your stat of choice for this week’s #StatStudy. You’ve got nothing to lose. This is your chance to uncover NBA data, don’t miss out! With that being said, here are the stats to amaze from the week that was in the Association.
1. Which All-Star selection fills you with blissful joy?
Kyle Soppe – @unSOPable23 – Jrue Holiday, for all the critics who say that the 76ers are a team without a true star player. This kid was a prodigy when he went to UCLA and has been as good as advertised in Philly. He already has 53 more assists than last season (27 fewer games played) and has seen his scoring average jump by nearly 50%. How many point guards in the league average at least 17 points and 9 assists? Only one.
Matt Cianfrone – @Matt_Cianfrone – Paul George. As I Bucks fan I should hate George but I just find it so hard. A superb defender, stupid athletic, great passing young guard who has carried his team minus what many people think is their best player. I am glad to see George rewarded even after his slow start. Also I already can’t wait for his dunks that will come in the game. It is going to be great.
Myles Ma – @MylesMaNJ - Tyson Chandler. Yes, this is a total homer pick. But this selection absolutely fills me with blissful joy. Tyson Chandler has finally made an All-Star team after serving his time as the lynchpin of a Knicks defense whose perimeter defenders volunteer as traffic cones at the DMV. It’s his first All-Star game, and it comes in the midst of one of his finest seasons. Over the past three years, Chandler has decided to limit his offensive game to just dunks and free throws, with spectacularly efficient results. This year, he’s perfected the art of the tap out, turning a lot of J.R. Smith bricks into the midpoints of extra-long possessions instead of the unhappy endings they usually are. He even made No. 8 on GQ’s 25 most stylish men of 2012. Even with that scraggly-ass beard. It’s definitely his year.
Kris Fenrich – @DancingWithNoah - David Lee (I almost typed “David Curry”) with Jrue Holiday coming at a close second. I often refer to Lee as the modern-day Bob Pettit and I’m only partially joking. He scores with ease, rebounds well, has well-above-average vision for a four man and passes well. And none of this is new, it’s just the guy’s never been in a winning situation before. Good to see his multiple skills acknowledged among the league’s best.
Michael Shagrin – @mshaggy -Kyrie Irving. When it’s all said and done, I think this kid will have the last laugh. He’s a Chris Paul look-alike with more size and a smoother J. And he’s only 20 years old! Classic Kyrie outing: the night he returned after breaking his finger, the Cavs played a nail biter against the Lakers with Kyrie going for 28 points. As Kobe tried to wrest control of the game from him in the final minutes, he cooly steered Cleveland to victory. His absence from the starting unit was almost my answer to the following question…
As mentioned in the previous edition of the Weekly Stats Recap, the suggested #StatStudy
for this week was orchestrated to determine the impact of elite assist men. Perry Missner (@PerryMissner
), a noted doubter of the importance of great point guards
, estimated that 65% of the teams with a double digit dime man would win. As it turns out (for this week at least), Perry wasn’t pessimistic enough when it comes to the correlation between individual passing performance and team success.
During this 49 game week, a mere 11 games were won by a team who had a player record 10+ assists. That is a lower number than I would have guessed given the sheer volume of points scored in the NBA, but points are being scored more in isolation sets these days. In addition, teams with a double digit assist player lost 12 times, meaning that if you had a player record 10+ assists, you only had a 47.8% chance of winning.
I decided to also chart the number of assists for the point guard on the winning team. My thought process in charting such a statistic was to see if Perry’s theory that “we don’t need no stinking point guard” was accurate. As expected, because he does his due diligence and wouldn’t make such a claim if not supported, assist totals for victorious point guards was not very high at all. The 49 winning point guards recorded 319 assists (6.5 apg), not a high total considering that the NBA average for points in a game is 97.5 and roughly 103 points for the winning team.
What statistic is on your mind? What do you want me to chart for the next seven days in the hopes of proving/disproving a thought of yours? Tweet me (@unSOPable23) the stat and your prediction for the result, use the hashtag #StatStudy, and I’ll put the wheels in motion. That’s all it takes. Let your opinion be heard!
Without further adieu, here are the stats that went unnoticed for the week that was in the NBA.
For this week’s study my brother (@KurtSoppe
) pondered if FG% or FT% was more directly correlated to the game’s final outcome. He hypothesized that both FG% and FT% would be consistently higher for victorious teams, with the stronger correlation being found in the field goal percentage.
In support of Kurt’s guess, winning teams shot an average of 47.9% from the field while losing teams shot only 42.3%. Winning teams shot better than 50% from the field in 32.7% of the 52 games this week while losing teams made less than 40% of their shots in 30.8% of games this week.
The free throw results, however, showed no correlation whatsoever. In fact, losing teams shot a high percentage from the line in the majority of days this week. A strong showing on Sunday (four of the five winners shot at least 80%) resulted in winning teams edging out losing teams in weekly shooting percentage 73.8% to 73.4%, hardly a large enough difference to assume a direct relationship. The lone team to make all of their freebies this week lost, while five teams made less than 60% of their free throws and managed to win.
This felt like a “Dwight Howard” experiment to me, as we are looking to determine if a high FG% is more influential than a high FT%. According to the study (for this week at least), the Lakers made a wise move, with FG% being the stronger correlated of the two statistics.
I’m challenging you the reader to give me a stat to break down for next week. It could be as simple as the average height of players who score 20+ points or as in depth as percentage of shots made from 3-9 feet that were assisted on. The only rule for stat suggestions is that I have a place to find the stats you want researched. Other than that, I’ll run a week long study on any statistic your heart desires. So what will it be? What has you thinking? What are you interested in? Don’t be shy, tweet me @unSOPable23 and use #StatStudy to put your idea in the conversation for this week.
With that being said, here are your standout stats from the week that was in the Association.