Welcome back. In today's Statistical Analysis, we'll start our look at individual player performance during the current eight-game winning streak. As usual, we'll report each individual player's +/- rating during each of the past eight games. For those that are joining us for the first time, a player's individual +/- rating is a way to measure the player's total contribution to the team on both offense and defense. For example, in the game against Golden State, Richard Jefferson earned a +33 rating. What that means is that, when Jefferson was on the floor, the Nets outscored the Warriors by a total of 33 points-hence the +33 rating. In Jeff McInnis' case, his -3 rating means that in the time he was on the court, the Nets were outscored by 3 points. You can also measure +/- based on two-man combos, three-man combos, 5-man combos, etc., which can help identify the players that contribute the least or the most to team success. For instance, if we know that, over the course of the season, a unit consisting of [Kidd, Carter, RJ, Collins and Krstic] has outscored its opponent by a greater margin than a unit consisting of [Kidd, Carter, RJ, Jackson and Krstic] in the same number of minutes, then we can generally conclude that Collins adds more to the team success than does Jackson.
This week, however, we've added something new: Efficiency ratings. Concocted by writer John Hollinger, the "efficiency" stat purports to calculate how much a player contributes to the team, based solely on traditional box-score statistics. Specifically, the "efficiency" measurement is defined as ((Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) - ((Field Goals Att. - Field Goals Made) + (Free Throws Att. - Free Throws Made) + Turnovers)). This statistic has been cited with more and more frequency this season, so we've decided to incorporate it into our reports. For a matter of scale, the highest efficiency rating attained in a single game this season was 55, by Kobe Bryant in his 62-point game. On a per-game basis, the leader for the season is currently Kevin Garnett, at just a shade under 30.0. At the time I am writing this, only 31 players have a per-game efficiency rating above 20.0. For the season, Carter, Jefferson, and Kidd each have efficiency ratings between 21 and 23.
This Statistical Analysis will be broken up into at least two parts. In Part I, we will just report the raw +/- and efficiency numbers, as described above. We'll also throw in a little tidbit at the end which you may find interesting. In Part II, which will be posted in a few days, we'll complete our usual analysis by taking a look at some of the more commonly-used five-man units during this eight-man streak, along with anything else that catches our eye. Because of the size of this undertaking-eight games!-we thought it would be best to break it up into two parts. Finally, there may be a Part III, if we discover anything that deserves a more in depth look. Ready?
Denver at New Jersey, December 16, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 115, Denver 103
Unless otherwise noted, starters are listed before reserves, and each of these groups is sorted in descending order of +/- rating.
Golden State at New Jersey, December 18, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 118, Golden State 90
LA Clippers at New Jersey, December 20, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 99, Clippers 85
New Jersey at Orlando, December 21, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 96, Orlando 85
New Jersey at Miami, December 23, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 95, Miami 88
New Jersey at New York, December 26, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 109, New York 101
Cleveland at New Jersey, December 27, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 96, Cleveland 91
Atlanta at New Jersey, December 30, 2005
Final Score: New Jersey 99, Atlanta 91
Totals-Eight Game Winning Streak
This table is sorted by +/- rating, without any separation between starters and reserves. We added a column to measure efficiency per 48 minutes to better judge the contributions of the reserves.
Off-the Cuff Comments:
Only three players have registered a minus plus-minus rating during the length of the winning streak. None of the three have played significant minutes.
Jason Kidd. Kidd is averaging +12.9 during the streak, the best on the team, despite playing the fewest minutes among the "Big Three."
Vince Carter. Carter's efficiency per game has risen dramatically during the winning streak. As mentioned at the outset, Carter's season-to-date per-game efficiency rating is around 23 (which includes this recent hot streak). At the level Carter has been playing, he would lead the league in efficiency over the course of an entire season.
Richard Jefferson. With the exception of the Miami game, when Carter carried the team, Jefferson's efficiency ratings have been very consistent. So you might say that his efficiency is efficient, or something like that.
Jason Collins. Collins' +/- ratings have generally been very consistent, but he has not looked good over the past two games. Against Cleveland, he registered a -14 in a game the Nets ultimately won by five points, and he followed that up with a -4 against Atlanta. This is very unusual, and bears watching. It's possible that his play is being significantly affected by his multiple nagging leg injuries. Remember, he missed the Miami game, part-way through the winning streak, in its entirety due to injury.
Nenad Krstic. After the first game of the winning streak, Krstic's efficiency ratings declined for four straight games. It then rebounded slightly, only to decline each of the next two games. Over the last six games, Krstic is averaging a 9.0 efficiency rating.
Cliff Robinson. Robinson has played about as well as Krstic, which says a little something about both of them, I think. Robinson has played the most of any of the reserves during the winning streak.
Scott Padgett. On a per-48 minute basis, Padgett has been as efficient as Richard Jefferson during the past eight games. He's also registered the highest +/- among reserves on three occasions. Just something to chew on.
Marc Jackson. For a guy whose strength was supposed to be his contributions on offense and rebounding, Jackson has not shown much in his limited minutes. Not only does he have one of the worst +/- ratings on the team, but his efficiency/48 minutes is among the worst as well.
Jeff McInnis. So much for McInnis improving as he starts to understand the offensive and defensive sets. McInnis has played four times during the eight-game streak; in two of those games, he registered the lowest +/- rating on the team, and in the other two he was pretty darn close. Overall, his -18 during the winning streak is miles behind everyone else.
During the winning streak, the Nets have outscored the opposition in a remarkable 23 of the 32 quarters (not including overtime versus Denver). Breaking this down further,
- The Nets have outscored the opposition in seven of the eight first quarters
- The Nets have outscored the opposition in seven of the eight second quarters
- The Nets have been outscored in two consecutive quarters only once (second and third quarters against Denver)
- Out of the nine quarters during which the Nets have been outscored, three times they have been outscored by just three points or less.
On the other hand, the Nets have been outscored in exactly half of the fourth quarters. Before panic sets in, remember that the nets were (obviously) winning each of these games, so it may just be a case of being willing to bend but not break.