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Dumpy's Statistical Analysis: NJ at Portland, November 22, 2006

Dumpy’s Statistical Analysis
November 22, 2006: Portland 100, New Jersey 97

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope everyone had a nice evening with his and her families and no one tried to strangle a relative. And now that the tryptophan is kicking in, it’s probably a good time to revisit the numbers from the Portland game. Consider this an experiment: If anything can wrench you from your turkey-induced stupor, this would be it.

Team Statistics

Possessions. The number of possessions (i.e., each time a team brings the ball up court) is a way to measure the pace of the game. For games involving running or trapping teams, the number of possessions will be high, possibly more than 100. For more methodical teams, the number of possessions may be closer to 80. Possessions can (generally) end one of three ways: on a field goal attempt that is not rebounded by the offense (this includes successful FG attempts); on a turnover, or through some free throws. Since this is an estimate based upon various statistics, and because the number of possessions should be approximately the same for both teams, we also present the average estimated number of possessions.

New Jersey 78.1
Portland 79.9
Average 79.0

Last time these teams faced off, the teams averaged 79.9 possessions. Next fewest: 88.4, against Utah, which was a Nets victory. So now, if I’m counting right, in games that there were fewer than 88 possessions, the Nets have a record of . . . let’s see. . . one, and one more . . . yup: zero and two. Last week, if you remember, the slow pace of play seemed to have a lethargic effect on the Nets, as they stumbled to an offensive rating of just 85.2—their worst of the year. This time, there would be other effects.

Offensive Rating. A team’s offensive rating is just the number of points scored per 100 possessions. The opponent's offensive rating can be considered the team's Defensive Rating. For the past few seasons, the average team offensive rating in
the NBA has hovered around 105.

New Jersey 122.8
Portland 126.6

One hundred twenty-two point eight! As Borat would say, Nice! Only twice have the Nets achieved an offensive rating as high as 110 this season. Surely, they were firing on all cylinders. After all, in that other game that they hit an offensive rating of 125, the Nets, um, well, they lost.

And for the same reason they lost yesterday: No defense. Make no mistake, and don’t be misled by the score: This was an offensive shootout. And now the Nets have lost both games that both teams displayed offensive fireworks. The other game, by the way, was the aforementioned loss to Utah. This game was, in fact, all about a lack of defense. It’s hard to imagine the Nets playing better offensively—we’ll look at the breakdown in a sec—but their inability to make defensive stops cost them what should have been an easy victory.

And the defensive breakdown was game-long. Let’s look at the Nets’ defensive rating by quarter:

1st Quarter 111.6
2nd Quarter 110.4
3rd Quarter 128.9
4th Quarter 149.1

Part of that explosion in the fourth quarter was due to the free throws at the end of the game, but a defensive rating of nearly 140 in the second half is unacceptable. Among other things, the Blazers also managed eight offensive rebounds and just two turnovers in the second half. To demonstrate the extent of this failure, the Net’s BEST quarter—a rating of around 110—was still worse than the defensive ratings obtained in all but two games this season.

Assist Percentage. The assist percentage measures the frequency that successful field goals have been assisted.

New Jersey 63.4%
Portland 48.6%

"Big Four" Factors. The four primary factors that determine the outcome of a basketball game are: field goal percentage, offensive rebound percentage, turnovers, and the ability to get to the line and hit free throws. Offensive rebound percentage is measured as a percentage of rebound opportunities; turnovers are measured as a percentage of possessions; and free throws are measured by the percentage of time the team got to the line in relation to field goal shot attempts.

New Jersey Portland
FG% 53.9% 47.4%
OREB% 34.5% 32.5%
TOV% 11.4% 6.3%
FTA/FGA 19.7% 35.9%

And the effective field goal percentage:

New Jersey 56.6%
Portland 50.6%

The numbers show how well the Nets performed across the board. The field goal percentage, rebounding, and turnover ratios were among the best performances of the season. Again, the only problem here was that Portland matched them blow for blow, and actually surpassing them in the turnover category. As mentioned, the deciding factor was the free throws, especially in the fourth quarter. When the Nets have allowed an effective field goal percentage of at least 50%, they are now 0-4. The fact that they are winless in such situations is not surprising; what is, however, that they have occurred with such frequency.

Scoring Possessions. This figure is an estimate of the number of times a team scores at least one point on a possession.

New Jersey 46.6
Portland 47.5

Field Percentage. This figure is an estimate of the percentage of times a team scores a basket on possessions where no free throws are awarded.

New Jersey 56.9%
Portland 53.8%

Number of plays. This figure is an estimate of the number of times that a team both gains and loses control of the ball, either when the opposing team gains control or when a shot goes up.

New Jersey 91
Portland 94.2

Play percentage. This figure is an estimate of the percentage of a team’s plays on which it produces a scoring possession.

New Jersey 51.2%
Portland 50.4%

Individual Statistics

New Jersey Nets

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
J. Kidd 7.2 12.6 56.9% 127.9 16.1 8 20.8% -5
V. Carter 12.3 17.4 70.9% 153.4 26.6 35 26.4% 6
J. Collins 3.4 5.6 59.9% 122.8 6.9 4 10.0% 2
R. Jefferson 6.7 12.2 54.7% 113.2 13.8 16 20.5% -2
N. Krstic 8.1 13.5 60.3% 118.6 16.0 18 24.6% 2
B. Nachbar 1.3 2.1 64.3% 119.6 2.5 3 10.2% -3
A. Wright 2.9 6.4 45.1% 101.5 6.5 9 18.7% -9
M. Williams 2.5 6.0 41.6% 84.6 5.1 4 26.5% -1
M. Moore 0.6 0.6 100.0% 208.9 103 0 2.9% -5
H. Adams 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0
C. Robinson 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0
J. McInnis 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% --

Portland Trailblazers

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
J. Jack 7.4 10.7 69.5% 160.8 17.2 17 17.2% -5
M. Webster 4.1 7.7 53.2% 113.7 8.8 9 13.5% 6
Z. Randolph 11.3 18.5 61.1% 131.7 24.3 25 36.3% -2
I. Udoka 2.3 4.0 58.2% 150.5 6.0 8 8.1% 1
L. Aldridge 5.4 11.6 46.3% 97.1 11.2 10 26.4% -14
T. Outlaw 6.5 10.0 65.1% 126.1 12.6 13 22.2% 6
J. Dixon 3.2 6.1 51.6% 114.8 7.0 7 16.9% 7
J. Magloire 3.6 5.5 66.5% 128.1 7.0 9 19.5% 7
S. Rodriguez 2.2 4.2 53.1% 103.2 4.3 2 18.4% 10
S. Graham 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% -2
D. Dickau 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 1
B. Roy 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0

Some tremendous individual offensive performances by players on both teams.