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Dumpy's Statistical Analysis: Charlotte at NJ, November 28, 2006

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Dumpy’s Statistical Analysis
November 28, 2006: Charlotte 96, New Jersey 92

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.

Charlotte 94.1
New Jersey 92.4
Average 93.2

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.

Charlotte 103.0
New Jersey 98.7

Not a terrible defensive effort, overall. In fact, if you remove the second Portland game, the Nets have averaged a 103.0 defensive rating since November 15, a seven-game span. This is probably slightly better than average for the NBA this season, although we’ll know for sure in a few days when I compute the November stats. Overall, the Nets have averaged a 105.5 defensive rating. So, while their defense hasn’t lived up to their usual standards, it really hasn’t been the primary cause of their losing streak. That would be the offense. During the losing streak, the team has broken a 100.0 offensive rating on just two occasions: 102 against the Lakers, and 122 in the shootout loss against Portland mentioned above. How this team can have a below-average offense is beyond me and is certainly cause for concern. So, while the lackadaisical defense has gotten all the press, I’d argue that the primary cause of the team woes is on the other side of the ball.

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

Charlotte 60.5%
New Jersey 60.7%

"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.

Charlotte New Jersey
FG% 45.8% 40.6%
OREB% 20.5% 20.6%
TOV% 11.8% 15.0%
FTA/FGA 30.1% 66.7%

And the effective field goal percentage:

Charlotte 48.2%
New Jersey 42.8%

As you may have seen, in response to the previous stat report, Mark T. commented that the way I am measuring free throws seems a little nutty. We’re not measuring the number of successful free throws here. By looking at the ratio of free throw attempts to field goal attempts, we can get a sense as to how aggressive the team was at driving to the hoop. This ratio has been shown to be an indicator of team success, although it sits behind the other three factors on our list as far as effect on team performance. In this game, you can see that even though the Nets had a higher FTA/FGA ratio than Charlotte, it wasn’t enough to overcome their deficiency in two of the other factors above it on the list.

Specifically, Charlotte had a higher FG% and a lower turnover ratio. During the losing streak, the Nets have committed more turnovers per possession in each and every game, averaging 17.6% to the opposition’s 13.2%. Over the same period, they have outrebounded the opposition by an average margin of 29.6% to 22.8%. But the most important factor for determining wins and losses is field goal percentage, and here the Nets have really had their problems. Over the past six games, the team has had a field goal percent of around 44% and the opposition around 46%. The margin is more pronounced with regard to effective field goal percentage: The Nets haven’t been hitting nor defending the three-point shot.

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

Charlotte 46.7
New Jersey 44.9

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.

Charlotte 45.2%
New Jersey 37.9%

Without all the shooting fouls, the Nets would have been blown out.

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.

Charlotte 104
New Jersey 101.4

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

Charlotte 44.9%
New Jersey 44.3%

Individual Statistics


Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
B. Knight 4.5 12.0 37.6% 73.1 8.7 7 18.0% -6
A. Morrison 9.6 20.2 47.6% 101.9 20.6 22 27.5% -4
E. Okafor 2.8 6.4 44.3% 89.3 5.7 6 12.0% 4
G. Wallace 5.2 12.1 43.1% 89.7 10.9 12 21.0% -3
P. Brezec 6.0 9.7 62.4% 119.4 11.6 13 14.6% 2
R. Felton 4.9 10.6 46.2% 108.0 11.4 12 20.6% 8
S. May 10.0 15.2 65.9% 134.0 20.4 20 31.8% 4
M. Carroll 1.0 2.5 38.7% 93.2 2.4 2 9.6% 9
B. Robinson 1.3 2.1 62.9% 145.8 3.1 2 11.9% 10
M. Ely 0.0 1.6 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 27.4% -4
O. Harrington 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0
D. Anderson 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0

New Jersey Nets

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
J. Kidd 5.1 12.6 40.7% 82.6 10.4 6 17.8% 8
V. Carter 11.6 26.4 44.1% 93.0 24.5 25 34.7% -2
J. Collins 3.6 7.1 51.6% 103.0 7.3 7 10.1% 6
R. Jefferson 11.9 20.3 58.5% 118.4 24.1 27 26.3% -3
N. Krstic 8.5 15.5 54.9% 106.1 16.4 20 19.5% -7
A. Wright 0.8 0.8 100.0% 260.1 2.1 3 2.4% -1
M. Moore 1.8 2.8 64.8% 130.8 3.7 4 9.9% -4
M. Williams 0.2 3.6 6.6% 12.5 0.4 0 15.7% -14
B. Nachbar 0.2 1.8 13.1% 24.5 0.4 0 21.2% -3
H. Adams 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0
M. Ilic 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0
J. Boone 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0

A couple of quick comments. First, a number of Nets actually had pretty good games yesterday: Collins, RJ, Krstic, Wright, Mikki Moore. Carter, Kidd, Marcus, and Nachbar were all below par. Let’s start with Carter. Since the Seattle game on November 13, Carter has just not played well. Through the Seattle game, Vince had an offensive rating of 121; in the games since, he has posted a pedestrian 105 (note that, for simplicity, these are just unweighted averages of the offensive ratings obtained in these games). Now, let me make one thing clear: I am NOT suggesting that Vince is just an "average" player. When you take more shots, and handle the ball more frequently, it is harder to achieve high offensive ratings. That's why the ratings must be read in context of each player's possesion percentage. However, for the first half of November, there's no question that Vince was more efficient, while actually using a higher percentage of team possessions than he has since. A poster on the forum has speculated that Vince has been nursing an injury; the signs certainly have been there, whether it is true or not.

As for Kidd, he now has posted five consecutive games where he has scored in the single digits.

As for Marcus, he has gone -25 over the past two games.

As for Nachbar, he has put together three consecutive terrible games.

Antoine Wright has now used fewer than 5% of the team possessions two of the last three games. There’s no reason that he should be less involved in the offense than Mikki Moore and Boki Nachbar.

These individual statistics are estimates based on the premise that teammates should share credit for points and scoring possessions based upon their individual contributions to each play. They are derived from the research of Dean Oliver, and more can be read in his book, "Basketball on Paper."

Glossary for Individual Statistics:

Scoring Possessions: A scoring possession is awarded to an individual when he contributes to a team scoring possession. If multiple players contribute, then credit is split among teammates based upon a formula.

Possessions: Number of team possessions used by a particular player.

Floor percentage: The percentage of a player’s possessions on which there is a scoring possession.

Offensive Rating: Points produced by an individual per 100 possessions, as calculated by a complex formula.

Points Produced: The number of points a player generates through various offensive contributions, including assists, field goals, free throws, and offensive rebounds.

Points Scored: Number of points actually scored by the player in the game, which is included here for comparison to points produced.

Percentage of Team Possessions: How often a player uses a team possession when he is in the game. With five players on the court, an average value would be 20%.

Plus/Minus: How much the team outscores the opposition when the player is in the game.