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Dumpy’s Statistical Analysis: November 3, 2006, NJ at Miami

Dumpy’s Statistical Analysis
November 3, 2006—Miami 91, New Jersey 85

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 92.9
Miami 92.6
Average 92.7

This is me. What you see here will be the typical format of the statistical reports during the 2006-07 season. Whenever I want to add a comment or explanation, I’ll put it in bold (as I do here) so it’ll stand out. What I want to do here is provide a better sense of a "typical" number of possessions in a game, using team data from the 2005-06 season. Assuming I did the multiplication correctly—no sure thing—the average number of possessions last season per 48 minutes was 89.9. Any guesses as to which team had the most possessions per game? Yeah, it was Phoenix, at 95.2, followed by Denver at 93.2. At the other end of the spectrum was the slow-as-molasses Memphis Grizzlies, at 85.5, narrowly edging out Detroit. The Nets were slightly below average at 89.1. So there is some variation, but the typical range appears to be somewhere between 85-95. Back to your regularly scheduled program.

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 91.7
Miami 98.2

Let me give you similar context for the offensive ratings. Last season, the average team obtained an offensive rating of 107. The leader was Dallas at 113.0, followed by Phoenix at 112.2 But that’s where the similarities ended; while Phoenix was the fastest team in the league (measured by number of possessions per game), Dallas was the third slowest. It doesn’t matter when it comes to calculating offensive rating, though, since it measures points per possessions. Anyway, at the other end was Portland and Houston, both just above the 100 mark. The Nets had an offensive rating of 104.7, which was just 23rd best.

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

New Jersey 40.0%
Miami 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 Miami
FG% 39.0% 46.1%
OREB% 17.8% 22.0%
TOV% 17.3% 18.3%
FTA/FGA 28.6% 30.3%

The Nets’ turnover rate was down drastically from their opening night victory against Toronto—and, in fact, they beat the Heat in this metric—but it wasn’t enough to overcome their deficit in FG%, OREB%, and in getting to the line. The Nets were just outplayed. I know, you’re hoping to get some context for these figures, too. Let’s save that for next time.

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

New Jersey 38.6
Miami 43.3

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 35.7%
Miami 42.0%

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 101.8
Miami 102.2

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

New Jersey 38.0%
Miami 42.4%

Just different ways to measure how inefficient the Nets were. Yippee.

Individual Statistics

New Jersey Nets

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
J. Kidd 3.8 10.8 34.8% 92.4 10.0 9 15.9% N/A
V. Carter 11.4 25.1 45.3% 100.4 25.2 27 30.4% N/A
J. Collins 1.4 4.2 33.3% 59.1 2.5 2 7.2% N/A
R. Jefferson 5.4 17.4 31.2% 63.0 11.0 11 24.1% N/A
N. Krstic 8.4 13.7 61.6% 132.3 18.1 20 18.5% N/A
B. Nachbar 1.1 4.3 25.3% 71.9 3.1 3 13.8% N/A
M. Williams 2.8 8.8 31.5% 65.3 5.8 4 28.9% N/A
M. Moore 0.8 1.6 50.7% 101.3 1.7 2 8.2% N/A
A. Wright 3.0 6.4 46.3% 113.2 7.2 7 24.9% N/A
M. Ilic 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% N/A
H. Adams 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% N/A
C. Robinson 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% N/A

Miami Heat

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
G. Payton 6.1 10.0 61.1% 144.9 14.5 14 12.7% N/A
D. Wade 8.2 15.6 52.4% 114.7 17.9 17 27.2% N/A
U. Haslem 4.6 8.5 54.8% 117.5 9.9 8 13.9% N/A
A. Walker 5.1 13.8 37.0% 74.3 10.3 11 21.8% N/A
S. O’Neal 9.1 18.9 48.2% 95.8 18.1 21 27.3% N/A
J. Posey 3.3 6.6 49.8% 130.2 8.5 10 12.4% N/A
D. Wright 1.1 6.2 17.9% 37.4 2.3 2 20.4% N/A
J. Kapono 2.7 5.2 51.2% 110.2 5.7 6 18.0% N/A
A. Mourning 1.5 5.8 25.7% 52.4 3.0 2 26.1% N/A
E. Barron 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% N/A
W. Simien 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% N/A
C. Quinn 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% N/A

I’ll update the plus-minus figures in the morning.

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.