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Dumpy's Statistical Analysis: NJ at Boston, November 29, 2006

Dumpy’s Statistical Analysis
November 29, 2006: New Jersey 106, Boston 103

Nice to see "New Jersey" come first for a change. Yes, that can only mean one thing . . . and what a victory it was. A come-from-behind win on the road, in the back end of a back-to-back, with heavy reliance down the stretch on a rookie. Now what could be better than that? Well, I’ll tell you: Perusing the stats the next day. And so, without further delay, here we go:

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 87.4
Boston 88.8

Tempo was slightly slower than normal.

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 120.3
Boston 116.9

A shootout for a game at that tempo. This was the third time the Nets had obtained an offensive rating above 110 for the season, and the first time they had won in such games.

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

New Jersey 72.2%
Boston 66.7%

"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.

New Jersey Boston
FG% 48.0% 48.6%
OREB% 28.2% 23.7%
TOV% 12.5% 15.9%
FTA/FGA 44.0% 35.1%

And the effective field goal percentage:

New Jersey 50.7%
New Jersey 55.4%

Once again, the Nets allowed a high field goal percentage by the opposition. They’ve allowed an effective field goal percentage over 50% in five of the last seven games, and in the other two games narrowly missed that benchmark. In this game, however, they overcame that deficiency by performing well in the other four metrics. Another game with strong offensive rebounding and in getting to the line, but this time, they limited their turnovers to just one-eighth of their possessions. You’d have to go all the way back to the third game of the season (!) to find a time when the Nets committed fewer turnovers (by percentage) than their opponent.
A key reason for the victory was the free throw differential, especially in the fourth quarter. Despite playing from behind until the very end of the quarter, the Nets shot 16 free throws (hitting 15) to Boston’s two. Add to that six Boston turnovers in the final period, and voila! You have a come-from-behind victory.

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

New Jersey 49.1
Boston 46.0

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 48.5%
Boston 45.9%

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 99.2
Boston 98.4

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

New Jersey 49.5%
Boston 46.8%

Individual Statistics

New Jersey Nets

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
V. Carter 10.3 17.5 58.5% 133.1 23.3 23 25.0% -1
J. Kidd 9.3 17.2 54.1% 114.3 19.6 19 25.0% 4
R. Jefferson 7.4 12.7 58.7% 129.2 16.4 18 18.2% -4
J. Collins 1.1 3.8 28.7% 58.8 2.2 2 18.7% -13
N. Krstic 7.3 13.5 53.9% 114.1 15.4 15 20.4% 3
M. Williams 4.4 6.5 67.6% 152.6 9.9 8 16.6% 7
H. Adams 6.6 9.7 68.1% 146.1 14.2 16 23.4% 14
A. Wright 0.2 2.3 10.4% 21.9 0.5 0 6.7% 5
M. Moore 1.6 2.7 58.7% 110.4 2.9 5 12.3% 0
B. Nachbar 0.0 0.7 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 8.0% 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

Boston Celtics

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
P. Pierce 11.9 23.1 51.3% 124.6 28.8 31 31.9% -4
S. Telfair 6.6 11.3 58.1% 124.6 14.1 13 17.5% -2
R. Gomes 4.5 10.3 43.5% 96.1 9.9 5 15.8% -3
W. Szczerbiak 8.8 19.6 44.9% 97.4 19.1 25 30.2% 0
K. Perkins 1.4 3.2 42.8% 89.7 2.9 1 6.5% 9
A. Jefferson 4.3 7.0 60.8% 127.9 9.0 11 20.4% -6
D. West 3.1 4.6 67.4% 168.2 7.7 5 16.3% -4
B. Scalabrine 0.7 1.7 41.1% 123.2 2.1 6 7.8% -6
T. Allen 0.0 0.7 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 3.5% -3
G. Green 2.4 4.7 50.2% 113.7 5.3 6 25.4% 4
L. Powe 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0
A. Ray 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0

A complete team effort. Seven—count ‘em—seven Nets earned offensive ratings above 110. The only miscreants were Jason Collins and Antoine Wright. Also, the percentage of team possessions were very balanced; no player handled more than 25% of the team possessions while on the floor. To a certain extent, both these points were a product of the limited number of turnovers. However, both suggest that there was a lot of ball movement going on. Indeed, we see that the Nets had 26 assists for their 36 field goals, and only 9 by Jason Kidd. Not since opening night had the rest of the Nets had more than that total of assists. Over the past three games, the non-Kidd Nets totaled just eight assists each night. This conclusion is bolstered by the number of shot attempts: No Net took more than 16 field goal attempts, although Vince surely would have surpassed this had he not shot ten free throws in the final quarter.

The legend of Hassan Adams continues to grow every day. What can he do for an encore? We’ll see in a few.

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.