Playoffs Round One - Game Three
Indiana at New Jersey, April 27, 2006
Score: Indiana 107, New Jersey 95
I've tried to find the silver lining in this game for three days now. Here are the numbers for Game Three:
Once again, I have sorted this chart in descending order of minutes played, which is a change from the way I did it during the season. For a description of what these numbers mean, I'll refer new readers to the numerical analysis of the first game in the Indiana series. I'll probably repeat the explanation every few games.
Any silver lining here? Probably not. Vaughn's +3 looks intriguing, and we'll take a closer look at that a bit later. Collins played the best out of the starters, but was limited by foul trouble. With Collins out of the game, Indiana went on a couple of nice extended runs during the second half of the third quarter and the middle part of the fourth. Whether Collins could have made any difference is something we'll never know.
Here are the totals after three games:
Due to their limited minutes, I've left John Thomas, Zoran Planinic, Antoine Wright, and Scott Padgett off the totals chart.
Here's a look at how the starters performed as a unit in Game Three:
|Starting Five (Nets)||1 (1st Quarter)||7.3||+2|
|2 (2nd Quarter)||1.1||-1|
|3 (3rd Quarter)||5.9||-7|
Clearly outplayed in the third quarter, when the tide turned. Again, due primarily to Collins' (and Krstic's) foul trouble, the starting unit didn't get as much burn as in the earlier games.
Let's continue to look at the time when Jacque Vaughn was on the court with Jason Kidd:
|Kidd & Vaughn plus:||Min.||Plus-Minus|
|Jefferson, Murray, Collins||0.9||-1|
|Jefferson, Collins, Krstic||1.6||+3|
|Carter, Jefferson, Robinson||5.3||-8|
|Carter, Murray, Robinson||0.7||+2|
|Carter, Murray, Thomas||0.5||+1|
|Jefferson, Robinson, Krstic||1.0||+3|
|Jefferson, Murray, Robinson||0.4||+1|
|Carter, Jefferson, Collins||3.5||+2|
For the first time, Coach Frank repeated the same five-man unit with Kidd and Vaughn in the same game, not once, but twice, going with the Carter-Jefferson-Robinson trio three times. The minus-8 reflected here includes –10 in the fourth quarter over 4.6 minutes of play.
These numbers actually look pretty good, even including that fourth-quarter meltdown. Could this be the silver lining I've been looking for? Let's look again at Indiana's shooting percentage against the Vaughn-Kidd backcourt:
|Quarter||IND FGA||IND. FGM||IND. TO|
|4th Quarter (1)||8||6||3|
|4th Quarter (2)||3||2||0|
Yuck. Thirteen for twenty? Sorry, no silver lining here. Keep moving along, folks.
Let's look one more place: the offensive rebound count.
|Quarter||IND OReb||IND Points off OReb||NJN OReb||NJN Points off OReb|
Let me note that these results were gleaned from the published game log, which may include some inaccuracies. The number of rebounds shown on this chart includes those credited to the team, which is why the totals might not match what you see in the box score. Points were considered to be scored off of offensive rebounds regardless of whether it was a tip-in, an immediate lay-up, a shot 15 seconds later but part of the same possession, or foul shots.
Looks to be pretty even, although the Nets clearly "caught up" in the fourth quarter, when the game was out of hand.
But all is not lost—I think I've found the silver lining!
What is it?
Simple—Game Four! (see what happens when you procrastinate long enough?)
With an extra day off before the next game in the series, we'll have a chance to look at the Game Four results tomorrow.