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Dumpy’s Statistical Analysis: November 3, 2007

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Dumpy’s Statistical Analysis
November 3, 2007: New Jersey 93, Philadelphia 88

Jason Kidd achieved yet another triple-double, but the story line from this one was about whether the Nets could bounce back a night after the devastating blow-out against—dare we say it—rival Toronto. On a more personal note, I picked up Antoine Wright in my fantasy league just in time for tonight’s game, so you can bet I rooted extra hard for #21. Was it worth it? Let’s take a look. But first, the team numbers:

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 will just present the average estimated number of possessions for both teams.

Possessions 93.3

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 99.6
Philadelphia 94.3

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

New Jersey 72.7%
Philadelphia 46.9%

I believe that an assist ratio of around 70% to 75% is generally considered optimal.

"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 Philadelphia
FG% 41.3% 39.5%
OREB% 27.3% 25.5%
TOV% 17.1% 15.0%
FTA/FGA 31.3% 39.5%

And the effective field goal percentage:

New Jersey 46.3%
Philadelphia 41.4%

Better field goal percentage and better work on the boards. Although Philly got to the line more often, they converted a lower percentage of free throws. Had they not missed 11 attempts, we’d be writing a different story.

Nets Individual Statistics

Player Scoring Poss'ns Poss'ns. Floor% Offense Rating Points Prod. Points Scored % Tm Poss Plus/ Minus
J. Kidd 7.5 16.4 45.5% 109.7 18.0 16 23.0% +6
V. Carter 8.7 17.8 49.2% 103.6 18.4 18 24.5% -2
R. Jefferson 10.7 18.0 59.1% 117.3 21.2 22 25.6% +12
J. Collins 0.5 4.2 12.2% 26.6 1.1 0 9.0% +3
N. Krstic 3.8 10.5 36.5% 73.0 7.7 6 32.6% +2
A. Wright 4.2 7.0 59.7% 117.4 8.3 10 12.0% +3
B. Nachbar 2.5 5.6 44.6% 103.1 5.8 8 16.3% -1
M. Allen 4.3 8.8 48.5% 87.9 7.8 10 27.5% +6
J. Magloire 0.7 4.2 17.8% 44.6 1.9 2 16.3% -3
D. Armstrong 0.8 1.0 82.4% 139.4 1.4 1 4.6% -1
J. Boone 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0
S. Williams 0.0 0.0 0.0% 0.0 0.0 0 0.0% 0

Once again, RJ was the strongest player on the court. Although Armstrong earned an offensive rating of nearly 140, it has limited significance due to the low percentage of team possessions he used up. In this case, DA failed to record a turnover or miss a shot. Of course, he didn’t TAKE any shots, either. As for Wright . . . a solid offensive rating of 117. However, a long stretch of the fourth quarter went by without Antoine touching the ball, and, in fact, he used an estimated 12% of the team possessions while he was on the floor, which is nearly in Collins territory.

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.