Back in June, I wrote a post detailing a new type of statistic. I didn't have a name for it then, but I think a good name would be Differential Production (DP), divided into Differential Offensive Production (DOP) and Differential Defensive Production (DDP). I explained the general idea in the original post, but the idea in a nutshell is this: a team's offensive rating and defensive ratings are defined in terms of points per 100 possessions. For example, the 76ers scored 87 points in 91 possessions vs. the Heat, for an offensive rating of (87/91)*100 = 95.6. DP determines the individual contributions to a team's offensive and defensive ratings, based on the assumption that an "average" team will have offensive/defensive ratings of 100 (this isn't strictly true, but it makes the statistic easier to understand). So, the 76ers scored 87 points in 91 possessions for a net of -4 on offense. Who contributed to that -4 total? And the same question holds, perhaps more interestingly, on defense, where the Sixers were a net of -5 (97 points in 92 possessions). Sites like 82games.com show individual offensive and defensive ratings, but that only reflects the team's points per possession while the player was on the floor, not the individual player's contribution to it.
As noted in the original post, there are several ways to assign differential production. Remember that everything is relative to 1 point per possession, so a made 2-point basket is +1, for example. Here are the possible ways to accumulate DP:
- A made basket is either +1 (for a 2-pointer) or +2 (for a 3-pointer) and is divided between the shooter and the passer depending on how important the pass was. I divide into quarters at most, for relative simplicity.
- 2 made free throws is a +1. 1 of 2 free throws is recorded as +0.5 under made shots and -0.5 under missed shots (net of 0).
- A turnover is -1. In some circumstances, some blame might go to the other player (e.g., someone fumbling a good pass -- even though the official turnover always goes to the passer).
- A missed field goal attempt resulting in a defensive rebound is -1. A missed field goal attempt resulting in an offensive rebound is -0.5. This is intuitively not right, but is necessary for symmetry with the defensive stats.
- An offensive rebound is +0.5. Partial credit can be assigned if multiple players were involved (e.g., a tip to another player).
- A made basket is either -1 or -2 (for 2 or 3-pointers), and blame can be divided depending on who is responsible for the made basket.
- A contested shot resulting in a miss is +0.5 for the defender (I label this a "stop"). An uncontested shot resulting in a miss is +0.5 for "team" (essentially, no one caused the miss).
- A defensive rebound is +0.5. An offensive rebound allowed is -0.5. Partial credit can be assigned if multiple players were involved (e.g., a tip to another player).
- A forced turnover is +1.
- A shooting foul is automatically a -1 or -2 for the defender (or divided among multiple defenders). If the shooter misses the first free throw, the "team" is credited with +1 for stop. If the shooter misses the last free throw, the "team" is credited with +0.5 for a stop, and then rebounding is assigned as above.
Before I discuss some of the analysis, here are some ways to interpret the results:
- Net Points = DP + (Possession Differential). For the 76ers, it was (-10)=(-9)+(-1).
- Turnovers should equal the turnover column in a boxscore, but sometimes I assign blame (on offense) or credit (on defense) to an individual for a 24-second violation. In boxscores, 24-sec. violations are team turnovers and don't show up.
- To get the total points for a team, the formula is [(Made Shots)+(Assists)-(Extra Points)]*2 + (Extra Points). "Extra Points" are the additional point for a 3-pointer or an and-one (or a technical free throw).
- Multiplying the rebound columns by 2 will come close to the boxscore total, but remember that I sometimes assign partial credit for rebounds, and the boxscore doesn't count team rebounds.
- The only positive DPs for the game were Turner (+1.25) and Thad (+0.25).
- Thad's +4.75 was highest on offense (Turner was second at +4), but he gave almost all of it back on defense (-4.5).
- Worst players on defense were Lou (-5), Thad (-4.5), and Songaila (an impressive -3 in about 2 minutes).
- Worst player of the game by far was Jrue (-9), but he was actually a +5 for the 4th quarter, 3rd best quarter of the game behind Iguodala's +5.75 in the 1st and Turner's +5.25 in the 4th). That shows how poorly Jrue played in the 1st 3 quarters (-5.75 in the 3rd and -5.25 in the 1st only trailed Lou's -6 in the 3rd).
- Jrue and Lou together were -11.75 in the 3rd. If you want to know why Miami blew the game open in that quarter, look no further.
- Iguodala had a strong first quarter (+5.75) but was poor thereafter (-8.5). In fairness, he was always guarding either LeBron or Wade, so his defensive numbers were probably lower than usual (still decent at 0).
- Nocioni acquitted himself fairly well, actually scored one of two positive DDPs (surprise: Kapono was the other). Positive ODPs went to Brand (+1.75) and the aforementioned Turner and Young.
Editor's Note: If you'd like to download the spreadsheet, which is broken down by quarter and half, click here.