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Game 86 Differential Production Stats

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Well, I didn't expect it, but I was delighted to be able to compile differential production (DP) stats for one more Sixer win this year, Sunday's Game 4 thriller.  The full explanation for DP can be found here.  DP measures which players made individual contributions to a team's offensive and defensive ratings for a game.  For this game, the Sixers' team offensive DP (ODP) was -2 (86 points in 88 possessions), and their team defensive DP (DDP) was +5 (82 points allowed in 87 possessions).  Read on for the individual breakdown.
The DP results for this game, with comments to follow:


OFFENSE
Pos.
Shots
Neg.
Shots
Off.
Reb
Asst. TO Off.
Tot
Iguodala 7.25 -6 0 1.5 -3.5 -0.75
Brand 6.25 -5 1.5 0.5 -2 1.25
Hawes 2 -6 1 1.75 -0.5 -1.75
Holiday 5.25 -6.5 0.5 2.5 -3.5 -1.75
Meeks 2 -1 0.5 0.25 0 1.75
Young 0.5 -2.5 0.5 0.5 -1.5 -2.5
L.Williams 9.5 -7.5 0.5 0.5 -1 2
Turner 7.25 -5 0.5 0.5 0 3.25
Battie 0 -1.5 0 0 -1 -2.5
Team 0 0 3 0 -4 -1
Totals 40 -41 8 8 -17 -2
(86/88)

DEFENSE TOT
Scored
On
Stops Def
Reb
ORA TO
Forced
Def
Tot
AI -12 1.25 2.5 -0.5 2 -6.75 -7.5
EB -3 4.25 4.25 0 0.5 6 7.25
SH -5.5 2.5 3.25 -0.5 0.75 0.5 -1.25
JH -8 3 1.25 -0.5 1.5 -2.75 -4.5
JM -1 1.5 1 -0.5 0 1 2.75
TY -3 2 1.5 0 1.75 2.25 -0.25
LW -8 2.5 2 0 1 -2.5 -0.5
ET -3.5 1 2.5 -1.5 0.5 -1 2.25
TB -3 2 1.75 -1 0 -0.25 -2.75
Team 0 6 1 -0.5 2 8.5 7.5
Tot -47 26 21 -5 10 5 3
(82/87)




Observations:
  • If you want to know where the game was won in the 4th quarter, there was one obvious hero (Lou Williams, team-high +3 for the quarter, when no one else was better than +0.25) and two hidden heroes:  both Elton Brand and Spencer Hawes made multiple positive plays on defense and zero negative plays.  No baskets allowed, no offensive rebounds allowed, +6 combined DDP.  In fact, Brand for the game was a team-high +6 DDP on defense (his best by far in any game I've tracked; usually he's got one of the more negative numbers on the team) and his +7.25 overall DP was best on the team.
  • Actually, the team as a whole, with the exception of Iguodala (more below) played excellent defense in the 4th quarter, as 4 other players wound up with positive DDP's for the 4th.  Thad again wound up with a positive DDP for the game; it's unfortunate that Thad is struggling on offense, because he's playing excellent D for the series.
  • Jrue rebounded from a horrendous 2nd quarter (-7 DP, worst of any quarter for any Sixer in this game) to play a strong 4th quarter (+1.25 DP).  His "Stops" column was +3, which equates to 6 stops, 2nd on the team to Brand in that category.
  • Iguodala had an excellent 1st quarter (team high +3.25 DP) but to my eyes played his worst game of the series otherwise.  His -12 in the Scored On column was shockingly bad, and he was the only Sixer to have a negative DDP in the 4th quarter (he was -4.5 all by himself).  The good news (I think) is that he can play defense a lot better than that, even hobbled.
  • Team-high ODP for the game belonged to Turner at +3.25.  He was even +0.25 ODP in the 4th with all those shots blocked.
  • On re-watching the game, I noticed that Turner was doing a really good job crashing the defensive boards.  A couple of times, he was guarding LeBron but left LeBron to go get the rebound.  I mention that because his rebounding instincts probably accounted for his being in position to save Iguodala's bobble in the last minute.
  • I also noticed that on free throws, the Sixers are focusing on boxing out with the two players nearest the basket (e.g., Hawes or Brand) and sending the third man (either Iguodala or Turner) to go get any rebounds.  Smart move.
  • Notice that "Team" got a +6 on "Stops";  those are Heat missed shots with no one in the vicinity.  A majority of those shots were taken by Bibby.
  • Finally, Meeks' minutes were limited, but he had good defensive numbers (+1 for the game).  I thought he and Jrue did a good job on Wade, who was 8 for 13 at one point but finished 1 for 8.

What can we take from Game 4?  The Sixers seem to have a working defensive scheme vs. Miami in the halfcourt, and Brand (and to a lesser extent, Hawes) is excelling in it.  If Iguodala can step up his defensive game (and that is the one part that we know he can step up), the Sixers will be competitive in Game 5 at the very least.  They were a +5 DDP for the game even with the huge 2nd-quarter run by the Heat.  To prevent the huge run by Miami, the Sixers need to avoid turnovers; the 2nd-quarter run was fueled by a series of live-ball turnovers.

On offense, it would be great if Turner or Lou could reproduce their performances from Game 4.  On the flip side, Thad, Hawes, and Jrue should shoot better than they did in Game 4.  Iguodala is a bigger asset to me if he's passing rather than shooting (that was a big weapon in Game 3, almost entirely absent in Game 4), but if he's moving on the weak side, he should keep cutting backdoor for possible dunks.

As I've said elsewhere, the Sixers should look back at the 99-00 team as their inspiration:  trailed the Pacers 3-0 (about to get swept for the 2nd time in a row by them), won Game 4, went to Indiana and blew them out in Game 5.  Only a handful of teams have even forced Game 6 when down 3-0, but that 99-00 team was one of them.  Hopefully their younger cousins can do the same ...