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Game One Key Indicators

There's only so much analysis I can do during and immediately after games. Typically, I try to pick one or two things to keep an eye on, plus the rotation charts. Luckily, we now have ways to take a closer look at what happened and try to determine why. Going forward, this series will use the tools available to examine some key facets of the game and gauge how well the Sixers are winning (or losing) certain statistical battles.

The tool I'm using here is HoopData's advanced box score. There's a wealth of information in there, I highly recommend that site. Let's dive in:

Inside vs. Outside - The long two makes me sick to my stomach. Worst shot in the game. Low likelihood of making the shot, lower likelihood of getting fouled on the attempt. My theory here is there should be some kind of correlation between a team's inside/outside ratio and wins/losses. On offense, taking a high percentage of long twos is a failure. On defense, it's a success. Here are the numbers from last night:

  • At the rim: 12/25 (led by Iguodala 4/6)
  • 16-23 feet: 6/20 (led by Turner, 2/5)
  • Ratio: 1.25 (higher is better)
  • At the rim: 13/23
  • 16-23 feet: 5/17
  • Ratio: 1.35
This is a new metric, so it's going to take some time to figure out what a good ratio is. We'll keep track as we go. My guess is that the team with the higher ratio will probably win most games, simply because a high number is indicative of good offense and a low number is indicative of good defense, at a high level.

Turner can't play off the ball - Part of evaluating Turner's progression as an off-the-ball shooting guard is seeing how the team functions with him on the floor, in the role. There is also a way to track his progress using stats, though. HoopData tracks his assisted field goals, meaning someone else got the assist on a shot that he made. If he truly is only effective with the ball in his hands, you'd expect most of his made field goals to be unassisted, or off him creating his own shot with the dribble, and possibly freezing out his teammates. Let's look at the numbers:

  • Total FG: 7
  • Assisted FG: 5
  • Percent assisted: 71.5%
  • Every jumper made was assisted. Two shots in the lane were not.
  • Point of reference: Only 2 of Dwyane Wade's 10 made field goals were assisted. For the Sixers, 2 of Lou's 5 makes were assisted.
Iguodala shoots too many jumpers - This one is pretty straight forward. Iguodala's jumpers vs. attempts in the lane.

  • Inside 15 feet: 4/7
  • 16+ feet: 1/5
  • Jumper percentage: 41.7%
Is 41.7% too high? Maybe, but not absurdly so. This will be an interesting number to keep track of.

High Risk/High Reward - All assists are not created equal, neither are all turnovers. A turnover on a simple pass on the perimeter is painful, because even if the pass was completed, it's not improving your odds of scoring on that possession. A turnover on a backdoor lob is less so, because if it's completed you're talking about drastically increasing the odds of scoring on that possession. It's with this in mind that we're going to track team assists on at-the-rim attempts.

  • Total Assists: 24
  • Assists at the rim: 6
  • Assists in the lane (not at the rim): 7
  • Assists on long twos: 6
  • Assists on threes: 5
  • Turnovers: 16
So 54% of the assists were in the lane, which carries more weight in my book (though you can't discount a kick-out for an open three, either).

Stat of the night - On scheme alone, you have to say the Sixers won this game. Miami had only 15 assists against 16 turnovers. Only 4 of their assists were on hoops in the lane, with 11 coming on long jumpers. They lost the game on isolation plays, which is to be expected when you're playing a team that had literally 5 mismatches when both starting units were on the floor.

Rotation Prediction Redux - Let's take a look at my minute projections and the actual minutes played (in parens).

  • Jrue Holiday - 40 minutes (21 minutes, -19)
  • Andre Iguodala - 36 minutes (39 minutes, +3)
  • Jason Kapono - 18 minutes (13 minutes, -5)
  • Elton Brand - 25 minutes (34 minutes, +8)
  • Spencer Hawes - 16 minutes (14 minutes, -2)
  • Lou Williams - 25 30 minutes (34 minutes, +4)
  • Thad Young - 15 minutes (26 minutes, +11)
  • Evan Turner - 20 minutes (31 minutes, +11)
  • Andres Nocioni - 20 minutes (20 minutes, that's a bingo)
  • Marreese Speights - 12 minutes (4 minutes, -8)
  • Tony Battie - 8 minutes (0 minutes, -8)
  • Darius Songaila - 0 minutes (5 minutes, +5)
  • Jodie Meeks - 5 minutes


There you have it, the first edition of "Key Indicators." Let me know what you think in the comments, and if you have any suggestions for future installations, please let me know.

You can find this story, and all related coverage of Game 1 on the new game capsule page. Check it out.
by Brian on Oct 28 2010
Tags: Basketball | HoopData | Key Indicators | Miami Heat | Sixers |