Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by TaS, Jan 6, 2009.
The methodology is flawed, but I like the outcome, so I'll just accept it without question.
I'm really amazed at the advances made by the NBA.com stat tracking. It's getting so that almost everything that you'd want can be found there.
Some interesting pulls:
- Golden State has the best defensive rating per possession in the NBA and the biggest differential between O and D. Klay Thompson, Curry, Bogut, and Livingston appear to be the heart of their defense as they all defend their positions well. Steph Curry takes nearly the most pull-up 3-pointers per game in the league (over 4 per game) and he is knocking them down at a 44% rate. MVP this year maybe?
- On the Pistons, there is only 1 player that has an off court positive plus/minus rating... Josh Smith. We've outscored our opponents by about 40 points this season with him on the bench. When he's on the court, we get slaughtered. I think that it is more than the coach finding a better way to utilize him at this point. On court: team has a 94.8 ORAT and a 106.2 DRAT. Off court: team has a 102.9 ORAT and a 100.8 DRAT. There is the starter vs bench issue, but very puzzling that our defense gets so much better without him there... since he's one of our better defensive players both statistically and by reputation.
- Speed- distance traveled:
Brandon Knight is #3 in the NBA in terms of distance traveled per 48 and average speed
Singler leads the Pistons with 3.6 miles per 48 min (followed by Jennings, Jerebko, KCP, DJA in that order).
Josh Smith is 6th to last in the entire NBA at 2.9 miles per 48. He is getting virtually no fast break points as well. Which leads me to the question- is he loafing?
Somehow Josh Smith leads the Pistons in total touches with 1,042 compared to only 981 for Jennings. I couldn't find another case where a non point guard leads their team in touches (but I forgot to look at the Lakers, which is a candidate with Kobe ball hogging). This is a major problem that we are giving the ball to Smith so often. Of course he's going to shoot.
Andre Drummond is 4th in the NBA in terms of hauling in contested rebounds per game. He's also 4th in uncontested rebounds. He's 2nd in total rebound opportunities. I guess that is what happens when you live in the paint.
My project for the night was to turn the NBA.com defense stats from gross FG% into eFG% for each player on the team. Secondarily, I adjusted for minutes to see which players on the Pistons get attacked most often.
eFG% against rankings:
1) KS: .438
2) JS: .456
3) GM: .461
4) JJ: .471
5) KCP: .514
6) DJA: .518
7) AD: .521
8) CB: .544
9) BJ: .557
FG attempts against rankings (from most attempts/48 to least):
1) GM: 17.21
2) JS: 16.52
3) JJ: 16.43
4) AD: 16.26
5) KS: 13.28
6) DJA: 11.77
7) CB: 9.15
8) BJ: 9.15
9) KCP: 8.71
This is pretty much what I would have expected in terms of shot attempt frequency (lots of action in the paint due to help defense). KCP to me is the big outlier though. BJ makes sense because other team's PGs do a lot of distributing, but KCP's man is in the game to score. It's the Kobe's of the league that he's matched up against. The fact that the fewest attempts per minute are against him seems to evidence of his ball denial ability and his ability to stay in his opponent's personal space.
Interesting stuff, TaS. The FG attempts against has our biggest 4 guys at the top. I wonder if that is common against all teams or is Detroit unique in this sense?
I'd have to check another team or two, and it's a bit of a pain to normalize for minutes, but my guess is that it's the natural state of things. Bigs just are in a position to play a lot of help defense.
I was curious to see how often our bigs got stretched by 3-point attempts and it was about what I would have guessed:
% of shot attempts taken against each player from 3-point range:
1) CB: 37.0%
2) KCP: 36.0%
3) DJA: 35.4%
4) KS: 35.1%
5) BJ: 34.2%
6) JS: 24.1%
7) JJ: 18.0%
8) AD: 12.0%
9) GM: 11.1%
The only real outlier here is that Josh Smith has to defend a 3-pointer on almost 1 in 4 attempts from his man. However, my guess is that we are just using him to guard PFs with range and larger SFs while we are using Monroe to guard centers and PFs who aren't a threat from deep.
Against Caron though, teams are shooting a lot of 3s against him and hitting at 42.2%. Either small sample, or he's leaving them wide open.
I have created a stupid simple way of ranking the Pistons remaining strength of schedule using winning percentage as the main variable, home or away as the first tie-breaker, and days of rest as the second tie-breaker.
As we progress through the season, we can see how important each respective game is to the Pistons chance of making the playoffs.
From another perspective, it's not that we have to beat the teams that are all vying for the eighth seed. We have to beat the teams that most teams are beating.
Sure, we may lose a couple of games to mediocre teams and we may win a couple of games against great teams. Upsets happen. But, looking forward if we lose to the Golden State Warriors away after 0 days of rest, we shouldn't be too worried. If we lose to the Knicks after two days of rest at home, we should be concerned.
The two columns I created rank the difficulty of each game 1 being the most difficult and need to win, as if the Pistons win 29 more games, they will finish 41-41 and at 0.500 that should be good enough to get into the playoffs in the East. 1 being the game we most need to win and 29 being the last game we would need to win.
System has a level of variability that I have not accounted for the changing records of other teams as the season goes on.
However, I can post an updated list after every five to ten games or so, and we can see how we're doing.
Here's the rankings seen from most to least difficult for each game:
My interpretation of these descriptive statistics is:
Pick up the easy wins against the Knicks, T-Wolves, 76ers, Lakers, Magic, Jazz, and Celtics
Don't worry so much about losses to top caliber teams like Warriors, Blazers, Hawks, Wizards, Rockets, Raptors, Bulls, Spurs
Crucial wins will come against teams like: Bucks, Cavs, Pelicans, Nets, Nuggets, Heat, Pacers, Hornets
No coincidence that most of the crucial wins need to come against the teams that are currently ranked Bucks (5th), Cavs (6th), Nets (7th), Heat (8th), Pacers (9th), and Hornets (10th) in the East.
Separate names with a comma.