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Rollin Wit Da Homies
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Discussion Starter #1
Some team stats:

95.09 ppg (11th best in the league?!)
42.7% FG (8th WORST in the league)
96.9 points allowed (9th WORST in the league)
43.1% FG allowed (10th best in the league)
72.1% FT (7th WORST in the league)
3.81 bpg vs. our opponents 5.72 bpg, 4th worst difference in the league
5.36 spg vs. our opponents 7.27 spg, 3rd worst difference in the league

And the drumroll, please...

39.8% 3 pt (3rd BEST in the league!)


So. What is going on here?

From what I hear and see, it's scoring that the Bulls need, particularly inside. However, Sweetney has been providing that since he's begun starting (the Bulls are 3-1 in Sweetney starts).

A few other stats:

3-1 when Sweetney starts
2-0 when Gordon leads the team in scoring

The three players (Gordon, Hinrich, Deng) who shoot 43% of all of our shots are averaging a combined 39.8% from the floor but 41.5% from the arc. Sweetney, who is shooting 11% of the shots, is averaging 48.5% from the floor.

Mike Sweetney is averaging more assists so far this season than Eddy Curry ever did in any season (1.2 apg). He is playing only 23 mpg and not getting a ton of touches in those minutes.


Conclusion: Right now, we are looking like a three-point jump shooting team that does not go inside enough. We do not know how to play for possessions, and while we keep the opposing FG% low, we don't create possessions through blocks or steals, nor are we impressive on the offensive glass.



I wish I could watch more games, but all I can glimpse is at the local sports bars that play leaguepass games, and that's only once in a while as my finals are approaching. Are these stats telling the right story? Or do the Bulls look very different on the floor than what I'm gleaning?

I know for a fact that stats never truly tell the whole story, but it's always interesting to see how close I can come by looking at box scores and reading recaps.
 

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You should be looking at different, less flawed team measures. Here's why.

Once you have become familiar with the four factors, check out this great site that ranks and sorts them, in-season.

To compare teams with past teams, you can use basketball-reference.com's team pages. The site now measures the four factors for historical teams and ranks them in season.

These stats may or may not be more illuminating, but at least they will be more accurate.
 

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Rollin Wit Da Homies
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5,080 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
MongolianDeathCloud said:
You should be looking at different, less flawed team measures. Here's why.

Once you have become familiar with the four factors, check out this great site that ranks and sorts them, in-season.

To compare teams with past teams, you can use basketball-reference.com's team pages. The site now measures the four factors for historical teams and ranks them in season.

These stats may or may not be more illuminating, but at least they will be more accurate.
Hey, nice article. I knew about a lot of those stats, but there's plenty of flaws with some of those stats as well. For instance, why should offensive rebounding % be so important apart from overall rebounding stats? If my team is only averaging 35 rpg but 35% of them are offensive, so what? Is that really a good thing?

I just like browsing team stats because it normalizes the flaws that we get since the same methodology is applied across all teams. But obviously, some of the flaws will highlight certain aspects of a team's game that might not really be there. Nevertheless, there should be some sort of indication.

Just for kicks, though, here's our team's "four factors":

effective FG%: 47%. Teams that we play against are also effectively shooting 47%.
oReb %: 30%. Opposing teams are averaging 28%.
TO per possession: 16%, same as our opponents.
FT attempted: 22.6 per game, making them at 73%. Opposing teams are getting to the line 29 times and making 76% of them.

(gleaned from 82games.com)

These stats are also not particularly telling, just like the conventional stats.

So what's the real story? What does our team actually look like out there?
 

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You need to look at the opponent's four factors to analyze defense. In that Knickerblogger link, you can either analyze a team's offense or defense by the four factors and their points/points allowed per possion (efficiency).

So you're not supposed to take offensive rebounding on it lonesome and use that to describe all of rebounding -- instead, you look at offensive rebounding as a factor of offense and opponent offensive rebounding as a factor of defense (1-oppOreb% gives you your defensive rebounding percentage). Using a rebounding statistic that lumps both offensive and defensive rebounding numbers together is not useful because the two types of rebounding contribute to two entirely different things. A team can be good at offensive rebounding and poor at defensive rebounding, and vice versa, depending on their schemes.

In repsonse to your example, 35% OReb% doesn't tell you much on it's own. But if you look at where that ranks amongst other teams, it can tell you whehter the team is good at offensive rebounding relative to their competition.

Using these factors to analyze the current bulls relative to the other teams this season and last season, here's what the stats suggest to me:

Offense: The Bulls offense this season is not very good. They are ranked 24th in the league in terms of points per possession, which can be broken down to 20th in eFG%, 12th in TO rate, 20th in Oreb%, and 29th in free throws per field goals. It would appear that they are not getting to the rim based on their terrible free throw rate and mediocre eFG%. Likely they are settling for too many outside jumpers that won't get them to the line (but keeps their TO rate low). In comparison to last season, they were 26th in offensive efficiency, ranked 24th in eFG%, 30th in TO rate, 18th in offensive rebounding, and 22 in free throw rate. So it looks like they've traded some of their inside scoring for jumpers this season, and as a result have becoem much better at not turning over the ball but much worse at getting to the line.

Defense: The Bulls have played average defense this young season, with a rank of 15th in defensive efficiency (points allowed per possession). They are 15th in eFG% allowed, 19th in opponent turnovers, 7th in opponent OReb%, and 28th in opponent free throws per possession. They are great at defensive rebounding so far, but are putting their opponents on the foul line way too much, not forcing alot of turnovers, and above all else, they are simply letting their opponent's shoot a decent %. Last season, the Bulls were 2nd in opponent eFG%, 9th in opponent TOs, 7th in opponent OReb%, and 22nd in opponent FT rate. With the exception of their defensive rebounding, it seems that many aspects of the Bulls defense has collapsed this season.

Conclusions: Their offense has changed a bit, but has been approximately even with their offensive efficiency last season. Which was bad. But this season, their defense is not making up for their offensive efficiencies. A fairly drastic drop across the board. Could be personnel, or could be effort. I can't really tell in the couple of games I've seen the Bulls play this season. It must be mentioned that this is a young season, and this is a small sample of games. This can all change as the Bulls play more teams.
 
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