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A funny thing happened as the NBA moved into the second quarter of its season – playing back-to-back no longer was a burden, or so the results seem to suggest.

After six weeks and 305 games, a team playing the second night of a B2B versus a “rested” team had won but 20 of 61 matchups (.328), a puny nine of 38 (.237) on the road.

But over the last fourteen days (through Tuesday, Dec. 17), the “road-weary” have avoided a “Schedule Loss” in 19 (.633) of 30 tip-offs, 10 (.588) of 17 away from home.

Home Teams overall struggled in Week 8, posting a sub-.500 seven-day mark (24-27, .471) for the first time this season.

Fantastic Finishes in a Spaced-out NBA

To what extent has this first “third” of this NBA season (56 of 168 playing dates are indeed in the books) delivered us competitive games?

About one of every seven games (59 out of 406, .145) is a blow-out of more than 20 points.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
On the other hand, three out of five (243 out of 406, .599) are decided by no more than 10 points.

Curiously – or not, perhaps, given the popular notion of “load management” – games involving teams playing the second night of a B2B follow a similar pattern. Of the 103 such games to date, 16 (.155) were romps, 59 (.573) determined by 10 points or less.


Weeks 7 & 8 for the Green Team


Boston - 556

FG: C’s – 209-417, .501
3FG: C’s – 69-170, .406
FT: C’s – 69-87, .793 [38 conversions]
TS%: C’s – .611
OR: C’s – 36 + 13 (team) [minus 0 FT rebounds]
DR: C’s – 163 + 11 (team) [minus 16 FT rebounds]
TO: C’s – 64 + 2 (team)
Poss: C’s – 473 {226 “Empty”}
PPP: C’s – 1.175
CV%: C’s – 247 conversions / 473 possessions, .522
Stripes: C’s – +51 [+25.5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: C’s – 272.5 conversions / 473, .576 {expected production, 545 points}


Opponent- 513

FG: Opp – 191-429, .445
3FG: Opp – 50-152, .329
FT: Opp – 81-110, .736 [47 conversions]
TS%: Opp – .537
OR: Opp – 51 + 26 (team) [minus 1 FT rebound]
DR: Opp – 156 + 10 (team) [minus 11 FT rebounds]
TO: Opp – 69 + 4 (team)
Poss: Opp – 473 {235 “Empty”}
PPP: Opp – 1.085
CV%: Opp – 238 conversions / 473 possessions, .503
Stripes: Opp – +21 [+10.5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: Opp – 248.5 conversions / 473 possessions, .525 {expected production, 497 points}


Note re Calculation & Notation:

The number of “possessions” is an accurate count, not a formula-based estimated value. For purposes of clarity, the bracketed digit following the FT% is the exact count of “conversions” represented by those FTA’s.

“Possessions” calculation: FGA’s + FT conversions + TO’s – OR’s (including Team OR’s) – FT OR’s

“Conversions” calculation: FG’s + FT conversions

“Stripes” calculation: 3FG’s – missed FTA’s

TS% = True Shooting Percentage

PPP = Points per Possession

CV% = Conversion Percentage


Celtic Specialty Points

AP Photo/Elise Amendola
Including “live-ball” Team Rebounds, Boston has retrieved 311 of its own missed shots so far, good for 309 “Second Chance Points” while Opponents have earned 340 Second Chances worth 329 points.

The C’s have forced 389 Opponent Turnovers to date and tallied 435 points on the succeeding possessions while committing 317 at a cost of 335 points. Their .118 TOV% leads the loop.



Abacus Revelation for the Road

The Celtics’ Pace of Play slowed during these last five games to just under 95 possessions per game – that’s down from a smidgen over 100 per game thru six weeks and 19 games.

The league as a whole – which was running at a pace of 103+ per through three weeks – has paced back to about 101 at this juncture.

Last season, league-wide regular-season play was calculated at a pace of 100.8 … according to my crude (likely slightly fallible) counting, the C’s registered 8,178 possessions in 82 games last season, their opponents “exactly” 8,200.

[Side-note: I’m a bit more confident in this season’s data. I’ve stumbled upon a couple of very useful “tools” to cut down the grunt work and allow more time for (what passes as) “quality assurance.”]

Abacus Reveals 12/18/2019 10:56:00 AM Edit
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