NBA Week 1 in Proportion: Pace Up, Production Down
Tuesday’s 11-game slate closed the books on the first “Playing Week” of the new NBA season, 51 of a scheduled 1,230 games have been completed … and from these early returns, it seems that Home-court Advantage (31 – 20, .608) still exists, long-distance shooting (3PAr of .380, up from .359) is still all the rage, but my home-made “Striping” stat is predicting more losers than winners (22 – 23 – 6).

How frequently do you suppose – especially in a make-or-miss league – the winning team winds up with more successful treys than its opponent? To this point, the correct answer is “as often as not” (22 – 22 – 7).

The performance thus far of an average NBA team offers an FG% of .443 (.461 for 2018-19), 3FG% at .343 (.355), ORB% of .222 (.229) with nearly 17 TO’s per game (14.1). The “computed” pace of play has increased to 104.4 possessions per game (100.8); scoring (110.2 ppg) is down precisely a point a game from last year.

Extended Play

Two seasons ago, I decided to “study” the impact of playing back-to-back in the NBA … got a notebook of data broken down all kinds of ways for every game involving a team playing the back end of a two-fer. The only conclusions I was able to draw were that (a) playing at home will often energize tired legs, and (b) the quality of play is greatly diminished when both teams are playing a back-end.

My self-assigned project for this season is to analyze Overtime play, and NBA, Inc has been kind enough to provide five work samples to date. That 25 minutes of competition produced 12 lead-changes and six deadlocks; the greatest lead was six points. The home fans left happy three times.

Tension was certainly in the air, as the best hoopsters on the planet jointly shot 32-for-81 (.395), just 9-for-29 (.310) from distance. (Free-throw shooting did exceed the league norm, 79% to 76%.)

The five OT periods resulted in exactly 100 possessions (divided equally). The victorious held a 30 – 22 advantage in conversions (62 – 46 in points). The big differential (15 – 3) is in Points off TO’s.

Here’s some weirdness for ya. Guests attempted 12 more foul shots AND out-converted the home teams 28 – 24, yet were out-scored 56 – 52 … shooting 1-for-11 behind the arc didn’t help the cause.

Week 1 for the Green Team

Boston -323

FG: C’s – 117-292, .401
3FG: C’s – 35-105, .333
FT: C’s – 54-79, .684 [32 conversions]
TS%: C’s – .494
OR: C’s – 44 + 7 (team) [minus 0 FT rebounds]
DR: C’s – 98 + 6 (team) [minus 10 FT rebounds]
TO: C’s – 31 + 3 (team)
Poss: C’s – 307 {158 “Empty”}
PPP: C’s – 1.052
CV%: C’s – 149 conversions / 307 possessions, .485
Stripes: C’s – +10 [+5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: C’s – 154 conversions / 307, .493 {expected production, 308 points}

Opponent- 308

FG: Opp – 105-243, .432
3FG: Opp – 32-92, .348
FT: Opp – 66-87, .759 [39 conversions]
TS%: Opp – .547
OR: Opp – 33 + 10 (team) [minus 1 FT rebound]
DR: Opp – 130 + 6 (team) [minus 15 FT rebounds]
TO: Opp – 63 + 3 (team)
Poss: Opp – 305 {161 “Empty”}
PPP: Opp – 1.010
CV%: Opp – 144 conversions / 305 possessions, .472
Stripes: Opp – +11 [+5.5 conversions]
Adjusted CV%: Opp – 149.5 conversions / 305 possessions, .490 {expected production, 299 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

Abacus Revelation for the Road

It’s been a while since the TV spots have run, but I kinda miss the “Let’s Run the Whole Thing Back” Energy Drink ad campaign – You say Incredible, I say Inevitable!

The notion was a clever take-off on an old Ella Fitzgerald-Louis Armstrong duet, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” – You say To-MAY-to, I say To-MAH-to!

Perhaps my nostalgic longing came from seeing too much NBA in-game, so-called entertainment this past week courtesy of the League Pass Free-per-View. The crème de la crème arrived yesterday from Oklahoma City where they had a Freddy Mercury look-a-like conducting a Queen singalong during a Time-out. (And in OKC, oughtn’t they be regaling Gene Autry or Merle Haggard?)

As Red once said:

I’ll tell you another thing I don’t like today: Cheerleaders … They don’t contribute anything … And I don’t like cheerleading organists, either. I’d much rather have high school tumblers and gymnasts doing routines for the crowd’s enjoyment. And I love that double-dutch jump-roping kids are doing now. Of all the entertainments you see at basketball games today, that’s my favorite.