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Home-court Advantage Breaking Fast: NBA 2021 Trends after two weeks


Tuesday the 5th marked the 14th “playing date” of the NBA’s fan-less 2020-21 season, 105 “basketball battles” with but one postponement to date.

Collectively, the NBA labor-force has produced these per-game “numbers” on the heels of an off-season unique as both its briefest (less than three months, for some) and its lengthiest (in excess of nine months, for others) – last season’s average statistical performance through the hiatus is offered for comparison.

FG … 40.6 – 88.5 (.459)      …      [2019-20: 40.8 – 88.8 (.460)]
3FG … 12.7 – 34.9 (.364. 3PAr .394)      …      [2019-20: 12.1 – 33.9 (.357, 3PAr .382)]
FT … 17.4 – 22.8      …      [2019-20: 17.7 – 22.9]
Reb (Off-Tot) … 9.8 – 45.2 (OR% .215)      …      [2019-20: 10.1 – 44.9 (OR% .226)]
TO’s … 15.3 (TO% .134)      …      [2019-20: 14.5 (TO% .128)]
Pace of Play … 101.9 possessions      …      [2019-20: 100.9 possessions]


Was Dorothy Wrong?

During the NBA’s 971 pre-COVID games last season, Home teams went 535 – 436 (.551) … and in the true spirit of a “make-or-miss league,” the team connecting on more 3FG’s went 562 – 340 (.623), with 69 games even in three-balls.

In today’s “quarantined” NBA, Home teams stand just 49 – 56 (.467) … though superiority in total treys is winning about seven of every 10 games, 70 – 31 – 4 (.693).

Equally predictive of victory thus far has been Fast Break Points, as the team with more FB scoring has posted a slate of 62 – 34 – 9 (.646). [Unfortunately, I don’t have this breakdown for prior seasons.]

About Fast Breaks – during the season’s first seven playing days (54 games) NBA players were successful on 586 of their 969 shots (.605) attempted under FB conditions – an average of 5.4 – 9.0 per game.

In their first four games, Boston shot a nifty 20-for-31 (.645, No. 9 in the league) on the Break – but allowed 32-for-44 (.727, No. 27), and were outscored by 6.5 FB points per game (No. 29).

During the next four, Brad’s boys shot an even niftier 26-for-33 (.788, No. 3), allowing 18-for-27 (.667, No. 21) opponent FB accuracy … but outscored the “bad guys” by 4.25 points per game (No. 5).

Whodathunk?

The unusual circumstance of this season’s schedule seems not to have had an impact on the competitiveness of the individual games. Over half (55 out of 105 games) have been decided by 10 points or fewer while only 20 contests produced a final spread of more than 20 points.

… To alleviate the burden of travel, MLB-like two-game series have been introduced to the NBA schedule, 11 so far. Six series have seen the teams split the pair of games; the Homeboys have swept twice while the Out-of-Towners own three sweeps. {Additionally, last week the Nuggets swept a home-and-home series from Minnesota.)

… Through two weeks and eight games, the Boston Celtics own the NBA’s fourth-best Offensive Rebounding Percentage (.257).

 

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