“Search for the truth is the noblest occupation of man; its publication is a duty.” -Madame de Stael
Pretty sure I forgot something while I was doing all my picks for round #2…
Oh! I forgot to wrap up round 1 of the playoffs!
That’s the Best Players for round 1 in the playoffs as a word cloud. There is a clear mvp for Round #1 and It’s a surprising member of everyone’s favorite up and coming team (that is to everyone who does not read this blog).
Mr. Harden continues to improve in the playoffs for the second straight year. Every time I remember that the Perkins trade was originally for Harden, as a Celtics fan, I wanna punch a wall. Remember kids, Here’s the top seasons for guards 22 and under ranked by win shares per 48. Harden only trails CP3. Yeah.
Let’s get to the boxscores and recaps.
A few quick notes before we go:
- We are using New Wins Produced numbers. I am manually compiling them for the playoffs and Nerd Numbers is compiling them for the season and playoffs. There will be some drift but it’s good enough for horseshoes,hand grenades and tactical nuclear weapons.
- The Boxscore contains:
- Basic information: Player , Team, Game ID (Who,what and when)
- Classic Stats:Points ,Shots, Offensive Rebounds, Defensive Rebounds,Steals,Blocks, Assists (Because the classics are classics for a reason).
- Simple spins on classics: % of Team Minutes (player minutes as % of total minutes available), Position (average player position)
- Posession and Play stats:Offensive Plays : Field Goal attempts + .434 Free Throw Attempts + Turnovers, Usage of Offensive Plays : % of Offensive plays used by player when in the game
- All the classic Offensive Efficiency stats (and some slightly modded ones):Effective Field Goal %=(FG + 0.5 * 3P) / FGA,True Shooting %=Pts / (2 * (FGA + 0.44 * FTA), Points per Shot = Pts/FGA, Points per Offensive Play= Pts/Offensive Plays
- Do it Yourself Offensive Point Margin Stats:Offensive Point Margin: this is the marginal value created by the player per offensive play spent. The calculation is: OPM = (Points per Play for Player- Avg Points per play for Player for League)*Offensive Plays for Player.Defensive Point Margin: this is the marginal value surrendered by the player per offensive play spent. The calculation is:DPM = (Points per Play for Opponent- Avg Points per play for Player for League)*Offensive Plays for Opponent. I’m doing this one by position averages per game.Combined Margin: this is just OPM-DPM
- Rebounding Rates: % of Rebounds on Offense, % of Rebounds on Defense.
- Points over Par. This is our points version of Wins Produced that tell you the direct effect of a player’s production on the games point margin.
Here’s every missing game for round 1 in a poster.
Quick recaps and lessons learned before I get to the bonus part of the broadcast.
The Magic where who we thought they were and so were the D12-less Magic. Indiana won the series and even though Bosh is out Indiana will lose to the Heat.
Why? Well, the Heat are still better and nobody ever wins their first time around. Indiana will get their feet wet and their heart broken (see Memphis Grizzlies, OKC thunder). It’s the next few years that matter.
Memphis beat the Spurs last year because when they ran the game thru the post they were the better team and one of the best teams in the league. Memphis got healthy and completely lost the plot. Last year they were forced into a winning strategy because of the Rudy Gay injury. This year they went away from it because they had a full complement of players. Their halfcourt offense in the 4th quarter of this series was an atrocity where no balls where being shot from inside of 15 feet.
Memphis can be a great team if they understand how to use what they have.
As for the Clippers, people may use Vinnie del Negro as the butt of jokes but he did the two things that matter in basketball coaching. He played the right guys (Hello Reggie Evans!) and he either got the ball to the right guys for high value offensive possesions or he got the hell out of Chris Paul’s way while he did it. Kudos to Vinnie for a job well done.
The Clippers get the most out of their roster. Sadly they have holes that San Antonio will now proceed to destroy.
The Bulls could not survive that much adversity. By the end of the series, they were about eight points a game worse. The Sixers were also fully healthy for the first time since they were rolling thru the league early in the season.
Don’t look now but the Sixers should not be any higher than 6 to 1 to make the finals.
If the Horford injury doesn’t happen and the rest of the season unfolds the same way, Atlanta contends for the #1 seed in the east and we are now looking at the Hawks as a likely finals team. The Hawks team that showed up at the end of that series with Horford at maybe 75% was a scary,scary proposition. If they come back as is next year, they’ll be very good.
The Celtics may have a fully healthy KG for the first time since 2009. This could change everything. I hope to god that’s the case and will be monitoring it closely.
I will in all probability write a full post on this series outcome. In brief, The Nuggets proved to be the better team. If we replayed this multiple times, they and not the lakers would be expected to win the slim majority of the time.
The truth of this will be borne out by the result of the next round I think.
Before I go, I did promise a bonus: