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Early statistical comparison between last season and this one

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Carl Herrera, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    I decided to take a look at how this season's team stacks up statistically against last years. Word of caution: It's VERY early, so the rankings change quite a bit with each good performance and each bad one, but I think the numbers are kind of interesting nevertheless.

    The following is what I found from basketball-reference.com. For the sake of simplicity, because the "norm" (i.e. league average) tend to shift a bit from season to season (due to rule change and many other reasons, the numbers I am using is where the Rockets rank among 30-teams.

    [Edit: hit submit too early. Will Complete in a little bit. Sorry.]
    [Edit: done.]

    1. Simple Rating System ("SRS"): which is sort of like a "Power Ranking," that accounts for point differential and quality of opponents. You can argue about this like the BCS rankings, but thought I'd share anyhow.

    Last Season: 6th
    This Season: 5th

    2. Offensive Rating (i.e. Points Scored Per Possession)

    Last Season: 15th
    This Season: 11th.

    Interestingly, despite the loss of the top 2 scorers, the Rockets are better offensively than they were last season. More on it later.

    3. Defensive Rating

    Last Season: 4th
    This Season: 13th

    Looks like Daryl Morey may be right that the loss of Yao impacts more on the defensive end than on the offensive end.

    4. Offensive 4 Factors (eFG%, Turnover%, OReb%, FTA/FGA)

    eFG%: Last 15, This 6
    TOV%: Last 22, This 19
    OReB% Last 17, This 9
    FTA/FGA: Last 15, This 23

    Going back to the question of how the Rockets managed to improve offensively... it appears, judging from the numbers, that the biggest area of improvemetn is eFG% (shooting from the field adjusted by 3 pt shooting). To break it down further, the team is shooting about the same from the 3 pt line, but is shooting a lot better within the arc. What's going on here? I am guessing (1) not having Rafer Alston and Tracy McGrady (each contributed to low efficiency shooting while they were around) helps, (2) having low efficiency shots replaced by shots taken by guys like Budinger and Landry also helped (3) Yao Ming isn't around, but Landry is scoring quite a bit and even more efficiently than Yao did, (2) having easy fast-break points and perhaps smoother running motion offense increases shooting.

    The team is also better at offensive rebounds. Not sure I am entirely suprised-- Yao's minutes got replaced by other capable offensive rebounders. Also, perhaps having a faster team is allowing them to not worry as much about transition D.

    They are not, however, turning the ball over much less, despite having the most turnover prone player on the team, Yao, out. I guess having guys (like AB and Ariza) trying to create when they are not used to doing so, don't help on that front. They are also getting to the line quite a bit less. I guess that's one thing the team misses from the big guy missing.

    5. Defensive 4 factors

    eFG%: Last 4, This 16
    TOV%: Last 28, This 7
    DReB% Last 4, This 23
    FTA/FGA: Last 2, This 12


    The Rockets' defensive efficiency fell from elite (4th) to barely above average (13th). They are not horrible or anything, but interestingly, how they stop people seems to have completely changed. Where as their strength was not taking stupid gambles, challenge the shots, and finish the possession with rebounds, this year, they've had to essentially "blitz" a lot more. That's probably where the lack of Yao changes everything. They couldn't just sit back and wait for the opponent to take a challenged shot, they have to take more chances, particularly trying to intercept passes that goes into the paint. The aggression seems to take the guys out of rebounding position quite a bit, so last season's elite defensive rebouding rate dipped to below average.

    They also playing worse free throw defense-- no, it's not a joke. Not only did last year's Rockets not allow guys get to the line (2nd in the league for lowest FT frequency), the FT shooters also shot horribly when they get there (1st in the league!). This year, they are about average on guys getting to the line against them, and opponents shot quite well against them (27th in the league). Yao Ming's free throw defense is sorely missed. My theory (which has been stated before) is that Yao's tendency to give up open 18 footers to opponents (whehter opposing bigs, or guard coming off a pick & roll situation) and staying in the paint encourages jump shooting and discourages driving to the lane. People can complain about it, but that philosophy works pretty well (except when the opponet can actually hit those shots exceptionally well). The % differential may have something to do with that, with everyone who would actually take jumpers encouraged to do so, there is a higher % of FTs being given to bigs who are crashing the boards, or receiving passes inside-- and those guys don't shoot FTs (bad depth perception, as leebigez would say. :) ).


    6. Blocked Shots Per Game:

    OK, I don't have quick access to the rankings, but here's the raw number, just for fun:

    Last season: 355 blks in 82 games (4.33 per game)
    This season: 39 blks in 8 games (4.88 per game).

    Didn't someone say the Rockets are going eraser-less? :) The Rockets were not that great a shot blocking team last year anyway, so I guess the bar wasn't set very high... but what's going on seems to be blocks being picked up by random members of the team. Should be interesting to see if this keeps up.
     
    #1 Carl Herrera, Nov 13, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
    3 people like this.
  2. ClutchCityReturns

    ClutchCityReturns Contributing Member

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    It's VERY early in the thread, but I think this number is very interesting nevertheless.

    Thread Outcome: 20% Fail

    EDIT: Revised value for "Thread Outcome".
     
    #2 ClutchCityReturns, Nov 13, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  3. foo82

    foo82 Member

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    I think I know why our offensive rebounds are higher. Last year Yao takes quite a bit of shots. If he does miss, its not likely he will get his own offensive rebound. He often likes to post up which does not leave him in ideal rebounding position.
     
  4. BucMan55

    BucMan55 Contributing Member

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    Our blocks are so high because the strips that Hayes and Co get down the lane sometimes are marked as blocks instead of steals.
     
  5. tshay

    tshay Contributing Member

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    Excellent post. Thanks
     
  6. ParaSolid

    ParaSolid Member

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    Did someone spit in your coffee today?
     
  7. RudyTBag

    RudyTBag Contributing Member
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    I want to take a crap your lawn...
     
  8. Carl Herrera

    Carl Herrera Contributing Member

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    I think CCR is just making fun of the fact that I hit return before actually having posted anything meaningful. See my note in the brackets.
     
  9. ClutchCityReturns

    ClutchCityReturns Contributing Member

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    I don't drink coffee.

    I don't have a lawn.

    This.
     
  10. boomboom

    boomboom I GOT '99 PROBLEMS
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    Shortly after Carl Herrera cast his 'Mystique Of The Morey' spell on this thread, he put on his wizard hat and robe.





    ...
    Interesting and fun way to look at this season. It'll be real interesting for the number crunchers to study how this team performed (after the season) as compared to how they were expected to perform. I'll be looking for this thread after the season ends to see how things panned out. :)
     
  11. choujie

    choujie Member

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    That, combined with opponents attack rim a lot more nowadays, and more possesions due to faster paced game.
     
  12. choujie

    choujie Member

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    I guess the improved eFG% have a lot to do with how many fast breaks we run this season. Our half court offense is a little worse without Yao, but fastbreaks improved so much with the addition of Ariza and Buddinger.
     
  13. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    Some fast break numbers ...

    Rockets are averaging 18 fast break points per game (giving up 13) over the first 8 games of this season. Don't have the full numbers for last year, but just for comparison, over the 8 games after the Alston-Lowry trade last year, we scored 10.5 fast break points and gave up 9.3 per game.

    Also, here's the fast break info for the 06/07 season, for reference:

    Code:
       tm          fb      fb-opp  diff    w-l
     Golden State   20.4    13.4    7.1     42-40
     Phoenix        17.0    10.5    6.5     61-21
     Denver         18.6    14.6    4.0     45-37
     New Jersey     13.3    11.1    2.2     41-41
     Philadelphia   14.0    11.9    2.0     35-47
     Washington     15.3    13.3    2.0     41-41
     Cleveland      12.2    10.7    1.6     50-32
     Chicago        12.3    10.7    1.6     49-33
     Orlando        14.0    13.0    1.0     40-42
     Toronto        12.6    11.7    0.9     47-35
     San Antonio    11.6    10.8    0.8     58-24
     Dallas         13.4    12.7    0.7     67-15
     New Orleans    12.3    11.9    0.4     39-43
     Milwaukee      13.0    12.9    0.1     28-54
     Memphis        14.3    14.6    -0.3    22-60
     Boston         12.0    12.4    -0.4    24-58
     Detroit        10.6    11.2    -0.6    53-29
     New York       9.3     10.1    -0.8    33-49
     Seattle        11.8    12.6    -0.9    31-51
     Indiana        11.7    12.6    -0.9    35-47
     Sacramento     11.6    12.5    -0.9    33-49
     L.A. Clippers  7.9     9.0     -1.1    40-42
     Atlanta        11.8    13.3    -1.5    30-52
     Miami          10.8    12.8    -2.1    44-38
     Houston        7.4     9.6     -2.2    52-30
     L.A. Lakers    9.6     12.2    -2.6    42-40
     Utah           9.4     12.2    -2.8    51-31
     Minnesota      9.0     11.8    -2.8    32-50
     Charlotte      9.6     13.1    -3.5    33-49
     Portland       6.3     13.9    -7.6    32-50
    
    Assuming a similar distribution this year, the Rockets must be amongst the league leaders.
     
  14. TdashDUB

    TdashDUB Contributing Member

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    Very VERY great post, OP!

    I love how dedicated Rox fans are to go through the trouble to scout out these interesting numbers for people who gobble that info up like food for thought (like me) I love understanding what makes this team so great!

    Keep it up and I'm looking forward to seeing how we progress!
     
  15. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    I'm surprised our turnover rate hasn't gone down more. It used to be that the majority of our turnovers were from trying to get the ball inside to Yao. I guess now they come from Brooks driving the paint and not being able to realize that the defenders are looking to cover all the outlet passes. Hopefully as the year goes on we get better at that. The great thing about this team is that we still have tremendous room to improve.
     
  16. shortfuse3

    shortfuse3 Member

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    great post. not a suprise our offense is looking great. we're already a top 10 offensive team whereas with yao we couldnt break the top 10 ever.
     
  17. arif1127

    arif1127 Contributing Member
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    Most of it is due to Trevor Ariza and AB, both of whom are handling the ball a lot more than they have for the majority of their careers. Ariza just doesn't have a very good handle, and AB seems to make at least 4-5 careless passes per game. Those two more than make up for Yao's turnovers.
     
  18. meh

    meh Contributing Member

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    I think the problem with this comparison, besides the obvious small sample size of this year's team, is that last year was a tale of two halves. The first half with Alston and the limping T-Mac, and the second half with Brooks/Lowry and no T-Mac distractions.

    That said, our dropoff in defense seems to be the most glaring aspect. Which really shows how much Yao meant to our historically top defenses.
     
  19. sbyang

    sbyang Member

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    Keep in mind that last year's squad took a long time to gel. Tmac was in and out and ineffective, Artest was trying to fit in and defer, it took them awhile to find their way. This year's team looks pretty cohesive right out of the gate, but I wonder how much better they can get as the season progresses.
     
  20. trugoy

    trugoy Member

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    The rebounding numbers are huge, and even though Yao Ming is an average rebounder I think he has a huge impact on team rebounding.

    I don't even think there is a term for it yet, it should be called "contribution to team rebounding".

    1) Yao is always camped in the lane and he is a pretty good box out guy, so even if he is not a great rebounder, he manages to box out the best rebounder on the opposing team a lot.

    2) Because of Yao's defense, a lot of opposing teams will put a shooting center and try to lure Yao out of the paint, that means that the C is usually out of rebounding position when the shot goes up.

    3) Even if the opposing team gets the offensive board, Yao ends up intimidating them into a tougher putback or to dribble out and reset the possession rather than just going straight up for a put back.
     

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