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Playoff Preview: #3 Dallas vs. #4 Oklahoma City/#8 Memphis

Posted by Neil Paine on May 14, 2011

Dallas Mavericks

57-25, 2nd in NBA Southwest Division (Schedule and Results)
Coach: Rick Carlisle (57-25)

PTS/G: 100.2 (11th of 30) ▪ Opp PTS/G: 96.0 (10th of 30)
SRS: 4.41 (8th of 30) ▪ Pace: 91.3 (18th of 30)
Off Rtg: 109.7 (8th of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 105.0 (8th of 30)
Expected W-L: 53-29 (8th of 30)

Arena: American Airlines Center ▪ Attendance: 803,968 (6th of 30)

Playoffs:
Won NBA Western Conference Semifinals (4-0) versus Los Angeles Lakers
Won NBA Western Conference First Round (4-2) versus Portland Trail Blazers

Pos Roster G MP poMPG SPM RAPM 4yAPM PER WS/48
PG Jason Kidd 90 2989 33.6 3.99 0.0 1.9 14.7 0.119
SG Jason Terry 92 2887 32.3 1.43 2.8 1.9 16.8 0.116
SF Shawn Marion 90 2562 30.9 -0.21 -2.3 0.8 16.6 0.116
PF Dirk Nowitzki 83 2885 38.1 5.08 7.0 7.8 23.8 0.217
C Tyson Chandler 84 2356 29.7 2.66 3.5 2.6 17.9 0.215
SF Peja Stojakovic 43 860 24.3 0.74 2.0 3.5 15.4 0.136
PG Jose Barea 91 1847 17.8 -1.81 0.4 -1.7 14.8 0.093
C Brendan Haywood 82 1506 17.5 -3.34 -1.2 1.4 11.4 0.101
SG D. Stevenson 82 1286 12.8 -3.21 -0.9 0.4 9.3 0.069
SG Corey Brewer 74 1528 3.6 -0.58 0.0 -0.3 11.1 0.037
PF Brian Cardinal 60 625 1.8 0.57 -0.8 1.1 9.9 0.136
C Ian Mahinmi 58 493 2.5 0.28 0.7 0.0 13.7 0.177

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Playoffs, SRS, Statgeekery, Statistical +/-, Win Shares | Comments Off

Playoff Preview: #1 Chicago vs. #2 Miami

Posted by Neil Paine on May 14, 2011

Chicago Bulls

62-20, 1st in NBA Central Division (Schedule and Results)
Coach: Tom Thibodeau (62-20)

PTS/G: 98.6 (20th of 30) ▪ Opp PTS/G: 91.3 (2nd of 30)
SRS: 6.53 (2nd of 30) ▪ Pace: 90.4 (23rd of 30)
Off Rtg: 108.3 (11th of 30) ▪ Def Rtg: 100.3 (1st of 30)
Expected W-L: 61-21 (1st of 30)

Arena: United Center ▪ Attendance: 893,462 (1st of 30)

Playoffs:
Won NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals (4-2) versus Atlanta Hawks
Won NBA Eastern Conference First Round (4-1) versus Indiana Pacers

Pos Roster G MP poMPG SPM RAPM 4yAPM PER WS/48
PG Derrick Rose 92 3466 40.0 5.67 3.4 1.9 23.9 0.211
SG Keith Bogans 93 1675 19.5 -0.61 0.1 0.2 9.4 0.123
SF Luol Deng 93 3683 43.2 1.81 3.6 3.8 15.6 0.152
PF Carlos Boozer 70 2222 30.9 2.17 0.5 2.2 18.0 0.142
C Joakim Noah 59 1936 32.7 3.72 0.7 2.4 18.8 0.208
SG Kyle Korver 93 1850 18.3 0.49 1.7 2.5 12.8 0.145
PF Taj Gibson 91 1935 17.5 -0.66 1.5 0.8 14.6 0.145
SG Ronnie Brewer 92 1934 13.9 1.29 0.9 0.9 13.6 0.144
C Omer Asik 93 1092 9.4 -1.81 2.9 4.0 11.3 0.125
PG C.J. Watson 93 1190 9.0 -1.07 0.0 1.2 12.3 0.079
C Kurt Thomas 58 1234 9.3 0.48 -0.7 1.0 10.2 0.132
SG Rasual Butler 50 777 2.3 -7.07 -1.4 -1.8 6.4 -0.007

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Posted in Playoffs, SRS, Statgeekery, Statistical +/-, Win Shares | 8 Comments »

BBR Rankings: (Almost) Post-Round 2 Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings

Posted by Neil Paine on May 13, 2011

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on May 12, 2011:

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Posted in BBR Rankings, SRS, Statgeekery | 5 Comments »

Layups: Playoff Matchups by City in Professional Sports

Posted by Neil Paine on May 13, 2011

Awesome post here from SportsDelve.com:

Playoff Matchups by City in Professional Sports << SportsDelve.com

Andrew researched how many times pro sports teams from various cities faced each other in the playoffs (with multi-game series counting as 1 matchup). Los Angeles and Dallas just finished their 15th battle (with L.A. leading 9-6), while relative newcomer Miami spoiled what would have been the 16th Boston-vs-Chicago matchup of all-time (Boston currently leads that series 10-5).

Posted in History, Just For Fun, Layups | 2 Comments »

How 2+ Conference Finalists in 3 Seasons Fared 5 Years Later

Posted by Neil Paine on May 12, 2011

With the Magic, Lakers, and now Celtics being dispatched from the playoffs, I was thinking about whether a down period was necessary for teams that had been at the top for multiple seasons when their run was finally over.

Part of Danny Ainge's rationalization for the Kendrick Perkins-Jeff Green trade was to make the Celtics younger and give the team a solid player in the future. But do (older) mini-dynasties like Boston's ever really have a future? Does a modern NBA team ever successfully rebuild on the fly, or are good years always followed by a transition period of losing? Instead of making any attempt to build a future, should he have just committed to the 2011 team and accepted losing down the road?

Let's go to the data -- every team that went to at least 2 conference finals in 3 years, and their winning percentages in the next 5 years (Y+1, Y+2, ... , Y+5). "Age" is the team's minute-weighted average age in year Y's playoffs. "< .500" and "<.350" are the # of seasons in the next 5 that they posted a a record worse than .500 and .350, respectively. Enjoy:

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Posted in Analysis, Data Dump, History, Playoffs | 7 Comments »

Layups: R.I.P. Robert “Tractor” Traylor

Posted by Neil Paine on May 11, 2011

Sad that in the same week as one of Dirk Nowitzki's greatest professional triumphs, the man who was always linked to him via a draft-day trade -- Robert Traylor -- was found dead in his Puerto Rico apartment today at the age of 34:

"Robert Traylor, the former University of Michigan standout and short-time NBA forward, was found dead in his apartment in Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, according to Traylor's club (via Scott Schroeder). The big man affectionately known as 'Tractor' Traylor due to his size and strength was just 34 years old.

A cause of death and confirmation from Puerto Rican officials are not yet available. [...] Traylor struggled to make an impact at the NBA level, constantly struggling with both his weight and a heart defect that required aortic surgery in 2006."

Aside from a solid rookie season, Traylor's NBA career was nothing to write home about, but here are his career NCAA stats:

Season School Conf G MP FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1995-96 Michigan BG10 22 19.9 3.7 6.7 .554 1.5 2.8 .548 5.9 0.5 0.9 0.7 2.4 3.1 9.0
1996-97 Michigan BG10 35 27.3 5.4 9.8 .556 2.3 5.0 .455 7.7 0.9 1.1 1.0 2.8 3.3 13.1
1997-98 Michigan BG10 34 32.1 6.6 11.4 .579 3.1 4.8 .642 10.1 2.6 1.3 1.4 3.2 3.2 16.2
Career Michigan 91 27.3 5.5 9.6 .566 2.4 4.4 .545 8.2 1.5 1.1 1.1 2.9 3.2 13.3

Following an NIT MVP performance at the end of 1997, in '98 he averaged a double-double on 58% shooting, leading Michigan to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. He also had this backboard-shattering slam:

Rest in peace, big man.

Posted in Layups, Player Audit, YouTube Finds | 1 Comment »

Re-run: Which Games Are the Most Important In a 7-Game Series?

Posted by Neil Paine on May 10, 2011

Since we're in the thick of the playoffs, it seems appropriate to revisit this post from last June regarding the importance of each game in a best-of-7 series:

We can try to quantify [the relative importance of each game] by looking at the potential swings in each team's probability of winning the series based on the outcome of a given game. Let's establish a scenario where two morally .500 teams are playing each other in a 7-game series; the home team in any game has a 60% chance of winning (60% traditionally being the NBA's home-court advantage), and the away team has a 40% chance. At the beginning of a series in the 2-2-1-1-1 format, the team playing Game 1 at home has a 53.2% probability of winning the series (go here for the formulae I used to arrive at these numbers). If that team wins Game 1, their probability of winning the series suddenly increases to 66%, a boost of 12.8%, and if they lose, their probability drops to 34%, a decrease of 19.2%. Since there are only two possible outcomes in any game (win or loss), we can say that the average swing in series win probability for the home team in Game 1 is +/- 16% (12.8% plus 19.2%, divided by 2).

Do this for both teams and every possible situation in a 7-game series, and you can establish which games produce the biggest swings in series win probability:

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Posted in Analysis, Playoffs, Statgeekery | 24 Comments »

Player Personnel Executives

Posted by Justin Kubatko on May 9, 2011

Thanks to assists from Neil Paine and Robert Bradley, late this afternoon I added a new section to the site:

NBA & ABA Executives Directory | Basketball-Reference.com

Only the executives in charge of player personnel decisions (usually the general manager) are listed. In some cases these executives were easy to identify while in others they weren't, so if you have any suggested changes please let me know. Please note that your changes will only be considered if you include appropriate documentation.

I also added executive pages for each franchise. In some cases I was not able to find the exact starting date and/or ending date for an executive, so if you can help fill in the blanks please drop me a line, once again with appropriate documentation.

Finally, you may have noticed some changes to the "Quick Index" (QI) at the top of each page. There were some neat sections of this site that I felt were being buried because there wasn't enough room on the QI, so I added a "more" tab to allow easy access to these areas. Please note that some of the links that used to appear on the QI now fall under this tab.

Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment »

The Dissolution of the NBA Playoffs’ Ruling Class

Posted by Neil Paine on May 9, 2011

From 2008 to 2010, the NBA playoffs clearly had a "ruling class" that consisted of Boston, Orlando, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Combined, those three teams played 26 playoff series, and just once did one of them lose to a team outside of their own small clique:

Year Round Rd# Team Opp W L Winner
2008 EC1 1 BOS ATL 4 3 BOS
2008 WC1 1 LAL DEN 4 0 LAL
2008 EC1 1 ORL TOR 4 1 ORL
2008 ECS 2 BOS CLE 4 3 BOS
2008 WCS 2 LAL UTA 4 2 LAL
2008 ECS 2 ORL DET 1 4 DET
2008 ECF 3 BOS DET 4 2 BOS
2008 WCF 3 LAL SAS 4 1 LAL
2008 FIN 4 BOS LAL 4 2 BOS
2009 EC1 1 BOS CHI 4 3 BOS
2009 WC1 1 LAL UTA 4 1 LAL
2009 EC1 1 ORL PHI 4 2 ORL
2009 WCS 2 LAL HOU 4 3 LAL
2009 ECS 2 ORL BOS 4 3 ORL
2009 WCF 3 LAL DEN 4 2 LAL
2009 ECF 3 ORL CLE 4 2 ORL
2009 FIN 4 LAL ORL 4 1 LAL
2010 EC1 1 BOS MIA 4 1 BOS
2010 WC1 1 LAL OKC 4 2 LAL
2010 EC1 1 ORL CHA 4 0 ORL
2010 ECS 2 BOS CLE 4 2 BOS
2010 WCS 2 LAL UTA 4 0 LAL
2010 ECS 2 ORL ATL 4 0 ORL
2010 ECF 3 BOS ORL 4 2 BOS
2010 WCF 3 LAL PHO 4 2 LAL
2010 FIN 4 LAL BOS 4 3 LAL

Over that 3-year span, the Lakers-Celtics-Magic triad went 20-1 in series against non-ruling class teams, and as a result the road to the NBA title always went through one of the three teams. The rest of the league was largely irrelevant when it came to determining the championship.

Until this year, that is. For the first time since 2007, a ruling-class team failed to register at least 1 series win in a playoff season, as the Magic fell to the Atlanta Hawks in a 1st-round upset. Yesterday, the Lakers saw their season end against a non-ruling class team for the first time since 2007, losing in embarrassing fashion against the Dallas Mavericks. And the Celtics, for all of Kevin Garnett & Rajon Rondo's heroics in Game 3, still trail Miami's superteam 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

It's tough to make any sweeping statements on the basis of a few week's worth of games, but the 2011 playoffs seem to indicate a major changing of the NBA guard. After having their way with the league's proletariat for three seasons, the once-mighty ruling class now finds itself on the wrong end of a radical upheaval.

Posted in Analysis, History, Playoffs, Trivia | 30 Comments »

Basketball StatHead: May 6, 2011

Posted by Neil Paine on May 6, 2011

Basketball StatHead: May 6, 2011

Today at StatHead (with a little catch-up from yesterday), check out more research on the psychology of the Hot Hand, how Orlando's high-variance style cost them, and the best college coaches of the past 5 years, among other links.

Posted in Layups, StatHead | 2 Comments »

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