FanPost

Blazer Team Stats Grades, One-Sixth of Way Thru Season

We are one-sixth of the way thru the season. After fourteen games in the 2013-2014 season, the Blazers have reeled off ten straight victories, and are 12-2. They are clearly the most surprising team in the league, when compared with pre-season expectations. Only one team in the East – Indiana – and one team in the West – San Antonio – have better records. The Blazers have the best road record in the league, and have the fourth best record against .500 and above teams. How have they accomplished this? What are they really good at? What are they really bad at?

Let’s give grades for where they stand among the 30 NBA teams. Each grade represents 20% of the teams in the league. For example, if the Blazers rank 15th in the league, they receive a C grade. An A+ shows the top 10% of the league (top three teams), and an F- shows the bottom 10% of the league (bottom three teams). An A++ is the top team in the league, and an F—is the worst team in the league. These are areas where the Blazers stand out the most, either great or terrible. The grading scale is as follows:

A++ Top in league

A+ Top 3

A 4-6

B 7-12

C 13-18

D 19-24

F 25-27

F- Bottom 3

F-- Bottom in league

Wins and losses:

A+ Overall record

A++ Road record

A Record against .500 and above teams

Offense:

B Points per game

A+ Points per possession (Offensive efficiency)

A++ Three point percentage

C Two point percentage

B Free throw percentage

B Effective field goal percentage (EFG%)

B True shooting percentage (TS%)

A+ Percent of points from 3P

F Percent of points from 2P

C Percent of points from FT

B Three point attempts per game

F- Points in paint per game

D Free throws attempted per game

B Fast break points per game

B Fast break efficiency

B Assists per game

B Assists per field goal made

B Turnovers per game

B Turnovers per offensive possession

B Assist to turnover ratio

A Offensive rebounding percentage

We have a highly efficient offense focused on 3-point shooting accuracy and grabbing offensive rebounds. We take care of the ball pretty well. The tradeoffs are that we are poor in points in the paint and in getting to the free throw line.

Defense:

B Opponent points per game

B Opponent points per possession (Defensive efficiency)

A++ Opponent three point percentage

C Opponent two point percentage

D Opponent free throw percentage

B Opponent effective field goal percentage (EFG%)

B Opponent true shooting percentage (TS%)

A++ Opponent percent of points from 3P

F-- Opponent percent of points from 2P

F Opponent percent of points from FT

A++ Opponent three point attempts per game

F-- Opponent points in paint per game

B Opponent free throws attempted per game

F Opponent fast break points per game

D Opponent fast break efficiency

A+ Opponent assists per game

A++ Opponent assists per field goal made

F- Opponent turnovers per game

F- Opponent turnovers per offensive possession

B Opponent assist to turnover ratio

D Opponent offensive rebounding percentage

F- Steals per game

D Blocks per game

On defense, we are focused on stopping 3-point scoring, and doing a fantastic job of it. We are first in the league in preventing 3-point attempts, and tops in the league in the making opponents miss on these three pointer. We also are outstanding at preventing opponents’ assists, and lead the league in preventing assists per field goal made.

The tradeoff is that our opponents score lots of 2-pointers, being near the bottom on the league in allowing points in the paint and fast break points. In addition, we don’t force turnovers, create steals, and block shots, and we let our opponents grab a high percentage of offensive rebounds.

The key to interpreting this is the three point shot. League-wide, as of a week ago, shooters are hitting 35.1% of their three pointers. Since a 3-pointer is worth 1.5 times a 2-pointer, the EFG% of a three point shot is 52.65%. Compare this to the 47.85% FG% for 2-pointers. Each 3-pointer has a 10% edge over a two pointer in the likelihood of scoring a point. So as a strategy, it makes sense to focus your offense on taking threes and on forcing your opponent to take fewer threes.

The "We shoot the three and get lots of assists and offensive rebounds" offense and the "We don’t let you shoot threes or get many assists, while giving up points in the paint and defensive rebounds" approach seems to be working work well for the Blazers in today’s three-pointer-centric NBA.

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