Thru the Looking Glass

Posted on 04/06/2011 by


“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”
— Lewis Carroll (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass)

We will be talking about rebounding again today.

Yes,I know,I know.

What can I tell you? My muse she is merciless.

Let’s start with some followup on some of the salient points from yesterday’s post.

Possessions = Field Goal Attempts +.44* Free Throw Attempts + Turnovers

That was cool but confusing. For the sake of peace love and understanding, let’s adopt something a little more universal.

Not that kind of Universal

Possesions= Field Goal Attempts +.44* Free Throw Attempts + Turnovers -Offensive rebounds

Plays = Field Goal Attempts +.44* Free Throw Attempts + Turnovers = Possesions + Offensive rebounds


So I was looking at :

  • How good each team is at getting the ball in the hoop on the offensive end (My version of the O-rating let’s call it the Offensive success rate)
  • How good each team is at keeping the ball out the hoop on the defensive end (My version of the O-rating let’s call it the Defensive success rate
  • How good each team is at getting the ball back after a shot and not giving it back after the opponent shoots. In essence, I want to know how many extra possessions each team generates or gives up. Well call this one the Rebounding Edge.

In essence I want to know how good each team is at scoring, defense and rebounding and to make it independent of each other.

I thought The first two were fine. The third needs just a touch more work.

Let’s do the work.

The offensive and defensive rating work because I can quickly calculate the number of opportunities (plays) and the end results (points scored or allowed). For rebounding, I know the end results but the opportunities are a little trickier. This is what math is for:

Rebounding Opportunities = FG missed + .44 * FT missed

There wasn’t that simple? This has the advantage of giving me a good approximation of team rebounds which the NBA does not keep good track of. Now all I have to do is figure out the % of the available rebounds each team gets on offense, defense and in total.

Let’s start with offense:

Paging all the Kevin Love haters. Hate to tell you folks but Kevin Love clearly shows up on the offensive glass. Sacramento,LA, Portland and Chicago round out that top 5.  My own team the Celtics are last (and this by all means passes the sight test, damn it all to hell).

Let’s box it out on the D:

And Mr. soon to be MVP runner-up, Dwight Howard shows up on the defensive glass. Chicago shows up on this end as well (so much for diminishing returns 🙂 ). New Orleans, Charlotte and Denver round out that top 5.

Now we put it all together with a twist. I’m working out the total % of available boards grabbed but I’m also working out and adjusted average assuming the rebounding opportunities were the same on both ends of the court:

Chicago, Sacramento, Minnesota, Orlando and Portland rule the glass. What they do with that advantage is a different story (Chicago, Orlando and Portland have made bank, Minnesota and Sacramento? not so much).

What about the players?

We can hit that point tomorrow.

No allusions here 🙂

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