Deconstructing the Box Score take 1 (and tonight’s Games)

Posted on 04/21/2011 by

15



First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

-Martin Niemöller


And old favorite quote of mine that speaks to a what I believe is one of the key ideals behind what we do here. If I see a wrong, I must do something about it. In this particular case, we are going to talk about the Box Score for the NBA.

Everyone always complains about the Box Score , yet no one does anything about it. I decided to take advantage of the playoffs and do just that.

Here’s my NBA Box Score deconstruction take 1 (of very many).

My guiding principle was to put something together quickly that I could do in real time and would give some real info as to what was really going on in a game.

Remember kids, my tastes are reflected in this (and they may not line up with yours).

I encourage you to comment and make suggestions as the eventual goal is to build an automatic version of this.

Let’s talk about what I put into my modified boxscore.

  • Basic information: Player , Team, Game ID (Who,what and when)
  • Classic Stats:Points ,Shots, Offensive Rebounds, Defensive Rebounds,Steals,Blocks (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)
  • Possesion 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.
  • The Classic Wins Produced stats (explained here) and my own opponent adjusted Wins Produced Stats (explained here). The difference? Classic assumes the opposing player is average. Opponent adjusted goes out and checks by position.

But enough with the lecture, let’s get to the good stuff.

I was going to do just today’s games but where’s the fun in that?

Here’s every game for the playoffs so far.

And tomorrow we start doing it game to game.

As a first bonus, here’s the data as a google doc.

As a bonus, here’s the totals thru two playoff games:

Howard is a beast and dominates Wins Produced Classic and Opponent Adjusted. Kevin Durant dominates offensive point margin generation. Joe Johnson dominates on the defensive side of the point margin battle (small sample size and Gilbert Arenas might just be influencing that one). Overall point margin goes to Ray Allen in a landslide.

He got game so far.

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