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Getting to the Line (02/09)

February 9, 2011
The Shootaround
News, Notes, Boxes and more

by Bradford Doolittle

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HEADLINER

The NBA announced its lineup for the Three-Point Contest yesterday: Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Daniel Gibson, James Jones, Paul Pierce, Dorell Wright. How they'd do? As Kevin Pelton points out, the list leaves off the league's top two in three-point percentage, Shawne Williams and Matt Bonner. Durant, in terms of accuracy, would really have no business in the contest if it were a serious affair. Which of course it's not--it's just a gimmick and Durant's presence gives the event a little cachet.

Kevin suggested an alternative way to look at three-point shooting that gives us a good idea of whether or not a player's rate of accuracy is "real". The suggestion is that the league did well to leave off Williams because of the likelihood that his league-leading percentage is a fluke and thus subject to a nasty regression. To a lesser extent this is also true of Bonner.

It seems to me that the NBA seems to be taking this into account in its selection, the Durant pick notwithstanding, by rewarding those who have demonstrated both accuracy and prolificness. However, even in this aim the league's selections fall short. What they really are attempting is to take a selection of the most accurate shooters among those who take a lot of threes. If you set the bar at 150 attempts to date (an arbitrary figure, but one that represents roughly three attempts per game right now) you end up with 79 candidates. All you really need to do is to take the six most accurate of those shooters.

Player            3P  3PA   3P%
Ray Allen        115  249  .462
Arron Afflalo     83  185  .449
Chauncey Billups  96  216  .444
Mike Bibby       102  232  .440
Kevin Love        72  164  .439
Daniel Gibson     79  180  .439

So Allen and Gibson still get in. Most of the other candidates are close. Jones is ninth, Wright is 15th and Pierce is 20th. Durant limps in at 57th. It would have been nice to invite Afflalo, who is a very good role player that deserves a little more recognition. Billups would probably just as soon rest up his knees, which would open up a spot for seventh-place Anthony Morrow. It's a better lineup, and who wouldn't love to see Love in the three-point shootout? Anyway, none of this means anything in a real basketball sense. It's just an exhibition and a gimmicky one at that, though not nearly so much as the dunk contest. And count me among those who would love to see H-O-R-S-E become a regular fixture of the weekend, but that's a different topic.

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LIVE AT BASKETBALL PROSPECTUS

Getting to the Line: Derrick Rose's Development (by Kevin Pelton): A conspicuous lack of free throw attempts had held back Derrick Rose's game, but improving in this regard has helped fuel his breakthrough over the last two months. (free)

Poll Position: Carolina is Back (by John Gasaway): Just in time for tonight's showdown at Duke, the Tar Heels are suddenly looking much more Tar Heel-like. In his feature for ESPN Insider, John explains what's changed in Chapel Hill.

On the Beat: Adjustment for Gibson (by John Perrotto): In Cleveland Daniel Gibson is negotiating the transition from how the Cavaliers used to be to the way they are now.

Tuesday Truths: Post-NFL Edition (by John Gasaway): North Carolina and Alabama are rising, Washington and Michigan State are falling, and Wyoming's changing horses mid-stream. Time to pay attention to the sport where Green Bay's 6-6 in the Horizon League. (free)

The Clipboard: Nets' Morrow Adds to His Arsenal (by Sebastian Pruiti): Improvement in his mid-range game has made New Jersey's Anthony Morrow a more complete offensive player. (premium)

Dubious History: Cleveland's Streak Reaches 25 (by Kevin Pelton) The Cleveland Cavaliers battled the Dallas Mavericks to the final buzzer on Monday, but the result was still their 25th consecutive loss, setting a new NBA record. Are the Cavaliers as bad as their streak? (premium)

Revising Expectations: The America East (by Asher Fusco) In the preseason Asher, not to mention the league's coaches, picked Stony Brook to finish near the top of the America East. Now the Seawolves are 4-7. So who's really going to win this league, and can they do anything in March? (free)

BOGANS: Simple Individual Won-Lost Records (by Bradford Doolittle) Hand-wringing over Bulls guard Keith Bogans leads us to an alternative use of plus-minus figures. (premium)

The List: Tar Heels Rising (by John Perrotto): On the strength of a 7-1 start to ACC play, a North Carolina team that struggled in non-conference play makes one of the biggest leaps in Basketball Prospectus' rankings this week. (premium)

Trend Watch: Augustin, Suns D, Rookie Challenge (by Kevin Pelton): This week's Trend Watch looks at D.J. Augustin blossoming since Charlotte's coaching change, the Suns becoming defensive-minded with Marcin Gortat's emergence and the rookie and sophomore classes through recent years. (premium)

Follow Unfiltered, the Basketball Prospectus blog.

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FANTASY PROJECTIONS

Our downloadable Basketball Fantasy Projection spreadsheets are available for anyone with a premium subscription to Basketball Prospectus. The sheet is updated weekly and can be found on your 'Manage Profile' page. The download includes a forecast for the seven days, Monday through Sunday, for every player, game-by-game projections, health status updates and current team rotations. (Current projections reflect week of Feb. 7-13.)

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HOOPS CHATS

Basketball Prospectus authors take your questions from time to time in always-popular chat format. All chats begin at 1 p.m. EST on the day listed, but you can go in and submit a question beforehand if you like, or read the transcript after the fact.

Feb. 3: Kevin Pelton (TRANSCRIPT)

Jan. 28: Bradford Doolittle (TRANSCRIPT)

Jan. 14: John Gasaway (TRANSCRIPT)

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HOT FIVES

POWER RATING (POW)       GR (02/08/11)       WP82 -- ALL          WP82 -- ROOKIES
San Antonio Spurs, 64.8  randolph,zach, 48.9 james,lebron, 36.9   griffin,blake, 19.5
Boston Celtics, 58.2     james,lebron, 44.6  paul,chris, 31.5     wall,john, 5.1
Miami Heat, 57.8         martin,kevin, 30.8  rose,derrick, 27.5   fields,landry, 5.1
Dallas Mavericks, 55.5   bynum,will, 29.9    williams,deron, 26.3 neal,gary, 4.8
Los Angeles Lakers, 54.4 hibbert,roy, 29.5   gasol,pau, 26.0      turner,evan, 3.7
Note: GR leaders are from previous night only.

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LEADERBOARD

TEAM AGE, WEIGHTED BY MINUTES
TEAM, AGE                          TEAM, AGE
 1. Dallas Mavericks, 32.0         16. Milwaukee Bucks, 27.3
 2. Los Angeles Lakers, 31.0       17. Chicago Bulls, 27.3
 3. Phoenix Suns, 30.5             18. New Orleans Hornets, 27.2
 4. Boston Celtics, 30.5           19. Indiana Pacers, 27.1
 5. San Antonio Spurs, 29.8        20. Washington Wizards, 26.1
 6. Miami Heat, 29.7               21. Golden State Warriors, 26.0
 7. Detroit Pistons, 28.4          22. New Jersey Nets, 25.6
 8. Denver Nuggets, 28.4           23. Sacramento Kings, 25.5
 9. Atlanta Hawks, 28.3            24. Philadelphia 76ers, 25.5
10. Orlando Magic, 28.2            25. Memphis Grizzlies, 25.4
11. Utah Jazz, 28.1                26. New York Knicks, 25.3
12. Charlotte Bobcats, 28.0        27. Los Angeles Clippers, 25.2
13. Cleveland Cavaliers, 27.9      28. Toronto Raptors, 25.2
14. Houston Rockets, 27.8          29. Minnesota Timberwolves, 24.6
15. Portland Trail Blazers, 27.5   30. Oklahoma City Thunder, 24.2

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TUESDAY'S RESULTS

NOTE: Glossary is at bottom of page.

76ERS 117, HAWKS 83 (box): Lou Williams led all scorers with 20 points, leading the Sixers to a stunning win on the Hawks' home floor and in his home city of Atlanta.

PHI (24-27).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   ATL (33-19).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
meeks,jodie..........76%  16%  1.49  +27 25.7   crawford,jordan......42%  40%  0.72  - 8 23.3
holiday,jrue.........59%  17%  1.30  +26 18.4   smith,josh...........63%  26%  1.10  -27 15.6
turner,evan..........67%   9%  2.18  +20 18.2   williams,marvin......60%  18%  1.00  -23 11.7
williams,lou.........51%  31%  1.24  +18 13.6   wilkins,damien.......49%  22%  0.99  -22  9.3
iguodala,andre.......60%  17%  1.53  +20 13.3   teague,jeff..........43%  20%  1.17  - 9  8.5
brand,elton..........61%  18%  1.41  +25 11.8   evans,maurice........53%   7%  1.84  - 7  6.1
young,thaddeus.......48%  36%  0.94  +18  9.6   bibby,mike...........45%   9%  1.15  -17  5.0
speights,marreese....12%  33%  1.19  + 4  6.5   crawford,jamal.......46%  21%  0.60  -18  4.9
hawes,spencer........24%  15%  1.20  + 8  6.2   johnson,joe..........46%  27%  0.35  -22  3.6
songaila,darius......19%  19%  1.15  + 2  3.4   pachulia,zaza........23%  10%  0.63  -10  1.5
nocioni,andres.......23%  16%  0.00  + 2  0.0   powell,josh..........29%   8%  0.17  - 7  0.3
battie,tony..........(DNP)                      collins,jason........(DNP)  
PACE: 92.4          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 92.4          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
76ers............  126.6 .563  .250 .108 .162   Hawks............   89.8 .424  .208 .162 .071

---

MAGIC 101, CLIPPERS 85 (box): Orlando went 5-of-8 from three-point range in a 35-20 fourth quarter that saved what would have been another troubling defeat.

LAC (19-32).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   ORL (34-19).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
davis,baron..........72%  27%  1.64  +11 26.2   howard,dwight........78%  27%  1.19  +30 27.5
diogu,ike............46%  25%  1.30  - 3 24.0   anderson,ryan........55%  28%  0.94  + 9 15.9
griffin,blake........74%  21%  0.79  - 6 12.6   redick,j.j...........55%  13%  1.89  +13 15.3
foye,randy...........72%  22%  0.57  -24 10.5   turkoglu,hedo........78%   8%  1.74  +15 12.3
aminu,alfarouq.......47%  21%  1.08  -12  7.2   richardson,jason.....59%  21%  0.97  + 3 11.9
gomes,ryan...........58%  19%  0.39  -12  5.7   arenas,gilbert.......45%  23%  1.26  +11 11.9
bledsoe,eric.........50%  13%  0.96  -17  5.3   clark,earl...........45%  22%  0.98  + 7 10.8
jordan,deandre.......54%   5%  1.18  -13  3.1   nelson,jameer........60%  20%  1.50  + 6  8.4
cook,brian...........22%  21%  0.62  - 2  2.4   duhon,chris.......... 4%  21%  2.19    0  1.1
butler,rasual........ 6%  17%  0.00  - 2  0.0   allen,malik..........22%  10%  0.08  -14  0.1
gordon,eric..........(DNP)                      bass,brandon.........(DNP)  
kaman,chris..........(DNP)                      richardson,quentin...(DNP)  
PACE: 87.7          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 87.7          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
Clippers.........   97.0 .424  .238 .114 .110   Magic............  115.2 .494  .386 .171 .171

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SPURS 100, PISTONS 89 (box): The Pistons have been pretty competitive lately, but were no match for the Spurs' machine-like offense, which got 10-of-18 three-point shooting and 24 assists on 37 field goals.

SAS (43-8)..........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   DET (19-33).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
ginobili,manu........64%  20%  1.37  + 5 24.9   bynum,will...........49%  35%  1.10  - 1 29.9
parker,tony..........74%  22%  1.22  +12 18.8   prince,tayshaun......62%  29%  0.79  -15 16.8
duncan,tim...........58%  26%  0.75  + 8 15.8   monroe,greg..........76%  14%  1.58  -13 12.0
blair,dejuan.........61%  30%  1.02  - 5 11.9   mcgrady,tracy........51%  23%  0.85  -10 10.4
bonner,matt..........28%  22%  1.89  + 6 10.5   stuckey,rodney.......58%  27%  0.69  - 1  9.8
jefferson,richard....74%  11%  1.46  + 8 10.4   daye,austin..........59%  12%  1.51    0  8.1
mcdyess,antonio......45%  13%  1.42  + 9  8.8   gordon,ben...........49%  30%  0.47  - 8  7.7
neal,gary............24%  17%  1.40  - 1  6.6   villanueva,charlie...26%  10%  1.79    0  4.4
hill,george..........67%   9%  1.29  +10  5.0   wallace,ben..........47%   0% 11.17  - 9  2.7
novak,steve.......... 2%  71%  3.04  + 1  2.8   maxiell,jason........23%   2%  3.04  + 2  1.9
quinn,chris.......... 2%  74%  0.65  + 1  0.6   hamilton,richard.....(DNP)  
splitter,tiago....... 2%  74%  0.25  + 1  0.3   wilcox,chris.........(DNP)  
PACE: 85.9          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 85.9          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
Spurs............  116.4 .600  .235 .116 .113   Pistons..........  103.6 .452  .196 .175 .097

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HEAT 117, PACERS 112 (box): The Pacers continue their resurgence, though a 27-15 Miami advantage in the fourth quarter and LeBron James' 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists thwarted Indiana's upset bid at American Airlines Arena.

IND (21-28).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   MIA (38-14).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
hibbert,roy..........64%  29%  1.01  - 7 29.5   james,lebron.........87%  36%  1.38  +18 44.6
hansbrough,tyler.....49%  18%  1.48  - 4 20.8   wade,dwyane..........84%  24%  0.91  - 2 28.0
collison,darren......75%  24%  1.10  - 9 13.4   chalmers,mario.......62%  19%  1.38  + 4 13.6
granger,danny........79%  18%  1.30  -14 13.4   bosh,chris...........84%  20%  1.00  - 2 12.0
mcroberts,josh.......51%  13%  1.67  - 1 13.3   dampier,erick........54%   3%  3.43  +14  9.9
jones,dahntay........42%  21%  1.12  + 4 10.5   jones,james..........23%  29%  1.17  + 3  9.1
price,a.j............25%  22%  0.99  + 4  8.4   miller,mike..........47%  13%  1.30  +12  6.1
george,paul..........46%  24%  0.67  -14  5.0   house,eddie..........14%  12%  1.12  - 9  1.6
dunleavy jr.,mike....33%  10%  0.81  +12  3.9   anthony,joel.........13%   7%  0.45  - 5  0.3
foster,jeff..........36%   6%  1.37  + 4  2.1   ilgauskas,zydrunas...33%   1%  1.24  - 8  0.3
posey,james..........(DNP)                      arroyo,carlos........(DNP)  
rush,brandon.........(DNP)                      howard,juwan.........(DNP)  
PACE: 93.2          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 93.2          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
Pacers...........  120.2 .552  .297 .107 .094   Heat.............  125.6 .578  .278 .161 .132

---

BUCKS 92, RAPTORS 74 (box): John Salmons led the Bucks with 17 points in his return to the starting lineup, but needed 18 shots to get there, apropos for a less-than-aesthetic contest.

TOR (14-38).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   MIL (20-30).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
bargnani,andrea......76%  34%  0.76  -10 16.0   maggette,corey.......58%  26%  1.02  +13 20.7
derozan,demar........82%  14%  1.53  -18 14.7   jennings,brandon.....56%  27%  0.89  +14 15.8
johnson,amir.........52%  17%  0.88  -16 13.0   delfino,carlos.......46%  26%  0.88  + 5 14.3
calderon,jose........69%  31%  0.55  -20 12.9   bogut,andrew.........63%  15%  1.71  +13 13.6
barbosa,leandro......52%  22%  0.76  - 4  9.7   salmons,john.........73%  28%  0.86  +19 13.1
weems,sonny..........54%  17%  0.68  -21  5.8   dooling,keyon........44%  17%  1.06  + 4  9.6
johnson,trey.........22%  21%  1.18  + 3  4.8   ilyasova,ersan.......71%   6%  1.69  +18  7.7
davis,ed.............54%   1%  2.82  - 9  3.5   mbahamoute,luc.......60%  17%  1.15  + 6  6.8
dorsey,joey..........13%  21%  1.42  - 2  2.7   brockman,jon......... 6%  15%  2.22  - 1  1.8
wright,julian........22%   2%  1.25  + 6  0.6   temple,garrett.......13%  13%  0.93    0  1.0
alabi,soloman........ 6%  18%  0.34  + 1  0.3   douglas-roberts,chris11%  10%  0.00  - 1  0.0
ajinca,alexis........(DNP)                      boykins,earl.........(DNP)  
PACE: 88.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 88.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
Raptors..........   84.0 .360  .240 .114 .065   Bucks............  104.4 .476  .273 .170 .100

---

GRIZZLIES 105, THUNDER 101 (box): The Grizzlies look like a team that is going to stay in the playoff chase for awhile, beating OKC on the road in overtime behind 31 points and 14 rebounds from Zach Randolph.

MEM (28-26).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   OKC (33-18).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
randolph,zach........88%  26%  1.31  +14 48.9   durant,kevin.........82%  31%  1.14  -10 26.7
allen,tony...........76%  21%  1.44  +24 15.7   westbrook,russell....66%  38%  0.95  -11 23.0
young,sam............85%  15%  1.06  +12 12.9   harden,james.........44%  25%  1.05  + 5 17.4
conley,mike..........67%  24%  0.85  + 9 12.7   ibaka,serge..........60%  13%  0.95  + 9 11.3
gasol,marc...........84%  12%  1.10  +14 12.5   krstic,nenad.........53%   9%  1.58  -13  9.2
vasquez,greivis......33%  16%  1.03  - 5  4.4   maynor,eric..........34%  19%  1.23  + 7  7.6
arthur,darrell.......25%  42%  0.21  -16  2.9   green,jeff...........83%  16%  0.58  - 3  5.4
thabeet,hasheem...... 3%  28%  0.28  - 4  0.4   sefolosha,thabo......28%  10%  2.14  - 9  3.8
carroll,demarre......17%   5%  0.03  -11  0.0   collison,nick........48%   3%  1.51  + 5  1.7
henry,xavier.........23%  11%  0.01  -17  0.0   cook,daequan.........(DNP)  
haddadi,hamed........(DNP)                      ivey,royal...........(DNP)  
williams,jason.......(DNP)                      white,d.j............(DNP)  
PACE: 95.2          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 95.2          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
Grizzlies........  110.3 .469  .130 .105 .180   Thunder..........  106.1 .453  .375 .158 .148

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TIMBERWOLVES 112, ROCKETS 108 (box): The Rockets' up-and-down season continues as Minnesota outrebounded Houston 51-31, led by Kevin Love's 38th straight double-double.

MIN (13-39).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR   HOU (25-29).........PLY%  USG   PCP  +/-   GR
telfair,sebastian....35%  29%  1.36  + 5 20.8   martin,kevin.........66%  31%  0.96  + 2 30.8
love,kevin...........75%  24%  1.28  - 1 19.7   scola,luis...........78%  23%  1.20  + 2 23.0
johnson,wesley.......59%  16%  1.47  + 5 17.0   hayes,chuck..........75%  12%  1.57  + 2 16.0
flynn,jonny..........65%  27%  0.95  - 1 15.8   lee,courtney.........60%  26%  1.26  - 9 15.4
ellington,wayne......52%  20%  1.72  +10 11.6   lowry,kyle...........69%  18%  1.17  + 1 11.8
koufos,kosta.........39%  20%  0.95  + 8 11.0   battier,shane........77%   6%  2.05  - 3  7.7
brewer,corey.........58%  22%  0.53  - 9  6.9   budinger,chase.......18%  26%  0.61  - 2  3.5
hayward,lazar........31%  13%  0.98  + 2  5.3   brooks,aaron.........42%  23%  0.47  - 9  3.5
pekovic,nikola.......40%  14%  1.11  - 7  4.9   miller,brad..........16%  22%  0.62  - 4  1.8
tolliver,anthony.....46%   3%  3.42  + 8  4.8   hill,jordan..........(DNP)  
beasley,michael......(DNP)                      patterson,patrick....(DNP)  
milicic,darko........(DNP)                      smith,ishmael........(DNP)  
PACE: 95.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%   PACE: 95.1          ORTG eFG%  oRB%  TO% FTA%
Timberwolves.....  117.8 .557  .405 .105 .083   Rockets..........  113.6 .489  .200 .158 .106

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NEWS & MOVES

Minutiae from press releases around the league

Sorry, no new press releases since yesterday.

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LINK-IN

Featuring your work.

Click to share a link to your basketball-related work.

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ON TAP

Tonight in the NBA

WTC  VIS @ HOM,  GAMETIME     NBAPET LINE    OFFICIALS
+11  orl @ phi,  7:00 PM EST [ orl by  2 ]   R.Garretson, C.Blair, L.Wood
+ 7  chi @ uta,  9:00 PM EST [ chi by  4 ]   D.Bavetta, B.Forte, J.Goble
+ 5  den @ gsw, 10:30 PM EST [ den by  1 ]   M.McCutchen, P.Fraher, J.Tiven
+ 2  cha @ ind,  7:00 PM EST [ ind by  6 ]   M.Callahan, D.Richardson, S.Wright
  0  lac @ nyk,  7:30 PM EST [ nyk by  9 ]   J.Phillips, T.Brown, T.Washington
- 2  dal @ sac, 10:00 PM EST [ dal by  6 ]   M.Davis, D.Guthrie, M.Lindsay
- 4  nwo @ njn,  7:00 PM EST [ nwo by  6 ]   J.Crawford, O.Poole, L.Richardson
- 6  sas @ tor,  7:00 PM EST [ sas by 12 ]   S.Javie, K.Fitzgerald, Z.Zarba
- 7  mil @ was,  7:00 PM EST [ mil by  1 ]   D.Crawford, M.Smith, J.Williams
-16  det @ cle,  7:00 PM EST [ det by  3 ]   E.Malloy, M.Boland, V.Palmer
Note: WTC is a junk stat rating the "watchability" of a game, taking into
account the quality of the opponents and the likelihood of a close game.

Through Tuesday, 770 of 1,230 games (62.6 percent) have been played in the 2010-11 NBA regular season.

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GLOSSARY
+/- (Plus-Minus) Raw data is from official box scores from NBA.com.
GR (Game Rating) Reflects a player's Points Created total, or the portion of his team's offense for which he gets credit based on his box score line. This number is then adjusted for estimated defensive performance based on box score counterpart productivity. GR is pace-adjusted so you can compare players from game to game.
PCP (Points Created Per Possession Used) An estimate of each player's points created per possession used, a measure of offensive efficiency. The stat accounts for a player's entire box score line, not just the scoring categories.
PLY% (Play percentage) An estimate of the percentage of a team's possessions on which the player was on the court.
USG An estimate of how many of those plays a player used by shooting, going to the line or committing a turnover, with a portion the team's offensive rebound total subtracted.
TEAM STATS
PACE: Estimated possessions in the game.
ORTG: A team's points per 100 possessions.
eFG%: Team's shooting percentage with an extra half-point added for each made three-point field goal.
oRB%: Percentage of a team's misses that they retrieved off the offensive glass.
TO%: Percentage of a team's possessions resulting in a turnover.
FTA%: Percentage of a team's possessions resulting in a trip to the foul line.

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TWITTER DIRECTORY
Bradford Doolittle
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