Monday, December 1, 2008

Heat 130, Warriors 129 (OT)

I just finished watching this heartbreaking (for Warriors fans) game, a very exciting game (unless you're a fan of defense), and had a few very quick thoughts:

1) Jamal Crawford is to getting fouled while shooting three pointers as Mickael Pietrus is to accidentally stepping out of bounds as he makes a move.

2) New Named BoxScore: The Corey Maggette. A Corey Maggette is when a player scores 25 or more points on 12 or fewer shot attempts. Charles Barkley was an early practitioner of the Maggette. With a very different style but similar boxscore results, Reggie Miller and Kevin Martin have also shown an ability to put up Maggettes. Maggette himself came close to scoring a Maggette tonight, with 29 points on 15 shot attempts. On that note, Dwyane Wade was 3 turnovers away from scoring a D-Wade Triple Double (points, assists, turnovers).

3) Watching Wade got me kind of curious about how often he goes left vs. going right, so I did a quick calculation. Did you know that so far this year, Wade takes 35% of his shot attempts from the left side of the court, vs. just 9% from the right side? (He also takes 14% from the middle of the court and 42% from way inside, right at the hoop).

4) The Heat won this game with offensive rebounding. They retrieved a whopping 45.7% of their missed shots, which is completely unacceptable for the Warriors to allow. It's impossible to stop an NBA team from scoring when they're getting a second chance attempt after every other miss. Shawn Marion and Udonis Haslem led the way for the Heat, combining for 13 offensive boards between the two of them. So while it looks bad that the Warriors' starting guards combined for just 1 defensive rebound in almost 100 combined minutes of playing time (which is, in fact, pretty bad), I place some of the blame for the rebounding fiasco on Brandan Wright and Ronny Turiaf, who not only combined for just 4 defensive rebounds in 49 minutes, but also failed to box out Haslem at key moments (Maggette often boxed out Marion only to find him jumping over his head to grab a rebound -- this was just a mismatch as opposed to a lack of effort on Maggette's part). Turiaf in particular was so focused on blocking shots that he jumped himself out of rebounding position on several occasions (he did have 5 blocked shots in just 18 minutes, though). Part of the reason that Turiaf and Wright (who also had 2 blocks in 31 minutes) were forced out of rebounding position, though, is because of how easily Dwyane Wade was getting into the paint (Wade had 37 points and 13 assists, and also had 3 of his shots blocked in the paint) -- and that is on Stephen Jackson. 

5) Watching the parade of Warriors' free throw attempts (they took 52 free throws in the game), I got to thinking of the value of Corey Maggette. Last year, the Warriors were 25th in the league in free throw line scoring, averaging 20.8 made free throws for every 100 field goal attempts. So far this year, they are 9th in the league, at 25.8. Meanwhile, the Clippers were 5th in the league last year at 26.4, and this year they are 26th in the league at just 19.6 made free throws per 100 field goal attempts. Players like Maggette, Paul Pierce, and Dwyane Wade help everyone on their team get free points. For instance, last year Stephen Jackson scored 26 points from the free throw line for every 100 shot attempts he took, Andris Biedrins was at 21, and Kelenna Azubuike was at 17. This year, Jackson's at 29, Biedrins is at 28, and Azubuike is at 24. Some of this increase has to be attributed to Maggette getting opposing teams into the penalty early in quarters. His style doesn't make for the prettiest or smoothest of games, but it does lead to a lot of points. (Stats from KnickerBlogger).

6) Jamal Crawford is the bizarro-O.J. Mayo. He ended up having a nice-looking scoring night, but almost every single one of his shots looked like a bad decision until it went in. Earlier this season, I mentioned that Mayo had a really good-looking 5 for 20 shooting night. Tonight, Crawford had a bad-looking 11 for 22 (and this is something Crawford has done throughout his career). 

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