We’re in an age where we can find just about any NBA statistic we want. It’s pushed my curiosity, at some points, to ridiculous levels, hoping to find stats that reveal the smallest of edges one team could have on another.
Most of what I’ve always wanted to know is already out there, somewhere, or at least being researched at this very moment, probably. There are two I’ve yet to see though, one being useful (and really, it probably does exist) and the other ridiculous. Enjoy, hopefully:
Baseline inbound efficiency
21 months ago, TrueHoop looked at the efficiency of teams looking to score off a rebound or score in crunch time versus running a play out of a timeout.
But the ball can’t be advanced to where it’s below the opposition’s hoop. Unique opportunities arise in these situations, often originated by tipped passes or rebounds. There’s a possible a look at the corner three where Ray Allen can get a shot while coming off a screen, a chance to get a post up on the block where Kevin Love could go to work, or a chance for Andre Miller to do some magic like throw a lob to Kenneth Faried. Or, you know, the ball could be aired out near half-court to a point guard ready to set up the half-court offense.
And just how good a team is at defending inbound plays would be nice to know. Like I said in the previous paragraph, there are a lot of ways to attack off an inbound pass. Making the offense pass to a player waiting near half-court would be considered a successful defensive stand.
The importance of team rebounds would also come into play. It seems like calls deciding who tipped a rebound last are argued just as much if not more than blocking and charging fouls.
Like I said earlier, this stat probably exists somewhere, yet it continues to be hidden from my lazy eyes.
Arena music efficiency
I’d like to think players are so locked in that any noise not coming from a player, coach, or whistle is ignored, but not everyone could possibly be in an uncharacteristic zone like Kevin Garnett and immune to any distraction like the ridiculous arena music San Antonio plays. How is the Tony Parker and Tim Duncan two-man game so effective with ZZ Top playing? What about when my local Timberwolves used to run their offense to S&M by Rihanna? No wonder they were so awful from three-point range, or so I think.
One day a statistic — or maybe even just interviews across the league — will confirm or deny my suspicions that some arena music is too loud or out of place for players to ignore. Until then, it wouldn’t surprise me if a player ever blamed a poor performance on unusual in-game beats. I might roll my eyes because it’s a lame excuse, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming. Talk to most people who exercise or play sports and I’m sure they’ll say music helps get them revved up. I know I would get a better workout, for example, when I have late ’80s-early ’90s Metallica blasting from my earbuds than any kind of country music.
This post was edited at 11-21-13 at 6:11 p.m. after realizing I uploaded a different draft than I intended. Nice!