This article will use Win Score and Estimated Wins Produced, statistical models created by Professor David Berri from the Wages of Wins Journal, to measure how much a player's box score statistics contributed to their team's performance. An average player produces an estimated 0.100 wins per 48 minutes (EWP48), a star player produces 0.200+ EWP48 and a superstar produces 0.300+ EWP48. More information on these stats can be found at the following links:
Basketball-reference.com gives the Heat an 88 percent chance to beat the 76ers tonight. Based on the Wages of Wins Network's formula for determining a team's probability of winning a single game (which uses Wins Produced), the Heat have a 82.1 percent chance of beating the 76ers.
Here's a breakdown of the numbers used to determine the Heat's probability of winning:
- Miami Heat (8-7)
- Average Wins Produced Per 48 Minutes: 0.134 (see the Heat Produced page)
- Average Possessions Per Game: 91.4 (see basketball-reference.com)
- Days Rest: One (last game was 95-104 loss at Orlando on 11/24/10)
- Location: American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL (low altitude)
- Philadephia 76ers (3-12)
- Average Wins Produced Per 48 Minutes: 0.072 (according to the Wins Produced Viewer)
- Average Possessions Per Game: 94.2
- Days Rest: One (last game was 90-106 loss at Toronto on 11/24/10)
Based on their recent play, I don't expect this to be an easy game for the Heat. The last time they played, Miami played its worst period of the season in the fourth quarter and allowed the 76ers to cut a 26-point lead at the end of the third quarter to just 10 points by the end of the game.
Elton Brand is coming off a one-game suspension for leveling JaVale McGee and will give Bosh all he can handle if he's still struggling with back spasms. In their last match-up, Brand attacked Bosh relentlessly and was very productive with 0.394 EWP48 compared to Bosh's 0.211 EWP48 (see the recap HERE).
Another area of concern is Dwyane Wade. Wade was superhuman in Philadelphia with 0.505 EWP48 but has struggled in his last three games with just -0.217 EWP48.
If Wade continues to struggle, it could result in another shooting guard lighting up the Heat like Brandon Rush (0.355 EWP48) and J.J. Redick (0.258 EWP48) did in the last two games. Evan Turner was able to produce 0.302 EWP48 in the last game against Miami when Wade was healthy, so it will not be pretty if Wade can't get his game back together tonight.
Another big area of concern is LeBron James. He was the least productive player for the Heat in the last game against the 76ers with -0.113 EWP48. If Andre Iguodala can slow down LeBron again, then it could be a repeat of the Pacers game all over again at American Airlines Arena.
The last area of concern is the bench. James Jones was big off the bench in Philadelphia with 0.326 EWP48 and Thaddeus Young was big off the bench for the 76ers with 0.394 EWP48. Both players were the second-most productive for their teams in that game.
The difference entering this game is that Jones is coming off a three-game stretch that's just as bad Wade's with an average of -0.207 EWP48 against the Grizzlies, Pacers and Magic. Young was able to exploit his quickness advantage against Haslem and will probably be guarded by an even slower Juwan Howard in this game.
If the Three Kings don't come to play and get a good effort from the bench, then this could be the perfect storm for the 76ers to extend the Heat losing streak to four games. I'm hoping everything goes right for Miami.
Predicted Score: Heat 102, 76ers 91