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:
While posting the update, I was listening to The B.S. Report: 12/29: "Bill Simmons and J.A. Adande discuss whether it's time to panic about the Lakers, the emergence of Blake Griffin and more from the NBA."
There were some interesting points made in the podcast that were not only relevant to the Heat-Lakers game, but the Heat-Knicks matchup last night, too.
- Despite all the talk that the Lakers didn't try to win their Christmas game against the Heat, Adande admits that Phil Jackson went after the win by playing Kobe 40 minutes. I'm glad someone from ESPN finally told the truth about that game.
- Of course, Adande then takes a shot at LeBron by saying his performance against the Lakers was disappointing because he didn't come out hell-bent on destroying the Lakers. The truth is that LeBron had his most productive game of the season against the Lakers with an estimated 0.745 WP48 and 0.593 wins produced. LeBron produced an estimated 0.667 WP48 and 0.417 wins produced against the Cavaliers. I give Simmons credit for defending LeBron's performance. I give Adande credit for reinforcing the notion that Kobe fans are delusional, misguided souls.
- Simmons says the Heat made the Lakers look old and slow.
This is an important point. While everyone was focusing on the Heat's weakness in the middle they missed the fact that the NBA changed over night. The last three titles were decided by size. Those days are over. The NBA is about speed now.
The only established team that noticed it before the season began was Gregg Popovich and the Spurs (oddly enough, they were the only team to congratulate the Heat on their off-season transactions). The Magic caught on after their slow start and I believe that's why they made the trade for Jason Richardson, Hedo Turkoglu and Gilbert Arenas.
The Heat have speed in spades. You cannot run with the Heat and that's why these games against the Knicks were important.
The Celtics have struggled against the Knicks this year. They've won two games by a total of just six points. The Knicks are improved, but they shouldn't be good enough to play the Celtics to a -6 point differential after two games. The Knicks did to the Celtics what the Heat did to the Lakers - they made them look old and slow.
Imagine what the new Heat running game will do to the Celtics. I believe they will make them look old and slow when they play them on February 13th.
OK - now back to the Knicks. If this game wasn't over at halftime, it was definitely over after three quarters. The Knicks only produced an estimated -0.250 wins after two quarters. After three quarters, the Knicks' production increased to an estimated -0.216 wins produced while the Heat had produced an estimated 0.810 wins.
An estimated advantage of 1.026 wins produced after three quarters makes the fourth quarter "extended garbage time" as Marv Albert would say. No matter how close the final score looked, the Heat produced an estimated 0.946 wins to an estimated 0.054 wins produced by the Knicks.
One other note on this game I'd like to make is Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Andres Alvarez has been posting about Perfect Wins Produced Games on the Nerd Numbers blog and last night Big Z had one of those type of games. His estimated WP48 was 1.250! He only played 14.2 minutes in the game but it was still enough to be the most productive Heat player on the floor. It was his best game of the season so far.
Wait, one last note - Chris Bosh outplayed Amare Stoudemire again. Much like the game itself, don't get fooled by the scoring totals. Bosh was much more efficient shooting the ball and had a better overall game.
The spreadsheet below contains the Wins Produced analysis of the box score for the game against the Knicks. You can also view it at Google Docs (click on the spreadsheet labeled KNICKS-122810).