Monday, December 6, 2010

Miami Heat Check: The Best Week Of The Season


Last week was the most wonderful time of year for the Miami Heat. How do I know? The stats tell me so...

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:


You know it was a good week for the Heat when...
  • They're toughest game was against the Washington Wizards playing without John Wall. In Miami's first game of the week, the Wizards produced an estimated 0.088 wins. The flabbiest player in the NBA, Andray Blatche, outplayed Chris Bosh and led the Wizards with 0.286 EWP48. Gilbert Arenas, the stupidest gunslinger in the NBA, had a very good game with 0.204 EWP48. Only two of the other eight Wizards that played made a positive contribution to the game.

  • Dwyane Wade plays his most productive game of the season. Wade went off against the Wizards with 0.730 EWP48 and an estimated 0.5 wins produced for his best game of the season.


    Not only was it Wade's best game, it was also the most productive game by any Heat player this season.


    Of course, it helped Wade to play against Nick Young at shooting guard, who had the seventh-lowest estimated wins produced (EWP) of any Heat opponent with -0.186.


    The spreadsheet below contains the Wins Produced analysis of the box score for the game against the Wizards. You can also view it at 
    Google Docs (click on the spreadsheet labeled WIZARDS-112910).


You know it was a good week for the Heat when...
  • They play one of their three best games of the season. The Heat produced an estimated 1.283 wins against the Pistons. In the preview for that game, I wrote that I was worried about Detroit exploiting potential weaknesses in matchups with the Heat at shooting guard, small forward and center. Well, the only matchup the Pistons were able to exploit was at center. Ben Wallace (0.298 EWP48) and Greg Monroe (0.181 EWP48) were their most productive players. Tracy McGrady was the only other Piston that played above average but he was limited to seven minutes of playing time.

    The figure below lists the most productive games for the Heat this season.

  • They won a game without any of the Three Kings being one of the three most productive players on the court. The three most productive Heat players against the Pistons were Mario Chalmers (0.619 EWP48), James Jones (0.329 EWP48) and Eddie House (0.544 EWP48). LeBron James, Wade and Bosh were still very productive and combined to produce an estimated 0.412 wins in 87.3 minutes (0.227 EWP48), but the Chalmers, Jones and House combo was even better with an estimated 0.676 wins produced in 67.4 minutes (0.481 EWP48).

    The spreadsheet below contains the Wins Produced analysis of the box score for the game against the Pistons. You can also view it at Google Docs (click on the spreadsheet labeled PISTONS-111910).


    You know it was a good week for the Heat when...
    • They played one of their five best games of the season on the end of a back-to-back. Less than 24 hours after beating the Pistons, the Heat produced an estimated 1.248 wins against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the most hostile environment they'll probably play in during the regular season. It was obvious the Heat wanted to win this game for LeBron James. Despite having the benefit of 24 hours rest, the Cavs starters were dominated by Miami's starters and outproduced by an estimated 1.351 wins. The only Cleveland starter whose productivity even surpassed zero was Anderson Varejao.
    • LeBron James played his best game of the season. By now, everyone has heard about LeBron's dominant performance against the Cavs and there's not much I can add. All the praise he's received for that performance was well-deserved. The figure below lists LeBron's top five performances for Miami this season.


      The spreadsheet below contains the Wins Produced analysis of the box score for the game against the Cavaliers. You can also view it at Google Docs (click on the spreadsheet labeled @CAVS-120210).


    You know it was a good week for the Heat when...
    • Wade and LeBron each had a top five performance on the same night. Wade had his second-most productive game of the season against the Atlanta Hawks while LeBron followed up his great performance against Cleveland with his fifth-best game of the season. They combined to produce 73 percent of Miami's total estimate for wins produced against the Hawks.
    • They only played two below average quarters all week.Horford, Mike Bibby, Jason Collins and Josh Powell were the only Hawks whose production rose above zero for the entire game. The only other below average quarter for the Heat last week was the fourth quarter in Cleveland.

      The spreadsheet below contains the Wins Produced analysis of the box score for the game against the Hawks. You can also view it at Google Docs (click on the spreadsheet labeled HAWKS-120410).


    The Heat needed this kind of start to the month of December because it's going to be a tough month. They're scheduled to play 16 games in 29 nights with 10 of those games on the road. 

    The Heat begin a four-game road trip tonight in Milwaukee. Let's see if they can continue to make this month the most wonderful time of the year after a disappointing start to the season.

    You can find all of the updated stats for Estimated Wins Produced by Miami Heat players on the Heat Produced page.

    Unless referenced otherwise, original game data used for this post was taken from popcornmachine.netespn.com and nba.com.

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