Friday, January 28, 2011

Heat Produced: Miami 88, New York 93

The Heat Produced Page has been updated with stats from last night's 88-93 loss to the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.

This was a tough loss for a Heat fan living in the cold heart of New York City.

Three stories came out of this game:
  1. The Heat's fourth quarter collapse was their third-worst quarter of the season.
  2. The Heat reserves turned in their sixth-worst performance of the season and an argument can be made they robbed the starters of a win.
  3. Knicks rookie Landry Fields upstaged Dwyane Wade and took over the game in the fourth quarter.

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 efficiency differential and wins. 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:

Taking a Bite out of the Big Apple Without Killing the Worm
The Heat dominated the Knicks in their two previous games this season with an estimated 1.967 wins produced and an average of 0.197 est. WP48. 

Through three quarters last night, it was the same story. The Heat went into the fourth quarter with an estimated 0.766 wins produced (0.204 est. WP48) and a nine-point lead over the Knicks, who had only managed to produce an estimated 0.093 wins (0.025 est. WP48).

It all went to hell in the fourth quarter. 

The Heat only managed to produce an estimated -0.333 wins while the Knicks produced an estimated 0.474 wins on their way to a comeback win at home. The -0.807 differential in productivity was the third-largest deficit for the Heat in any quarter this season.

The worst player in the fourth quarter was Dwyane Wade who killed the Heat's chances of winning with an estimated -0.206 wins produced (-0.825 est. WP48). The bitter irony is that Wade spent the first three quarters of the game dominating the Knicks (0.612 est. WP48) and providing 47 percent of the Heat's estimated wins produced.

Unfortunately, Wade wasn't alone when it came to stinking up the fourth quarter. James Jones, Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, Mike Miller and Carlos Arroyo combined for an estimated -0.267 wins produced.

The only players that made positive contributions in the fourth quarter were LeBron James with 0.522 est. WP48, 0.109 est. WP and Juwan Howard (who managed to grab a rebound in two minutes playing time). LeBron produced 3-6 shooting, 4-4 free throws,  3 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 foul and 10 points in the fourth quarter but there wasn't enough help for the Heat to pull out the win.

The spreadsheet below contains the Estimated 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-012711).

The juxtaposition of Wade and LeBron in the final quarter was interesting because, over the course of the season, Wade has been the most productive Heat player in the fourth quarter before the Knicks game with an estimated 1.9 wins produced and 0.257 est. WP48. The fourth quarter had been LeBron's worst period with only 1 estimated win produced and 0.155 est. WP48. 

The spreadsheet below lists the fourth quarter production for Heat players this season after the NYK game. To view the full spreadsheet, click HERE.

There was a lot of criticism about the isolation sets run by the Heat offense in the fourth quarter, but how could Coach Erik Spoelstra expect Wade to shoot 0-7 in the final period after shooting 14-15 in the first three? 

Spoelstra said that he considers the high pick-and-rolls with Wade and LeBron to be their home-run play. LeBron was efficient in the fourth quarter with 1.00 points per shot. Even after Wade missed his first three or four shots in the quarter, why would he think that he wouldn't score off their home-run play for the rest of the game?

Yes, the offense was awful in the fourth quarter, but every coach in the NBA would have been more than happy to run a pick-and-roll with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in that fourth quarter. Wade just happened to miss the shots. Maybe he was fatigued or battling migraine symptoms. Either way, I don't have any problem with the ball in the hands of Wade and LeBron when it's money time.

My bigger beef was with the Heat defense that gave up 29 points on 24 possessions in the fourth quarter. That's 18.5 points per 100 possessions higher than their season average. For a team that's supposed to be built around defensive principles, that's what fans should be concerned about. The offense will be fine but Spoelstra has been harping on defensive slippage since 2011 started.

Despite Wade's production going completely Wile E. Coyote in the fourth quarter, the Heat starters still combined to produce an estimated 0.621 wins. That means the Heat bench just needed to provide -0.067 est.WP48 to beat the Knicks last night.

The Heat bench killed the team with -0.106 est.WP48. The only reserve that came off the bench to make a positive contribution was Joel Anthony with 0.092 est. WP48.

Injuries have killed the Heat depth. In the middle of December, the Heat had the second-best bench in the NBA producing 0.090 WP48. With Haslem out until late March and Miller struggling (-0.041 est. WP48 vs. NYK, 0.012 est. WP48 for the season), the bench productivity has been declining all season.

The Heat need healthy starters and a consistent Mike Miller to reverse the recent lack of productivity off the bench. The bench hasn't produced above avg (0.100 Est.WP48) since January 3rd. Four teams have been better than the Heat reserves in the last 9 games.

Stinking Landry Fields
When I found out that Wade had recovered from his migraines and was going to play against the Knicks, I tweeted that the "Destruction of Landry Fields is imminent."

In the previous two games, Wade averaged 0.400 est. WP48 against the Knicks while Fields averaged just -0.083 est. WP48. THAT'S basketball destruction.

And it continued through three quarters in last night's game. Fields managed to produce 0.117 est.WP48, but in the third quarter Wade went 7-7 from the floor to produce an estimated 1.108 wins per 48 minutes for an estimated 0.210 wins and I was feeling REALLY good about that tweet.

Well, LeBron said it best - "Karma's a bitch."

In the fourth quarter, Fields scored eight points with an adjusted shooting percentage of 1.00 and grabbed five rebounds to produce 0.789 est. WP48 and an estimated 0.197 wins to swing the game back in the Knicks' favor.

Should I have known better than to send that tweet? Perhaps. You may have read a few posts on the WoW Network that talked about how good he is as a player.

But I had the numbers on my side! So let's end this post with a spreadsheet of the wins produced stats for the Knicks vs. Heat this season. To view the full spreadsheet, click HERE.

You can find all of the Estimated Wins Produced stats for the Miami Heat this season on the Heat Produced page.

Unless referenced otherwise, original game data used for this post was taken from and

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