The Miami Heat won Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals 92-84 with two things: D-Fence and D-Wade.
The Heat defense held the Dallas Mavericks 13.2 points below their season average for offensive efficiency (i.e. points scored per possession) and Dwyane Wade scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half to put the Heat up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Let’s take a look at the Wins Produced stats for Game 1 for details of how the game was won.
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 (Est.WP48), a star player produces +0.200 Est.WP48 and a superstar produces +0.300 Est.WP48. More information on these stats can be found at the following links:
Simple Models of Player Performance
Wins Produced vs. Win Score
What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say
Introducing PAWSmin — and a Defense of Box Score Statistics
Game One Notes:
This spreadsheet lists the Wins Produced stats estimated from the box score for Game 1 of the 2011 NBA Finals.
- The Mavs outplayed the Heat in the first quarter but they only built a one-point lead after outscoring them by 11.1 points per 100 possessions in a display of bad offense. The Mavs offensive efficiency in the first quarter was 86 points per 100 possessions and the Heat offensive efficiency was just 74.9 points per 100 possessions.
- Chris Bosh was the most productive Heat player in the first quarter with an estimated 0.113 wins produced in 8.6 minutes (0.633 est.WP48). It was his best quarter of the game as his performance declined every quarter after that. Bosh finished with an estimated 0.036 wins produced in 39 minutes (0.044 est.WP48) from 19 points on 18 shots and 12 free throw attempts with nine rebounds.
- The Mavs and Heat played to a 27-27 draw in the second quarter as the offenses came to life. The Heat offensive efficiency in the second quarter was 123.7 and the Mavs offensive efficiency was 121.1 per 100 possessions.
- Mario Chalmers went over the 0.600 mark in the second quarter and kept the Heat in the game with an estimated 0.164 wins produced in 12 minutes (0.655 est.WP48). It was his best quarter of the game. Chalmers was the most productive Heat reserve in the first half with an estimated 0.057 wins produced. He ended the game as the third-most productive reserve with 0.022 wins produced from 12 points on eight shots and four free throw attempts with two turnovers.
- The game was won in the second half with the Heat outscoring the Mavs by nine points on the scoreboard. In terms of efficiency differential, the Heat outscored the Mavs by 25.1 points per 100 possessions in the second half. The Heat got it done on both ends of the floor by scoring 114 points per 100 possessions and only allowing the Mavs to score 88.9 points per 100 possessions.
- Wade took over the second half with an estimated 0.382 wins produced in 18.5 minutes (0.991 est.WP48). The Mavs produced an estimated 0.374 wins for the entire game. In the second half, Wade scored 15 points on nine shots and three free throw attempts with five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and no turnovers.
- After all the concern about Wade’s health going into Game 1, he had his third-best game of the playoffs with an estimated 0.338 wins produced in 38.1 minutes (0.425 est.WP48) from 22 points on 19 shots and five free throw attempts with 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and three turnovers. This spreadsheet lists Wade’s run in the 2011 playoffs.
- LeBron James played the entire second half and was the second most productive Heat player with an estimated 0.189 wins produced (0.378 est.WP48) from 14 points on eight shots and one free throw attempt with six rebounds. Ninety-nine percent of LeBron’s second half production came in the third quarter when he drained three shots from beyond the arc, including a beautiful, stepback three to end the period.
- Lebron was the second most productive player in Game 1 with 0.260 est. wins produced in 45.3 minutes (0.275 est.WP48) from 24 points on 16 shots and two free throw attempts with nine rebounds and 5 assists.
- Wade and LeBron were the only Heat starters that were above average in Game 1. As a result, Mavs starters (0.559 est. wins produced) were more productive than Heat starters (0.530 est. wins produced).
- Shawn Marion was the most productive starter on the Mavs with an estimated 0.161 wins produced from 16 points on 12 shots and five free throw attempts with 10 rebounds and four assists.
- Mike Bibby (-0.059 est. wins produced) and Joel Anthony (-0.045 est. wins produced) were the only starters on either team with subzero production and that gave the Mavs starting lineup the edge.
- As this spreadsheet shows, the Heat starting lineup has been outplayed in six games during the playoffs and their record is 3-3 in those games.
- The Heat bench produced an estimated 0.096 wins and the Mavs bench produced an estimated -0.185 wins. That result is not a surprise since the Heat bench was more productive than the Mavs bench in the regular season.
- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra expanded the rotation from eight players to nine by giving Juwan Howard 7.6 minutes of playing time. Howard produced an estimated 0.081 wins produced in those 7.6 minutes (0.513 est.WP48) from two points on one shot and two free throw attempts with three rebounds (all on the offensive glass).
- Udonis Haslem played the most minutes off the bench but was the least productive player on the Heat. He only produced an estimated -0.074 wins from seven points on eight shots and one free throw attempt with five fouls and two turnovers in 29.6 minutes.
- The Heat bench was able to outplay the Mavs bench because the least productive player in the game was JJ Barea with an estimated -0.177 wins produced from two points on eight shots with two fouls in 18 minutes. Hard to believe one blogger on the Wages of Wins Network thought LeBron would be the only Heat player that could slow him down.
- As illustrated in the Finals preview, the Mavs were expected to win the battle at three positions — PG, PF and C. In Game 1, however, the Heat won the battle at three positions, based on est.WP48 — PG (0.184), SG (0.176) and SF (0.310).
- How did the Heat win the PG match-up? Wade’s fourth quarter (1.274 est.WP48 after he was subbed in for Chalmers at PG with 9:38 left) and Barea’s poor shooting tilted the match-up in the Heat’s favor. Jason Kidd produced an estimated 0.129 wins in 36.4 minutes (0.170 est.WP48) from nine points on eight shots with four rebounds, six assists and three turnovers.
- Haslem’s poor shooting efficiency (38%) and Bosh’s bad second half (-0.393 est.WP48 in 20.5 minutes at C) resulted in the Mavs winning the PF and C match-ups.
Game Two Thoughts:
Two quick thoughts for Game 2...
- I think Bosh got good looks in Game 1 and if he gets those same opportunities in Game 2, then the Heat have a good chance to outplay the Mavs at four positions as long as Wade continues to get some burn at PG.
- Wade and LeBron only combined for seven free throw attempts in Game 1. They're averaging a combined 17 free throw attempts in the playoffs. If they get back to the line in Game 2, then it could be a blowout.
Unless referenced otherwise, original game data used for this post was taken from popcornmachine.net and nba.com.