Friday, October 7, 2011

HEAT Check: Best Seasons in Miami History By the Numbers

A review of the best seasons in Miami Heat history by the numbers reveals the 2011 Heat were the best.

Bleacher Report columnist John Friel ranked the 2006 title team as the best in Heat franchise history using his own subjective criteria in this article: Miami Heat: Ranking the 5 Best Single Seasons in Team History | Bleacher Report.

Using objective criteria like the Wins Produced statistic, however, reveals that the best team by the numbers was last season's edition featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Wins Produced is a statistical model created by sports economist David Berri from the Wages of Wins Journal, to measure how much a player's box score statistics contributed to his team's efficiency differential (points scored per possession minus points allowed per possession), which is the best predictor of wins. The stats used in this article are powered by NerdNumbers. More information on Wins Produced can be found at the following links:

What Wins Produced Says and What It Does Not Say
Calculating Wins Produced
Frequently Asked Questions

The 2006 Heat won the title but in the regular season they only outscored teams by 4.2 points per 100 possessions and just won 52 games. Wade led that team with 17.6 wins produced.

The 2011 Heat outscored teams by 8.2 points per 100 possessions and won 58 games in the regular season.  LeBron led that team with 22.8 wins produced.

The 1997 Heat won the most games in franchise history but only outscored teams by 6.2 points per 100 possessions for their 61 wins. Tim Hardaway led that team with 13 wins produced.

The 2004 Heat ranked fifth by Friel only ranked 11th in wins produced and just outscored teams by 0.5 points per 100 possessions for 42 wins. Lamar Odom led that team with 12.6 wins produced.

The 2005 Heat ranked fourth by Friel was actually the second-best in franchise history and outscored opponents by 7.1 points per 100 possessions for 59 wins in the regular season. Shaquille O'Neal led that team with 14.7 wins produced.

This spreadsheet lists the wins produced for each Heat team in franchise history and the most productive player from each season.

The efficiency differential for each team was calculated using data from

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