Thursday, May 24, 2012

HEAT Produced: LeBron James' Domination of the Indiana Pacers

LeBron James is playing at a Finals MVP level against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, according to the latest update of the HEAT Produced Playoff Stats.

All the stats for estimated wins produced (est.WP) in the playoffs are now available on the HEAT Produced Page.

Estimated wins produced and Win Score are stats created by sports economist David Berri using data available in the box scores. An average player produces 0.100 est. wins per 48 minutes (est.WP48), star players produce 0.200 est.WP48 and superstars produce 0.300 est.WP48. See the HEAT Produced Page for more info.

Most Productive HEAT Player in Eastern Conference Semis
LeBron has produced an estimated 59% of the HEAT's playoff wins against the Pacers. He's producing 0.428 est.WP48 from the following stats (per 48 minutes): 35 points, 52% shooting efficiency, 13.6 rebounds, 6.9 assists, 3 steals and 0.9 blocks. His Win Score for the series is 14.9 per 48 minutes (WS48).

Dwyane Wade produced 0.414 est.WP48 in the first four games of the 2011 NBA Finals before Brian Cardinal injured him by playing like a hockey goon. Wade produced a 15.6 Win Score in those games and was the clear-cut Finals MVP before he got hurt. 

LeBron is playing at that same level against the Children of a Lesser God in the Pacers' frontcourt. He's been the most productive player in every game of the series except Game 3 when Mario Chalmers outplayed him with 0.3 est. wins produced and 0.339 est.WP48. LeBron bounced back and murdered the Pacers on their own shit in Game 4 with 40 points, 18 rebounds and 9 assists. 

Of course, the question is whether or not LeBron will play at that level in the NBA Finals. He's played 208 minutes in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. That's 30 more minutes than Danny Granger (most minutes played for the Pacers) and 20 more minutes than Wade (second-most minutes played for the HEAT).

Least Productive HEAT Player in Eastern Conference Semis
Shaved Monkey Nuts aka Shane Battier is the least productive player in Coach Erik Spoelstra's rotation this series. He's only producing -0.031 est.WP48 but ranks fifth on the team in minutes played. His production is below average in every category of the box score except free throw shooting, steals, turnovers and blocks.

The spreadsheet below lists the estimated wins produced for all HEAT players in the series.

Most Productive Pacer in Eastern Conference Semis
Paul George has been the most productive Pacer in the series with 0.9 estimated wins produced and 0.279 est.WP48 from 15 points, 43% shooting efficiency, 8.6 rebounds, 3.7 steals, 4 assists, 1.2 blocks, 2.5 turnovers and 4.6 fouls per 48 minutes.

Least Productive Pacers in Eastern Conference Semis
George is the only productive wing player for the Pacers in the series. The least productive Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semis are Dahntay Jones (-0.275 est.WP48), Leandro Barbosa (-0.115 est.WP48), Lance Stephenson (-1.467 est.WP48) and Danny Granger (-0.024 est.WP48). Those wing players produced -0.8 wins in the first five games.

The spreadsheet below lists the estimated wins produced for all Pacers in the series.

The HEAT could be okay with Udonis Haslem suspended for Game 6. UD was dominant in Game 4 and Game 5 with 0.4 estimated wins produced and 0.479 est.WP48, but the HEAT won Game 1 with UD being the least productive HEAT player on the floor.

Chalmers and Mike Miller will need to be as productive in his absence as they were in Game 1 if the HEAT want to avoid a predictable Game 7.

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