Tuesday, April 23, 2013

HEAT Produced: LeBron James and Shaved Monkey Nuts Need to Improve in Game 2

LeBron James dominated the Bucks in Game 1 but there's 1 area he and the Miami HEAT need to improve in Game 2 to ensure the series ends next Sunday.

This article uses the Estimated Wins Produced statistic created by sports economist David Berri. Average players produce 0.100 Estimated Wins per 48 minutes (Est.WP48) because a team of average players form a team with a 0.500 winning percentage. Star players produce +0.200 Est.WP48 and great players produce +0.300 Est.WP48. See the HEAT Produced Page for more information.

Room For Improvement
The HEAT beat the Bucks by 23 points, but the Thunder beat the Rockets by 29. The HEAT and Thunder are on a collision course for the Finals, so Miami isn't just playing against Milwaukee in this series - they're playing against OKC, too.

In his post-game interview, LeBron mentioned 2 areas the HEAT can improve in Game 2: turnovers and 3-point shooting. A look at the box score from Game 1 explains why.

Most Productive HEAT Player in Game 1
LeBron led the HEAT in est. wins produced in Game 1 and was four times more productive than the average player in the game, but there was 1 big flaw in his very efficient performance - 5 turnovers. 

The series preview cited 2 areas the HEAT needed to focus on for a sweep - turnovers and offensive rebounding. The HEAT won the rebounding battle but lost the turnover battle. Three players need to take care of the ball to win the turnover battle - LeBron, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers. They all had 3+ turnovers in Game 1. If the HEAT fix that in Game 2, they'll dominate like the Thunder did.

Least Productive HEAT Player in Game 1
Shaved Monkey Nuts (Shane Battier) was the least productive HEAT player with an estimated -0.1 wins produced with 19% shooting efficiency. Shaved Monkey Nuts' 1-7 3-point shooting suppressed what probably should have been a 30-point blowout if the HEAT had taken care of the ball.

The objective isn't just to beat the Bucks and advance. The objective is to make history. 16-0. It can be done. LeBron likes to talk about the HEAT getting better every game in the regular season. If he, Wade, Chalmers and Shaved Monkey Nuts get better in Game 2 then the HEAT will take 1 more step towards making the history they let slip away in Chicago.

The spreadsheet below lists the wins produced stats estimated from the boxscore in Game 1.

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