Tuesday, May 7, 2013

HEAT Produced: 1 MVP Was Not Enough to Win Game 1 vs. Chicago Bulls

LeBron James said he couldn't have won his 4th MVP without his 14 teammates and the Miami HEAT coaching staff. Turns out he couldn't win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals without them, either.

This article uses the Estimated Wins Produced statistic created by sports economist David Berri. Average players increase a team's chance of winning 10% by producing 0.100 Estimated Wins per 48 minutes (Est.WP48) because an average NBA team produces a 0.500 winning percentage. See the HEAT Produced Page for more information.

HEAT Production
LeBron was the most productive player in Game 1 vs. the Chicago Bulls. He increased the HEAT's chances of winning the game 27% by producing 0.292 est.WP48 from 24 points with 50% shooting efficiency, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, only 2 turnovers, 2 steals and 1 block. The problem for LeBron is that he only dominated the 2nd half instead of dominating the game. He actually decreased the HEAT's chances of winning by 4% with his production in the 1st half: 1-6 shooting, 0 free throw attempts. LeBron didn't take his first shot until there were 5 minutes left in the 1st quarter.

As bad as LeBron was in the 1st half, that wasn't his biggest problem. His biggest problem was that he got absolutely no support from his teammates. The other HEAT starters combined to only increase the team's chances of winning by 7% - that's a third of what average NBA teammates would have produced. The bench was even worse. The HEAT reserves only increased the team's chances of winning by 1% - that's 33 times worse than the average production of an NBA player.

Norris Cole was the only HEAT player that provided average production. Cole increased the HEAT's chances of winning 4% by producing 0.116 est.WP48 from 7 points on 4 shots in 18 minutes.

Shaved Monkey Nuts (Shane Battier) was the least productive HEAT player. He decreased the team's chances of winning 5% with -0.143 est.WP48 produced from 43% shooting efficiency, 1 turnover and 3 fouls in 18 minutes. There's no place for Shaved Monkey Nuts in this series if he can't shoot and Dwyane Wade's only going to grab 2 rebounds on a bad knee.

Now that they've lost a game to the Bulls, it's official - the 2013 HEAT are not as good as advertised.

Bulls Production
Joakim Noah was the most productive Bulls player. He increased Chicago's chances of winning the game 20% with 0.247 est.WP48 from 13 points and 11 rebounds. Noah was the anti-LeBron in this game - all his production came in the 1st half to keep the game close.

The Bulls won the game in the 4th quarter. They increased their chances of winning by 46% in the 4th quarter, largely due to Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler. Those two combined to increase the team's chances of winning by 28% over the final 12 minutes of the game.

Nate increased the Bulls' chances of winning by 17% in the 4th quarter with 0.666 est.WP48 produced from 11 points (8 FREE THROWS!) and 6 assists. He single-handedly outplayed LeBron, who scored 15 points but only had 1 assist and only increased the HEAT's chances of winning by 15% in the 4th quarter.

Butler increased the Bulls' chances of winning by 11% in the 4th quarter with 0.451 est.WP48 produced from 11 points (4 free throws) and 5 rebounds.

The Bulls MADE more free throws (12) than the HEAT ATTEMPTED in the 4th quarter. Bitchassness never prospers. Ball game.

Carlos Boozer was the least productive Bulls player. He decreased the team's chances of winning by 12% with -0.229 est.WP48 produced from 6 points on 27% shooting efficiency, 0 offensive rebounds and 3 turnovers. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau minimized his impact by not playing him in the 4th quarter. Taj Gibson balanced Boozer by increasing the Bulls' chances of winning by 13%. The HEAT can win the power forward matchup, but Erik Spoelstra will need to go with more Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller (with LeBron playing PF) with less Shaved Monkey Nuts to do it.

The spreadsheet below lists the wins produced stats estimated from the box score for Game 1 against the Bucks.

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