Monday, June 17, 2013

Danny Green: From Random Scrub HEAT Killer to Finals MVP?



How did HEAT fans end up in a situation where they could be watching a Random Scrub HEAT Killer like Danny Green become Finals MVP after breaking the record for threes in the NBA Finals? Good question. 

Green's performance in the NBA Finals is best explained by a scene from Matrix:Reloaded.



HEAT fans know that 1 of the flaws in the team's execution of Erik Spoelstra's defensive system is that open 3s will be available to random scrubs from game-to-game. Those scrubs can kill the HEAT when they knock those shots down - or at least make the games closer than they should be.

Danny Green's record-setting performance in the Finals is the sum of the remainder from this unbalanced equation in the HEAT defense. 32 players dropped 4 or more threes on the HEAT in a game this season. That number ranks 6th in the NBA. OKC was the only other team from the top 10 in defensive efficiency that allowed more players to hit 4+ threes than the HEAT.

The spreadsheet below lists the number of players each team allowed to hit 4+ threes this season.



The list of Random Scrub HEAT Killers ranges from Alan Anderson of the Raptors to Cartier Martin and A.J. Price on the Wizards.



While it's the 6th longest list in the NBA this season, only 2 players managed to hit 4+ threes twice against the HEAT defense: Carmelo Anthony and Steve Novak. Green has done it 4 times in the Finals, but his performance is the eventuality of an anomaly that, despite Spo's sincerest efforts to eliminate from the team's habits, is not without a measure of control.

That means being faster and more physical than the Spurs on both sides of the ball for the next 2 games. It'd be nice if LeBron James outplayed Kawhi Leonard, too.

The tables below show that the RSHK anomaly has made the biggest impact in the Finals after 5 games.

Est. Wins Produced by  Spurs in 2013 NBA Finals
PLAYER GP MIN EWP48 EST WP
D Green 5 169.9 0.248 0.880
K Leonard 5 164.5 0.242 0.831
T Parker 5 167.3 0.176 0.612
T Duncan 5 166.7 0.105 0.363
C Joseph 5 42.4 0.185 0.163
D Blair 3 17.3 0.268 0.097
G Neal 5 120.0 0.028 0.071
T McGrady 2 14.3 0.072 0.021
N de Colo 2 5.0 0.205 0.021
M Bonner 5 36.1 -0.011 -0.008
P Mills 2 13.4 -0.068 -0.019
B Diaw 4 58.3 -0.050 -0.061
M Ginobili 5 129.7 -0.060 -0.162
T Splitter 5 95.0 -0.124 -0.246

Est. Wins Produced by HEAT in 2013 NBA Finals
PLAYER GP MIN EWP48 EST WP
L James 5 206.3 0.184 0.791
C Bosh 5 174.2 0.209 0.758
R Allen 5 131.9 0.159 0.436
M Miller 5 103.6 0.177 0.383
D Wade 5 179.5 0.100 0.372
J Anthony 4 15.0 0.346 0.108
M Chalmers 5 138.2 0.022 0.065
C Andersen 3 38.2 0.031 0.025
N Cole 5 81.7 -0.003 -0.006
J Jones 3 11.8 -0.188 -0.046
R Lewis 3 11.8 -0.444 -0.109
U Haslem 5 61.9 -0.125 -0.161
S Battier 5 45.9 -0.188 -0.180

There's a reason the HEAT won 66 games despite facing 32 Random Scrub Heat Killers all season. The HEAT will need to strengthen the other parts of their game to prevent the RSHK anomaly from defeating them in the NBA Finals and winning Finals MVP.


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