Friday, June 7, 2013

Miami HEAT Gave Away Game 1 of the Finals



What's the recipe for the Miami HEAT losing a game they had a 55% chance of winning? Mix 5 turnovers with a disappearing act by 2 all-stars in the 4th quarter and sprinkle in a buzzer-beating bank shot for good luck.

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.

4th Quarter
HEAT players gave their team a 55% chance of winning Game 1 of the NBA Finals if you add up their estimated wins produced. Unfortunately, if you add up their points they come up losers on the scoreboard and the estimated wins produced in the 4th quarter explain why. 

The Spurs increased their chance of winning the game by 10.5% in the 4th quarter with 23 points, 41% shooting efficiency and 0 turnovers. Only 3 of the 8 HEAT players made a positive impact on the game in the 4th quarter. The HEAT decreased their chance of winning by 10% in the 4th quarter with just 16 points, 28% shooting efficiency and 5 turnovers. That swing was too big for the HEAT to preserve a win after going into the 4th quarter with just a 3-point lead.

Most Productive HEAT Players
LeBron James was the most productive player in the game. He increased the HEAT's chance of winning by 37% with 18 points, 47% shooting efficiency, 18 rebounds, 10 assists and 2 turnovers. LeBron was most productive in the 4th quarter with an est. 0.587 WP48 from 6 points and 7 rebounds that increased the HEAT's chance of winning by 11%.

Ray Allen was the 2nd most productive HEAT player in the game. He increased the team's chance of winning by 17% with 13 points on 3-4 shooting from the floor and 4-5 shooting from the free throw line. The 4th quarter wasn't Ray's best quarter, but he did his job knocking down 4 free throws and grabbing 3 rebounds that increased the HEAT's chance of winning by 4%.

Least Productive HEAT Players
Chris Bosh was the least productive HEAT player in the game. He decreased the HEAT's chance of winning by 9% with 10 missed shots (0-4 from the 3-point line, 38% shooting efficiency), only 5 rebounds and 4 fouls in 35 minutes. Bosh decreased the team's chance of winning by 8.5% in the 4th quarter with 1-5 shooting, 1 rebound, 1 block and a foul.

Wade was almost as bad as Bosh in the 4th quarter. He decreased the HEAT's chance of winning by 6% in the 4th quarter by shooting 0-2 and making no other tangible impact on the game when it was winning time. For the entire game, Wade increased the HEAT's chance of winning by 0% with 47% shooting efficiency, just 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 turnover. The team needs him to have an impact on these games to beat the Spurs.

Most Productive Spurs
From the MHI NBA Finals Preview for the NBA Mistress 5-on-5:

"The HEAT can only go as far as their perimeter defense lets them. That means tough defense on Tony Parker with fullcourt pressure, aggressive traps and heavy doses of LeBron in the 4th quarter; jumping passing lanes and getting into the body of three-point shooters like Gary Neal, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Ginobili; and controlling Ginobili and Leonard’s slashes to the paint."

Well, the Spurs' starting backcourt increased the team's chance of winning by 32% in Game 1. The HEAT starting backcourt decreased the team's chance of winning by 3%. That's not a winning formula for the defending NBA champions.

Tony Parker was the most productive Spurs player. He increased the Spurs' chance of winning by 20% with 21 points, 50% shooting efficiency, 6 assists, 0 turnovers and 2 steals. He increased his team's chance of winning by 7.5% in the 4th quarter with 10 points, an assist and a steal when it was winning time.

Danny Green was the 2nd most productive Spurs player. He increased the Spurs' chance of winning by 12% with 12 points on 4-9 shooting from the 3-point line, 5 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal.

Least Productive Spurs
As good as Parker and Green were in the starting lineup, Gary Neal was almost as bad off the bench. He was the least productive Spurs player and decreased the team's chance of winning by 9% with just 7 points on 9 shots.

Neal wasn't the only weakness off the Spurs bench. Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Matt Bonner and Cory Joseph combined with Neal to decrease the Spurs' chance of winning by 6%. The HEAT bench increased their team's chance of winning by 29% with every player making a positive contribution except Chris Andersen and Shaved Monkey Nuts aka Shane Battier. If the Spurs can't get productive minutes out of their bench, then the HEAT have to turn up the pace of the game and attack to wear the Spurs down and get them into foul trouble.

The spreadsheet below lists the wins produced for all players estimated from the Game 1 boxscore for the NBA Finals.



Boxscore and play-by-play stats taken from NBA.com and PopcornMachine.net

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