Monday, December 14, 2009

Their Absence Makes The Offense Stronger

Over the past 10 seasons, 11 NBA teams have turned the ball over on less than 12 percent of their offensive possessions. The 2009-10 Atlanta Hawks are on pace to be the twelfth.

2007-08New Orleans11.4
2007-08Golden St11.5
2008-09San Antonio11.7
2001-02LA Lakers11.8

Notice that half of those teams are from just two seasons? Some seasons the league as a whole just turns the ball over less often. 2007-08 and 2008-09 are the only two seasons in the past decade where teams averaged a turnover on less than 13.6% of offensive possessions.

Just four teams in the past decade have turned the ball over at least 20% less often than the league average (TO%+* of 120 or more). The Hawks are on pace to be the fifth.

*Calculated as 100*(Lg Avg TO%/Team TO%). Essentially ERA+ but for turnovers.

YearTeamTO%Lg AvgTO%+

Of those other four teams, the 2001-02 (57 wins), 2002-03 (60 wins), and 2003-04 (52 wins) Mavericks led the league in offensive efficiency. The 2005-06 Pistons (64 wins) were the fourth-most efficient offense in the league.

The 2009-10 Hawks lead the league in offensive efficiency
and are on pace for 60 wins.


Unknown said...

Any chance this is an anaomaly? I am sure there will be teams which when on hot streaks take good care of the ball.

Given that Bibby and Joe are the main ball handlers, is there any significant dip in their rate? As you mentioned, Josh Smith's has gone down, Horford? Crawford and Teague handle for the second team, and given the large amount of garbage time minutes recently, that might affect it as there is no on-ball pressure in garbage time.

Sorry, just questions. i don't usually follow basketball stats ( confined to baseball ones ). Just was interested.

Bret LaGree said...

Godot --

I don't have a game-by-game historical database so I can't answer your first question. Sorry.

Joe Johnson and Zaza are turning the ball over almost exactly as often as they did last year. Everyone else is down a little, save Mo Evans who has turned the ball over twice in 343 minutes this season.

As for garbage time, the team's turnover rate has gone up a bit after the last two games. I don't know if that's a function of garbage time or that they'd just played for games wherein, cumulatively, the Hawks turned the ball over on less than 9% of their possessions.

Unknown said...

Thanks Bret. Apologize again for the unrealistic request. Just watching them, they don't seem like a team which is very good at taking care of the ball, so this stat surprised me a bit.