Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rebounding Is Important, But...

I stand by last week's post wherein I opined that the decline in the team's rebounding rates is not an encouraging trend but I wish not to lose the forest for the trees.

First, the up-to-date OR% graph:

click graph to enlarge

Now, the same game-by-game, season-to-date averages for Offensive and Defensive Efficiency:

click graph to enlarge

The shapes are similar and the Hawks have regressed from the nearly +10 point per 100 possessions differential they enjoyed around the quarter-mark of the season but it's clear that an average rebounding team (which is what the Hawks are overall) can maintain a healthy +5 or +6 point per 100 possessions differential. They certainly can as long as they turn the ball over less often than the other 29 teams, and, should they start turning the ball over more often, they could maintain said healthy differential by improving their rebounding, or shooting a higher percentage from the floor, or getting to the free throw line more often.

There's no secret formula to winning basketball games nor a single number with which to analyze why a team wins or loses. Rebounding is important and the decline in rebounding rates is part of the story of the season thus far but it is far from the entirety of that story. My job, from here on out I now recognize, is to tell that story accurately without requiring anyone to read 49 (and counting) game recaps.

3 comments:

THHB said...

Bret, I really liked this piece---so much truth in there.

But my Florida mind had trouble understanding your closing thought:

My job, from here on out I now recognize, is to tell that story accurately without requiring anyone to read 49 (and counting) game recaps.

Can you elaborate for me? You can email me the response if you wish to honor the brevity of the sentiment in the article.

Thanks!

Bret LaGree said...

I need to be vigilant in avoiding the assumption that the reader has, as I have, read everything I've written on the subject and that my intended implicit meaning is clear.

Other demands on my time necessitate some brevity here but do not excuse meaninglessness.

THHB said...

Ah--yes--that's an excellent point--thank you, sir!