Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Looking Back To Looking Ahead: The Four Factors

Before the season started, I made some predictions about how the four factors would change for the Atlanta Hawks this season. I'm not interested in evaluating those predictions this early* in the season but, in the first of a recurring series, let's track how the Hawks are performing relative to last season's 53-win team.

*Not least of which because, according to John Hollinger's power rankings, the Hawks have played the league's fifth-easiest schedule thus far. Granted, the end of season power rankings at the Basketball-Reference.com Blog in April ranked the 2009-10 Hawks schedule the sixth-easiest in the league.

First, the offense:

NameOff EffeFG%FT RateOR%TO%
2009-10113.450.621.328.213.3
2010-11109.851.623.225.015.1

Unsurprisingly, the Hawks haven't been able to match last season's offensive efficiency. Then again, they don't have to do so to remain a good team. They've declined only to fifth in the league as improved shooting from the field and more frequent trips to the foul line have mostly compensated for a decline in offensive rebound rate and an increase in turnover rate.

The team's turnover rate, though far higher than last season's, has improved significantly over the last two-and-a-half weeks.
click to enlarge

Now, for the defense:

NameDef EffeFG%FT RateOR%TO%
2009-10108.349.728.027.215.4
2010-11106.348.827.626.814.4

The Hawks have been slightly better defensively (so far) this season. The changes are less dramatic than cumulative. Opponents are missing slightly more shots and the Hawks are rebounding slightly more of those misses. Most importantly, the Hawks haven't seen a spike in their opponents' free throw rate despite their opponents making 78% (league average (76.5%) of their free throws this season compared with 74.5% (league average: 75.9%) last season.

Premature conclusions: the Hawks are 1.6 points per 100 possessions to the worse so far this season compared to last but are, as expected, a fundamentally similar team.

1 comment:

Bronn said...

Nice to see the TO% declining. That's as predicted, and perhaps slightly ahead of schedule. They may not make it back down to last season's extremely low rate, but it's something that will probably gradually improve into January. That's of course barring another identity crisis resembling the one from early last week.