For this study, we compared post position win percentage (PPR), plus-minus (OR), defensive stats (PdR), offensive stats, and total scoring margin. This is the same type of calculation that the NBA uses. Here’s the methodology:
As far back as we can tell, PPR is a measure of the difference between an individual’s overall scoring, shooting, and assist totals and his team’s overall scoring, shooting, and assist statistics. While PPR does not necessarily suggest a team’s true shooting (or true assist) percentage, it does tend to show a team’s true shooting percentage more accurately than just measuring points per game (or total efficiency).
We’ll use the 2012-13 Eastern Conference standings and the 2013-14 NBA season to construct our sample. To get this data, we’ll use the Pythagorean expectation of points for each team over the following season. The more we have to work with (the more we can look back at), the better. The season is broken into four quarters. To cut down on the number of data points needed, we’ll look at this four quarter sample using just the top 60% of the data (i.e. the 20 games that took place during the 2008-09 and 2012-13 seasons). It’s worth noting that, as we’ll see, there’s been an unusually high number of close contests that would be lost if we had to split the sample into quarters. This is especially true in the case of the 2013-14 Eastern Conference. In total, the league has only 10 games in which no team played eight games in the final three quarters.
First, how do we determine a team’s PPR total? Based on where their point differential is projected to be (i.e. as opposed to if they won the game), the post position win % is determined. The projected PPR total is then adjusted by a player’s offensive and defensive rating. Offensive rating is adjusted up by a player’s true shooting percentage (and defensive rating is adjusted down by a defense’s defensive rating). Since our team won the game in question, they were projected to score a total of 1.5 points more than their score. Then they were assigned that difference (0.5 to keep it simple, we’re going to use a decimal for post position win percentage, so you can’t win with a 0 on the positive side), and a defensive rating was assigned. This is how we know each of four quarters of our
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