Frequently, when researching some obscure point in response to a comment or follow up question, I’ll come across a contextless but completely surprising statistical tidbit. In that spirit I present a new feature, The Obscure Statistics Leaderboard. I won’t dig too hard for meaning or predictive value, just present these numbers for what they are, bizarre and unexpected statistical iotas.
A frequently used mainstream football stat is turnover margin. This is simply the difference between the turnovers a team creates and the time it gives the ball away to it’s opponents. NBA.com tracks this statistic, as does ESPN, but I rarely, if ever, hear it mentioned.
The table below shows the turnovers per game for each team and their opponents, as well as the turnover margin.
I don’t that I’ve ever looked at it for NBA team’s before today, but I really like the way turnover margin gives a more complete picture. For example the Hawks only turn the ball over 13.86 times per game, a respectably low total good for 12th in the league. However, they force only 12.75 turnovers per game, 2nd to last in the league. Despite doing a good job of protecting the ball, they actually have a negative margin of 1.11 in the turnover department.
In true Obscure Statistics fashion, I leave it to you to ponder the numbers and their meaning.