On Monday, we looked at the final regular season Expected Scoring numbers for individual players. Today we’re moving on, looking at those same numbers at the team level. You can find all the data at the Expected Scoring – Statistics and Analysis page, or at this link.
Expected Scoring is a way of combining a player or team’s shot selection and shooting percentages into one measure of scoring efficiency. Here’s the longer explanation:
Expected Scoring uses a player’s FGA from each area of the floor and multiplies it by the average number of points scored on that type of shot to come up with an Expected Point total from that area. The Expected Point total can than be compared to the actual number of points a player scored from that area to arrive at a Point Differential. This Point Differential is an expression of how a player shot compared to the league average, but I like that the comparison is drawn with actual point totals. The average values of shots by location that I use (At Rim – 1.208, <10ft. – 0.856, 10-15ft. – 0.783, 16-23ft. – 0.801, 3PT – 1.081, FT – 0.759) were calculated by Albert Lyu of ThinkBlueCrew.
All of the individual Expected Scoring numbers are per 40 minutes. For the team stats we look at everything per game. By overall Point Differential, the top five shooting teams in the league were:
- Miami: +5.72
- Dallas: +5.27
- San Antonio: +4.89
- Phoenix: +4.37
- Boston: +3.94
The bottom five were:
- Cleveland: -4.28
- Milwaukee: -3.71
- Washington: -2.94
- Charlotte: -2.74
- Sacramento: -2.35
The New Jersey Nets didn’t make the bottom five, but joined the Bucks and Cavaliers as the only offenses with a negative Point Differential from every area of the floor. The Miami Heat were the only team with a positive Point Differential from every area of the floor.
Looking at these numbers, now for the second season, I’m amazed at how much of a difference excelling or struggling from just one area of the floor can make. The Toronto Raptors scored right around the expected rate from every area of the floor, except for on three-pointers, where they posted a Point Differential of -1.78. If they had shot just the league average on three-pointers it would have taken their Point Differential from a -0.83 to a +0.95.
The Clippers had the 6th best Point Differential on shots at the rim, +2.63. However, they were atrocious from everywhere else on the floor posting Point Differentials worse than -1.0 from the free throw line, on three-pointers, from 16-23ft. and from 3-9ft. If they had finished at the league average on shots at the rim, their overall Point Differential would have been -4.44. Basically they dunking of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan kept the Clippers from having the worst shooting offense in the league.
Stay tuned for a few more Expected Scoring pieces between now and the end of the playoffs!