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Olympic Quarterfinals By The Numbers

With group play completed, let’s check out some more of the tempo free team stats. Given the small sample of games, none of these numbers have huge predictive power, but sometimes it is still fun to find a few statistical nuggets.

Not surprisingly, the United States has the highest Points Per Possession (PPP) offense in the tournament. But what must make Mike Krzyzewski the most happy is that Team USA also has the lowest PPP defense. Sure the United States has given up some lofty point totals in some games. But notice that Team USA is playing at the fastest pace in the field. USA games typically have 10 more possessions per side than Brazil’s games. And that means more opportunities for USA opponents to score. Adjusting for pace, the USA defense has been the best.

 

Avg

PPP

PPP

PPP

Group A

Pace

Off

Def

Diff

US

85

1.38

0.93

0.45

Argentina

78

1.14

1.10

0.04

Lithuania

77

1.03

1.03

0.00

France

76

0.99

0.99

-0.01

Tunisia

72

0.90

1.13

-0.24

Nigeria

75

0.89

1.22

-0.33

 

Avg

PPP

PPP

PPP

Group B

Pace

Off

Def

Diff

Brazil

75

1.07

0.94

0.13

Russia

76

1.06

0.94

0.12

Australia

77

1.06

0.97

0.10

Spain

74

1.11

1.08

0.03

G. Britain

76

1.00

1.06

-0.06

China

73

0.86

1.19

-0.33

When it comes to PPP differential, China amazingly was outscored at the same rate as Nigeria. And Nigeria lost to the United States by 83 points! I know Yao Ming was critical to China’s past Olympic success, but this was still a pitiful performance. I expected China to at least be competitive in a couple of games.

Four Factors

For those of you not familiar with a four factor analysis, let me break it down for you.

eFG% is like FG%, but giving 3/2 weight for made threes.

TO% = turnover percentage =  turnovers / possessions

OR% = offensive rebounding percentage = offensive rebounds / (offensive rebounds plus opponents defensive rebounds)

FTRate = free throw rate = 100*FTA / FGA

US

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

64%

11%

35%

30.9

Def

50%

22%

24%

31.9

Australia

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

49%

15%

34%

17.8

Def

48%

20%

28%

32.1

The United States is making 61% of its twos and 46% of its threes. Looking for other areas of statistical dominance? Team USA has the lowest turnover rate in the tournament, plus opponents grab only 24% of their missed shots. In other words, the USA has the best defensive rebounding in the tournament.

Australia hasn’t been shooting very well in the tournament so far, but they’ve stayed competitive by getting more shot opportunities than their opponents. Australia has done a great job hanging onto the ball and crashing the glass. If Australia could actually have a hot shooting night, they might be dangerous. But on most days they clearly don’t have the offensive weapons to hang with the United States for long.

Brazil

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

50%

14%

31%

25.0

Def

47%

20%

27%

37.4

Argentina

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

56%

13%

23%

33.8

Def

51%

16%

34%

25.2

Argentina has had the second best three-point shooting in the tournament (behind the USA) and they need it because Argentina’s rebounding was terrible in group play. Both of these teams did an extremely good job taking care of the basketball in the preliminary action.

France

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

52%

20%

26%

30.3

Def

47%

18%

30%

32.0

Spain

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

52%

17%

35%

40.5

Def

51%

12%

27%

21.5

France is shooting a miserable 28% from three point range, but the French have done a remarkable job getting easy baskets inside. Boris Diaw’s passing is a big reason why. Diaw has always had great assist totals for a forward, but he actually has more assists in this tournament than Tony Parker. Still, if you look at the numbers, Spain’s ability to crash the boards and get to the free throw line should tip this match-up in their favor.

Russia

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

56%

18%

25%

30.7

Def

44%

18%

30%

25.5

Lithuania

eFG%

TO%

OR%

FTRate

Off

53%

21%

27%

29.9

Def

48%

16%

32%

35.6

Both Russia and Lithuania have fewer shot opportunities than their opponents in this tournament thanks to a poor turnover differential and a poor rebounding differential. But both teams have simply out-shot their opponents. And really, that’s all basketball is about sometimes. If you get open shots and your opponents take tough shots, you win.

Individual Stats

Finally after five games, here are the individual stats for the USA. After warming the bench for the first three games, Kobe Bryant finally played more than 20 minutes against Lithuania and Argentina. But Kobe still hasn’t gotten on track offensively. After calling Russell Westbrook a shot-hog through three games, he has dialed down his aggressiveness, and no longer leads the team in percentage of possessions’ used.

USA

PctMin

ORtg

PctPoss

C. PAUL

60%

131.3

15%

K. DURANT

59%

149.0

23%

L. JAMES

56%

143.2

19%

D. WILLIAMS

46%

123.3

23%

R. WESTBROOK

41%

122.5

24%

K. LOVE

41%

148.6

21%

C. ANTHONY

40%

150.3

27%

A. IGUODALA

38%

151.7

14%

K. BRYANT

37%

113.5

25%

J. HARDEN JR

32%

108.3

19%

T. CHANDLER

30%

139.3

15%

A. DAVIS JR

23%

144.5

14%

 

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