NBA Playoffs 2012: Mavericks vs. Thunder Statistical Matchup

Robo-Dirk

Today the playoffs arrive and the Mavericks start on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Similar to my statistical game previews throughout the season I've designed a new template for your statistical needs. It's not a breakdown of the Thunder as a team any longer, but a matchup analysis, using the numbers to suggest which team should have the advantage in certain categories. Please note that I erased any plays during garbage time and that the numbers also put a different weight on the whole season, play in recent weeks and the regular season series between the two teams. Outside those overall stats there are three categories: Starting units factor in all lineups in which no bench player has been on the court, bench units all lineups in which at least three bench players have been on the court. The Late-Game measurement is an extended "Clutch" approach, including all plays in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime outside garbage time, not only inside a +/- 5 margin.

General Matchup
Overall DAL OKC Advantage
Efficiencies +0.42 +6.66 +3.12
Pace 90.94 92.73 0.00
PTSiP P100 58.10 66.67 +3.56
PTSiT P100 18.10 24.93 +5.37
3FGA P100 22.88 21.02 +0.54
STL P100 9.05 7.92 +0.81
PFA P100 19.98 21.38 -0.49
AvgShotFeet 12.95ft 12.53ft -0.36ft
Avg2FGShotFeet 8.89ft 8.43ft -0.02ft
FTMFGA% 18.49% 27.52% +5.02%
FG% 44.55% 46.27% +1.85%
3FG% 35.16% 35.75% +0.89%
FT% 81.24% 81.50% +1.72%
TS% 52.97% 56.12% +2.85%
TRB% 49.32% 51.71% +2.39%
AST% 44.16% 40.65% +0.97%
AST_TOV 1.51 1.14 +0.15
BLK% 6.16% 10.29% +1.65%
Starting Units DAL OKC Advantage
Efficiencies +3.27 -2.14 +2.71
Pace 91.70 94.08 +0.02
PTSiP P100 51.56 60.41 +2.30
PTSiT P100 16.26 25.96 +8.17
3FGA P100 16.79 14.33 +1.25
STL P100 9.79 8.74 +1.00
PFA P100 16.68 19.34 -0.63
AvgShotFeet 12.46ft 11.75ft -0.23ft
Avg2FGShotFeet 9.73ft 9.09ft -0.25ft
FTMFGA% 11.24% 22.41% +5.55%
FG% 45.01% 44.67% +0.14%
3FG% 30.37% 33.99% +1.33%
FT% 79.45% 80.07% +4.89%
TS% 50.38% 52.37% +1.18%
TRB% 53.23% 51.09% +2.14%
AST% 43.02% 37.04% +0.49%
AST_TOV 1.37 0.92 +0.14
BLK% 6.02% 11.92% +2.19%

Expectingly, the Thunder are projected to win the series by 3.12 points per 100 possessions. They take the paint, transition and the charity stripe by a wide margin and are also superior in the shooting categories with Dallas owning a slight advantage in the ball-handling categories (steals & assist/turnover-ratio). A bit surprising though that the Thunder take their average shot further away from the basket than the Mavs.

The Mavericks have led the starting unit rankings for a good chunk of the regular season before dropping to 6th over the month of April and are projected to outscore the Thunder by 2.71 PP100 with their starting unit on the floor. Two demurs: The current one with West at SG gets outscored by -0.28 PP100 and the Mavs also have played these units only for 735.80 minutes over the 66 games, the second fewest behind the Spurs.

More after the jump
Bench Units DAL OKC Advantage
Efficiencies +3.36 +7.94 +2.29
Pace 90.75 90.37 +0.14
PTSiP P100 60.42 62.60 +0.37
PTSiT P100 18.49 21.24 +3.77
3FGA P100 25.50 27.57 +3.99
STL P100 8.67 8.22 +0.70
PFA P100 20.76 24.91 -2.36
AvgShotFeet 13.37ft 13.53ft -0.55ft
Avg2FGShotFeet 8.73ft 8.04ft -0.48ft
FTMFGA% 22.46% 26.79% +1.31%
FG% 44.31% 47.33% +1.72%
3FG% 35.30% 37.15% +1.86%
FT% 81.58% 82.78% +1.03%
TS% 54.09% 58.45% +2.89%
TRB% 48.21% 49.82% +1.62%
AST% 45.68% 43.59% +1.58%
AST_TOV 1.77 1.33 +0.23
BLK% 6.52% 8.51% +0.91%
Late-Game DAL OKC Advantage
Efficiencies +0.13 +1.32 +0.59
Pace 89.99 91.05 0.00
PTSiP P100 54.28 73.06 +9.82
PTSiT P100 19.09 27.31 +4.99
3FGA P100 30.39 26.46 +1.92
STL P100 8.97 6.95 +0.11
PFA P100 25.57 24.10 -1.78
AvgShotFeet 14.42ft 14.70ft -0.98ft
Avg2FGShotFeet 9.02ft 9.65ft -1.08ft
FTMFGA% 25.27% 45.44% +10.73%
FG% 44.10% 41.90% +0.46%
3FG% 46.01% 30.93% +9.02%
FT% 89.62% 85.22% +7.74%
TS% 57.68% 56.10% +0.62%
TRB% 48.80% 48.57% +0.23%
AST% 46.34% 41.04% +1.02%
AST_TOV 2.15 1.25 +0.35
BLK% 4.45% 12.05% +3.79%

The bench used to be THE big advantage for the Mavs during their championship run, but this also has settled. At least in terms of outscoring opponents, Dallas ranks in the middle of the pack and are projected to get outscored with at least three bench players on the floor. In comparison to the overall numbers the Mavs crawl closer, but it will be interesting if guys like Daequan Cook can benefit from the zone or poor closeouts by the Mavs backup backcourt.

Whenever the Mavs will be able to get to the crunch time, they should like their chances as Oklahoma City is not a particularly good team in late-game situations, settling for bad shots too often and getting stagnant. They will try to run and shoot free throws, but although the Mavericks haven't been too sharp either, the halfcourt offense of the Thunder in these situations is bad enough to keep things close. Especially +9.02% from long range for the Mavs is worth mentioning.

Possession-Type Matchup

This pretty much is a reflection of what we've seen above. The Thunder own the overall edge. Dallas has to take care of the basketball and limit transition opportunities, Oklahoma City is a much less scary opponent when they are forced to operate in the halfcourt, in example after a rebounded miss. Also the Champs are still more effective within their flow offense, getting mismatches, read the defense through Jason Kidd, which they can't use after a made basket.

First of all, the big advantage after timeouts is magnificent, but not significant as the game enters the decisive stage as both teams won't use their starting units (they'll use their 6th men: James Harden & Jason Terry). Mavs want to control the pace, and keep this one a halfcourt battle to start the game and the second half. This is especially important because Dallas has had quite a few cruel third quarters over the regular season.

You'll see these lineups starting with three minutes left in the 1st and 3rd, if Rick Carlisle sticks with his pattern. Vince Carter, JET and either Ian Mahinmi or Brandan Wright probably are the first off the bench, Rodrigue Beaubois could replace Delonte West, but it's certainly intriguing to see how the coach will handle the Frenchman. It's pretty close in the halfcourt, but again the Thunder will outrun you if you let them.

This is interesting. As you could see above, the gap closes in late-game situations and the Mavs actually take the advantage in halfcourt possessions. Also the difference between possessions after a rebound (potential flow offense) and made basket (called play) is astonishing. The advantage for the Thunder after timeouts is troubling, but most of it is on the Mavs and we all hope that their sharpness will be back come playoff time.

Shot-Location Matchup (eFG%)
Overall DAL OKC Advantage
11 66.31% 70.66% +4.71%
12 40.36% 41.65% +1.39%
21 39.75% 37.76% +0.53%
22 40.17% 43.12% +1.14%
25 44.83% 42.69% +3.91%
28 40.18% 43.47% +1.97%
29 42.55% 40.96% +1.18%
31 59.23% 60.86% +2.56%
32 48.23% 54.35% +3.19%
35 58.20% 51.62% +2.49%
38 46.47% 55.54% +5.26%
39 52.08% 65.95% +14.06%
Starting Units DAL OKC Advantage
11 66.26% 69.77% +6.77%
12 40.32% 38.75% +0.34%
21 38.52% 35.64% +2.81%
22 40.18% 43.05% +3.82%
25 47.91% 45.10% +2.04%
28 47.90% 42.94% +8.31%
29 51.57% 37.04% +3.08%
31 38.50% 81.67% +8.03%
32 36.25% 71.68% +18.67%
35 62.91% 39.71% +5.05%
38 69.85% 58.40% +8.10%
39 25.50% 43.56% +9.40%

The two areas the Mavericks are projected to shoot a better percentage are beyond the foul line (Dirk Nowitzki & Terry two-man game) and at the top of the arc (Dirk trailer, Kidd spot-up). Everything else belongs to the Thunder. Their accuracy from the left corner is off the chart (Derek Fisher 5-for-9, Royal Ivey 9-for-17, James Harden 8-for-14 only to name a few). Also it's the preferred spot from Cook, but he's only 15-for-43.

Within the starting lineups the Mavs should be able to control jump-shot territory, but the Thunder make up ground in the paint and beyond the arc. Pretty much every area in the "20s" is potential Dirk post-up land, so here's hoping he will dominate the Serge Ibaka's and Nick Collison's again. Russell Westbrook likes the foul line jumper (39-81), Kevin Durant shoots from everywhere except the corners (only three attempts, one make) in the starting unit.

Bench Units DAL OKC Advantage
11 67.50% 67.31% +0.44%
12 41.52% 45.66% +0.94%
21 41.07% 49.87% +6.80%
22 43.33% 53.51% +4.84%
25 40.55% 38.21% +5.33%
28 34.78% 41.18% +2.47%
29 41.35% 45.09% +1.48%
31 67.47% 53.33% +17.59%
32 50.95% 49.39% +3.09%
35 58.09% 55.91% +0.56%
38 34.91% 55.41% +16.65%
39 67.79% 83.50% +19.42%
Late-Game DAL OKC Advantage
11 66.77% 77.76% +14.10%
12 37.65% 38.75% +6.00%
21 36.73% 26.86% +0.78%
22 38.93% 41.45% +1.19%
25 19.49% 32.51% +0.40%
28 38.13% 49.58% +6.51%
29 41.43% 40.65% +1.22%
31 72.75% 35.94% +15.95%
32 43.30% 28.93% +18.13%
35 65.66% 46.08% +12.47%
38 68.66% 54.90% +0.49%
39 32.48% 84.43% +36.70%

As good as the Thunder are from the left corner, the Mavs are from the right. Within bench units, Terry, Carter and Brian Cardinal are a combined 23-for-46. Ivey, Cook and Harden counter with 56-for-128 from the left side (location 38 & 39). The Mavs backcourt better be prepared to close-out hard.

The stats from beyond the arc look convincing. The Mavs indeed had a good stretch of long range shooting in April, but cooled down to end the season and the Thunder in general are an above-average team defending threes. Left corner has a sample problem, Thunder are 4-for-8 there. Both teams don't shoot a high percentage in the paint outside the rim.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Mavs Moneyball

You must be a member of Mavs Moneyball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mavs Moneyball. You should read them.

Join Mavs Moneyball

You must be a member of Mavs Moneyball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mavs Moneyball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker