FanPost

Mavnalysis - Comparing This Year's Team to Last Year's

I was inspired by lemonbrigade's stats post to do some analysis of my own comparing last year's squad to this year's using a slightly different approach. If you're just interested in the analysis piece and not particularly interested in the process, skip on by most of the pretty tables to the bottom where the conclusions are. Thanks for reading.

Here are the basic stats from last year's team to get us started:

PLAYER Age Weigh Min MIN PPG OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FPG A/TO PER
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 33.00 31.97 33.50 21.60 0.70 6.00 6.80 2.20 0.68 0.48 1.90 2.10 1.20 21.80
Jason Terry, SG 33.00 30.25 31.70 15.10 0.30 2.10 2.40 3.60 1.16 0.17 2.00 1.10 1.80 15.80
Shawn Marion, SF 33.00 29.11 30.50 10.60 2.30 5.10 7.40 2.10 1.06 0.57 1.60 1.40 1.30 15.00
Vince Carter, SG 34.00 24.14 25.30 10.10 0.50 2.80 3.40 2.30 0.92 0.41 1.40 2.20 1.70 13.60
Delonte West, SG 28.00 23.00 24.10 9.60 0.30 2.00 2.30 3.20 1.32 0.25 1.70 1.50 1.80 15.40
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 23.00 20.71 21.70 8.90 0.40 2.50 2.80 2.90 1.06 0.53 1.30 1.80 2.20 15.40
Brandan Wright, PF 23.00 15.36 16.10 6.90 1.30 2.30 3.60 0.30 0.45 1.29 0.40 1.20 0.60 21.70
Jason Kidd, PG 38.00 27.39 28.70 6.20 0.30 3.80 4.10 5.50 1.71 0.21 1.90 1.70 2.90 13.10
Ian Mahinmi, C 24.00 17.84 18.70 5.80 1.80 3.00 4.70 0.20 0.62 0.51 0.80 2.90 0.20 13.50
Brendan Haywood, C 31.00 20.23 21.20 5.20 2.60 3.40 6.00 0.40 0.44 1.00 0.90 2.20 0.40 13.00
Totals 30.85 240.00 251.50 100.00 10.50 33.00 43.50 22.70 9.42 5.42 13.90 18.10 1.63 15.87

The average age is weighted by minutes played so it's a little more directly correlated to what we see on the floor versus on the bench. Likewise the PER average is weighted on minutes per game as well. The other totals are actual totals based on the above averages so they don't translate to per game numbers; this is just the starting place for analysis. If you have trouble seeing the whole table, make sure you're using the wide viewing mode located at the top right of the page.

Let me start with an explanation of the weighted minutes. There are 240 minutes available total in a game which will get distributed across a number of players. Minutes per game is an average from only the games players play in so obviously the sum of the average minutes per game for a team is going to be more than 240 since every player does not play in every game. Likewise, the points per game, rebounds per game, assists per game, etc shouldn't just be totaled up since that is not a fair representation of what the team is capable of in a game of 240 minutes. By taking just the rotational players and using the percent of minutes they average versus the total of the averages and normalizing this for a 240 minute game, we can give the players more accurate per game minutes, points, rebounds etc. This method will be helpful in comparing two different rotations like I want to do but it gets a little dicey trying to compare these total numbers to other teams' total numbers without applying the weighted minutes to their rosters as well.

For comparisons' sake, I looked at the Mavs rotation including Odom and excluding Odom. Unsurprisingly, the weight minutes numbers for the Mavs excluding Odom were better in every single category except rebounding where the Mavs lost .58 total rebounds per game without Odom. Since 1) the Mavs were clearly better without Odom included in the stats, 2) he didn't play the last quarter of the season anyway, and 3) excluding him allows for a direct 10 player to 10 player rotation, I decided to use the statistics without Odom for the last year to this year's team comparisons.

Weighted Minute Numbers and Totals
PLAYER Age Weigh Min MIN PPG OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FPG A/TO PER
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 33.00 31.97 20.61 0.67 5.73 6.49 2.10 0.65 0.46 1.81 2.00 1.16 21.80
Jason Terry, SG 33.00 30.25 14.41 0.29 2.00 2.29 3.44 1.11 0.16 1.91 1.05 1.80 15.80
Shawn Marion, SF 33.00 29.11 10.12 2.19 4.87 7.06 2.00 1.01 0.54 1.53 1.34 1.31 15.00
Vince Carter, SG 34.00 24.14 9.64 0.48 2.67 3.24 2.19 0.88 0.39 1.34 2.10 1.64 13.60
Delonte West, SG 28.00 23.00 9.16 0.29 1.91 2.19 3.05 1.26 0.24 1.62 1.43 1.88 15.40
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 23.00 20.71 8.49 0.38 2.39 2.67 2.77 1.01 0.51 1.24 1.72 2.23 15.40
Brandan Wright, PF 23.00 15.36 6.58 1.24 2.19 3.44 0.29 0.43 1.23 0.38 1.15 0.75 21.70
Jason Kidd, PG 38.00 27.39 5.92 0.29 3.63 3.91 5.25 1.63 0.20 1.81 1.62 2.89 13.10
Ian Mahinmi, C 24.00 17.84 5.53 1.72 2.86 4.49 0.19 0.59 0.49 0.76 2.77 0.25 13.50
Brendan Haywood, C 31.00 20.23 4.96 2.48 3.24 5.73 0.38 0.42 0.95 0.86 2.10 0.44 13.00
Totals 30.85 240.00
95.43 10.02 31.49 41.51 21.66 8.99 5.17 13.26 17.27 1.63 15.87
Actual Team Totals per ESPN 95.8 10.1 32.7 42.8 20.9 8.56 5.11 14 18.6 1.5

I included the actual per game totals for the Mavs as a team last year at the bottom to show that I'm not way off the reservation by taking this weighted minute rotation approach. Obviously the numbers are going to be different than the team totals but for comparing a completely new patched together team like this year's to a previous rotation, I think this is a good approach. Here are the weighted shooting numbers from last year:

PLAYER FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% 2PM 2PA 2P% PPS AFG%
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 7.25 15.94 45.7% 1.24 3.24 36.8% 4.87 5.44 90.0% 6.01 12.69 48.1% 1.24 50.0%
Jason Terry, SG 5.44 12.60 43.0% 2.10 5.53 37.8% 1.53 1.72 88.0% 3.34 7.06 47.1% 1.09 51.0%
Shawn Marion, SF 4.39 9.83 44.6% 0.29 1.05 29.4% 1.15 1.43 80.0% 4.10 8.78 46.4% 0.99 46.0%
Vince Carter, SG 3.53 8.49 41.1% 1.15 3.24 36.1% 1.53 1.81 83.0% 2.39 5.25 44.2% 1.08 48.0%
Delonte West, SG 3.63 7.83 46.1% 0.57 1.62 35.5% 1.34 1.53 89.0% 3.05 6.20 48.9% 1.12 50.0%
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 3.34 8.02 42.2% 0.67 2.39 28.8% 1.05 1.24 84.0% 2.67 5.63 47.9% 1.01 47.0%
Brandan Wright, PF 2.77 4.58 61.8% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.05 1.62 63.0% 2.77 4.58 62.1% 1.39 62.0%
Jason Kidd, PG 2.00 5.44 36.3% 1.53 4.39 35.4% 0.48 0.57 79.0% 0.48 1.05 40.0% 1.04 51.0%
Ian Mahinmi, C 2.00 3.72 54.6% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.43 2.29 64.0% 2.00 3.72 54.9% 1.42 55.0%
Brendan Haywood, C 2.10 4.01 51.8% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 0.76 1.72 47.0% 2.10 4.01 51.8% 1.18 52.0%
Totals 36.45 80.45 45.3% 7.54 21.47 35.1% 15.17 19.37 78.3% 28.91 58.97 49.0% 1.16 51.2%
Actual Team Totals per ESPN 36.3 82 44.3% 7.5 22.2 33.9% 15.6 20.2 77.1% 28.8 59.8 48.2% 1.17 49.0%

And now on to this year's squad. Here are the raw numbers from last year for the ten rotational players this year:

Raw Numbers and Totals
GAME STATISTICS
PLAYER Age Weigh Min MIN PPG OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FPG A/TO PER
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 34.00 30.07 33.50 21.60 0.70 6.00 6.80 2.20 0.68 0.48 1.90 2.10 1.20 21.80
Chris Kaman, C 30.00 26.21 29.20 13.10 1.90 5.90 7.70 2.10 0.53 1.64 2.70 2.30 0.80 15.40
O.J. Mayo, SG 24.00 24.05 26.80 12.60 0.50 2.70 3.20 2.60 1.08 0.35 1.90 2.10 1.40 14.80
Elton Brand, PF 33.00 25.94 28.90 11.00 2.40 4.70 7.20 1.60 0.97 1.62 1.10 2.90 1.50 18.10
Shawn Marion, SF 34.00 27.37 30.50 10.60 2.30 5.10 7.40 2.10 1.06 0.57 1.60 1.40 1.30 15.00
Darren Collison, PG 24.00 28.09 31.30 10.40 0.50 2.60 3.10 4.80 0.82 0.23 1.90 1.70 2.50 13.60
Vince Carter, SG 35.00 22.71 25.30 10.10 0.50 2.80 3.40 2.30 0.92 0.41 1.40 2.20 1.70 13.60
Delonte West, SG 29.00 21.63 24.10 9.60 0.30 2.00 2.30 3.20 1.32 0.25 1.70 1.50 1.80 15.40
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 24.00 19.48 21.70 8.90 0.40 2.50 2.80 2.90 1.06 0.53 1.30 1.80 2.20 15.40
Brandan Wright, PF 24.00 14.45 16.10 6.90 1.30 2.30 3.60 0.30 0.45 1.29 0.40 1.20 0.60 21.70
Totals 29.51 240.00 267.40 114.80 10.80 36.60 47.50 24.10 8.89 7.37 15.90 19.20 1.52 16.39

Difference from last year -1.34 0.00 15.90 14.80 0.30 3.60 4.00 1.40 -0.53 1.95 2.00 1.10 -0.12 0.52

Again the average age and PER are weighted based on minutes. As you can see with just the raw numbers, we have shaved a year plus off our rotation and added some guys that can score as well as possibly filling up some other stat categories better this year. Before we look at the weighted numbers, here are the raw shooting numbers for the new team as well:

PLAYER FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% 2PM 2PA 2P% PPS AFG%
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 7.60 16.70 45.7% 1.30 3.40 36.8% 5.10 5.70 90.0% 6.30 13.30 48.1% 1.30 50.0%
Chris Kaman, C 5.70 12.70 44.6% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.80 2.30 79.0% 5.70 12.70 44.6% 1.03 45.0%
O.J. Mayo, SG 4.50 11.20 40.8% 1.50 4.20 36.4% 2.00 2.60 77.0% 3.00 7.00 43.4% 1.13 48.0%
Elton Brand, PF 4.80 9.70 49.4% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.40 1.90 73.0% 4.80 9.70 49.5% 1.13 49.0%
Shawn Marion, SF 4.60 10.30 44.6% 0.30 1.10 29.4% 1.20 1.50 80.0% 4.30 9.20 46.4% 1.04 46.0%
Darren Collison, PG 3.80 8.70 44.0% 0.60 1.60 36.2% 2.10 2.60 83.0% 3.20 7.10 45.7% 1.19 47.0%
Vince Carter, SG 3.70 8.90 41.1% 1.20 3.40 36.1% 1.60 1.90 83.0% 2.50 5.50 44.2% 1.14 48.0%
Delonte West, SG 3.80 8.20 46.1% 0.60 1.70 35.5% 1.40 1.60 89.0% 3.20 6.50 48.9% 1.17 50.0%
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 3.50 8.40 42.2% 0.70 2.50 28.8% 1.10 1.30 84.0% 2.80 5.90 47.9% 1.06 47.0%
Brandan Wright, PF 2.90 4.80 61.8% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.10 1.70 63.0% 2.90 4.80 62.1% 1.46 62.0%
Totals 44.90 99.60 45.1% 6.20 17.90 34.6% 18.80 23.10 81.4% 38.70 81.70 47.4% 1.16 49.2%
Difference from last year 6.70 15.30 -0.2% -1.70 -4.60 -0.5% 2.90 2.80 3.1% 8.40 19.90 -1.7% -0.05 -2.0%

Again just from the raw numbers, it's pretty easy to see that this team has a lot more shooters on it than last year's with the FGM, FGA, FTM, FTA, 2PA, and 2PM all going up. I'll dive down more into the shooting numbers below using the projected rotation numbers (even though the percentages won't change).

For projecting what minutes this year's team will play, we can continue using the weighted minutes approach using their minutes from last year and extrapolating that to their new spot on the Mavericks or we can basically guess. Given the new roles and season (Collison being the starting PG and the only real PG on the roster; Kaman not being injured; Dirk playing a non-shortened, no-game-every-night regular season; Mayo starting and being a primary weapon; etc), I honestly think it's better and probably more accurate to guess. Just to keep this somewhat scientific, I'll do both. Here are the weighted minute numbers for this year's squad based on the minutes they played last year:

Weighted Minute Numbers and Totals
GAME STATISTICS
PLAYER Age Weigh Min PPG OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FPG A/TO PER
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 34.00 30.07 19.39 0.63 5.39 6.10 1.97 0.61 0.43 1.71 1.88 1.16 21.80
Chris Kaman, C 30.00 26.21 11.76 1.71 5.30 6.91 1.88 0.48 1.47 2.42 2.06 0.78 15.40
O.J. Mayo, SG 24.00 24.05 11.31 0.45 2.42 2.87 2.33 0.97 0.31 1.71 1.88 1.37 14.80
Elton Brand, PF 33.00 25.94 9.87 2.15 4.22 6.46 1.44 0.87 1.45 0.99 2.60 1.45 18.10
Shawn Marion, SF 34.00 27.37 9.51 2.06 4.58 6.64 1.88 0.95 0.51 1.44 1.26 1.31 15.00
Darren Collison, PG 24.00 28.09 9.33 0.45 2.33 2.78 4.31 0.74 0.21 1.71 1.53 2.53 13.60
Vince Carter, SG 35.00 22.71 9.07 0.45 2.51 3.05 2.06 0.83 0.37 1.26 1.97 1.64 13.60
Delonte West, SG 29.00 21.63 8.62 0.27 1.80 2.06 2.87 1.18 0.22 1.53 1.35 1.88 15.40
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 24.00 19.48 7.99 0.36 2.24 2.51 2.60 0.95 0.48 1.17 1.62 2.23 15.40
Brandan Wright, PF 24.00 14.45 6.19 1.17 2.06 3.23 0.27 0.40 1.16 0.36 1.08 0.75 21.70
Totals 29.51 240.00 103.04 9.69 32.85 42.63 21.63 7.98 6.61 14.27 17.23 1.52 16.39
Difference from last year 7.61 -0.33 1.36 1.12 -0.03 -1.01 1.44 1.01 -0.04 -0.12 0.52

Since all the new players were on different teams, their minutes per game were all based on that specific team and role which in each case is pretty different when it comes to what is expected of them on this year's Mavericks. That's really why, as unscientific as it is, it may make more sense to take a stab at the per game minutes for this year's squad versus trying to use last year's numbers. So here is my conservative guess at this year's average rotational minutes with the stats based on last year's stats and adjusted for minutes played:

Projected Minute Numbers and Totals
GAME STATISTICS
PLAYER Age Proj Min PPG OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FPG A/TO PER
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 34.00 34.00 21.92 0.71 6.09 6.90 2.23 0.69 0.49 1.93 2.13 1.16 21.80
Chris Kaman, C 30.00 28.00 12.56 1.82 5.66 7.38 2.01 0.51 1.57 2.59 2.21 0.78 15.40
O.J. Mayo, SG 24.00 34.00 15.99 0.63 3.43 4.06 3.30 1.37 0.44 2.41 2.66 1.37 14.80
Elton Brand, PF 33.00 25.00 9.52 2.08 4.07 6.23 1.38 0.84 1.40 0.95 2.51 1.45 18.10
Shawn Marion, SF 34.00 30.00 10.43 2.26 5.02 7.28 2.07 1.04 0.56 1.57 1.38 1.31 15.00
Darren Collison, PG 24.00 34.00 11.30 0.54 2.82 3.37 5.21 0.89 0.25 2.06 1.85 2.53 13.60
Vince Carter, SG 35.00 18.00 7.19 0.36 1.99 2.42 1.64 0.65 0.29 1.00 1.57 1.64 13.60
Delonte West, SG 29.00 14.00 5.58 0.17 1.16 1.34 1.86 0.77 0.15 0.99 0.87 1.88 15.40
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 24.00 14.00 5.74 0.26 1.61 1.81 1.87 0.68 0.34 0.84 1.16 2.23 15.40
Brandan Wright, PF 24.00 9.00 3.86 0.73 1.29 2.01 0.17 0.25 0.72 0.22 0.67 0.75 21.70
Totals 29.42 240.00 104.07 9.56 33.13 42.79 21.74 7.70 6.22 14.56 17.00 1.49 16.30
Difference from last year 8.64 -0.46 1.64 1.28 0.08 -1.29 1.04 1.30 -0.27 -0.14 0.43

And the shooting numbers using the projected minutes:

PLAYER Age Proj Min FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% 2PM 2PA 2P% PPS AFG%
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 34.00 34.00 7.71 16.95 45.7% 1.32 3.45 36.8% 5.18 5.79 90.0% 6.39 13.50 48.1% 1.30 50.0%
Chris Kaman, C 30.00 28.00 5.47 12.18 44.6% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.73 2.21 79.0% 5.47 12.18 44.6% 1.03 45.0%
O.J. Mayo, SG 24.00 34.00 5.71 14.21 40.8% 1.90 5.33 36.4% 2.54 3.30 77.0% 3.81 8.88 43.4% 1.13 48.0%
Elton Brand, PF 33.00 25.00 4.15 8.39 49.4% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.21 1.64 73.0% 4.15 8.39 49.5% 1.13 49.0%
Shawn Marion, SF 34.00 30.00 4.52 10.13 44.6% 0.30 1.08 29.4% 1.18 1.48 80.0% 4.23 9.05 46.4% 1.04 46.0%
Darren Collison, PG 24.00 34.00 4.13 9.45 44.0% 0.65 1.74 36.2% 2.28 2.82 83.0% 3.48 7.71 45.7% 1.19 47.0%
Vince Carter, SG 35.00 18.00 2.63 6.33 41.1% 0.85 2.42 36.1% 1.14 1.35 83.0% 1.78 3.91 44.2% 1.14 48.0%
Delonte West, SG 29.00 14.00 2.21 4.76 46.1% 0.35 0.99 35.5% 0.81 0.93 89.0% 1.86 3.78 48.9% 1.17 50.0%
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 24.00 14.00 2.26 5.42 42.2% 0.45 1.61 28.8% 0.71 0.84 84.0% 1.81 3.81 47.9% 1.06 47.0%
Brandan Wright, PF 24.00 9.00 1.62 2.68 61.8% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 0.61 0.95 63.0% 1.62 2.68 62.1% 1.46 62.0%
Totals 29.42 240.00 40.41 90.51 44.7% 5.82 16.62 35.0% 17.39 21.30 81.6% 34.59 73.89 46.8% 1.16 49.2%
Difference from last year 3.96 10.06 -0.7% -1.72 -4.85 -0.1% 2.22 1.93 3.3% 5.67 14.91 -2.2% 0.01 -2.0%

Before we get into the statistics themselves, let me say a couple things on the projected minutes: 1) I have all the minutes mapped out across the positions so they make sense individually as well as holistically ie I don't have Collison filling in at C etc; 2) Dirk's minutes are about what we played in 2010, 34.3 per; 3) Mayo and Collison's minutes are guesstimates but around average for starters; 4) Carter is the only SF backup on the roster unless Crowder plays significant minutes so I have Carter filling in all of the remaining SF minutes behind Marion; 5) the backcourt minutes are really up for grabs, there is no way to tell how those will get split up and if Roddy will continue to see minutes or with West again in the fold has Roddy's chance has slipped by him but for these purposes I'm assuming that as an average for the season both West and Roddy will get their shots at minutes; 6) similarly I am assuming that Wright snags a few minutes a game as a change of pace guy, obviously fewer than he did last year with Kaman and Brand here now but I don't think he'll fall completely out of the picture; and 7) finally, I'm assuming that Dahntay Jones doesn't veteran love his way with Rick and take up sizable minutes but will instead be used as a spot defender in the odd situation here or there. That was an awful lot of caveats to add before analysis but here we go.

Obviously I don't think that this year's team is going to average 8.64 points more than last year's - that's nuts. All of the rotation additions were scorers on their old teams versus the two non-scorers in Haywood and Kidd we let go so that is going to skew the number even with equal players a side and the minute weighting. Likewise, it is unrealistic that our average FGA would go up by 10 since there are only so many possessions a game. Using the same number of FGA as last year's weighted minute total (80.45 which is below the league median of around 82) and distributing the shots and points in the same percentages for this year's projected numbers, this year's team is still projected to average 2.22 points more than last year's. Using 82 FGA, the difference is 3.21. The tables for those are below and show the different project point totals based on that FGA adjustment (which includes the split among 2pt, 3pt, and assumed lost FTA).

Normalizing for same number of FGA as last year
FGA 3PA FTA 2PA
FGA Differences 10.06 -1.85 -2.37 -8.21
Point Differences -6.43 -0.65 -1.93 -3.85
Total Points 97.64
Difference from last year 2.22
Normalizing for league median FGA
FGA 3PA FTA 2PA
FGA Differences 8.51 -1.56 -2.00 -6.94
Point Differences -5.43 -0.55 -1.63 -3.25
Total Points 98.64
Difference from last year 3.21

The statistical base for these numbers is a little fuzzy given the differences in roles in the players leaving and coming in and the general inaccuracies in projecting past performances into future ones but these point totals are a little more realistic. Here are the adjusted shooting numbers based on an average of 82 FGA per game:

PLAYER FGM FGA FG% 3PM 3PA 3P% FTM FTA FT% 2PM 2PA 2P%
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 7.02 15.36 45.7% 1.15 3.13 36.8% 4.72 5.24 90.0% 5.88 12.23 48.1%
Chris Kaman, C 4.92 11.03 44.6% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.58 2.00 79.0% 4.92 11.03 44.6%
O.J. Mayo, SG 5.25 12.87 40.8% 1.76 4.83 36.4% 2.30 2.99 77.0% 3.49 8.05 43.4%
Elton Brand, PF 3.76 7.60 49.4% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 1.09 1.49 73.0% 3.76 7.60 49.5%
Shawn Marion, SF 4.09 9.18 44.6% 0.29 0.98 29.4% 1.07 1.34 80.0% 3.80 8.20 46.4%
Darren Collison, PG 3.77 8.56 44.0% 0.57 1.57 36.2% 2.12 2.56 83.0% 3.19 6.99 45.7%
Vince Carter, SG 2.36 5.74 41.1% 0.79 2.19 36.1% 1.02 1.22 83.0% 1.57 3.55 44.2%
Delonte West, SG 1.99 4.32 46.1% 0.32 0.89 35.5% 0.75 0.84 89.0% 1.67 3.42 48.9%
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 2.07 4.91 42.2% 0.42 1.46 28.8% 0.64 0.76 84.0% 1.65 3.45 47.9%
Brandan Wright, PF 1.50 2.43 61.8% 0.00 0.00 0.0% 0.54 0.86 63.0% 1.51 2.43 62.1%
Totals 36.61 82.00 44.7% 5.28 15.06 35.0% 15.75 19.30 81.6% 31.34 66.94 46.8%
Difference from last year 0.16 1.55 -0.7% -2.26 -6.41 -0.1% 0.58 -0.07 3.3% 2.42 7.97 -2.2%

Process skippers start here:

It's impossible to pin down a projected PPG number that is 100% defensible but 98.64 assuming 82 FGA per game would have put us 7th in per game scoring last year. Regardless of the projected total points, it is rather apparent that we are a vastly improved offensive team with multiple players capable of putting up 15-20 points a given game so finding scoring this year should not be near the problem it was last year (when we ranked 19th in PPG).

According to last year's numbers though, our shooting efficiency this year will go down across the board (except FT %). Last year Haywood and Mahinmi's shooting average were great because there were all basically dunks. Likewise our three point shooting was a little bit better last year. All of the scoring additions (Kaman, Brand, Collison, and Mayo) were top five scorers on their respective teams meaning opposing teams had at least some game plan for slowing them down. We are bringing back 4 of our 5 top scorers from last year in addition to the new four mentioned above. While that will mean that folks may not average as many minutes as they could elsewhere and they probably won't score as many points as they otherwise could, they should get more open shots since the defense can't key in on one or two or even three particular players on the floor. Hopefully this combined with down years last year FG % wise from Kaman and Mayo should lead to a higher than the projected above FG % and AFG %. Also assuming that the additions can properly integrate into Rick's flow offense, Brand and Kaman should have those same open looks that Haywood and Mahinmi did as well as much higher FT %'s.

Floor spacing is going to be an issue this year since we lost our two top floor spacers (in 3 PA) in Terry and Kidd. Carter and Mayo will certainly put up the long ball but we will need more than just them. Collison and West are decent three point shooters by the numbers - they'll need to keep those percentages up while attempting more from the outside in order to keep the defense honest. Roddy also needs to get back to form in this area. We definitely do not need to make up the projected 6.41 missing threes since we are going to have more options down low this year in Brand and Kaman and more driving options in Mayo and Collison. So it is not surprising that we are projected to shoot a great deal more 2s than last year's squad but we will need Collison, Roddy, and West to help with floor spacing more than last year's numbers indicate so that teams can't just crowd the lane against us. Quick note on points in the paint: Dallas ranked only 26th in the league last year in points in the paint so shooting fewer threes and getting closer looks through driving the lane and low post shots should help our overall offensive efficiency (assuming there is a least a threat of a three point shot for spacing).

So yall don't have to keep scrolling back up to the game stats excluding points, here they are again:

PLAYER OFFR DEFR RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FPG A/TO PER
Dirk Nowitzki, PF 0.71 6.09 6.90 2.23 0.69 0.49 1.93 2.13 1.16 21.80
Chris Kaman, C 1.82 5.66 7.38 2.01 0.51 1.57 2.59 2.21 0.78 15.40
O.J. Mayo, SG 0.63 3.43 4.06 3.30 1.37 0.44 2.41 2.66 1.37 14.80
Elton Brand, PF 2.08 4.07 6.23 1.38 0.84 1.40 0.95 2.51 1.45 18.10
Shawn Marion, SF 2.26 5.02 7.28 2.07 1.04 0.56 1.57 1.38 1.31 15.00
Darren Collison, PG 0.54 2.82 3.37 5.21 0.89 0.25 2.06 1.85 2.53 13.60
Vince Carter, SG 0.36 1.99 2.42 1.64 0.65 0.29 1.00 1.57 1.64 13.60
Delonte West, SG 0.17 1.16 1.34 1.86 0.77 0.15 0.99 0.87 1.88 15.40
Rodrigue Beaubois, G 0.26 1.61 1.81 1.87 0.68 0.34 0.84 1.16 2.23 15.40
Brandan Wright, PF 0.73 1.29 2.01 0.17 0.25 0.72 0.22 0.67 0.75 21.70
Totals 9.56 33.13 42.79 21.74 7.70 6.22 14.56 17.00 1.49 16.30
Difference from last year -0.46 1.64 1.28 0.08 -1.29 1.04 1.30 -0.27 -0.14 0.43

Our rebounding numbers should be slightly better this year with a rebound by commitee approach. Our offensive boards take a bit of a hit though which is a concern. We already ranked 27th in offensive boards per game last year and it's never a good sign when your 34 year old SF is your top offensive rebounder. For all of Haywood's faults (and there were many), he was a pretty good offensive rebounder. Brand and Kaman (and Dirk if possible) will really need to hit the offensive boards hard this year so that we can get looks at some second chance points especially if our shooting percentages don't improve over last year's.

Our assist numbers are unchanged with more capable passers on the floor (especially Kaman and Brand replacing Haywood and Mahinmi) to make up for the loss of Kidd's assists but more distributed passing leads to more turnovers (especially Kaman and Mayo). Even with a better distributed passing team, Collison will need to work more at intiating and running the offense meaning the ball should be in his hands more than it was in the Pacers offense so I would expect his assists and TO numbers to go up more than projected. Likwise, Kaman and Mayo (the two projected turnover fiends) will both need to make more intelligent passes in Rick's system to keep the offense flowing. Mayo will particularly need to work on this if he has aspirations of snagging some PG minutes since Rick has a short fuse for PGs that throw the ball away.

On the defensive end, the Mavericks look like an improved team as well. Blocked shots go up with a reliable rim protector in Brand and decent shot blocker in Kaman. Likewise our fouls look to drop a bit with more mobile big men patroling the paint. Our perimeter defense is still a bit of an unknown though with steals dropping by 1.29. It'll be up to team chemistry and defensive rotations to tell if this means that our perimeter players are less aggressive but apt defenders (which would certainly be aided by having help in the paint) or less than commendable defenders. Terry's gambles on defense combined with Kidd's slow feet but fast hands led to a good number of steals (Dallas was 4th in the league in steals) which helped keep us in the game defensively and tended to give us our few fastbreak points for the game (11.7 for 21st in the league). Without those steals on the perimeter, we'll need to play better rotational defense and hope that the improved paint defense makes up the difference. In a side note: as quick as Collison is, he really should be able to get after it more defensively and cause more turnovers.

Overall, the team certainly looks a step above last year's team that got knocked out in the first round. In addition to the new additions: Dirk should go back to being Dirk for the whole season; we're got some nice new rookies that may help us out in the future; Roddy, DoJo, and even Wright have had another year to figure this NBA thing out; and Carlisle, Donnie, and Co remain one of the top Coach/FO combos in the game. It's a good time to be a Mavs fan and happily the stats support that.

PS: For any of those ultra-nerdy like me, I'm happy to send yall my spreadsheets if you want to look over the numbers more closely or play with the rotation minutes.


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