Monday, May 17, 2010

1/2009 - Dream 75, Silver Stars 70: Effective Izi

Okay. We now remove all the fun from the win by taking a surgeon's scapel to it. Hopefully you didn't forget that game on Saturday. You know, when we went to the Silver Stars home court and beat them?

Dean Oliver's Four Factors gets heavy play:

Field goal shooting. We don't use the normal field goal percentages around here. Us statheads use "effective field goal percentage", where every 3-point shot counts as 1 1/2 ordinary shorts. For those mathetmatically inclined:

Effective field goal percentage = (FG + (1/2)*3P)/FGA

The final numbers:

Dream: 45.5 percent
Silver Stars: 44.3 percent

Shooting really wasn't the key to the Dream winning. The edge is a slight one. Maybe in some other stat.

Turnovers: San Antonio 20, Dream 22. Sort of a wash, really. Neither team held on to the ball well.

Offensive rebounding: The Dream had 13 rebounds and the Silver Stars had seven. But what was the Dream's offensive rebounding percentage?

The formula would be OR/(OR + Opp DR), where OR = "offensive rebounds" and DR = "opponent's defensive rebounds".

Dream Offensive Rebound Percentage = 13/(13 + 23) = 36.1 percent
Silver Stars Offensive Rebound Percentage = 10/(10 + 28) =26.3 percent

The real key to the Dream's win was that we outrebounded San Antonio. San Antonio really struggled on the offensive boards. Put it this way: the entire San Antonio team only had three more offensive rebounds than Erika de Souza.

Free throw visits: Dream 25, San Antonio 16. Both teams shot horribly: the Dream hit 52 percent of their free throws...but the Silver Stars hit just 50 percent. Incidentally, the Dream's +5 margin in free throws was exactly the margin of victory.

(* * *)

We give some props to our noble opponent by looking at the San Antonio Silver Stars:

Becky Hammon: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists. Hammon certainly wasn't tired, but as Erika de Souza can tell you, Hammon certainly didn't wear herself out in Spain.
Sophia Young: 15 points, 2 rebounds. And she was tired. She might have had 25 points if she had some oomph.
Michelle Snow: 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 5-for-7 shooting. The ex-Dream player made a good impression in San Antonio.
Megan Frazee: 5 points, 3 rebounds. Her +9 raw plus/minus was the best on the San Antonio team. Why didn't they play her more?

And now, we'll take a look at the Atlanta Dream performance, from toppermost to bottommost:

Iziane Castro Marques: 23 points, 3 assists, 4 steals. 9-for-18 shooting. I've written before about the "Izi Effect" where Iziane's best performances come when the Dream is losing. Not this time. Izi carried the Dream. Maybe Iziane's one of those players that looks perpetually forward to new starts. But you have to give her credit despite her +2 raw plus/minus - Iziane was by far the Dreamer of the Game.

Angel McCoughtry: 20 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals. Nice numbers, but with some caveats. First, it took 25 shots to make those 20 points - 20 field goal attempts and five free throw attemps. Also: three personal fouls and six turnovers. Maybe McCoughtry was trying a little too hard. Even with those asterisks, it was a pretty good game that lots of WNBA players would have loved to have.

Sancho Lyttle: 16 points, 7 points. She had five personal fouls, however, which kept her on the bench for long stretches of the first half after she picked up two quick personal fouls in the opening minutes. Her 6-for-9 shooting was impressive; imagine what she could have done without the foul trouble.

Erika de Souza: 11 points, 15 rebounds. A double-double looks impressive on any stat line. Her shooting however was just 5-for-14, which is quite low for The Beast from Brazil - she can usually bank them in from point-blank range. Her +10 raw plus/minus was the highest of the team - the Dream just did better on the court when Erika de Souza was on it.

All of this despite the fact that de Souza was obviously tired. A double-double when exhausted. She is clearly The Beast in the best sense of the word.

Shalee Lehning: One of Lehning's goals for 2010 was to be a better shooter. Her goal wasn't in range for this game: she took three shots and missed them and took three free throws and missed them. We take away credits for stuff like that. (That and four personal fouls.) But she had six assists - the most of any player on either team - and she had five rebounds, including the offensive rebound than ended the game.

Armintie Price: Here is where we sink into mediocrity. It's to be expected: of the Dream's 75 points, the five players above scored 70. Price had some good shooting - she was 2-for-3 with 4 points - but she wasn't a firebrand on the court. At least...not this game....

Alison Bales: Bales was actually decent in the sense that she wasn't embarrassing or inept - what you'd expect of a marginal player after a one-year layoff. Bales had one point but had five rebounds and a +9 raw plus/minus. Bales might come along this season if Leuchanka doesn't take her job on Wednesday.

Coco Miller: She's the Miller twin who played with the Dream last year. Frisco del Rosario said that he expected a "double billion" sometime this year from the Miller twins. (A "billion" is a line of nothing but zeroes in the box score.) Coco Miller has one steal and avoided ignominity.

Brittainey Raven: Didn't play. Coach's decision.

Chamique Holdsclaw: Didn't play. Holdsclaw's decision.

Kelly Miller: She played six minutes. No points, and three turnovers, averaging a turnover every 190 seconds. Those aren't pro numbers. So Kelly Miller gets the Still Snoozin' award. That's looks like we can set the alarm for this Friday, at the latest.

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