Monday, April 11, 2011

The ADS and potential 1st Round matchups for the Mavericks

Do the Mavericks settle for too many low percentage shots?

After numerous playoff match-ups that seem to result in the Mav's opponent constantly at the rim and free throw line, it was time to see if the claim was true.

Bob decided he wanted a way to quantify and prove with physical data that the Mavericks settle for too many perimeter shots as compared to their opponents.

All season long we've been tracking the Mavericks and their opponents ADS (Average Distance per Shot) with the quest to determine if the Mavs settle for too many low percentage shots by comparison.

Quick Stat 1: The Mavs have had a better ADS+ in only 17 of 80 (21.25%) recorded ADS games this season

Quick Stat 2: The Mavs have a season ADS+ of 12.37, their opponents season ADS+ sits at 11.39

Now the playoffs are upon us and we have gathered some data to see which potential 1st Round match-up favors the Mavericks per the ADS.

Since the Mavericks have clinched home court in the 1st Round, we will take a look at the 4 teams they could potentially face (Memphis, Portland, Denver, New Orleans) and how the season match-up's resulted for the Mavs.

Another thing we will look at and breakdown are the potential big men (C & PF) the Mav's could face in the playoffs and how they fared against them in the regular season according to the ADS.

We will also look at the "Dirk effect" theory and see which one of these match-ups best suits the Mavericks star player.

TeamADS+ (Team)Mavs ADS+Big‘s Shot TotalBig‘s ADS+
Grizzlies9.912.445/80 (56.3%)5.6
Blazers10.911.958/111 (52.3%)7.96
Nuggets11.712.117/37 (46%)5.0
Hornets12.11335/75 (46.7%)7.31

Here is a team by team breakdown of the big's versus the Mavericks:

PlayerADS+ Shot Total (Against)Season Avg
Randolph6.5329/47 (61.7%)50.2%
Totals:5.6245/80(56.3%)4 Games Played
-Grizzlies win season series 3-1

Analysis: The Grizzlies posted the best ADS+ against Dallas of the potential 1st round match-ups with an average of 9.9ft/shot. Zach Randolph poses the biggest threat to Dirk and Dallas with his mere 6.5 ADS+, 61.7% FG and 24.3 PPG against the Mavs.

The Mavs have had difficulties keeping Randolph and the
pose of guards around him from getting shots in the paint. The trio of Conley, Young, and Arthur combine for an average ADS+ of 7.75 against Dallas this season.

The combo of the bigs shooting well from close range and guards with the ability to get into the lane, could be a toxic match-up for Dallas.

Verdict: Easily the worst match-up for Dallas according to the ADS and against a team who seems to play far above their usual capabilities against them. Thanks, but no thanks.

PlayerADS+ Shot Total (Against)Season Avg
Totals:7.9658/111(52.3%)4 Games Played
-Tied season series 2-2

Analysis: The Blazers posted the 2nd best ADS+ against Dallas of the potential first round match-ups with an average of 10.9ft/shot. LaMarcus Aldridge is another bad match-up for Dirk and Dallas defensively. His average of 28 points and 23 FG-A per game against the Mavs, while averaging 52% shooting, is bound to keep the Mavericks busy on the defensive side of the ball.

Although their big men have the highest ADS+ of the 4 teams versus Dallas, both shoot higher than their season average when playing the Mavericks- especially Camby who's average is 15% higher. With Aldridge being able to average 6PPG and 6 FG-A higher than his regular season average against the Mavs, it seems exploiting Dallas in the paint is something Portland likes to take advantage of.

Being the overall ADS for Portland being the 2nd lowest and their post players the 4th highest, it clearly indicates their guards have little problem getting into the paint as well.

Verdict: Overall this a very very tough match-up for the Mavs according to the ADS. With the addition of Gerlad Wallace, who has an ADS+ average of 7.98 against Dallas this season, the Blazers would be a team to avoid at all cost.

PlayerADS+ Shot Total (Against)Season Avg
Totals:4.9817/37(46%)2 Games Played
-Nuggets win season series 3-1

Analysis: Its hard to get a true read on a team that had such a huge overhaul this season. Three of the Four games this season were played before the Carmelo trade and the combo of Nene and K-Mart, who are averaging an ADS+ of 4.98 against the Mavs, were not available the first two meetings.

Focusing on the last match-up versus the new look Nuggets, one of the hottest teams in the NBA, we see they were able to post a 10.8 ADS+ which is 1.5 ft lower than their season average prior to the trade.

It seems the new look Nuggets have the ability to play a lot closer to the rim than the numbers indicate. The ADS+ of 4.98 for the big men could cause trouble for Dallas if they are able to get a lot FG-A's from close range. If the Mavs can keep the Denver big's FG-A's down to less than 20% of the total shots taken, Denver might have to rely on a young crop of guards to carry the load.

Verdict: The overall ADS+ shouldn't be an absolute scare for the Mavs. If they can make the Nuggets rely on hitting consistently from longer range, this could be a match-up they could win. It would be nice to avoid a team that's on a roll, but this would be a far better match-up than Portland and Memphis for the Mavericks.

PlayerADS+ Shot Total (Against)Season Avg
Totals:7.3135/75(46.7%)3 Games Played
-Hornets lead season series 2-1

Analysis: The Hornets have posted the highest ADS+ against Dallas this season at 12.1. Their big men have posted the second highest ADS+ combining for 7.31 ft-attempt. If you include the FG-A stats for Landry as a King (5 of 17), all three big men are shooting well below their season FG% and PPG when facing Dallas.

The story here is the Hornets losing David West to a season ending knee injury. Out of all the big men, and the Hornets team, he was the main contributor and definitely carried the most weight towards the overall ADS. Without him, New Orleans will have to rely on Landry and others to compensate for his production.

Okafor is averaging 7PPG and shooting 42% against the Mavs this season and Landry is averaging 8PPG and shooting 46%, nothing intimidating. Once again, both players well below their season averages in PPG and FG%. Defensively, this should help Dallas coral Chris Paul and not have to worry about David West type production.

Verdict: This is the best match-up for Los Mavs according to the ADS. Landry and West post similar averages, but West's average is more weighted to the total ADS+. It's poor form to be happy about an athlete's injuries, but David West's absence is great news for the Mavericks. Hopefully if these two teams were to meet in Round 1 of the playoffs, the Hornets ADS+ could be even higher without West. You can never count your chickens when playing Chris Paul, but the Hornets are a match-up that favors the Mavericks at this point in the season. Bring em' on.

Quick Stat 3: Dirk's season to date ADS+ is 13.2 and has a FG% of 52%.

Certain match-ups create better opportunity for certain players. Obviously for Dallas the key player is Dirk and the Mavs will live and die by his success. Lets take a look at how the German star matched up against the four potential 1st Round opponents this season.

The Dirk Effect
OpponentADS+ Shot Total FG% Against

Analysis: The one thing that pops out on this chart is the continued notion that the Hornets are the best match-up, not only for Dallas, but for Dirk. The Hornets allow Dirk the lowest ADS+ of the four teams as well as the highest FG%. The numbers don't lie and the situation should improve in a playoff match-up with David West now out of the picture.

A couple of things are apparent when breaking down various factors of the ADS and trying to determine which potential 1st Round match-up bodes well for Dallas.

First, even though they could potentially be the 8th seed, Memphis does not provide a comfortable 1st Round pairing for the Mavericks. The guards can get to the rim and the big men shoot well against Dallas. Also, Dirk's ADS+ against Memphis this year sits well above his 2010-2011 ADS+ season average.

The match-up that the ADS says will be best for the Mavericks would be the Hornets. New Orleans ADS+ average against Dallas (12.1) was above the season long Opponents ADS+ average of 11.39. Also, the Hornets are the most enticing match-up for Nowitzki's ADS+ and FG%, compared to the other potential opponents. The saying in Dallas states " Dirk goes, the Mavs go" and if you disagree then Nowitzness the 2-7 stretch without him.

There are a lot of components to winning a basketball game, but there is one statistical fact that remains constant- the closer you shoot, the better the odds are you're going to make it.

What is ADS? Read the FAQ and find out.

Thanks to Heath Huston and Tim Krajewski for helping track and post data throughout the season.

Adam Rosen

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