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NBA Miner | Changes in NBA Teams’ Style of Play in 2014-15
Changes in NBA Teams’ Style of Play in 2014-15 for Four Factors
NBA, basketball, defense, player, rebound, efficiency, comparison, statistics, metric, analysis, offense, rating, team, turnover, free throw, field goal
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Changes in Teams’ Play: Part 2

In part 1, we compared teams seasonal differences according to pace, offensive and defensive ratings and rebound rate.

In this one, we will look at the famous four factors namely effective field goal percentage, free throw rate, team turnover percentage and offensive rebound rate.




Again, the green color in difference columns indicates the positive deviation from the mean and thus significant improvement comparing to the last season. The reds are just the opposite.


Effective field goal percentage adjusts for the fact that a 3 point field goal is worth one more point than a 2 point field goal. Its formula is eFG% = (FGM + (0.5 x 3PTM)) / FGA. For this metric, the highest improvements are for Warriors, Bulls and Celtics. And there are important retrogressions for Thunder, Spurs and Lakers. For OKC, absence of KD and RW is obvious excuse and Lakers have to deal with low field goal percentage of Kobe Bryant. But for defending champion Spurs, the squad and coach is very same, so they are clearly in slope.


Free throw rate stands for the ratio of free throw made to field goal attempted (FTM/FGA). Offensively, it shows how a team easily scores points as free throws represent easy way to score. For this statistic, top four increase belong to Kings, Lakers, Cavs and Grizzlies. Putting Kings and Grizzlies aside, the existence of Kobe Bryant in Lakers and LeBron James in Cavs seems the main factor for such increases. Let’s remember the superstar treatment for foul drawn here. But Kings and Grizzlies are really noteworthy, it is clear that their early season success is not by coincidence.


Turnover percentage is the ratio showing how many times a team’s possession ends with a turnover. This metric is one of the contributor to precise a team’s offensive (in)efficiency. Despite all of other good metrics, Houston and Warriors are really struggling at turnovers. In contrast, Raptors, Mavericks and Pelicans cover the ball extremely well.


For offensive rebound rate, Rockets lead the league; but somehow Lakers has the biggest increase in this category in comparison with previous season (note also that they were the last in 2013-14). Clippers and Pistons’ offensive rebound rate fell heavily, and we know that they can’t play even as good as last season nowadays.


As a summary, four factors are accepted as good indicators for eventual team success. When comparing teams according to them, three teams outshine relatively last season. And therefore, we can easily predict that these three teams will be a lot better this year than last year. They are Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks and Utah Jazz.


1 Comment

  • Mitchell Newman

    Thanks for sharing your analysis. It’s interesting to see how much the addition and/or loss of certain players directly impacts a team. It’s one of the best ways to objectively gauge how much that player actually benefits his team. Also interesting to see some young teams on the rise from last season.

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