On Turnover Conversions: Existence of Home Team Advantage?

Happy 2 Dimes and a Dozen Eggs!!!

Eager to uphold my resolution of contributing more blog posts, here’s a doozy.

While watching the Lakers getting worked by the Trailblazers, i heard Stu Lantz alongside Billy “Mizzle” Mack (upgade from trash Joel Meyers) say something I’ve been meaning to look into. Stu dropped a gem along the lines of the “Home Team converts more points off of turnovers than the Away Team”

Watching the game from the comforts of home gave me 2 advantages.

  1. I didn’t have to keep my swear words limit in check while watching Aldridge light us up
  2. Allowed me to boot up [R], instead of normally using the halftime break to reup on a brew at the bar,

I looked at the current NBA season 2011-2012 which gives a handful of games to go off of. The data I scoured the bowels of the internet for came in a format which was suitable for some simple text parsing. Specifically, the ‘stringr’ package came in handy to go through the ‘play by play’ of all the games to easily obtain the stat i’m interested in.

For all games, we take a look at the number of possessions where Team A scores resulting from Team B’s turnover. Further, binning the above counts into whether Team A was the home team or the away team gives us the result of interest.

Here’s a lame picture of the results

Stu Lantz is a cool guy with a dope mustache but for the current season, his words of wisdom do not hold. Might be true for the past seasons which i’ll look at later. Also, using a play-by-play parse is pretty “loose” and isn’t an exact stat of “made baskets off of turnovers”


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