Part 2: LAL, HOU, CHA, CHI – Offensive Rebounds Aren’t What They Used to Be

gamm2_4teamsThe Lakers have historically featured low post offense. Mikan, Kareem, Shaq, Bynum. I’m glad to see Byron Scott continue the tradition by featuring Kobe on the low-mid post this season, best low post footwork in the league!

The Houston Rockets were great in the 90s thanks to Akeem the Dream. Since then, the offensive rebound to win relationship hasn’t been the same.

For Charlotte, nothing much to see. Flat as pancakes.

The Bulls are interesting. There’s a very slight hill from the 90s till the present. No surprise since The Worm and Joakim Noah have been holding down the Bull’s offensive rebounds.

Takeaway: Accounting for team specific characteristics give you a clearer picture of reality. In the previous post, we looked at an ‘average team.’ That was fine if you wanted to look at the league wide trend. Clearly, each team is nuanced enough to be different than your ‘average team.’ Using modern Statistics, via ‘generalized additive models’ to smooth and ‘random effect’s’ to partially pool, you can estimate nonlinear relationships for specific teams.

To paraphrase Phil Jackson, team’s should play to the strengths of their personnel. Just because you see a leage-wide trend of jacking up corner threes, or crashing offensive rebounds does not mean a specific team should follow suit.

Up Next: A ‘Game Level’ model to quantify a team’s “untangible’s” that don’t show up in the boxscores.


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