State of the Warriors Part I: Seriously Advanced Offensive Player Summaries for 2012

Let's talk about stats.

The crickets are getting restless. The draft lottery is still a few weeks away, and while many Warriors fans have probably taken the summer off already, hardcore GSoMers like you are in need of some nourishment to keep you going. I'm here to satisfy a little bit of that hunger with some advanced stats, and not your run-of-the-mill TS% or USG%. I trust that if you're reading this now, you're smart and resourceful enough to look up those stats on your own. Heck, I'm sure you already have. No, even so-called "advanced stats" are not good enough for GSoM. In this post, I'm going to give a rundown of Synergy and my own metric Adjusted Four Factor +/- (A4PM), which breaks down RAPM into a player's effects on team shooting efficiency, turnover rates, rebounding, and free throw attempts.

Synergy

Recall that the video service Synergy breaks down plays into these categories (my abbreviations in parentheses):

  • Isolation (ISO)
  • Post-up (POST)
  • Pick and roll - ball handler shoots (BALL)
  • Pick and roll - rolling man shoots (MAN)
  • Spot-up jump shot (SPOT)
  • Coming off screen (SCREEN)
  • Hand off to shooter (HAND)
  • Cutting to basket (CUT)
  • Following offensive rebound (OREB)
  • Shot coming in transition (TRANS)
  • Other not categorized (OTHER)

Note that in these tables I only show players that qualified with enough plays to have a Synergy ranking. That's why, for example, you won't find Andris Biedrins anywhere.

ISO

Overall, the Warriors ran ISO 12.8% of the time with a 0.76 PPP (ranked #19 in the league).

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Brandon Rush

ISO

10.60%

60

0.87

42

David Lee

ISO

11.80%

139

0.86

46

Nate Robinson

ISO

18.00%

108

0.84

60

Klay Thompson

ISO

10.30%

88

0.77

104

Stephen Curry

ISO

15.10%

56

0.75

123

Monta Ellis

ISO

22.60%

201

0.73

142

Charles Jenkins

ISO

14.00%

50

0.72

148

Richard Jefferson

ISO

13.40%

27

0.67

177

Dorell Wright

ISO

7.60%

47

0.60

201

Dominic McGuire

ISO

15.50%

46

0.57

208

Isolation is a play that teams should generally try to avoid because is is not that efficient, although ironically, many of the league's star players are recognized for their ability in isolation (Melo, Kobe, etc.). Without having Monta Ellis around as an "iso crutch", the Warriors will most likely run this play less often - but that could be a blessing in disguise. And when MJ does feel the need to call ISO, the Warriors actually appear to have several decent options. It's nice to see Brandon Rush at the top of this list. He's known mostly for his spot-up shooting, but apparently, when he puts the ball on the floor, he is able to create his own shot and score efficiently. It's a relatively small sample size, though, and the previous season his efficiency on ISO was only 0.70. David Lee, on the other hand, was even more efficient in isolation last season (0.90 PPP), so that number looks believable. Stephen Curry was actually much better in ISO last season (0.93 PPP on 197 plays). He only ran 56 ISO plays this season, which is a relatively small sample, but my guess is that his ankle problems had something to do with his poorer performance this season.

SPOT

The Warriors ran SPOT 19.1% of the time for a 1.09 PPP which ranked #1 in the league. This is clearly our wheelhouse.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Stephen Curry

SPOT

21.40%

79

1.38

3

Richard Jefferson

SPOT

37.80%

76

1.37

5

Monta Ellis

SPOT

9.80%

87

1.29

9

Brandon Rush

SPOT

34.90%

198

1.22

17

Klay Thompson

SPOT

19.70%

168

1.13

35

Nate Robinson

SPOT

18.10%

109

1.11

41

Dorell Wright

SPOT

40.70%

251

1.07

62

Charles Jenkins

SPOT

22.10%

79

0.95

155

David Lee

SPOT

12.10%

143

0.93

171

Dominic McGuire

SPOT

11.50%

34

0.56

331

I know what you're thinking...Monta shot that efficiently? The year before his PPP on SPOT plays was only 1.01. In his short time with the Bucks, he shot 1.0 PPP in 50 attempts. This just shows you (like Brandon Rush's ISO efficiency above) to be careful when looking at these Synergy numbers. These numbers bounce around, sometimes quite a lot. It's pretty clear, though, that the Warriors have assembled a team with a bunch of good spot-up shooters. The addition of Bogut could even help space the floor more and make our perimeter shooting even better. That's the hope, anyway. Before moving on, I just have to point out one thing. Dominic McGuire. Dude really can't shoot. He may be the only player in the NBA who shot better in isolation than as a spot-up shooter, which is hilarious considering how bad his ISO efficiency was (0.57 PPP). Just saying. Dude who can't shoot.

POST

The Warriors ran this play 9.4% of the time for 0.84 PPP which ranked #15 in the league.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Monta Ellis

POST

7.70%

69

1.07

6

Ekpe Udoh

POST

37.50%

93

0.84

68

David Lee

POST

23.70%

280

0.83

73

Jeremy Tyler

POST

30.40%

80

0.83

73

Klay Thompson

POST

3.10%

26

0.77

105

How funny is it that the Warriors, generally known as a team with a woeful post offense, lose their two best post players, one of who is a small combo guard and the other has been referred to as a "No-Stats All-Star"? Yup, that's our Warriors. The hope is Andrew Bogut helps us here, but it should be noted that his POST efficiency this season was only 0.71 PPP. In 2010-11, his efficiency was somewhat better at 0.78 PPP. And going back to 2009-10, his efficiency was 0.80 PPP. Bogut certainly demands attention in the post, but he's not what you would call a high efficiency option down low. In Milwaukee he was asked to generate a lot of offense, and one would think that with the shooters we have, Bogut won't be counted on to generate nearly as much offense. But I think it's fair to say he doesn't solve all our problems down low. If you're expecting Dwight Howard type post offense (0.88 PPP on 57.4% of his plays), you may be sorely disappointed.

BALL

The Warriors ran this play 13.1% of the time for 0.79 PPP which ranked #17.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Brandon Rush

BALL

5.60%

32

0.97

14

Stephen Curry

BALL

25.70%

95

0.97

14

Charles Jenkins

BALL

35.30%

126

0.93

25

Nate Robinson

BALL

35.90%

216

0.82

58

Monta Ellis

BALL

28.30%

252

0.73

103

Dorell Wright

BALL

4.90%

30

0.70

112

Klay Thompson

BALL

9.80%

83

0.52

177

Last season Curry shot 0.89 PPP on the pick and roll play, and 0.81 PPP his rookie season. It appears he has steadily improved here, which is a great sign. The fact that Jenkins is already at 0.93 PPP (on 35%) is also very encouraging. If he can just add a 3-pt shot to his arsenal, he would be a much more efficient scorer, overall. In fact, CJ was quite a bit more efficient in the pick and roll than Kyrie Irving (0.82 PPP). It should be noted that the best PNR players run this play a lot more. 61% of Nash's shots came on this play (0.93 PPP). Chris Paul ran this play 41% of the time (0.94 PPP). As Curry and/or Jenkins run this play more, they will (deservedly) receive more defensive attention, so their efficiencies may decrease somewhat.

MAN

The Warriors ran this play 5.6% of the time for a 1.04 PPP which ranked #5.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Ekpe Udoh

MAN

10.50%

26

1.23

10

David Lee

MAN

19.30%

228

1.03

48

Jeremy Tyler

MAN

10.30%

27

0.74

125

This is where David Lee really helps. Pick your poison on the pick and roll, either Curry (Jenkins) or Lee. When the Warriors traded for Lee, one of the thoughts was that the PNR would become a bread-and-butter play for us. Now that Curry will be running the show in the backcourt, the odds of that happening are much higher. Regarding Udoh's apparently high efficiency, the sample size should be taken into account. In his short time with the Bucks, he shot 0.92 PPP on 37 pick and roll plays. That's not bad, though. Finally, it should be obvious that Tyler needs to improve in this area.

SCREEN

The Warriors ran this play 7.2% of the time at 0.92 PPP which ranked #10.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Stephen Curry

SCREEN

10.00%

37

1.05

14

Klay Thompson

SCREEN

28.10%

239

1.03

16

Monta Ellis

SCREEN

6.60%

59

0.83

75

Brandon Rush

SCREEN

8.80%

50

0.80

83

Dorell Wright

SCREEN

8.30%

51

0.59

119

It's pretty easy to predict the Warriors offensive scheme next season. Pick and roll with Curry and Lee. Klay Thompson coming off screens set by Lee or Bogut. Brandon Rush parking somewhere on the 3-pt line and keeping defenses honest. And on occasion, running a post play for Bogut.

TRANSITION

The Warriors ran this play 13.2% of the time at 1.15 PPP which ranked #9.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Dorell Wright

TRANS

20.90%

129

1.26

77

Brandon Rush

TRANS

21.00%

119

1.26

77

Nate Robinson

TRANS

15.10%

91

1.25

84

David Lee

TRANS

6.30%

75

1.24

89

Monta Ellis

TRANS

11.90%

106

1.22

103

Klay Thompson

TRANS

15.30%

130

1.12

165

Stephen Curry

TRANS

17.00%

63

1.05

206

Dominic McGuire

TRANS

16.60%

49

1.00

226

Charles Jenkins

TRANS

13.70%

49

0.73

284

Yay, Dorell wins a category! Ok, the only thing to note here is that Curry, Klay, and especially Jenkins need to pass more on transition plays, amirite?

CUT

The Warriors ran this play 7.2% of the time at 1.21 PPP which ranked #12.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Brandon Rush

CUT

4.90%

28

1.46

12

David Lee

CUT

11.30%

133

1.38

21

Monta Ellis

CUT

4.80%

43

1.30

46

Dorell Wright

CUT

5.70%

35

1.20

95

Dominic McGuire

CUT

19.30%

57

1.11

140

Ekpe Udoh

CUT

13.30%

33

0.97

186

Jeremy Tyler

CUT

16.00%

42

0.79

207

The Warriors have several guys who can finish around the basket. Right now, Jeremy Tyler doesn't appear to be one of those guys.

OREB

5.1% of the Warriors' plays came off of offensive rebounds at a 1.01 PPP which ranked #23.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Dorell Wright

OREB

5.20%

32

1.34

3

David Lee

OREB

8.60%

102

1.13

55

Jeremy Tyler

OREB

15.60%

41

0.95

123

Ekpe Udoh

OREB

10.90%

27

0.89

140

Dominic McGuire

OREB

12.20%

36

0.47

158

This is another area where Bogut should help, and yet another area where Tyler could use some improvement. And seriously, Dominic McGuire. #smh

HAND

This is a rarely used play (i.e. usually as the shot clock winds down). The Warriors ran this 1.7% of the time at 0.85 PPP which ranked #12.

NAME

PLAY

%TIME

NUM

PPP

RANK

Klay Thompson

HAND

3.80%

32

0.81

35

A4PM

For a complete description of A4PM see here and here. Briefly, the main idea is that I calculate adjusted versions of the four factors (eFG%, TOR, ORB%, FTA/FGA) on offense and defense, and then add up all those individual components to create a composite version of RAPM. One advantage of this technique is that, as opposed to RAPM, it is not as much of a "black box", since you can see the player's effect on the four factors. A second advantage is that it appears to be more stable year-to-year (as shown here), which suggests it's predictive capability may be better than RAPM (although I haven't proven that yet).

Here, I'll look at the 4 offensive components and the total offensive rating (O4PM).

O4PM

NAME

POSS

O4PM

Nate Robinson

2212

1.66

Stephen Curry

1417

1.23

Klay Thompson

2822

0.75

Brandon Rush

3149

0.37

David Lee

3915

0.26

Dorell Wright

3047

-0.03

Richard Jefferson

3072

-0.21

Dominic McGuire

1976

-0.48

Jeremy Tyler

878

-0.57

Andris Biedrins

1345

-0.66

Charles Jenkins

1487

-1.79

For the curious, Monta's O4PM was 0.22 this season, and Udoh's was 0.51.

eFG%

The OEFG column lists the adjusted eFG% value (in %-points) and RATING represents the contribution of that value to O4PM (in this case 1.77*eFG%).

NAME

POSS

RATING

OEFG

Stephen Curry

1417

1.45

0.82

Nate Robinson

2212

1.08

0.61

Dominic McGuire

1976

0.95

0.53

Brandon Rush

3149

0.87

0.49

Klay Thompson

2822

0.68

0.38

David Lee

3915

0.32

0.18

Andris Biedrins

1345

0.26

0.15

Dorell Wright

3047

0.13

0.07

Richard Jefferson

3072

-0.24

-0.14

Jeremy Tyler

878

-0.31

-0.18

Charles Jenkins

1487

-1.33

-0.75

OTOR

This is the adjusted turnover rate per 100 possessions (negative values are better, meaning fewer turnovers). The contribution to O4PM is -1.37*OTOR.

NAME

POSS

RATING

OTOR

Nate Robinson

2212

0.79

-0.58

Richard Jefferson

3072

0.69

-0.50

Klay Thompson

2822

0.65

-0.48

David Lee

3915

0.31

-0.22

Stephen Curry

1417

0.27

-0.20

Dorell Wright

3047

0.11

-0.08

Brandon Rush

3149

0.10

-0.07

Andris Biedrins

1345

0.06

-0.05

Charles Jenkins

1487

-0.09

0.07

Jeremy Tyler

878

-0.28

0.21

Dominic McGuire

1976

-0.78

0.57

ORR

The value given for ORR is the adjusted %-change in offensive rebounding rate. The contribution to O4PM is 0.31*ORR. No surprise here, we are not a good rebounding team.

NAME

POSS

RATING

ORR

Jeremy Tyler

878

0.11

0.35

David Lee

3915

-0.15

-0.49

Stephen Curry

1417

-0.17

-0.55

Dorell Wright

3047

-0.20

-0.65

Charles Jenkins

1487

-0.22

-0.71

Nate Robinson

2212

-0.31

-1.01

Klay Thompson

2822

-0.36

-1.17

Brandon Rush

3149

-0.42

-1.34

Dominic McGuire

1976

-0.51

-1.64

Richard Jefferson

3072

-0.55

-1.79

Andris Biedrins

1345

-0.58

-1.87

FTA/FGA

The value of OFTR is in terms of FTA per 100 FGA. The contribution to O4PM is 0.14*OFTR.

NAME

POSS

RATING

OFTR

Nate Robinson

2212

0.10

0.74

Dorell Wright

3047

-0.08

-0.54

Jeremy Tyler

878

-0.08

-0.61

Richard Jefferson

3072

-0.10

-0.73

Dominic McGuire

1976

-0.14

-0.97

Charles Jenkins

1487

-0.15

-1.08

Brandon Rush

3149

-0.19

-1.35

David Lee

3915

-0.21

-1.49

Klay Thompson

2822

-0.22

-1.57

Stephen Curry

1417

-0.31

-2.24

Andris Biedrins

1345

-0.41

-2.90

I'll be happy to answer any questions you have in the comments section. In Part 2, I'll go over the defense.

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