Offensive/Defensive Four Factors Leaders

For those who may not be aware, Dean Oliver, author of Basketball on Paper, developed a list of four factors that a team must excel in to be good on both offense and defense. For offense, those factors are shooting percentage (measured by effective field goal percentage), turnovers (measured by turnover percentage), offensive rebounds (measured by offensive rebound percentage), and free throws (measured by free throws per field goal attempts). For defense, those factors are shooting percentage allowed, turnovers created, defensive rebounds, and free throws allowed.

Today I’ll look at the team leaders in each of those eight categories. All stats presented here are courtesy of the KnickerBlogger.Net advanced stats page.

Offense

Shooting Percentage: Phoenix Suns. This is not new territory for Phoenix. Every year they are among the best in this category, and so far this season is no different. Steve Nash is the biggest reason for this, as his effective field goal percentage is always among the league leaders. His 59.6% this season leads the team.

Turnovers: Miami Heat. The Heat take very good care of the ball, turning it over just 13.6% of the time. Dwyane Wade is actually second in the league in turnovers per game, but that number is misleading because of the amount he handles the ball. The rest of the team is great at avoiding mistakes. Not surprisingly, of the players receiving a lot of minutes, the two rookies Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers are the worst in this area.

Offensive Rebounds: Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers grab 32.9% of their misses, a key reason why their offense is among the best in the NBA. Their center duo of Greg Oden and Joel Przybilla leads the team, and LaMarcus Aldridge is not too far behind.

Free Throws: Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets attempt 30.8 free throws for every 100 shots they take. Dahntay Jones leads the team in this category, but Chauncey Bills, Nene, and Carmelo Anthony are all quite adept at this as well.

Defense

Shooting Percentage Allowed: Boston Celtics. The Celtics are leading this category by a landslide, just like last season. They have good defenders at every position (with the possible exception of Ray Allen) and play solid, fundamental defense all game.

Turnovers Created: Miami Heat. Combine this with their ability to take care of the ball, and you can see why the Heat are surprising a lot of people so far. Dwyane Wade is a thief and adept at getting steals, but rookie backcourt mate Chalmers may be even better.

Defensive Rebounds: San Antonio Spurs. The Blazers aren’t bad at this either, ranking third in the league, but the Spurs are king at grabbing their opponents’ misses. The anchor, of course, is Tim Duncan. Frontcourt partners Kurt Thomas and Matt Bonner are also good rebounders.

Free Throws Allowed: Toronto Raptors. Toronto’s big men do a good job of not fouling while contesting shots. Chris Bosh commits just 1.8 fouls per 36 minutes.

Picks
Cleveland at Charlotte: Cavaliers
Oklahoma City at Miami: Heat
New Jersey at Philadelphia: 76ers
Memphis at New Orleans: Hornets
L.A. Clippers at Minnesota: Clippers
Washington at Chicago: Bulls
Atlanta at Dallas: Mavericks
Golden State at San Antonio: Spurs
Utah at Phoenix: Suns
Denver at Sacramento: Nuggets

Prediction Record: 169-82

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