By the Numbers: A Look Into SportVU

Los Angeles Clippers

November 4, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets small forward Omri Casspi (18) moves to the basket against the defense of Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Advanced analytics are taking over the way basketball looks.

Not only are front offices making them a staple when evaluating player personnel, but it’s infecting the homes of casual fans and changing the way games are looked at. At no point, ten-plus years ago, would we have been judging players by how teams shoot when certain players are in the game. If the label of defensive centerpiece wanted to be thrown out blocks per game would be the evidence.

With that I bring you SportVu, a set number of analytics introduced to the public during opening week that gives us a bigger look in how players work, the situations they strive best at and things we’ve often wondered, but could never put our finger on it without extensive research. Seriously, haven’t we all wondered who does the most running on the court throughout the season? SportVU tells us that, plus many more things.

I’ve looked into the numbers (available within NBA.com’s stats site) and have pulled some interesting numbers pertaining to the Los Angeles Clippers:

  • The Clippers “Big 3″, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, are running a combined 7.3 miles per game. Looking at the pace they’ve played at so far, it’s surprising that number isn’t higher. I personally thought Redick would have the highest per game miles due to his excess of running through screens, but Griffin led the team in the category.
  • Chris Paul leads the league in total touches (the number of time a player touches and possess a ball) by a wide margin. After Paul’s 430 touches, Michael Carter-Wililams of the Philadelphia 76ers is next with 347. While it can blow up in the Clippers face if an injury occurs to him, this number is an indictment of how much the Clippers rely on CP. Also pace.
  • Opponents are shooting 7.0 shots per game when DeAndre Jordan is in the paint, making 60.7 percent of the shots. For perspective on who good or bad that is, opponents are shooting 9.0 shots per game when Roy Hibbert is in the paint, making 22.2 percent of the shots. While Jordan’s defense has taken a step up this season, defending the paint is the area that’s needs improvement if he wants to ever contend for a Defensive Player of the Year award.
  • Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick and Jared Dudley are all top-ten in points off the catch-and-shoot at the moment. All three players are shooting 46 percent or higher in that situation (35 percent or higher on catch-and-shoot 3s).
  • Of Redick’s 11.5 shots per game, 6.5 of those are coming from catch-and-shoot situations.
  • Only Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard shoot more pull-up jumpers per game than Chris Paul (11.5).
  • 42.2 percent of DeAndre Jordan’s rebounds are contested meaning an opponent is within 3.5 feet. Another rebounding tidbit for Jordan is that with 14 rebounding chances per game(the number of times a player is within 3.5 feet of a rebound), he’s collecting 11.3 of them, a solid 80 percent. Of all the players averaging 10 or more rebounds, only Shawn Marion and Demarcus Cousins have an equal or higher percentage.

This is just a few things I felt were point-out worthy within SportsVU system. The sky is the limit for the information provided, but remember to add context and to factor in sample size when looking at these numbers. Trends are beginning to appear, so that is something you can keep an eye on. Just don’t be quick to crown someone after five games of data.

Topics: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Feature, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, SportVU

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