European Basketball Analysis

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Shot Creation Visualization 06-12-2012

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Here is shot creation in league-wide by-position context. The graphs only work in positional context, not cross-position.

Shot creation, in this case, consists of unassisted made field goals (exluding putbacks after offensive rebounds) plus assists, both produced by the players that played on the respective positions according to lineup data. For example, Sergio Llull’s point guard numbers contribute to the Real Madrid point guard results, whereas his production while playing shooting guard contributes to the Real Madrid shooting guard result.

The numbers are adjusted to a league-average (per game) 70.6 possessions.

On point guard, Montepaschi is leading the league behind Bobby Brown’s league-4th shot creation (minute- and pace-adjusted), Unicaja (Calloway, Williams), Real Madrid (Llull, S.Rodriguez), Prokom (Blassingame, Koszarek) and Khimki (Planinic – league 2nd in shot creation) round up the top five. As for Olympiakos, my lineup ranker places Mantzaris and Law on point guard whenever on the floor with Spanoulis, who takes the role of a ball-dominant two. That isn’t too far from what Sada-Navarro do in Barcelona, or Ukic-Diamantidis and Avdalovic-Schaffartzik/Wood in Athens and Berlin, respectively.

In the end we are seeing what we’ve known for a while – that positions are rough categorizations rather than accurate role descriptions.

Olympiakos, Zalgiris and ALBA are the only teams where shooting guards create more shots than point guards. Olympiakos are paced by the league’s number one shot creator Vassilis Spanoulis, Plaza is assigning a large part of Zalgiris’ ballhandling to the Kaukenas/Popovic duo, and for ALBA both Wood (plays shooting guard 84.6 percent of his minutes – if you handle lineups with a #1 point guard priority for Avdalovic, #2 for Schaffartzik and #3 for Wood) and Schaffartzik (57.5 percent) are key ballhandlers and decision makers.

Although on a clearly lower level than on point guard & shooting guard (CSKA’s 6.25 shots created per 70.6 possessions tops the league), there are several teams creating a lot of shots on small forward: CSKA with Weems and Micov, Fenerbahce with Preldzic and Bogdanovic, Real Madrid with Rudy, Chalon with Schilb, Baskonia with San Emeterio and Nocioni, and Union Olimpija with Jaka Blazic.

Lior Eliyahu’s shot creation and passing are behind Maccabi’s league-leading 5.52 shots created on power forward, followed by, somewhat surprisingly, Olimpija (Page, Bubnic), Bamberg (Nachbar), CSKA (Khryapa), Cedevita (Suput, Gelabale) and Fener (mostly through Preldzic’s PF minutes).

Stats confirm the obvious – that Nikola Mirotic is still not the focal point of the Real Madrid offense. Mirotic created only 28.9 percent of his Euroleague field goals on his own so far, slightly below power forward average; just like his assist rate.

Ante Tomic leads all centers in assists (2.7 per 28 minutes pace-adjusted) and is one of the top post scorers in the competition, hence Barca’s league-leading 5.03 center shots created.

Notable here: There are several elite teams that use centers as pure screeners/finishers/rebounders: Real Madrid (Begic, Slaughter), Maccabi (James, Thomas, Shermadini), CSKA (Kaun and, surprisignly, Krstic*). Aron Baynes, too, creates only 25 percent of his field goals himself (28th of 45 qualified Euroleague centers). Brose Baskets centers operate at a similar rate, but the Germans hope for more post scoring with the return of A.J. Ogilvy.

*Although it should be said that the system operates without the free throw dimension.

Written by sJacas

December 6th, 2012 at 2:02 pm

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  • Bülent Kahraman

    Point guards X(Average): 8.59 σ(Standart Deviation):1.43 Shooting guards X: 6.215 σ:1.78

    Small forwards X: 4.54 σ:1.18 Power forwards X:3.75 σ:1.04 Centers X: 3.25 σ: 0.78

    Basically these averages show that power forwards and centers don’t create their own shots considerably so they need to get the ball or touch the ball in right time and right condition.Their success has a meaningful conneciton with feeding by guards.By the way thanks for tis really good stuff.