Welcome back to Corner Stats! Since last week my weekly article didn’t come out, during this week you are going to get two. Let’s start by looking at the best Impacts of the NBA playoffs.
The Impacts are the team statistics calculated based on a player’s presence or absence: by performing the difference of the values obtained, it is possible to quantify an estimation of the impact that the player has on a given aspect of the game. These statistics are therefore very useful for understanding how much the player affects team performance. Clearly, in the impact evaluation it is important to consider the permanence on the court: based on the minutes played and not, you can understand if the numbers are reliable or not. Therefore, I took into consideration all the players who played at least 50 minutes during the playoff. Let’s start by observing the impact on team ratings:
The four quadrants are created by intersecting the averages of all the intersected values, but clearly, an offensive impact is considered positive if greater than zero, while the defensive impact is considered good if less than zero. I highlighted with the help of their pics some of the best in this special category.
Paul George is the first for Net Rating difference ON-OFF with a crazy +42: as you can see, with him on the court both OKC’s attack and the defense improved considerably (+33 of Offensive Rating, -9 of Defensive Rating). It must be said, however, that the Thunders’ star played only 5 games, a small sample.
The same cannot be said of Joel Embiid: for him, in eleven games played, the impact on the Net Rating is +40. Unbelievable as Phila is influenced by the Cameroonian center. And if for George the most incisive value was the attack, for Embiid it was the defense.
His offensive and defensive impacts are in fact +14 and -26: Joel was a key element for the 76ers’ attack, but it is good to remember which is also one of the best rim protectors of the League and that -26 is emblematic of that fact.
Why is this value so high? Because of the center’s presence near the iron: with him on the court the shots blocked by Phila passed from 7% to 13% and, most importantly, the rim FG% dropped from 82% to 57%!
The Raptors tried in every way to force Joel to move away from the rim: the most common Joel’s matchups against Toronto were Siakam and Gasol, which in fact stayed very close to the 3-point line when Joel was on the court. This fact is evident with Marc Gasol’s shots selection: when Embiid was on the court, the Spanish player’s three-point shot rate rose from 38% to 44%.
Joel, however, tended to leave the two players completely alone when they were above the break while making close-outs in corner 3 situations; this obviously to limit his absence inside the area. Embiid is a crucial element for Phila’s fate and the chart and the numbers shown can only confirm this fact.
Going down to seventh place in this ranking, we find Draymond Green: his way of playing and living the games make him disliked by many fans, but it is a fact that he and Iguodala are two Golden State’s keystones. Both have practically never fenced a match and contribute both in offensive and defensive phases. Focusing on Green, the team ratings improve by 18 points for the offensive side and by 7 points for the defensive side (total of +25). Green uses the few attentions of the opposing defenses (given that they are more focused on Curry, Thompson, Durant) to create 2vs1 attack situations. His alley-hoops for Iguodala or Looney during the series against the Rockets are many: Golden State has used Green as a screener, knowing that his defender would have been more interested in Curry. This situation clearly generated a situation of 2 vs 1 when Draymond gets the ball, who found himself in a quarter of a field with one of his teammate in the corner and only one defender to fight them. All this led the Warriors’ Assist Percentage to increase by 7.5% when Draymond is on the court.
As for the defensive side, Green is an excellent defender: he carries out defensive help with perfect timing and in PNR situations Kerr can also afford a switch since Draymond has the ability to stay with the opponent guard. Moreover, he is going to defensive rebound with constantly (with him in the field the DR% rises by 7%). Green is, therefore, one of the secrets (ok, no longer a secret) of the Warriors.