Welcome back to Corner Stats! Tonight Sassari and Venezia are going to play game 7 and whoever wins will take home the Serie A trophy. With the help of some numbers let’s see if we can get prepared and understand what the two teams will have to do to win.
Game 7 is a physically and mentally exhausting match. The length of the European seasons takes away a bit of charm from the national finals; they are playing a decisive game on 22 June and the players are very tired and this clearly affects individual and team performances. Therefore, every possession can be crucial: the number of errors has increased from game to game precisely because of the continuous accumulation of fatigue. That said, let’s look at some numbers that Sassari and Venezia will have to keep an eye on to win.
WHAT SASSARI HAS TO DO
The victory-defeat alternation of this final series could mean bad for the Sardinian team, but this trend is not generated randomly. Sassari has not been able to exploit one of his best weapons in the odd games: the offensive rebound.
Thomas and Cooley are two incredible rebounders in offensive phase: they are difficult to box-out (the first for mobility, the second for physical presence) and generate several second possessions for Sassari. In defeats, this happened fewer times, limiting the second chance points. In fact, it is not a case that even the two-point percentages are lower in lost games: the smaller number of offensive rebounds has removed the possibility of scoring easy baskets following the ball’s capture near the rim. Sassari goes near the rim a lot of times, both with drives and with post-ups, but it is not very accurate in those situations; the 2P% is higher in the victories because it is influenced by the easy baskets following the famous offensive rebound.
Dinamo will, therefore, have to find those situations that allow Cooley and Thomas, but also Pierre, to be unguarded near the basket in order to make easy baskets or at least generate new offensive possessions. To make this possible, Sassari will also not have to miss too many 3-point shots: the Dinamo is not shooting a lot from beyond the arc (among the last ones for triple attempts in the playoffs) and if it will not make those few shots, Venezia’s defense will tend to grant more 3-point shots than 2-points ones. It is no coincidence that the worst performance from 3 points also coincides with the lower values of OR%.
WHAT VENEZIA HAS TO DO
The Reyer obviously has to be good at defensive rebounds but we have already talked about this. Actually, there is another very important aspect for De Raffaele’s team and it is the 3-point shot.
Venezia in recent seasons has always been one of the best teams in 3-point shot attempts. Also this year this statistic has been confirmed and in the playoffs, it tries around 30 triples per game (third). However, Reyer has the attitude of misusing it for different reasons: the opponent’s defense does not allow drives; the roll-man in a PNR situation cannot be used for good defensive work; the guards (Haynes above all, but also Daye if we consider all the Reyers’ shooters) prefer to take pull-up 3-point shots instead of generating better shots. These are just a few examples, but which explain how Venezia settles for heavy shooting, facilitating the opponent’s defensive work.
In fact, the table shows how Venezia in its defeats misused the 3-point shot, shooting more the 50% of its shots from beyond the arc. Part of those triples attempted were not good shots: this implies a lower probability of success which in fact can be noticed in the percentages. Reyer will therefore not have to misuse its main weapon, but also try to alternate different solutions.
In both cases, we can see a particular thing: game 1 was a sort of special case, in which Venezia won without a particular technical motivation. That said, good game seven to everyone!