After each game this season, we’ll be taking a look at what the four factors have to say about the game– how the winner won and the loser lost. For an intro to the four factors, see A Layman’s Guide to Advanced NBA Statistics.
Knicks defeat Bulls, 85 – 78
Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr CHI 92.0 84.8 38.0% 18.1 21.6 15.2 NYK 92.4 41.0% 36.1 27.9 17.4
Finally, the losing streak is over. Still, it’s hard to take much comfort in this win. The Knicks had to fight tooth and nail to beat the struggling Bulls– perhaps the only team in the league underperforming more than the Knicks themselves– without their best player, Luol Deng.
New York’s woes continued on offense, even though the Bulls haven’t lived up to their defensive reputation so far. The Bulls have been allowing opponents a rather generous 49% eFG, but still the Knicks turned in another effort in the low 40s. The saving grace was that not all the guards were terrible– Marbury had a nice game, helping to offset poor shooting performances from Crawford, Q, and Nate. But things will have to get better if the Knicks are to have any hope against better teams.
This game was won on the other end of the court, as the Bulls played even worse than the Knicks offensively. It seems wrongheaded to give the Knicks too much credit for a good defensive performance here. The Bulls came into the game averaging 92.8 points per 100 possessions, worst in the league by a wide margin, and were without their best offensive player. On the other hand, one could argue that any time the defensively inept Knicks can hold an opponent below their average offensive performance, it is a strong defensive effort (relative to the norm). The Knicks’ best effort was on the defensive glass, where they took away one of the Bulls’ only offensive strengths (29.1 o-reb% coming into the game). It was a good team effort, but credit Quentin Richardson in particular for a tough presence on the boards.
4 factor stats were acquired using the ESPN4Factors script by Cherokee of the ABPRmetrics board. Firefox users can use this script (after installing the Greasemonkey extension) to see 4 factor stats automatically displayed in all NBA boxscores on espn.com.