Tonight’s 4 Factors (vs DAL, 12/10/07)
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 lose to Mavericks, 99 – 89
Pace Eff eFG FT/FG OREB% TOr DAL 84.0 117.9 59.7% 28.4 21.9 10.7 NYK 106.0 43.9% 20.7 34.1 14.3
All things considered, the defense wasn’t too bad tonight. Not great or even good, but not awful either. The Knicks surrendered a high number to Dallas– 117.9 points per 100 possessions. But Dallas was the NBA’s 2nd best offense coming into the night, and tonight they only scored 3.2 points per 100 possessions above their season average. For a Knicks team that was dead last in defensive efficiency coming into the game, this is actually a pretty good showing relative to the norm.
By this point it might be trite to say, but it’s true– what let the Knicks down in this game was their inability to mount a consistent offensive attack. Dallas is one of the poorer defenses in the NBA thus far (allowing 110.3 points per 100 possessions, 23rd in the league). And yet the Knicks failed to capitalize, scoring only 36 points in the first half. It was only in the 2nd half when they put up 53 points– and not coincidentally, when Zach Randolph awoke from his mini-slump– that the Knicks made the game remotely competitive. What doomed the offense was simply inefficient shooting from the field– Curry (3-13), Richardson (3-9), and Crawford (6-22) being the main culprits.
The Knicks don’t have great perimeter shooting and the D is consistently bad, so at a minimum they must establish one of Curry or Randolph as a scoring threat in order to have a decent chance to win. Tonight they didn’t do that til the 2nd half, but by then it was too late.
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.