The Numbers: 36ers v Hawks 9/2/14

The 36ers yesterday gave up over 100 points for the third time this year. In fact, they've allowed over 100 points in three of their last 5 games after not giving up more than 98 points for the first 15. Giving up 100 is fine if you're outscoring teams, but Adelaide lost each of those 3 games by an average margin of 15.67 points.

Offensively, Adelaide is a beast. Consider these offensive ratings (as per lobpasstoabercrombie.com )

1st in field goals made and attempted
1st in free throws made and attempted
1st in offensive rebounds
1st in assists

Their main weakness in offense is their three point shot, where they rank dead last in makes and attempts. That makes sense considering the success they've had inside on Ervin drives to the basket and DJ's post game but teams are wising up (eg Wollongong) and shutting up shop inside and daring Adelaide to take mid-range to long-range shots. Adelaide has some outside threats...but none of them are shooting over 36% on threes (excluding Schensch). These numbers show the night and day our key offensive players shoot (restricted area and mid-range stats as per crunchtimeshots.com ).

PLAYER                FG%        Restricted Area %      Mid-Range %     3PT%
Johnson                   55             73.8                           46.7                    32
Ervin                        39             54.8                           26.1                    36
Gibson                     47             70                              56.9                    33
Frye                         46             89.5                           32.4                    9
Petrie                       47             82.4                           31.3                    21
Creek                      51             83.3                           41.7                    33

So you'll understand yesterday why Wollongong was more than happy for Adelaide to take 19 threes. Adelaide hit just 6, with Gibbo hitting 3/7, the rest of the team 3/12.

Defensively, Adelaide is a little all over the place

Last in opponent field goals made
Last in opponent field goals attempted
Last in opponent three pointers made
Last in opponent three pointers attempted
Last in opponent assists

Interestingly, they rank third best for opponent field goal and three-point percentage, meaning while they may allow a lot of shots  perhaps they don't allow opponents to take great shots and don't give up a lot of transition baskets. They also don't give up a lot of free throws.

In the first 10 games, Adelaide scored 89.4 points a game, while giving up 87.6, good for a +1.8 point differential.

In the last 10 games, Adelaide is scoring 89.5 while giving up 90 points a game for a -0.5 point differential.

So how does Adelaide get back on track?

Offensively, it's been very consistent. Defensively? Not so much. Consider their last nine opposition scores.

98, 67, 89, 73, 102, 79, 105, 87, 102

The numbers suggest giving more minutes to Luke Schenscher, who leads the team in +/- at +54, 17 ahead of his nearest team mate Adam Gibson. These two are probably the key to a strong defensive lineup and register +19 when on the court together.Throw Mitch Creek in and that goes to +29.

The Johnson/Schenscher pairing has a better +/- than either of the guys do with Peach, so it makes sense to run some more of an Ervin/Gibson/Creek/Johnson/Schenscher lineup. Remarkably, these five have only logged 5:39 together, for a +6 net result. That means (off a very small sample) they outscore opponents by 0.88 points per minute.

I still like the starting 5 but think we should see a little more of the above lineup heading down the stretch. It features aggressive wing guards and some big guys down back. It's close to our best defensive 5 while still featuring 4 of our 5 highest scorers.

Schensch hasn't had a solid game for a while but the team seems to be better simply with his presence on the floor. Creek is knocking down the door for more minutes and with his superior free throw and three point shooting to incumbent Jarrid Frye, expect his minutes to rise on the run to the finals.

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