Saturday, January 24, 2015

St. John's 60, Marquette 57: Ray Floriani's Intro to Offensive Efficiency

Steve Wojciechowski addresses the media after his Marquette team was narrowly defeated by St. John's. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)

New York City­ - The first order of the day regarding St. John’s 60­-57 victory over Marquette: The pace and efficiency from Wednesday’s Madison Square Garden contest:

Pace: 62 possessions (deliberate to moderate)
Offensive efficiency: St. John's 97, Marquette 92

A new metric to discuss: OE or offensive efficiency. First, the formula:

OE = FGM + A/ FGA – OREB + A + TO

Let’s try that on Wednesday’s leading scorers:

Marquette, Matt Carlino (21 points)

FG 6
FGA 14 
A 2
TO 4

OE: .421

St. John’s had Sir'Dominic Pointer and Rysheed Jordan tie for top scoring honors with 15 points each. The numbers:

FG 7
FGA 13
A 6
TO 2

OE: .813

FG 5
FGA 11
A 3
TO 3

OE: .500

What does it all mean? In their recent work, Basketball Analytics (2013 Advanced Metrics, LLC) authors Stephen M. Shea and Christopher E. Baker devised offensive efficiency (OE). “We believe efficient players make for efficient teams, and efficient teams win,” the authors wrote. They felt the formula should be relatively simple, yet significant. “OE should intelligently measure quality of offensive production.” The authors felt ‘gunners’, those taking too many poor shots, should be penalized. Free throws and three pointers are not influencing OE. The main objective, as Shea and Baker noted is, “even though OE will not measure quantity of points scored, OE should be a good predictor of wins at the team level.”

The numbers and their ‘worth’: You achieve a higher OE by making shots, grabbing offensive boards and handing out assists. OE is affected in a negative way by missing shots and committing turnovers. The authors felt a 1.00 is equal to a 100 percent efficiency for an individual. NBA statistics for 2012-­13 revealed a .700 or more as excellent. Conversely, under .400 is poor. Between .400 and .700 encompasses an acceptable level.

The three players studied in the St. John’s-­Marquette game show Pointer with an outstanding OE. Shooting over 50%, grabbing five offensive rebounds and six assists against two turnovers were contributing factors. Jordan secured just one offensive rebound while breaking even in assists and turnovers with three each. 

Marquette’s Matt Carlino had low numbers. The 6-of-14 from the floo and four turnovers compared to two assists brought down his OE. In defense of the Marquette graduate transfer guard, he was the ‘A’ option a good part of the evening, and his five treys almost pulled it out. He was not a ‘gunner’ in the selfish sense. The shots were dropping for a good part of the second half, so his ‘number’ was called. The efficiency suffered to the point where another couple of field goals wouldn’t help the final number too much. The added baskets might have given Steve Wojciechowski’s team a valuable road win, which would have been a very agreeable trade-off.

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