Michael Miller - The First Interview
Posted: Friday, June 11th 2021
Monday, January 8th 2018
Bristol Flyers statistician, Aaron Eamer takes an in-depth look at the numbers from Saturday's seven point defeat to Newcastle Eagles at the WISE Arena.
Happy New Year and welcome back. Today we take a look at the Flyers home loss to the Newcastle Eagles on the first night of a back-to-back at the weekend.
Bristol started brightly in the initial five-six minutes against the Eagles, looked to be suffering no ill effects from their time-off over the Christmas/New Year period and held a 12-4 lead in the early stages. The Flyers though weren’t able to keep up that pace later in the quarter as Daniel Edozie and Adam Weary came into the game.
The scoring differential when Edozie and Weary came in to the game was significant. Neither were able to score, both missing two shots, but more importantly, both registered a minus 12 on the +/- stat. For those of you new to the game, the +/- in basic terms is how many more points you score as a team than the opposition during that player’s time on court. This means that whilst Edozie and Weary were on the court, Bristol gave up 12 more points than they scored themselves. In comparison, Mike Vigor and Brandon Boggs finished the quarter with a plus four.
In the first five minutes of the quarter Bristol lead 14-10. In the final five minutes, Bristol were only able to score six points, Newcastle though were able to drop 16 to give them a six point lead at the half. Newcastle shot over 45% from everywhere in the field, Bristol though were below 35% from everywhere, particularly having trouble from three-point range, but free-throw shooting kept the game alive (6/8 for 75%).
The second quarter was a much quieter one than the opening period with Bristol scoring 15 and Newcastle, 17. Both sides made a similar amount of shots, Bristol made six two-point shots, Newcastle made seven. Bristol made just one three, but so did Newcastle. Bristol made zero free-throws, Newcastle made zero free-throws. Bristol didn’t actually take a free throw in the quarter. Newcastle took two but both were missed by player-coach, Fab Flournoy.
Newcastle went cold from three-point range as they dropped to 25% from behind the arc and despite leading the game with 14 points at the half, Jaysean Paige had missed all five of his shots from deep. Even more telling than the 25% from three though, Newcastle were also only making 25% of their free-throws.
Second-half focus, make Jaysean Paige shoot the three and if everyone else that’s shot free-throws so far gets fouled, so be it. They can’t make those free-throws anyway.
On to the second half, how did Jaysean Paige do? The Flyers came out and knew they had to put a stop to his scoring, Paige made just one shot in the period, dropping his field goal percentage by 9%. Unfortunately for Bristol, Newcastle turned to their usual primary scorer in Saah Nimley who was able to drop three of his seven shots from deep in the quarter.
Newcastle got off to a great start after the break, and were able to extend their lead to 17 points, going on a 16-7 scoring run. Towards the end of the quarter though, Bristol held Newcastle to just eight more points. As with the second quarter despite a step-up on defence the offence weren’t able to step-up to the desired level at the same time and were only able to cut the lead by three, heading into the fourth down by 14.
Bristol continued to lack aggression as they earned themselves just two shots from the free-throw line with Rohndell Goodwin splitting the pair. Through the middle two periods of the game, Bristol had taken just two free throws, in the first quarter they’d had eight.
With a 14 point lead to overcome and only ten minutes to do it, Bristol had themselves an uphill battle. Newcastle had outscored Bristol in every quarter but that finally changed in the fourth.
The first five minutes of the final quarter were more or less even, Jaysean Paige had given up shooting the three (0/7) and Saah Nimley couldn’t make a shot at all (0/3 in the fourth). In the final five minutes Bristol finally found their offence and outscored Newcastle by eight points, unfortunately this all came a little too late as the Flyers were trying to overcome a deficit of 15.
The Flyers ultimately came away with a seven point loss to the Eagles but found plenty of positives in the final quarter as they were able to score 11 points from Newcastle turnovers, whereas the rest of the game totalled 12. They took four steals, whereas the rest of the game they took just three. Scoring also came from a number of different sources.
3/9 (33%) shooting from deep for the Flyers in the fourth looked to be costly but with 15 points to overcome they were justified shots that arguably needed to be taken. Otherwise, Bristol took the opportunity to send the Eagles to the line repeatedly. Newcastle had made just 42% of their free-throws in the first three periods so the tactic made sense, unfortunately Jaysean Paige was often the man fouled and the Eagles combined for 11/14 (79%) in the quarter. If Newcastle has shot 42% for the fourth as well, we’d be looking at them making about six, meaning the Flyers would have only been down by a single possession on the final play of the game.
A passionate fan of basketball since 2004, Aaron briefly played at SGS (then Filton College) under Head Coach Andreas Kapoulas.
Fast forward a number of years, Aaron now contributes to recording the statistics for the Flyers home games as a club Statistician, you’ll often find him sat at the table courtside taking stats into his laptop at every home game.
Do you agree with Aaron? Follow him on Twitter @eamer and let him know what you think!
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