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Aaron Eamer

Aaron Eamer writes

Posted Tuesday, November 21st 2017

Analysis » By the numbers - Lions @ Flyers

Bristol Flyers statistician, Aaron Eamer breaks down the key facts from Saturday’s narrow defeat to London Lions at the SGS WISE Arena.

Firstly, welcome. You may not know me; I’m one of the many people who sit in the background. I’ve been a fan of basketball since 2004 when I fell in love with the Indiana Pacers and then played briefly at SGS (then Filton College) under Coach Kapoulas.

Fast forward a number of years and am involved in a well progressed club. Now, I contribute to recording the game statistics for the Flyers as a Statistician, you’ll see me sat at the table courtside, either shouting in the ear of my colleague, or him shouting in mine.

A Statistician’s Analysis – Where was it won and lost?

Last week, the London Lions came away with a four point road win against the Flyers. From my point-of-view, where did it all go wrong?

In the first and second quarters there was really not much of a story to pick out and even in the third, the game was kept tight throughout. Early on the Flyers shot a very solid 53% from the field and kept the Lions to 41%, that’d be enough to give them the lead headed into the second right?


Deadly from deep

The Lions took a three point first quarter lead into the break. Why? Although they shot 12% worse than the Flyers for the quarter they also made four three-point shots compared to the Flyers zero. London made one more three-point shot than they made two for the quarter! London’s Momcilo Latinovic was able to finish the quarter with 11 points – The same as Vigor, Goodwin, Davis, Smith, Weary and Boggs’ shooting efforts combined.

Momcilo Latinovic finished with a game-high 18 points on 50% shooting from the 3pt line.

The Flyers scored their most points in a quarter in the second and managed to tie up the game headed into the half. It was well-deserved according to the numbers as defending the three-point line improved immensely, with London making just a single three. All other numbers are pretty close at the half with the Flyers leading on the boards by two, but with two more turnovers. All to play for.

Let’s skip past the third quarter. Both teams scored 13 points. Both teams shooting percentages went down. This game was lost in the fourth.

In the fourth quarter Bristol just stopped making shots. For the first three quarters the Flyers earned 1.1 point per shot taken. In the fourth, this dropped by almost half to 0.6 points per shot taken. Bristol made five shots in the quarter… And one of these was at the buzzer and meant nothing as the game was effectively already over.

So that’s what decided the game? Nope. Bristol only made five shots but London only made three! 

“So how did we lose? We made more shots than them and we were tied at the end of the third.”


In the fourth quarter London gave Bristol zero opportunities to shoot a free throw. London didn’t get into the penalty and didn’t foul on a single shot. In comparison, Bristol gave away 11 opportunities to London… Of which they converted ten.

Let’s dig a bit deeper. Four of these free throws were intentional fouls so we can ignore these as trying to regain possession quickly. This means the Lions have six points from the line to the Flyers’ none. Keep that six at the back of your mind. 

Bristol Flyers didn't shoot a single free throw in the fourth quarter against London Lions

The score is 61-67 and with seconds to go Flyers’ Adam Weary drives to the basket, unchallenged by his opposite number, Brandon Peel, because well… They’re up by six so if Weary makes it (he did), who cares? It’s only two points and there’s seconds to go.

Pretend Weary doesn’t bother with that shot because it doesn’t matter that he makes it. 

What’s the difference between the two teams?

Now what’s the number I told you to keep in the back of your mind?

Free throws.