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Aaron Eamer

Aaron Eamer writes

Posted Saturday, February 24th 2018

Analysis » By the numbers - Scorchers @ Flyers

Bristol Flyers club statistician, Aaron Eamer analyses the key stats from Friday's ten point defeat to Surrey Scorchers.

The Flyers took a 100-90 loss at home to the Surrey Scorchers on Friday, ending Bristol’s run of three home wins. Once again, we ask the same question of a loss… Where did it go wrong?

BOX SCORE


HOT START

The Flyers started the game HOT.

In the first period, the home side shot an unprecedented 73% from inside the three-point line. This hot shooting performance gave the Flyers 26 first quarter points and would normally be good for a commanding lead early-on. Unfortunately for the Flyers, Surrey were hot from three-point range, making 50% of their ten shots from distance to keep the sides within a single possession.

Flyers' Q1 shot chart
Scorchers' Q1 shot chart

Quickly on to the second period and the Flyers continued to shoot well… Really well. Bristol’s shooting was at 69% from two for the second quarter which again was well above average. Somehow though, despite this, Surrey took the lead out of the period. Surrey shot much worse than the Flyers but they were able to do two things.

Number one; Surrey were able to force seven turnovers in the quarter. And off these turnovers, they were able to score nine points. The Flyers in comparison only scored two points from turnovers.

Number two; Here we go… Free throws. The Flyers got to the line a total of zero times for the period. The Scorchers? Ten. Making seven of them. I’ll touch more on this later.

The points from turnovers plus the free throws gave Surrey 16 of their 24 points for the quarter. End of the quarter, Bristol 44, Surrey 48.

Flyers didn't shoot a single free throw in the second period.

SWITCHING SIDES

Into the third and the teams shooting seemed to switch sides. Surrey were able to make 11 of their 15 shots for the quarter whilst Bristol only made 9 of 19. In another trade-off, the Flyers made four foul shots and Surrey made none.

The quarter was one with more lead changes in the period alone than there had been in the entire first half. The lead changed in the third, eight times. Despite it changing hands so often, the Flyers only held those leads for a total of 01:51 of the ten minutes in the period!

What does this tell us though? Simply, whenever the Flyers took the lead, Surrey were not letting them keep hold of it. This was in no small part down to nine points each from Tayo Ogedengbe and Tony Hicks for the away side. Rohndell Goodwin’s injury was hurting Bristol, with him going down with a sprained ankle early in the game.

Heading into the fourth, the Flyers seemed to adjust their game plan to get back into the game. Unfortunately for the Flyers, as much as they kept scoring, so did Surrey.

In the final period, the Flyers shot more threes than they had for all of the previous three quarters combined, going 4 from 8 in the fourth. Not bad. Surrey though scored 11 of their 25 quarter points on the fast break, pushing the pace, not allowing the Bristol defence to set and again got back to the foul line. This time, 11 times. Of course, some of these were towards the end of the game but Bristol still only made it to the line for three attempts.

FREE THROWS

I know, I keep going on about free throws. Here are some numbers I found interesting:

  • Bristol made 38 of 66 field goals for the game.
  • Surrey made 35 of 67 field goals for the game.

Pretty even game right? Bristol shot better than Surrey did! Now look at this set...

  • Bristol made 7/10 free throws for the game.
  • Surrey made 18/27 free throws for the game. 

I could end here and just say “11 more made free throws, ten point loss”, I won’t though.

A further problem we have here is that of the Bristol free throw opportunities, it looks as if they only took three full trips to the line. When I say that, I mean not including and-ones (difficult to show you this without going into too much detail but trust me).

So, if we add up the shots Bristol made, together with the full trips to the free throw line, they are then at 41 instead of 38 total potential scoring possessions.

As the well respected American Statistician, Dean Oliver once said; “When you’re missing a lot of shots and not getting to the line, it means you are generally missing open shots.”

In comparison to Bristol’s three full trips, Surrey got to the line for approximately 12 full sets. That then puts Surrey at 47 scoring possessions. Now we have this:

  • Bristol had 41 potential scoring possessions (approx.)
  • Surrey had 47 potential scoring possessions (approx.)

Bristol lose by ten. They grab six more scoring possessions, they maybe win by two.

Or defend better. 100 points is a lot.


About the contributor

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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