best counter

Your Ad Here
Just The Sports: Eastern Conference Playoff Breakdown (Detroit vs. Milwaukee)

Just The Sports

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Eastern Conference Playoff Breakdown (Detroit vs. Milwaukee)

Detroit (1) vs. Milwaukee (8)

The gut feeling in this series is to declare that Detroit will run Milwaukee out of the gym and sweep the series. Detroit won 78% of the games it played in this season while Milwaukee did not even win half of its games. In addition, Detroit won 3 of the 4 games it played against Milwaukee. The only game Detroit lost was when it chose to rest its starters in the second to last game of the season. So, in essence, one could make the case that if Detroit had employed its regular lineup, the team would have proved victorious yet again against Milwaukee.

However gut feelings will only take you so far and then one must look at what the statistics say. So let's see how Detroit's team statistics stack up against Milwaukee's.

Detroit Offense: 96.9 ppg
Milwaukee Defense: 98.9 ppg

Detroit Defense: 90.2 ppg
Milwaukee Offense: 97.8 ppg

It would seem that Detroit has the clear advantage over Milwaukee in both categories. Not only does Milwaukee allow more points than Detroit scores, but Detroit regularly holds its opponents to less than what Milwaukee's offense averages.

However, the difference between the two teams is not really indicative of what one might think. Since Milwaukee plays at a faster tempo than does Detroit, it makes sense that their numbers are higher in both categories. But when the average points scored and allowed are pro-rated to 100 possessions, the disparity between the two teams shrinks.

Detroit Offense: 111 points per 100 possessions
Milwaukee Defense: 108 points per 100 possessions

Milwaukee Offense: 106 points per 100 possessions
Detroit Defense: 103 points per 100 possessions

Each team scores three more points per 100 possessions than the other team allows, which is more even than one might expect given their overall records. So where does one of the teams have an advantage?

One obvious advantage Detroit has is the team actually scores more points than its defense allows, a failing that goes a long way in explaining Milwaukee's sub-.500 record.

However, the main advantage for Detroit comes when comparing the production each team gets out the five positions. To compare the net production of each position for the respective teams, I will be using the PER rating, developed by John Hollinger. The net PER rating will tell whether or not a team is getting a net positive or negative production output from a particular position.

With the stellar starting five Detroit has, it is no surprise that Detroit gets a net positive production from each position. What is surprising is that the net overall production for each position is not astoundingly positive. Milwaukee, on the other hand, gets a net positive from only one position, shooting guard. Still, let's break down each position to see which team has and advantage, and just how big of an advantage it will be.

Point Guard-Detroit has a decided advantage at the point guard position, mostly because of the play of Chauncey Billups. Detroit's point guards' net overall production is +9.4 compared to -2.2 for Milwaukee. Advantage: Detroit

Shooting Guard-At this position it is Milwaukee who has the advantage over Detroit, +4.0 to +0.2. It will be up to Milwaukee to exploit this slight edge and hope it is enough to overcome the team's deficiences. Too bad it will not be. Advantage: Milwaukee

Small Forward-Here Detroit has another advantage, albeit smaller than the one it has at the point guard position. Detroit gets a net production of +2.7 while Milwaukee's net production is -0.4. Advantage: Detroit

Power Forward-Once again, Detroit has an advantage in net production. The Pistons power forwards have a net positive PER of +1.1. The power forwards for the Bucks have a net negative production of -3.5. Advantage: Detroit

Center-Milwaukee's situation gets no brighter when looking at production from the center position. Detroit's net production is +2.3 and Milwaukee's is -1.6. Advantage: Detroit

Prediction: With Detroit winning the net production battle at four of the five positions, all signs points to Detroit winning this playoff series. Do not be surprised, though, if each game is the series is very competitive, considering how close they are on the team scoring statistics.

Stats courtesy of


Post a Comment

<< Home