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Just The Sports: Battle Of The Winning Streaks

Just The Sports

Monday, March 19, 2007

Battle Of The Winning Streaks

Not all winning streaks are created equal, even when the number of games involved in the streaks are. The NBA so far has had two teams, the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns, find themselves victorious at the ends of seventeen straight contests. The Mavericks' streak ran from games forty-five through sixty-one and the Suns did it from game twenty-eight to game forty-four. Yet, the Mavericks' winning streak is the more impressive of the two.

The advantage is slim, but it is there. Over the course of the seventeen games, the Mavericks managed to score 16.0 more points per 100 possessions than their opponents and the Suns only scored 14.1 points per 100 possessions than their foes. With the Suns actually holding the upper hand in offensive efficiency between the two teams, it was defense where the Mavericks won the winning streak war due to the fact they allowed their opponents to make 2.1 fewer three-points per game than the Suns gave up to their opposing teams. The Mavericks also held their opponents to a lower offensive rebounding percentage (24.0% to 27.5%).

Offensively, the Suns are superior simply because they made 3.8 more three-points per game than the Mavericks. That advantage alone is responsible for the Suns having an offensive efficiency rating 1.6 points higher. If not for the Suns' shooting proficiency behind the arc, the numbers the Mavericks put up during their seventeen-game winning streak would have resulted in a larger margin over the Suns.

Win-loss records may not reflect whose winning streak was better, but the winners of the winning streaks should be declared and receive their hard-earned credit somewhere.



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