Closer Look: Advanced Stats Machines
MIES (Switzerland) - We are at the halfway point of the Regular Season and already some teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack, whilst others are perhaps struggling when many pundits had predicted them to enjoy strong campaigns.
Although the sample size is still small, we have enough data to get an idea about how the remainder of the Regular Season might play out. We can also start to get a feel of which teams are producing numbers that could propel them deeper into the Play-Offs.
The chart above shows us Net Rating - which is essentially points scored per 100 possessions minus points conceded per 100 possessions - for the top 10 teams.
Straight off the bat, we are presented with the slightly unpredictable slight of only two teams in the top five having a perfect, 3-0 record.
In fact, UCAM Murcia, clearly the most efficient team thus far in the BCL, neither have a perfect record nor sit on top of their group.
Derthona Tortona, who sit first in that group, do have a perfect record and have also beaten Murcia this season. Yet we don't even see them listed in the top-10 most efficient teams at this stage of the season.
Murcia's 79-47 win over Igokea is likely skewing the data, but what this still probably shows us is that, should Sito Alonso's team continue to produce these efficiency numbers, it's more than likely they end up topping the group and heading straight to the Round of 16.
Elsewhere in the chart, the fact that JDA Dijon, Unicaja, SIG Strasbourg and AEK are all present in the top 10, with perfect records, should come as a surprise to no one.
In the table above we see the most efficient offensive teams of the season. Again, we see a team at the top of the chart that doesn't have a perfect record but, considering that team is Lenovo Tenerife, this sight is probably the furthest from unpredictable possible in the world of BCL.
JDA Dijon Bourgogne sitting second again solidifies them as a true Advanced Stats Machine so far in the season.
Tofas Bursa ranking sixth for Offensive Efficiency, scoring 116 points per 100 possessions, despite having a losing record (1-2) shows some encouragement for them. They have a crucial matchup against Derthona Tortona on November 20. Should they win that, expect fireworks and calculators in Group H.
Perhaps the most unusual thing about this chart is the absence of three out of five of our unbeaten teams. None of AEK, Derthona Tortona, and SIG Strasbourg rank in the top 10 for Offensive Efficiency.
What we see in this chart is Defensive Efficiency, or points conceded per 100 possessions. Sitting pretty on top of this mountain is SIG Strasbourg. Massimo Cancellieri's team may be a ton of fun to watch on the offensive end, but it seems they have defense to thank for that group-topping 3-0 record.
UCAM Murcia again find themselves in the top 2, which undoubtedly confirms their status as one of our Advanced Stats Machines so far.
Six of the top 10 defensive teams allow less than 100 points per 100 possessions which is great going. We also see Unicaja included in that group of teams conceding less than a point per possession, and considering we see them in the top 10 both offensively and defensively, there is no doubt they are also another team to add to our list of Advanced Stats Machines.
Hapoel Bank Yahav Jerusalem were the best defensive team in the BCL last season and it was defense that really powered them all the way to the Final. It looks like that defensive beast has been awoken again in Aleksandr Dzikic's roster. They are allowing just 99 points per 100 possessions.
Our final chart shows us True Shooting Percentage, a metric which attempts to measure how efficiently a team or player shoots from all distances, including the charity stripe, and also takes into account the extra value of three-point shooting.
No surprise we see Dijon up top again, but below them we see encouragement for Ufuk Sarica's Pinar Karsiyaka.
The team from Izmir look and feel like a serious challenger for the BCL this season. That heavy loss in Strasbourg may have dented their claim, but they have an instant opportunity to put that right in the home encounter against SIG on November 29. You don't want to miss that game.
Another team that we have to discuss here is Promitheas Patras. Ilias Papatheodorou's men have actually been present in the top 10 of every chart and as such, we have to see them as an Advanced Stats machine. Even if the huge wins against Opava are skewing the data for every team in Group B, it's pretty clear that the early data is showing us that Promitheas are a force to be reckoned with.
They are shooting 62.4 percent from inside the arc, 36 percent from outside it, (on a league-leading 29.7 attempts), and 74.7 percent from the line (also on a league-leading 31.7 attempts).
If you are able to shoot at a decent percentage, threes and free throws are the best shots you can get and Promitheas are not only good at shooting both, they take more than anyone from both distances. On balance, Promitheas are probably the analytics darlings of the BCL so far this year.