View Full Version : How Eastern Conference Playoff Teams Perform Across Quarters

04-25-2012, 04:00 PM

Indiana Pacers
The only quarter during which the Pacers are above average on both offense and defense is the third quarter, where they score at a rate that would place them 2nd in the league over the course of a full season and their defense would be the 5th best in the league. They outscore opponents by 9.1 points per 100 possessions in third quarters. In every other quarter, however, the Pacers seem like an exceedingly average basketball team.

They are 2.2 points per 100 possessions worse than their opponents in first quarters (with an above average offense and below average defense), 3.2 better in second quarters (with a below average offense and an above average defense) and 2.0 better in fourth quarters (with an above average offense and below average defense). That would put them in the Knicks-Clippers-Nuggets range of efficiency differential, as opposed to the Spurs-Thunder-Heat-Bulls range they play in during the third quarter. A big reason for their jump in third quarter offensive efficiency is the play of Darren Collison, who shoots 52.5% from the field and 46.4% from 3 in the quarter (in 561 minutes played) as opposed to his usual low-40′s, mid-30′s percentages.

Boston Celtics
Boston defends at elite levels in every quarter of the game. Their defensive efficiency ranks third, sixth, second and third in the league from the first to the fourth quarter, respectively. The only quarter where they don’t defense at a rate of at least 5.0 points per 100 possessions better than league average is the second quarter, where they’ve given extended minutes to below average defenders like Brandon Bass, Keyon Dooling and Mickael Pietrus.

Their third quarter defensive efficiency reaches historic levels, especially when Avery Bradley is on the floor. In Bradley’s 283 third quarter minutes, the Celtics have allowed just 85.0 points per 100 possessions, which would obviously lead the league. The third quarter is also the only one in which the Celtics offense creeps above the league average offensive efficiency for the quarter. So whatever Doc Rivers is telling his team at halftime, it’s working. In Ray Allen’s time on the court in the third quarter, Boston scores at a rate of 106.2 points per 100 possessions, a mark that would be third in the NBA over the full season. Once they get to the fourth quarter, however, they stop scoring at an above average rate, likely because they struggle to create their own looks off the dribble and in isolation. They depend on Rajon Rondo to manufacture open looks for other players, and when the defenses start keying on that, it becomes more difficult for Boston to score.

Graphs & rest of teams at the link.
(Here it is again: http://www.hardwoodparoxysm.com/2012/04/23/how-eastern-conference-playoff-teams-perform-across-quarters/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter).

I thought the Celtics & Pacers numbers were most interesting; it's surprising how bad that Boston offense is and how sporadic the Pacers have been between each half.

04-25-2012, 05:43 PM
Western Conference, too, for those interested:


04-25-2012, 06:07 PM
graphs are awesome

04-25-2012, 06:32 PM

04-25-2012, 06:48 PM
Got to go get some popcorn for this one.

04-25-2012, 06:51 PM
The true basketball aficionados will appreciate this thread.

04-25-2012, 06:57 PM
graphs are very simple but I like more the explanations under them

04-26-2012, 01:34 AM
I'm surprised this thread didn't get more views... it's very interesting to see over the course of the season (albeit with injuries & coaching changes and whatnot) how one team fairs against the league average and see it so easily portrayed on the graph.