Weekend Olympic Numbers: Team USA Dynamics

. Saturday, August 16, 2008
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I've put together the “team dynamics ratings” for Team USA and their opponents through Friday to keep you busy over the weekend (I've described those ratings at length previously).

The ratings are similar to Dean Oliver's four factors so I have added Oliver’s fourth factor, free throw rate (FTM/FGA). I’ll describe more about this as we get closer to the WNBA resuming, but I can say that it helped greatly in correcting a few odd results from WNBA games. Since I’m now using free throw rate, I have also changed my measure of shooting from true shooting percentage to effective field goal percentage. The difference is that effective field goal percentage does not take into account free throw shooting.

I’ve also decided not to use synergy differential (the difference in each team’s offensive efficiency) and just compare each team’s synergy. In other words, I’ve decided to stick to describing each team’s performance rather than explaining the outcome. I’ll describe more about that rationale later as well.

A few interesting points about these numbers:

1. Against Spain, Team USA had the problems that they had in the Diamond Ball tournament – low assisted field goal percentage, a high turnover percentage and a lot of offensive rebounds allowed.

2. Although they are playing excellent defense – take a look at their opponents’ effective field goal percentage -- the Spain game was close at half-time and it looks as though the rebounding continues to be a weakness although they are generally out-rebounding opponents.

3. It’s worth noting that Spain got 30% of the available offensive rebounds…in the Diamond Ball championship, Australia got 33% and lost by 4.

Here are the full numbers through Friday’s match against Spain.

The team dynamics rating is the total of the following: Synergy + FTM/FGA + Oreb% - Tov% (Synergy is simply eFG% + A/FG%). The average team dynamics rating in the WNBA for this year is 106.86.

You can think of this rating as looking at the team’s ability to manage possessions (ball movement, shot selection, extending possessions with offensive rebounds and wasting possessions with turnovers) and their ability to draw fouls and make the opponent pay from the free throw line. Most of this has been explained in more depth in a previous post.

The Numbers

 TeamAst/FG%eFG%SynergyFTM/FGAOreb%Tov%Team rating

 TeamAst/FG%eFG%SynergyFTM/FGAOreb%Tov%Team rating

 TeamAst/FG%eFG%SynergyFTM/FGAOreb%Tov%Team rating

 TeamAst/FG%eFG%SynergyFTM/FGAOreb%Tov%Team rating