For those of you who stayed up to watch the entire Suns/Warriors game on Monday, you probably went to bed trying to figure out where the Suns went wrong. I know I did.
At times I was upset with the refs for being biased against the Suns
(they weren’t – see below), upset with the Suns for not shooting well
(also incorrect -see below), upset with the Warriors for shooting too
well and upset with myself for not turning off the TV to help my blood
But in looking at the statistics, I realized there wasn’t any reason to be upset at the refs or the Suns’ shooting. If you’re looking at just fouls and free throws, the Suns had one less foul than the Warriors did and shot seven more free throws. Phoenix also shot 49% from the field and 42% from the three-point line – usually a good indicator that they’ll win (7-1 when they shoot 49% or better and 4-1 when they shoot 42% or better from the three-point line). Unfortunately, the Warriors shot an amazing 46% from the three-point line (making 5 more thee-point shots than the Suns and scoring 15 more points – which just happens to be the difference in the final score.
Despite the loss, there were some interesting things that came out of the game. There is one statistic in the box score that shows exactly what happened in the game. If you took that statistic out of the box score and looked at everything else left, you might actually believe the Suns had won the game. Unfortunately, you can’t take out the turnovers and points-off turnovers. The discrepancy between the two teams in that statistic was enormous. Golden State scored 37 points off of 20 Phoenix turnovers. The Suns only scored 7 points off of 11 Warriors turnovers. The guys in purple lost by 15 points so if they would have been able to cut down on turnovers – or at least stop the Warriors from scoring on those turnovers – they would have had a chance in the game.
If you look at all of the other statistics, the Suns did what they normally do to win:
- They had well over 42% of the total rebounds in the game (now 11-1 when that happens)
- They had over 40 total rebounds (now 9-2 when they do that)
- Phoenix has only allowed their opponent to shoot better than 50% in a game twice (both losses)
- The team scored over 100 points (after Monday’s game, the Suns are 11-1 when scoring 100 or more)
- The loss against the Warriors was the first time the team has lost this year on a non back-to-back game
Other interesting statistics (that probably don’t have any bearing on the game but that are interesting):
- When Grant Hill has 1 or less fouls in a game, the Suns are 2-3
- When Shawn Marion scores 10 points or less, Phoenix is 1-1
- When Marion has zero assists, the team is 1-2
- Monday’s game against the Warriors was the first game in which Leandro Barbosa did not have a rebound
Have you noticed any other trends in the numbers that I’ve missed? Feel free to leave them in the comments below or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.