Ok, I was wrong. Stats don’t necessarily tell the entire story. We were discussing stats on Twitter during the game and my argument was that stats ALWAYS tell the story. A co-worker argued that there were times that stats don’t reflect what happened in the game. And after looking at the box score during the Phoenix Suns vs New York Knicks game on Wednesday night, I think I need to change my argument a little bit.
Look at the following numbers:
Steve Nash: 19 assists, 9 points
Jason Richardson: 9 rebounds, 27 points
Shaquille O’Neal: 12 rebounds, 21 points
Amare Stoudemire: 20 points
Grant Hill: 14 points
If someone would have showed me those numbers and told me the Suns were playing the Knicks, I would have guessed the numbers meant Phoenix blew out New York. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
The confusion grows even more confusing when looking at total team numbers. Both teams made 41 field goals. The Knicks had two more attempts so they shot a lower percentage. Both teams shot 33.3% from the three-point line. Phoenix had more assists but less rebounds. They also only allowed 3 more points off of turnovers.
But I think the story of the game came down to free throws and made three-point shots. While Phoenix attempted 8 more free throws in the game, they actually made one less free throw than New York. And even though both teams had the same shooting percentage from behind the arc, New York attempted 12 more long shots and made 4 more. And that’s the difference in the game.
Next up on the longest road trip of the year is the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday night. Your thoughts on the New York game? What could the team have done better? What did they do well?