Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Tonight, the Nuggets look to win their third consecutive game over the Memphis Grizzlies this season. Can the Nuggets earn themselves a late Christmas present by securing a potentially huge playoff tiebreaker?
|2012/2013 NBA Regular Season: Game 32|
|December 29, 2012 - 6:00 PM (MT)|
|FedExForum, Memphis, TN
|TV Altitude or NBA TV / 950 AM / 104.3 FM The Fan|
|Denver Stiffs||Blogs||Straight Outta Vancouver|
|Chandler and Stone (out)||Injuries||Rudy Gay (day-to-day)|
|The Nuggets can win the season series with a victory||Stat||The Grizzlies are 5-5 in their last 10 games|
By this time, the Memphis Grizzlies are familiar foes for our Denver Nuggets. Each time these squads have clashed, the Nuggets have walked away the victors. Somehow, the Nuggets match up well against the Marc Gasol-Zach Randolph frontcourt, and have used their length and athleticism to frustrate them into poor shooting and turnovers, while simultaneously creating good looks and free throw attempts.
Tonight must be no different. We saw just recently in the home win over the Lakers that the Nuggets can attack unwary opponents by playing the passing lanes with Corey Brewer and Andre Iguodala's athleticism, using their superior speed to turn careless passes into easy points downcourt. Brewer hitting 6 of 7 three pointers certainly helped, and we can hope to see more of the same from him in coming games.
With a victory tonight, the Nuggets will have won 3 of 4 games against a Grizzlies squad that has been struggling lately - and they've played five fewer games than the Nuggets. Given the Grizzlies current playoff seeding, having an early tiebreaker could loom large as the Nuggets march onwards into the soft part of their schedule in January 2013.
We already know all about the Grizzlies lineups and personnel, so I thought I might take a different approach with tonight's game and compare their prior two matchups using Dean Oliver's "Four Factors":
How do basketball teams win games? While searching for an answer to that question, Dean Oliver identified what he called the "Four Factors of Basketball Success":
Free Throws (15%)The number in parenthesis is the approximate weight Mr. Oliver assigned each factor. Shooting is the most important factor, followed by turnovers, rebounding, and free throws. These factors can be applied to both a team's offense and defense.
Pace - Pace factor is an estimate of the number of possessions per 48 minutes by a team.eFG% (Shooting) - Effective Field Goal Percentage; the formula is (FG + 0.5 * 3P) / FGA. This statistic adjusts for the fact that a 3 point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal.TOV% (Turnovers) - Turnover percentage is an estimate of turnovers per 100 plays.ORB% (Rebounds) - Offensive rebound percentage is an estimate of the percentage of available offensive rebounds a player grabbed while he was on the floor.FT/FGA (Free Throws) - Free Throws per Field Goal Attempt; roughly how many free throws were attempted per field goal.ORTG - Offensive Rating; points scored per 100 possessions.