TPM™ 2021-'21 Game #1 vs Phoenix

Nuggets vs Suns I: " Nuggets in one!"

The Good Guys

Their adversaries

(Charts courtesy of ESPN.COM)

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If you are viewing the pre-game version of the TPM piece and you enjoy gonzo-basketball reporting, I invite you to please join me after the game where the same link will lead you to the post-game version. In it, all of the disjointed/unsightly blanks below will be filled, complete with data/analysis.

In-game analysis will be provided for all games except for the second of B2B and/or weekend games. Data will be tracked for all 82 games, regardless of whether analysis is provided or not.

Injuries for Denver:

Injuries for Phoenix:



TPM™ Game 1 PHO

Nikola "Scandalmeister" Jokic: +28

"Showtime" Michael Porter Jr: +20

Aaron "Aar" Gordon: +14

"Brontosaurus" Monte Morris: +9

Will "Thrill" Barton: +23

PJ "Bol" Dozier: +1

"Bones" Hyland: N/A

Facundo "El Mago" Campazzo: +0

"Funcle" JaMychal Green: +0

"Uncle" Jeff Green: +10

Austin "Tributary" Rivers: -1

Zeke "The Piano Man" Nnaji: N/A

Vlatko "Mr Olympia" Cancar: N/A

Bol Bol "Baggins": N/A

"Wet" Markus Howard: N/A

Petr "French Toast" Cornelie: N/A

Jamal "The Blue Arrow" Murray: N/A


Total TPM™

Nikola Jokic: 1 games +28

Michael Porter Jr: 1 games +20

Aaron Gordon: 1 games +14

Monte Morris:1 games +9

Will Barton: 1 games +23

PJ Dozier: 1 games +1

Bones Hyland: 0 games +0

Facundo Campazzo: 1 games +0

JaMychal Green: 1 games +0

Jeff Green: 1 games +10

Austin Rivers: 1 games -1

Zeke Nnaji: 0 games +0

Vlatko Cancar: 0 games +0

Bol Bol: 0 games +0

Markus Howard: 0 games +0

Petr Cornelie: 0 games +0

Jamal Murray: 0 games +0


Avg. TPM™ Per Game

Nikola Jokic: +28.00

Michael Porter Jr: +20.00

Aaron Gordon: +14.00

Monte Morris: +9.00

Will Barton: +23.00

PJ Dozier: +1.00

Bones Hyland: +0.00

Facundo Campazzo: +0.00

JaMychal Green: +0.00

Jeff Green: +10.00

Austin Rivers: -1.00

Zeke Nnaji: +0.00

Vlatko Cancar: +0.00

Bol Bol: +0.00

Markus Howard: +0.00

Petr Cornelie: +0.00

Jamal Murray: +0.00


TPM Per-Minute Splits (2020-'21 final numbers)



*Credit DomP on the Spreadsheet.



Qtr1- The Nuggets go with their opening night starting five, consisting of Morris, Barton, MPJ, AG & the MVP. The Suns counter with CP3, Booker, Bridges, Crowder & the likely very pissed off at his contract situation, Ayton. Suns fans remain methed out. Here we go! Jokic wins the tip and we are under way. He gets the scoring under way for the good guys, on a wide open J from 18. Crowder is extra floppy tonight. Denver's D is lackluster early in the P&R but they lead by one at 7:30. Phoenix retakes the one point lead at the time of the first break, 6:40. Barton has missed two long rebounds by poaching boards that were already in Jokic's neighborhood. MPJ is everywhere on both ends and Denver leads by five at 4:12. He leads all players with 3 assists. Facu/PJ are first off the pine for Denver at this time. Rivers is next so it appears that Bones is not in the rotation. Denver has scored 13 unanswered points and lead by 11 at 1:36. Dos Verdes enter for the Nuggets ad the 2nd unit is intact.

Denver is paced in TPM by Michael Porter Jr: +11 as they lead 26-20 after one.


Qtr2- The refs are letting them play thus-far. Only Nader has as many as two fouls. Phoenix cuts it to one on the strength of their own 10-0 run. CP3 is working the Nuggets bench over and Phoenix leads by two at 7:50. The Suns starting 5 is intact as they lead by two at 6:58. Jokic/MPJ return shortly thereafter. Both starting units are out there as the Suns lead by 4 at 6:01. AG has played phenomenal D on Booker. Crowder is SO fucking annoying. Barton has played phenomenally bad D on Booker. Monte has yet to do anything of note and Phoenix leads by 9 at 4:22. The refs still have no respect for the league MVP. It's uncanny how flawed NBA officiating is. The lead is 14 as SB Nation is slowing to a snail's-crawl when I type, with under a minute remaining. Barton/Jokic are gaining traction in the two-man-game and Denver cuts it to 7 at the half on a last second three by MVP.

Denver is paced in TPM by Nikola Jokic: +15 as they trail 51-58 at the half.


Qtr3- SB Nation is glitching for reasons I don't understand so rather than doing in-game analysis in the 2nd half and risking losing all work, I'll just be tracking the data. All apologies. Hopefully they have it fixed by Friday. VERY frustrating!

Denver is paced in TPM by Nikola Jokic & Michael Porter Jr: +20 as they lead 85-82 after three.


Qtr4- The

Denver is paced in TPM by Nikola Jokic: +28 as they win 110-98


Final Thoughts:

  • Nuggets win!
  • Denver showed fight after Crowder got into it with AG
  • The officials are definitely in preseason form
  • Phoenix stays hackin'
  • Free Bones!
  • CP3 remains infuriating!
  • J-Mike looks rough
  • Good to see the bench unit FINALLY not suck in the 4th
  • Bridges is a certified "groper" according to Marlowe
  • AG with some huge rebounds down the stretch
  • Crowder is ass
  • Will is FINALLY healthy... but for how long?


For context pertaining to the statistical aspects of this piece, please open this link: TPM™

A brief statement with regard to this piece on whole:

As a means to avoid repeating myself I will include this descriptive diatribe in all TPM posts going forward.

Sure I like statistics; ever since I was a child collecting sports cards and later a pre-teen who ran pre-internet fantasy sports leagues on ink/paper/spreadsheet for the four major US pro-leagues, I've been fascinated by box-score stats, but I'm by no means an expert.

I created TPM, which has been around longer than RPM incidentally and unlike them, I fully disclose my non-proprietary system and I contextualize the action rather than being a boring, mysterious, predictive metric, because it does add immediate and accessible context to what we see and what the numbers indicate, which I like.

While the data is meticulously tracked and demonstrably sound, I'm a creative type, not an engineer. Algorithm is the bane of my existence in fact. I'd far rather approach life with the intrigue of expected surprise than attempt to get to the bottom of why things are the way they are. There are many engineers in my family so I totally understand that joy can be derived from finding solutions to problems, I just can't relate. It's not fun for me. THIS is for the most part, not fun for me.

Now I'm a 44-year-old man who was born during the season in which the team I love joined the NBA. I happen to have a lifetime of experience with this sport in several capacities, including playing (highly underrated within the writing community) so I understand basketball theory in a way most (by no means all) pundits do not.

I was, in this case, interested in a data-driven approach, which if I'm honest has sapped nearly all fun out of taking in games for me. I get very few days/nights off during the season. One piece requires several hours of research and data entry and all tracking/analysis is done in real time and published mere moments after each game's completion, 82 times per year.

As such, the analysis portion is about 90% (I've run the numbers) creative writing with sarcasm generally indicated through italics, non-sequitur humor and hyperbole, in an attempt to steal back some of the joy this endeavor has snatched away.

Hopefully there is a little something here for everyone but if you came just for data or are averse to colorful language, this is not the place for you. I have no way of knowing how many people even read this so I'll not be affected even remotely if you choose not to indulge. For those of you who do, I greatly thank you for the support.

I can be found at @prmorphine on Twitter.

Also, my DIY music production and videos can be heard/seen here if you don't value your ear-balls & eye-drums.

And as always, get the jab, wear the mask, act like a good person privately and especially in public; even if you are not, and most importantly, fuck the Lakers.


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