Nuggets vs 'Sixers I: "Embiid ducks Jokic for third consecutive match-up"
The Good Guys
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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.
TPM™ Game 15 PHI
Nikola "Big Honey" Jokic: +43
"Showtime" Michael Porter Jr: N/A
Aaron "Aar" Gordon: -5
"Brontosaurus" Monte Morris: +10
Will "Thrill" Barton: +19
PJ "Bol" Dozier: -4
"Bones" Hyland: +0
Facundo "El Mago" Campazzo: -2
"Funcle" JaMychal Green: -5
"Uncle" Jeff Green: -11
Austin "Tributary" Rivers: -1
Zeke "The Piano Man" Nnaji: N/A
Vlatko "Mr Olympia" Cancar: N/A
Bol Bol "Baggins": +2
"Wet" Markus Howard: +1
Petr "French Toast" Cornelie: +0
Jamal "The Blue Arrow" Murray: N/A
Nikola Jokic: 14 games +475
Michael Porter Jr: 9 games +56
Aaron Gordon: 15 games +161
Monte Morris: 15 games +190
Will Barton: 13 games +163
PJ Dozier: 15 games +76
Bones Hyland: 12 games +101
Facundo Campazzo: 13 games +35
JaMychal Green: 15 games -9
Jeff Green: 15 games +12
Austin Rivers: 13 games +10
Zeke Nnaji: 5 games +25
Vlatko Cancar: 0 games +0
Bol Bol: 6 games +8
Markus Howard: 6 games -2
Petr Cornelie: 2 games +0
Jamal Murray: 0 games +0
Avg. TPM™ Per Game
Nikola Jokic: +33.93
Michael Porter Jr: +6.22
Aaron Gordon: +10.73
Monte Morris: +12.67
Will Barton: +12.54
PJ Dozier: +5.07
Bones Hyland: +8.42
Facundo Campazzo: +2.69
JaMychal Green: -0.60
Jeff Green: +0.80
Austin Rivers: +0.77
Zeke Nnaji: +5.00
Vlatko Cancar: +0.00
Bol Bol: +1.33
Markus Howard: -0.33
Petr Cornelie: +0.00
Jamal Murray: +0.00
TPM™ Per-Minute Splits (Through game 10)
*Credit DomP on the Spreadsheet.
Qtr1- The Nuggets go with their 4TH starting five, consisting of Morris, Barton, Uncle Jeff, AG & MVP. The Sixers counter with Curry, Maxey, Harris, Niang & Drummond. Embiid ducks MVP for the third consecutive time (4th if you count the all star game.) Drummond wins the tip and we are under way. Barton looks spry in the early going of his return-from-absence. The teams are trading buckets and Denver leads by five at 7:52. Make it seven at the time of the first break, 7:19. The two-man game of Barton/Jokic is cooking, but Denver is getting little from the other starters. Philly is staying in it with the three-ball and they lead by one at 5:01, as PJ checks in for the good guys.
Woah! These refs are calling the forearm shivers layed on Jokic tonight! What a treat that is! Rivers is next in for Denver, who leads by one at 3:45, followed soon after by Bones. Joker is first in double digits for Denver and has 15 first quarter points, as Denver leads by two at 2:11. Drummond gets his 2nd foul and exits at this time. Senior is also in for Big Honey. AG is last of the Nuggets starters to check out, replaced by Facu, leading by three with under a minute to go. Milton hits one at the horn after Bones' layup where he was clearly goaltended goes uncalled.
Denver is paced in TPM by Nikola Jokic: +17 as they trail 23-24 after one.
Qtr2- The small ball lineup featuring four pg's and PJ at the four and Senior at the 4 STILL ain't it Malone. Nonetheless, that's what we once again are faced with as Philly's bench is exploiting Denver left and right, and jumps quickly out to a seven point lead on the strength of an 11-3 run. Senior has two quick fouls. THIS LINEUP HAS YET TO WORK ON THE YEAR! How much data do you need to know that Austin Rivers is not a 3, PJ is not a 4 and Green is not a 5? Let alone that Bones is better at the 1 than 2? The lead ballooned to nine at the time of the first break, 9:36. Monte/Barton/Jeff/Joker check in at this point. Bones remains in for AG. Bones' J is way off tonight. The bench-funk has rubbed off on the starters and the lead is all the way up to 14 at 6:49.
AG is in for the ineffective Bones at this time. Jokic has drawn two fouls vs both centers for Philly and I don't understand why Denver doesn't feed him each and every time. Monte is driving the struggle-bus tonight. The lead is 17 as Philly's threes continue to land. Barton finally hits a three and he makes two in double digits for Denver. Joker sticks three then feeds to AG for two, and the lead is 10 at 4:15. Morris/AG/Jeff have combined for just five points thus-far. MVP is heading up and cuts it to seven with a step-back three. AG cuts it to six with a jam at 1:01. Jokic has 27/6/5 already, but they trail by five with 30 seconds remaining. Drummond gets his third foul.
Denver is paced in TPM by Nikola Jokic: +36 as they trail 52-58 at the half.
Qtr3- Jeff does not look right. His feet are stuck in mud, even for him. He also strikes me as one of those journeymen who can't get motivated vs bad teams. Jokic is fouled on his first two attempts, resulting in air balls, but neither were called. The lead for Philly is nine at 9:14. Barton has been great offensively but he's letting Curry by him each and every time. AG cuts it to seven with a jam. Michael Malone is ejected after cursing audibly at the ref. Whomever takes over, please replace Jeff with PJ. Adelmen it is. Drummond earns his fourth foul, of the make-up variety, obviously.
Hey Denver; if your name aint Jokic, cool it with the no-look passes. Philly leads by 11 at 5:01. They simply can not miss form beyond the arc. Green is FINALLY replaced by Dozier at 4:38, trailing by 13. Nobody is moving without the ball for Denver, still. This is gettin' ugly fast. Jokic has yet to score and rarely sees the ball, in the period. The lead is 18 with 2:36 to go. Adelmen is thinking outside the box at least, something Malone almost never does, as he inserts Howard, trailing by 18 with under a minute remaining. Jokic plays the enitre, ugly third period.
Denver is paced in TPM by Nikola Jokic: +43 as they trail 87-69 after three.
Qtr4- The starters are likely done for the night, and unless this bench unit does something they've failed to do all season (show up) then so am I. Monte is in for the innefective Bones and his layup cuts it to 17 at 9:39. Ya, I think I'm done here. Who knows? Maybe if I stop writing they'll come back?
Denver is paced in TPM by Nikola Jokic: +43 as they lose in embarrassing fashion, 103-89
- Denver falls to 9-6 on the year.
- Please get well Dave Joerger.
- I hate to say it but it seems like we have several players who fail to get up to play vs bad teams; most notably the Greens, Monte & AG.
- ENOUGH WITH THE SMALL BALL BENCH UNIT COACH! Yes, the starters also sucked after re-entering, but that's a symptom of the momentum your rotation continually causes.
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 appreciate your 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.