The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. The EuroLeague Final Four is set to start in Belgrade. Barcelona, Olympiacos, Anadolu Efes, and Real Madrid will be battling for the prestigious EuroLeague trophy.
A lot has been said and written about the Final Four. What I want to add is an analytics view for Olympiacos’ game against Anadolu Efes.
Shooting Efficiency and Performance Index Rating
I dare to say that Olympiacos really shows heart this season. Players such as Kostas Sloukas, Thomas Walkup, and Hassan Martin stepped up and overachieved in the playoff series against Monaco.
On the other side, in the playoffs Anadolu Efes played as champions to overcome Armani Milano 3-1 and reach the Final Four, with Tibor Pleiss playing better than expected. Vasilije Micic fell into negative PIR territory, despite an increase in his average points.
Offensive and Defensive Ratings
Offensive and defensive ratings refer to the number of points scored and allowed per 100 possessions. Defining a possession is a challenge in itself. Have a look here on NBA Stuffer for a deeper definition and explanation of possessions. Two different formulas that estimate the number of possessions in a game are borrowed from nbastuffer.com and can be found below.
Basic Possession Formula=0.96*[(Field Goal Attempts)+(Turnovers)+0.44*(Free Throw Attempts)-(Offensive Rebounds)] More Specific Possession Formula=0.5*((Field Goal Attempts + 0.4*Free Throw Attempts – 1.07*(Offensive Rebounds/(Offensive Rebounds + Opponent Defensive Rebounds))*(Field Goal Attempts – FG) + Turnovers) + (Opponent Field Goal Attempts + 0.4*(Opponent Free Throw Attempts) – 1.07*(Opponent Offensive Rebounds)/(Opponent Offensive Rebounds + Defensive Rebounds))*(Opponent Field Goal Attempts – Opponent FG) + Opponent Turnovers))
It’s quite obvious that a team should strive to have a high offensive rating and keep the opponents to a low offensive rating, i.e. a low defensive rating.
The reigning champions Anadolu Efes is the team with the best offensive rating in the whole EuroLeague season. Olympiacos‘ offense was the 4th best among all EuroLeague teams and is 3rd among the Final Four teams.
Olympiacos has been amazing at both ends of the court. The Greek side was the only team besides Barcelona within the top four teams in the league – 4th in offense and 3rd in defense. Anadolu Efes barely managed to finish the season with an average defensive rating thanks to their strong run in their last games. Which team will show up in the semifinal?
The Four Factors were defined by Dean Oliver in 2002 in his book Basketball on Paper. They answer the question “what are the main strategies related to success?”. The Four Factors can be simply described as Score, Protect, Crash, and Attack:
- Effective Field Goal Percentage
- Turnover Ratio
- Rebound Percentage
- Free Throw Rate
Effective Field Goal Percentage
Effective field goal percentage, or eFG%, accounts for the fact that a three-point field goal is worth more than a two-point field goal, as described by basketball-reference.com. The formula is (FGM + 0.5 * 3PM) / FGA
Olympiacos and Efes are 2nd and 3rd in terms of offensive eG% among the whole league.
In terms of defensive eG%, Olympiacos is 4th best and Anadolu Efes is 5th.
Dean Oliver put weights on each of the Four Factors and estimated that 40% of a team’s performance is dependant on its eFG%. Our findings here show that the estimate is in the right direction – and I’m not surprised.
The Turnover Ratio is essentially an estimate of the number of turnovers either committed or forced per 100 possessions.
Dean Oliver estimated that 25% of a team’s success is dependant on the turnover ratio.
Anadolu Efes is the team with the best turnover percentage – almost 15%.
The Rebounding factor is considered the third most important of the four factors with a 20% weight. A team should strive to have high rebound percentages at both ends.
The offensive rebound percentage is calculated by the formula: OReb / (OReb + Opp DReb). The defensive rebound percentage is calculated by the formula: DReb / (DReb + Opp OReb)
Olympiacos is 3rd best in defensive rebounding but below average in offensive rebounding. Luckily, they are up against a bad rebounding team.
Free Throw Rate
The Free Throw rate is the last of the four factors and Dean Oliver had assigned a weight of 15% importance.
It is calculated by dividing the number of free throws made over the number of field goals made.
Olympiacos and Anadolu are among the top 4 teams in offensive free throw rate, they depend on free throws for over 22% of their points.
Olympiacos displays a strong preference from under the basket, mainly the left side. Additionally, corner-3s are highly preferred compared to the rest of the league. There is plenty of versatility and I dare to say that it looks like Olympiacos is shooting by modern basketball standards: high efficiency shots from below the basket or 3-point range.
As for Anadolu Efes, they follow exactly what NBA teams are doing: 3pointers and close-up shots. This is why they are the best offensive team in the league.
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