Posted: 4/2/2012 6:38:48 PM
I really respect your capping and appreciate your posts everyday, but I have to say that first statistical reasoning is misleading. I think this is a case of using statistics and finding trends that match a conclusion you hope to achieve. I can use essentially the same methodology and find different conclusions.
If you are going to say Phoenix is a fast-paced team at 94.4 possessions/game, then Houston has to be at 94.2. Also, if you are going to separate Houston from those that are legitimately faster paced (SAC 97.3, NYK 96.5, and MIL 95.8), then you can't lump Houston with all the others on the list. Detroit, Atlanta, and Philadelphia all average >2 possessions less than Houston.
From your list of b2b comparisons, the only comparable ones are Utah (94.1) and Phoenix (94.4). They both scored 97 points in this scenario vs. Chicago.
You also point out that Houston struggles on b2b spots (averaging 93.1 points) and that they only played two top 10 defenses in that stretch (averaging 87 points). Utah isn't actually a great comparison because they actually average MORE against top 10 defenses (98.7) than non-top 10 teams (95.7) in a b2b spot, including that 97 on the Bulls. But there is a closer comparison to Phoenix who in the same spots averages 96.4 overall and only played ONE top 10 defense and scored below their average (NYK, 91 points), yet scored 97 on the Bulls (not b2b, but also without D-Rose that game).
Either way, the point is that these statistical comparisons might lean toward Houston scoring slightly lower than UTA or PHO versus CHI in this spot, but it doesn't seem to show that Chicago is holding similar teams below their average in b2b scenarios, so it's likely HOU will be around 93 points.
Also if we're going to compare teams faced, then the recent trend of Bulls offensive/defensive stats you listed is also a bit fuzzy. They only faced four teams that were comparable to Houston in defense (within one DEF EFF point): POR, ORL, TOR. In those games, Chicago averaged 92.5 points Also, in that same stretch, they've given up 92 ppg at home (fits nicely with above estimate for Houston), including 100 to Portland (which is the only team with similar pace and offensive efficiency stats as Houston).
So based on this statistical reasoning, we're looking at a game pretty darn close to the line of 186. However, my ultimate point is that the stats you posted are convincing only when you TRY to look it at one way, but can actually be broken down a completely different way and produce a more fuzzy result. I get that it's only a 3* play for you, so it's not a big deal. Just thought I'd throw it out there that people can easily (and improperly) manipulate statistics to show certain results. This book says it all: