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Segmented VMI Range - NBA Shooting Percentages From Previous Seasons

Posted: 2023-04-10 08:12:07 (CT)    [ 567 views ]

The shooting percentages for a particular NBA team within certain VMI ranges is more telling during the post season than the overall league-wide averages.  That is because we now have between 4 and 5 seasons of data and the numbers start washing out to a norm which is not helpful.
Last Season, I compiled a listing of NBA win percentages and team shooting percentages within the various VMI ranges.  At the time, I had begun to suspect that eventually the shooting percentages across the entire league, would settle into the norm, even if the VMI range was a unique one, because that is what averages do.
So, this year, I wanted to see how the college teams react to shooting differentials across the country when changing altitudes, in order to gain a full understanding of both the VMI formula and the shooter's ability to adapt.
I have discovered that both premises are true for the NBA and the NCAA, but the VMI formula for college games can be improved and that is especially true for the NCAA tournament teams.  I would recommend that you look more closely at individual teams than the overall shooting percentages and win percents of the league. After all, what you need to be able to do is pick out the upsets when possible.
In our first season of D-1 college basketball, we were unable to collect data on all the individual teams.  So that will still be an upcoming goal.
However, the NBA is still gathering data and individual teams show a more true picture of adjustment to changing altitudes and its effect on a team of shooters.  See below from previous seasons in NBA:

NBA Home Team Win Percentages from 2018 thru 2022

HOME - VMI RANGE        SCORE      WIN %
            
            
6.00 to +11.99------------------146----------64.3%
+0.00 to +5.99------------------143----------48.4%
-0.01 to -5.99-------------------143----------50.1%
-6.00 to -11.99------------------141----------47.2%
-12.00 to -17.99----------------148----------33.8%


VMI Production for Home Teams:

                                         VMI PRODUCTION SUMMARY                                                            

                                 (PTS MADE-3PT-FIELD-FT-TOT REB)                                                                                                                             SCORES PER GAME - HOME                                                               

                                        (INCL. - AVG ALL TEAM REB)                  

 HOME - VMI RANGE            ADV        SCORE      WIN %      P-ADJ        W-ADJ 

6.00 to +11.99                        102%         146.1       64.3%           3.20         14.2

+0.00 to +5.99                       100%         143.1        48.4%           0.20         -1.7 

-0.01 to -5.99                        100%          142.9         50.1%          0.00             0

 -6.00 to -11.99                         99%          141.0       47.2%         -1.90           -2.9

-12.00 to -17.99                     104%          148.3        33.8%         5.40         -16.3

ADV = Advantage home teams have over or under the best scenario for home teams (by % of Production Score).

P-ADJ = Production Adjustment  -  is the amount of Adjustment in production that a home team is behind or ahead of the optimal home team.  Therefore the amount of effort it will take somewhere else (maybe defense) to compete as well as the optimal home team competes.

W-ADJ = Win Percent Adjustment - This is the win % gap between the VMI Ranges of zero to 24.

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So how does physiology figure into this production and win percent difficulty for road teams?

See Altitude Physiology on this site under Science.  Most people know it is difficult to get acclimated to a high altitude location for those who are not already used to it.  Initially, the lungs must work much harder to transfer oxygen into the blood stream due to the lower pressure and lesser amount of oxygen per breath taken.

For visiting NBA teams to Denver and/or Utah, which would fall under the VMI Ranges of +12 to +24 in the table below, we know that players feel it and struggle with it while playing.  It is most likely part of the 23% and 13% winning percentages that we have recorded for the NBA since 2018. 

However, for teams leaving their home venue and traveling to low altitude locations, the difficulty is reversed.  It takes less work for the lungs to transfer oxygen into the blood stream than the players are used to in their home venue.  Therefore, in an extremely vigorous sport such as basketball, a running team from Denver and Utah should feel good at lower altitudes during the first couple games on the road.  This would be especially true later into the season after substantial conditioning and lung strengthening at the home venue.  This too, may be part of the higher winning percentages for road teams in the minus 12 (-12) to minus 24 (-24) VMI Ranges recorded for the NBA since 2018. 

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As you may remember, we began compiling data on NBA teams in 2018 to attempt to identify if the logical approach to shooting percentages in NBA would follow similar production that we've seen in other sports when teams change from one environment to another.  The extremes were particularly interesting to us, and we've seen substantial win percent differences in baseball due to these transitions.

In baseball, of course, it is narrowed down to the type of pitch thrown and how productive MLB hitters can be when transitioning.  In the NBA, it is primarily a product of the longer distance shooting of the three point shot, but the confidence factor that can affect the shooter, can have an effect on the shorter distance shooting and on-the-fly decision making, as well.   Below, is a compilation of the data providing a total score for all NBA teams when transitioning for road games. 

2018 - 2021 TO DATE - VMI PRODUCTION SUMMARY FOR TEAMS ON THE ROAD   

 

10-26-2021

Below, I have added some columns to the Score and Win % summary table from the previous discussion.  These columns are added to aid you in seeing the extent of the VMI Range related production. Below these new columns is a definition of the column heading.  These may help you to determine if the team is strong enough to overcome the disadvantage.

Adjustments Road Teams Must Make:

ROAD - VMI RANGE        ADV    SCORE    WIN %    P-ADJ    W-ADJ
+18.00 to +23.99               99%      138.2          23%      -1.90       -19
+12.00 to +17.99               96%      135.1          13%      -5.00       -29
6.00 to +11.99                   95%      133.4          34%       -6.70        -8
+0.00 to +5.99                 100%      140.1          42%        0.00         0
-0.01 to -5.99                   100%      140.5          39%        0.40        -3
-6.00 to -11.99                 100%      139.8          39%       -0.30        -3
-12.00 to -17.99               100%      140.8          52%        0.70       10
-18.00 to -23.99               101%      140.9          46%        0.80         4

ADV = Advantage road teams have over or under the best scenario for road teams (by % of Production Score).

P-ADJ = Production Adjustment  -  is the amount of Adjustment in production that a road team is behind or ahead of the optimal road team.  Therefore the amount of effort it will take somewhere else (maybe defense) to compete as well as the optimal road team competes.

W-ADJ = Win Percent Adjustment - This is the win % gap between the VMI Ranges of zero to 24.

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10-23-2021

2018 - 2021 TO DATE - VMI PRODUCTION SUMMARY FOR TEAMS ON THE ROAD

SCORE = POINTS COMPILED  IN THAT VMI RANGE-plus Total Rebounds (which provide scoring opportunities)

POINTS COMPILED IN: (3 POINTERS-FIELD GOALS-FREE THROWS AND TOTAL REBOUNDS)         

SCORES PER GAME - ROAD                     

ROAD - VMI RANGE                                                      SCORE        WIN %
+18.00 to +23.99-----------------------------------------------------138 ---------23.3%
+12.00 to +17.99-----------------------------------------------------135 ---------13.0%

+6.00 to +11.99-------------------------------------------------------133----------34.4%

+0.00 to +5.99--------------------------------------------------------140 --------- 41.5%

-0.01 to -5.99----------------------------------------------------------141 ---------39.3%
-6.00 to -11.99---------------------------------------------------------140 ---------39.1%
-12.00 to -17.99-------------------------------------------------------141 ---------52.1%
-18.00 to -23.99-------------------------------------------------------141 ---------46.2%

 

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