Statistically you're wrong.

I love stats.  We use stats to try and gain an upper hand when it comes to wagering.  Most of us are poker guys, so stats is huge.  We've got some secret formulas that seem to work, but are constantly try to find relational data.  But personally I've come to the conclusion the general stats for basketball have no direct correlation to winning and losing.

Let's take the 2009-10 season.

The top 5 FG% were: Suns 49.2, Jazz 49.1, Cavs 48.5, Raps 48.2, Spurs 47.3.  The Lakers were way below average at 45.7, although the Nets were dead last @42.9  FG% can't tell you who's going to be a winner, but it can tell you who the losers are.

FG Attempted tell you even less.  Yes bad teams tend to take more shots because they're missing quite a bit, but some good teams get more as well because of their D.  Boston Celtics finished dead last with 76.8 pg, while the Warriors had 86.5  The Lakers were above average @83.8 and Dallas was a median @82.4

We all worry about Rebounds quite a bit.  Winning the Rebound war should truly tell us who a great defensive team is right?  It was lead by the Bulls with 44.6 pg and the Lakers 2nd @ 44.3.  Sounds good right?  2nd last was the Celtics @ 38.6.  Raps were bad @40.4 and so were the Nuggets (41.4), Hawks and Mavs @ 41.7.  And really we're talking minute stats at a +/- of 3 from the median.  Does 3 or 4 rebounds make that much of a difference in any one game?

Turnovers, an interesting category, however is a minutely separated by +/- of 4 from best to worse (Blazers 11.5, Timberwolves 15.6)  with the bad teams generally having high TOs, but even then the Raps and Pistons were one of the statistically better teams at keeping the ball.

Well scoring should be the tell all right?  Even then that category is misleading.  Suns and Warriors led the league (110 & 108) with the Blazers (98.1) and Celtics (99.2) being in the lower half .   The Lakers were pretty average at 101.1

So I cringe whenever one relates to any one statistical category and equating it to a winning team, because for every one you pull out, I can find a statistic opposite. Winning the Rebound war, or FG%, or even scoring doesn't guarantee you a winning team.  I think this also illustrates how important non-measurable defensive categories really are.

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