I’m an NBA junkie. I love watching games. I love going to games. I love to find trends as to why teams win or lose. Recently I wanted to figure out statistically why the Phoenix Suns have lost the few games that they have this year. What I found surprised me.
Since the Suns are thought of as primarily a jump shooting team, I assumed that when they lost they weren’t making shots. That’s not really the case. They shoot 50% in games they win, and 48.5% in games that they lose. Even more surprising is that they make 0.5 more 3 pointers in losses than wins. On top of that, they average 111.4 points in wins, and 110.2 points in losses. Statistically speaking, they shoot just as well whether they win or lose.
So why do they lose? Here are a couple stats that may be telling. In losses, they average 1.8 more turnovers, 2.8 less assists, 2.3 less steals, and 6.7 more fouls. What that tells me is that when they lose they’re not passing the ball as well, nor are they as focused on the defensive end.
So how do you beat the Suns? Force them to play more of a one or two man game when they have the ball, and force them to play defense. How to do that? I don’t know. That’s why I’m not an NBA coach.