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Guest post: Pek vs. Linsanity -- who made the bigger February impact

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • February 28, 2012 - 12:41 PM

 

Many of you might have read with great sadness Friday about the end of the regular Clearance Clarence feature on Tuesdays. But as the old saying goes, every time an odd sports blog closes a door, a random e-mailer opens a window. As such, local sports fan Joe Lindell e-mailed the other day wondering if we would be interested in publishing his statistical comparison between Nikola Pekovic and Jeremy Lin in the month of February. We took a look and found that we were, in fact, intrigued. So, Joe Lindell -- find the Twin Cities sports fan here on Twitter -- you have the spotlight. If any other folks have guest post ideas to fill the Tuesday void, we are open to suggestions. Joe?

 

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Pek vs. Lin: Closer Than You Think

 

 
I’m happy for Jeremy Lin, and who isn’t? I like having parity and competitive teams, and everyone loves a great underdog success story.
 
Like more than a few Timberwolves fans, however, I think the underdog story of Nikola Pekovic and his impact on our team is not receiving a ton of coverage due to #Linsanity. However, the evidence shows that their performances, apples to apples, are close to equal.
 
I compared their February performances, using John Hollinger’s Game Score* (GmSc), which takes into account Points, Field Goals (made and attempted), Free Throws (made and attempted), Offensive and Defensive Rebounds, Steals, Assists, Blocked Shots, Personal Fouls, and Turnovers. It’s the best method I know for comparing players across positions.
 
Lin edges out Pek in total game score for the month-to-date, 202.4 to 196.6.  They’ve played the same number of games, so Lin’s average of 15.6 is also 3.0% better than Pek’s 15.1.  However, when you look at GmSc/48 Minutes, the tables are turned. Pek’s 22.6 is 6.2% better than Lin’s 21.2.
 
Player
Total GmSc
GmSc/Game
GmSc/48
Pekovic
196.6
15.1
22.6
Lin
202.4
15.6
21.2
Difference
-5.8
-0.5
1.4
Pct. Difference
-3.0%
-3.0%
6.0%
 
Let’s break it down using traditional stats:
 
Player
G
FG
FGA
FG PCT
3P
3PA
3P PCT
FT
FTA
FT PCT.
ORB
DRB
TRP
STL
AST
BLK
PF
TOV
Points
Pek
13
88
154
57.1%
0
0
-
47
60
78.3%
71
64
135
11
8
15
29
33
223
Lin
13
96
204
47.1%
13
38
34.2%
68
90
75.6%
9
42
51
29
105
2
28
69
273
Diff
-
-8
-50
10.1%
-13
-38
-
-21
-30
2.8%
62
22
84
-18
-97
13
1
-36
-50
Advantage
-
Lin
Pek
Lin
Lin
Pek
Pek
Lin
Lin
Pek
Lin
Pek
Lin
 
Lin has both higher highs and lower lows than Pekovic.  Lin has a significant edge in scoring and crushes Pek in assists, while Pek reigns supreme in FG and FT percentages, rebounds, and blocks. Lin’s turnovers are a significant weakness.
 
In their one head-to-head matchup, on Feb. 11, the Knicks won a heartbreaker 100-98 at Target Center, but Pek’s GmSc of 21.4 more than doubled Lin’s 9.2.
 
 
MP
FG
FGA
FG%
3P
3PA
3P%
FT
FTA
FT%
ORB
DRB
TRB
AST
STL
BLK
TOV
PF
PTS
GmSc
Lin
0:38:53
8
24
33.3%
0
3
0.0%
4
7
57.1%
2
4
6
8
3
0
6
3
20
9.2
Pek
0:29:41
9
10
90.0%
0
0
0.0%
3
3
100.0%
6
7
13
2
1
1
4
4
21
21.4
 
The strongest case for Lin (besides the size of the media market) is wins and losses.  So far, the Knicks are 9-5 in February (9-4 in games when Lin plays), and the Timberwolves are 7-6. 
 
*Game Score (GmSc ) Formula from Basketball-Reference.com. The scale is similar to that of points scored, i.e., 40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, etc

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