Monday, October 8, 2012

mass nerder 2

it took a little longer than i anticipated (partly due to the fact that i spent the weekend being a total sot winning the second quinquennial ultimate raingutter regatta), but i finally got around to fleshing out last week's schedule comparison for the rest of the teams in the bottom of ESPN's predicted western conference playoff seeds.  the images i'm uploading are huge, so it will likely be challenging to read this on a mobile device.  but, as you'll see from the amount of data in each image, i couldn't really go much smaller without losing the ability to read what's happening.

here's the jazz schedule.  light green blocks are short homestands (3 games in a row at home), kelly green blocks are longer homestands (4+ games in a row at home).  conversely, pink blocks are short road trips (3 consecutive away games) while red blocks are long road trips (4+ road games in a row).  back-to-backs are noted via outline boxes.

for the sake of including a modicrum of organization, here are the "existing" (as far as is concerned) rankings for teams 5th through 8th in the west (the jazz were ranked 16th overall, 9th in the west).

it's difficult to compare these five sets of data against each other in such a large format, so here is just the conclusory goodies from the bottom of each squad's chart:

as i explained last time, the "trends" listed are based on divvying up the season into 73 ten-game blocks (starting with games 1-10 and concluding with games 73-82).  a "home trend (6+)" means six or more games out of ten consecutive games are played at home; "home trend (7+)" is the heavier extension, with seven or more home games played in a set of 10.  "away trends" are the same for away games.

if this still isn't make sense (and i'm not surprised if it doesn't), look at the jazz's info:
  • back-to-backs: the number of back-to-back series the jazz will play.  for 2012-13, the jazz have 17 B2B sets (34 games).  the percentage refers to the number of regular season games that are in back-to-back sets.  34/82 = 41.46%
  • home blocks (3+): this refers to the number of home stands (three or more consecutive games at ESA) the jazz will play.  this year, it's a total of six.
  • home blocks (4+): refers to the number of long home stands (four or more consecutive games at ESA) the jazz will play.  this year, there's only two long stretches in salt lake city.
  • home trends (6+): the number of 10-consecutive-game groups that feature more than six home games.  the jazz have 25 total.  25 of the 73 season blocks is 34.25% of the 10-game blocks.
  • home trends (7+): the number of 10-consecutive game groups that feature seven or more home games (nobody in this group has more than 8 out of 10 games at home or away in any 10-game stretch).  the jazz have 14 of these almost-always-at-home blocks, which equates to 19.18% of the blocks.
  • home trend runs:  the jazz start block 36 (games 36-45) with at least six out of ten at home; block 37 also features at least 6 home games, as does block 38, all the way through block 51.  in all, from game 36 to game 60, the jazz play 16 of 25 at home.  similarly, from game 66 to game 82, the jazz play 10 of 17 at ESA.
the opposite side of things holds true for the away numbers. as you can tell, super annoying and possibly not very informative.  take a moment to ponder everything and head back when things start to click.

back to backs

good?  then let's get started.  the easiest numbers to compare are the number of back to back games, being fairly straightforward and without any 10-game run bullshit involved.  when i started compiling this info last week, i thought playing 41.46% of your games as part of B2Bs was an astronomical number.  at least from this extremely limited sample, playing twice in two nights seems to be about the median value.  the t-wolves are the worst-off team of the bunch, with 22 B2Bs over the course of the season.  that's a lot--over 50% of their games will be twice in two nighters.  brutal.

minny doesn't get much rest anywhere either, with 11 B2Bs coming in each half of their season.  on the plus side, 3 of the doubles are being played in minnesota, so ricky rubio will get to sleep in his own bed between games.  but that still leaves 19 nights where the timberwolves have to play a game, get on an airplane, sleep for a few hours in a hotel, and repeat the next night.

memphis has the most favorable number of one home/one away B2Bs (13 of 18), with the bulk of their B2Bs coming with one game in front of their home crowd, where everybody else is evenly or nearly evenly split.  but the grizzlies are also the only team that has to play the bulk (10 of 18) of their B2Bs in the second half of the season, when injuries are sapping players and energy is running low.  minny has to play more in the second half, though, so again a rough draw for Kevin Lovetown.

my conclusion on the back-to-back numbers is that these teams battling for 5th-8th in the west aren't going to be able to use this part of their schedules as an excuse.  everybody is facing almost the same demons, with MIN carrying a moderately heavier load to DAL's barely-easier assignment.  if, somehow, the number of two-in-twos ends up being the sole differential between these teams, jazz fans should feel content knowing that the #8 spot would wind up ours.



  1. thanks for compiling all this. I always am wondering the effect that the schedule has on a teams record. Now I can refer back to this.

  2. thanks diana! if i actually knew what i was doing with excel, i could figure out a way to plot this information. seeing it in a graph would be an interesting way to compare against other teams as the season unfolds.

  3. something along these lines, perhaps.