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Exploring Jump Balls Data plus Height Difference

06 Jan

If you expected a follow-up to a post with 4-Year data about jump balls then you know me well ;-)
Because when I collect some information it’s almost inevitable that I’ll explore it for as many nuggets as I can find.

This case is somewhat different because EvanZ found my post interesting enough to write his own, which by the way is always welcome and I consider it a job well done, so one angle is already covered.

Although for the sake of continuity I’ll make simple version of this data available for everyone,
here’s a table with data combined across last 4 regular seasons:

Most Jump Balls Attempts Won Total Win% Continuation Won Total Win%
Tim Duncan 223 392 56,89 Andrew Bynum 140 211 66,35
Dwight Howard 255 384 66,41 Brendan Haywood 82 210 39,05
Emeka Okafor 175 364 48,08 Brad Miller 97 202 48,02
Josh Smith 212 362 58,56 Pau Gasol 119 193 61,66
Samuel Dalembert 222 335 66,27 Andris Biedrins 77 183 42,08
Brook Lopez 156 306 50,98 Jeff Green 76 182 41,76
Andrew Bogut 169 297 56,90 Luis Scola 33 170 19,41
Al Jefferson 136 291 46,74 Jermaine O’Neal 99 168 58,93
Marc Gasol 167 276 60,51 Yao Ming 73 168 43,45
Marcus Camby 180 276 65,22 Roy Hibbert 77 165 46,67
Kendrick Perkins 124 261 47,51 Darko Milicic 85 164 51,83
Shaquille O’Neal 186 259 71,81 Joel Przybilla 87 161 54,04
Tyson Chandler 150 259 57,92 David Lee 35 151 23,18
Chris Bosh 153 255 60,00 Rasheed Wallace 41 124 33,06
Amare Stoudemire 157 252 62,30 JaVale McGee 77 121 63,64
Nene Hilario 138 251 54,98 Chris Kaman 61 117 52,14
Erick Dampier 139 234 59,40 Jared Jeffries 46 116 39,66
Joakim Noah 144 232 62,07 Robin Lopez 60 116 51,72
Mehmet Okur 112 232 48,28 LaMarcus Aldridge 56 114 49,12
Ben Wallace 144 226 63,72 Kwame Brown 65 113 57,52
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 136 218 62,39 DeAndre Jordan 63 105 60,00
Spencer Hawes 95 216 43,98 Andrea Bargnani 38 101 37,62
Best Winning%
[min. 40]
Won Total Win% Height Diff. Worst Winning%
[min. 40]
Won Total Win% Height Diff.
Shaquille O’Neal 186 259 71,81 2,01 Luis Scola 33 170 19,41 -1,77
Gerald Wallace 39 56 69,64 -0,96 David Lee 35 151 23,18 -1,71
Rudy Gay 32 47 68,09 1,15 Udonis Haslem 15 54 27,78 -1,13
Dwight Howard 255 384 66,41 0,12 Kevin Love 15 51 29,41 1,06
Andrew Bynum 140 211 66,35 1,10 Rasheed Wallace 41 124 33,06 -1,00
Samuel Dalembert 222 335 66,27 0,11 Chris Wilcox 26 78 33,33 -0,79
Lamar Odom 31 47 65,96 1,45 Sean Williams 15 42 35,71 -0,09
Marcus Camby 180 276 65,22 -0,11 Mark Blount 18 50 36,00 1,14
Kenyon Martin 33 51 64,71 0,90 Joel Anthony 29 80 36,25 -1,66
Ben Wallace 144 226 63,72 -1,91 Nazr Mohammed 27 73 36,99 -0,66
JaVale McGee 77 121 63,64 0,96 Andrea Bargnani 38 101 37,62 1,29
Zydrunas Ilgauskas 136 218 62,39 4,28 Drew Gooden 31 82 37,80 -0,90
Amare Stoudemire 157 252 62,30 -0,46 Kurt Thomas 23 60 38,33 -1,58
Joakim Noah 144 232 62,07 0,52 Brendan Haywood 82 210 39,05 1,36
LeBron James 29 47 61,70 -0,36 Mikki Moore 18 46 39,13 0,48
Pau Gasol 119 193 61,66 0,94 Jared Jeffries 46 116 39,66 0,40
Marc Gasol 167 276 60,51 2,38 Jason Collins 22 55 40,00 1,25
Chris Bosh 153 255 60,00 -0,69 Hilton Armstrong 20 50 40,00 0,50
DeAndre Jordan 63 105 60,00 0,27 Jeff Green 76 182 41,76 -1,63
Erick Dampier 139 234 59,40 -0,04 Andris Biedrins 77 183 42,08 0,17
Kevin Garnett 29 49 59,18 1,18 Andray Blatche 33 78 42,31 0,58
Jermaine O’Neal 99 168 58,93 0,33 Serge Ibaka 31 73 42,47 -0,11
Josh Smith 212 362 58,56 -1,83 Yao Ming 73 168 43,45 6,84
Tyson Chandler 150 259 57,92 2,07 Eddy Curry 27 62 43,55 1,11
Kwame Brown 65 113 57,52 -0,25 Spencer Hawes 95 216 43,98 1,25
Dan Gadzuric 31 54 57,41 0,28 Amir Johnson 35 78 44,87 -0,81
Andrew Bogut 169 297 56,90 1,19 Wilson Chandler 29 64 45,31 -1,67
Tim Duncan 223 392 56,89 0,21 J.J. Hickson 36 79 45,57 -1,39

Among losers we basically have players who probably shouldn’t be asked to jump for it [although I didn’t expect to see Yao and Ibaka on that list, was it a timing problem?] but on the left we have a very interesting mix of giants, leapers and veterans so we probably should focus more on one factor missing – opponents.
EvanZ adjusted for their quality… but what about their size?
How much does size difference help players in winning jump balls?
Here’s how [I used listed height from basketballreference.com’s downloable database]…

winning jump balls height difference

winning jump balls height difference

So advantage of two inches is worth one additional jump ball win for every 10 attempts, then it is surprisingly steady at 65% winning percentage for the difference between +4 and +8 inches and finally there is an overwhelming advantage with 9 or more inches of height.

But keep in mind that the bigger difference in height the the smaller is number of such duels and I combined those above 13 into one. By my count there were five jump ball duels with a difference of 15 or more inches in height between players and because that’s a great curiosity here are links to all of them:

2009-10 Jumpball: Marc Gasol vs. Nate Robinson,

2009-10 Jumpball: Hasheem Thabeet vs. Aaron Brooks,

2008-09 Jumpball: D.J. Augustin vs. Zydrunas Ilgauskas,

2007-08 Jumpball: Nate Robinson vs. Joel Przybilla,

2007-08 Jumpball: Zydrunas Ilgauskas vs. Darrick Martin.

As you would expect it’s 4 wins for the giants right there… wait, what? 4 out of 5?
Yes, because somehow in the last one Darrick Martin’s team gained a possessions!
I have no idea how that happened but you probably have to credit his teammates which begs a question…
what can we find in data about players who catched the winning jump ball?

Player Season 10-11 Season 09-10 Season 08-09 Season 07-08 4-Year Total
Steve Nash 58 76 60 74 268
Jameer Nelson 76 64 44 54 238
Tony Parker 72 42 42 36 192
Raymond Felton 44 48 54 38 184
Andre Miller 50 44 42 42 178
Chauncey Billups 38 46 64 30 178
Chris Paul 48 38 44 48 178
Jason Kidd 30 54 50 42 176
Derek Fisher 16 58 44 40 158
Deron Williams 40 46 40 26 152
Devin Harris 36 14 50 52 152
Mike Conley 58 48 32 10 148
Dirk Nowitzki 46 28 30 38 142
Derrick Rose 58 54 28 0 140
Mo Williams 30 36 30 42 138
Zach Randolph 42 46 30 20 138
Jose Calderon 22 32 40 40 134
Kevin Garnett 46 52 20 14 132
Beno Udrih 36 32 30 26 124
Mike Bibby 30 34 38 22 124
Joe Johnson 22 32 40 28 122
Rajon Rondo 18 28 48 28 122
Steve Blake 2 24 28 68 122
Lamar Odom 30 36 20 34 120
Rashard Lewis 24 24 34 36 118
Kenyon Martin 22 22 26 44 114
Al Horford 22 36 16 38 112
LaMarcus Aldridge 50 10 44 6 110
Rafer Alston 0 32 44 28 104
Andre Iguodala 10 30 34 26 100
Kirk Hinrich 30 14 8 48 100
Paul Pierce 30 22 10 32 94
Danny Granger 24 28 24 16 92
Gerald Wallace 18 30 20 24 92
LeBron James 20 32 22 18 92
Brandon Jennings 24 66 0 0 90
Pau Gasol 50 20 16 4 90
Russell Westbrook 30 34 24 0 88
Boris Diaw 24 28 30 4 86
Jarrett Jack 10 34 22 20 86
Luke Ridnour 38 12 32 4 86
Luol Deng 28 28 14 16 86
Elton Brand 30 44 10 0 84
Rodney Stuckey 22 28 30 4 84
Rudy Gay 14 26 16 28 84
Luis Scola 6 8 44 22 80

That’s probably more boring than I hoped for – mostly point guards who played with center very good at winning jump balls – and I published it because I think there’s one nugget here: have I stumbled into unknown skill by Steve Nash? I’m not only talking about the size of his lead but it seems that he catched basically every jump ball which his center had won… and there were 5 of them in the last 4 years!
So either he is very good at positioning or Suns have a very consistent strategy where the ball should go… have someone watched enough Suns’ games to let me know what’s going on here?

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Posted by on January 6, 2012 in Expanding Horizons

 

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