Stats Review: Creative offensive trends

Mar 12, 2019 by Synergy Sports Technology Print
Stats Review: Creative offensive trends

At this point in the season, stylistic changes that may have seemed like anomalies early on have solidified themselves as legitimate trends. The EuroLeague has no shortage of creative offensive coaches and gifted offensive units, but some are pushing the envelope in especially notable ways this season.

Off screens

2018-19 off-screen average: 4.2 possessions per game, 1.01 points per possession

Real Madrid:8.4 possessions per game, 1.15 points per possession

Real Madrid led the EuroLeague in off-screen possessions per game each of the last two years and has continued to find new ways to integrate them into its offense. This year, Madrid is running actions for Anthony Randolph from the center position more regularly—something it experimented with last year. Jaycee Carroll remains the EuroLeague's top off-screen threat and Coach Pablo Laso continues to add wrinkles to get his shooters open on the perimeter. At this point, no other team is using more than five off-screen possessions per game, despite the relatively high league-wide efficiency.

Pick-and-roll-derived offense

2018-19 pick-and-roll average: 43% of total half-court possessions, 0.99 points per possession

Anadolu Efes Istanbul: 49% of total half-court possessions, 1.12 points per possession

Pick-and-roll play is a staple of the EuroLeague. Teams rely on their ballhandlers to not just score using ball screens, but also to create opportunities for their teammates by passing. Pick-and-roll-derived offense covers all possessions used by ballhandlers or created by one of their passes out of the pick-and-roll. Anadolu Efes Istanbul will almost certainly set the record for highest percentage of possessions generated from pick-and-rolls as it is already well ahead of the current record. However, there are a half dozen teams generating over 40% of their half-court possessions out of ball screen actions – that is not what stands out most about what Efes has accomplished this season. Efes's more significant feat is scoring 1.12 points per possession derived from the pick-and-roll, the highest mark in EuroLeague history. Ranking a distant second in points scored per possession by their ball handlers, the club has done its best work when its guards act as facilitators. Coach Ataman Ergin's team has found ways to steadily get the ball to its shooters on the perimeter no matter how opposing teams have defended their ball screen actions.

Transition

2018-19 transition average: 8.3 possessions per game, 1.18 points per possession

AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan: 10.4 possessions, 1.33 points per possession

Milan has gotten out in the open floor as often as almost any team in the EuroLeague, but what stands out is its efficiency. On pace for the most efficient transition scoring season in modern EuroLeague history, Coach Simone Pianigiani's club has shot almost 49% from beyond the arc when pushing the tempo. Several teams have been as prolific from beyond the arc in the open court historically, but none have ever been as accurate. The rise of the three-point shot in transition could be coming sooner than later if teams continue to make them at such an astonishing rate.

Short shot clock

2018-19 short shot clock average: 1% of possessions, 0.850 points per possession

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul: 23% of possessions, 1.00 points per possession

Synergy defines short shot clock situations as possessions used with under 4 seconds remaining. Fenerbahce plays at the slowest pace of any team in the EuroLeague, regularly grinding possessions deep into the clock. It is not the first team to play that way, but is far away the most efficient short shot clock scoring team since records have been kept. Fenerbahce is more efficient deep in the clock than all but four other teams are within their half-court offense overall. Coach Zeljko Obradovic's team executes with remarkable poise under pressure. It will be interesting to see how those clutch performances translate in the postseason.