Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 2/26/13
Despite Sunday night’s last-minute loss to the Miami Heat, the Cleveland Cavs are 13-15 (.464) since Dec. 22. That’s a tremendous sign of improvement for a franchise that previously was 45-131 (.256) in the last 2.5 seasons. I’ve tackled this subject several times before — notably, in The Diff last Wednesday. But again, what are some fun stats around this recent stretch of improvement? Fortunately, Twitter has been abuzz with plenty of good facts over the past 24 hours. For starters, let me share @ConradKaczmarek of Fear The Sword’s table about Dion Waiters’ shooting at the rim, a topic that WFNY covered in roundtable form back in December: It’s almost like Waiters has gotten a lot better at finishing too. Weird. twitter.com/conradkaczmare… — Conrad Kaczmarek (@conradkaczmarek) February 25, 2013 Another fun discovery from yesterday: The website www.vorped.com. In this site, one can look at very simple shot charts for players and teams, as organized by very simple splits. Let’s take a look at this recent table of shooting success via this site: Entire Season Zone PPS %FGA Paint 0.99 46.6% Other 2s 0.78 29.3% 3-Pointers 1.06 24.1% Total 0.95 100% Last 30 Days Zone PPS %FGA Paint 1.09 45.9% Other 2s 0.88 32.9% 3-Pointers 1.11 21.2% Total 1.02 100% Prior to Last 30 Days Zone PPS %FGA Paint 0.97 46.8% Other 2s 0.75 28.4% 3-Pointers 1.05 24.9% Total 0.93 100%   Pretty cool to see that the Cavaliers are noticeably better at just about every shooting range in the last 30 days. Next, here’s an update on the Cavaliers’ efficiency metrics and turnover rate over various stretches this season. As you can see, there’s been steady, consistent improvements on the offensive side. The Cavs have the 3rd-best offense in the NBA since Feb. 2: SPLIT OFF DEF DIFF TOR first 24 games thru 12/14 96.6 105.4 -8.8 16.7% next 6 games thru 12/26 99.9 106.7 -6.8 13.5% next 9 games thru 1/13 101.5 108.3 -6.8 14.8% next 8 games thru 2/1 104.5 109.3 -4.8 12.8% last 9 games since 2/2 114.0 108.2 5.8 11.9% Season (56 games) 101.6 107.0 -5.4 14.7% NBA Average 102.6 102.6 0.0 15.3%   And finally on the Cavs stats front, I’ll pass it over to my friend Ed Manly at @LaughingCavs, who shares these PER splits before/after Jan. 14 for a number of rotation players for the Cavaliers: Player Before 1/14 Since 1/14 DIFF Miles 11.4 20.4 +9.0 Waiters 11.8 17.2 +5.4 Tristan 14.7 19.7 +5.0 Zeller 10.0 14.5 +4.5 Irving 21.8 23.4 +1.6 Gee 10.9 11.1 +0.2 Speights xx 17.7 xx Ellington xx 14.4 xx   That’s a whole lot of improvement there too. And a much larger chunk of rotation players being above the established PER league-average mark of 15.0. PER splits aren’t normally searchable on any website, so it was quite helpful to see the table Ed had shared on Twitter. [Related: Talent gives way to tiredness as Cavs collapse in Biscayne Bay]
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