Stats attack: Game progression

May 15, 2019 by Panagiotis Skintzos/ Print

Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Efes is the only Final Four team without a net deficit in any single minute of play over the course of the season. That said, Efes has been less forceful in first halves and fourth quarters than its three rivals for the title. Its winning margins in both cumulative points (+72) and quarters won (35-29-6) during first halves over the course of the season are 30 points lower than the next-worst team, CSKA Moscow. All three of the others have won the first or second quarters at least 40 times.

What sets Efes apart are third quarters. Coming out of the locker rooms, Efes has dominated the next 10 minutes by a margin of +125, a quarter difference exceeded only by Fenerbahce's first quarters. A problem for Efes could be fourth quarters, which it won 20 times and lost 15 times for its sole negative net score in any quarter, -3, this season. However, since its third quarters were so favorable, Efes was ahead by around 5 points on average this season in every minute of the final quarter.

CSKA Moscow

CSKA has been solid all season, not having a net deficit in any single minute of regulation play. It only had a net deficit in the lone overtime game it played - at home against Zalgiris Kaunas, but ended up winning 99-97. CSKA was particularly strong in the first and fourth quarters and ended up with a 79-52-5 record in terms of individual quarters. The recipe of starting games strong and finishing even stronger has taken CSKA back to another Final Four.

CSKA dominated in fourth quarters, outscoring its opponents in the final 10 minutes in 20 out of 34 games with a total margin of +86. The team was also particularly strong at the outsets of games with a +70 margin in first quarters. Unlike all the other Final Four teams, which struggled at some specific points, CSKA was strong in second and third quarters, too. No other team has a double-digit winning margin in all four quarters; CSKA was +32 in second quarters and even better (+37) in third quarters.

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

The graphics show that Fenerbahce has been deadly at the start of the game and even more dangerous at the end. Coach Zeljko Obradovic's team, however, has not been as powerful in the second and third quarters and lost its two overtimes - against Khimki Moscow Region and FC Bayern Munich. Fenerbahce has played 34 games and led 25 times after 10 minutes and won 28 fourth quarters while losing only 5, which could pay off in a high-pressure environment such as the Final Four.

Fenerbahce's cumulative margin is +126 at the end of first quarters and the Turkish champs' only trailed eight times after the first-quarter buzzer. That is critical in a Final Four environment and none of the other three teams starts – or finishes – games better. Fenerbahce has been simply outstanding in fourth quarters, with an accumulated margin of +179, which is almost as much as the three other teams combined (+191). It has been less effective in the middle two quarters.

Real Madrid

Generally speaking, Real has had slow starts. Los Blancos have overcome deficits at the end of first quarters by playing much better after that. Even though Real has won 20 of the 33 opening quarters it played, its combined winning margin is +9. The fact that Real has increased its numbers in second, third and fourth quarters proves the Spanish powerhouse's depth. Real has been particularly good in second quarters, winning 20 of them and getting a combined winning margin of +94.

Real showed no signs of slowing down after that. Only Efes (22-10, +125) has better numbers than Real (18-13, +50) in third quarters. And fourth quarters have truly belonged to Coach Pablo Laso's charges (21-12, +108). No other team has had a winning margin of +50 in both the third and fourth quarters, which shows that Real's coaching staff has been able to find its focus after halftime and finish strong.