Late game rebounding and Ersan Ilyasova

I’m at the Sloan Sports Analytics conference in Boston today. I just attended a panel led by two guys who wrote a research paper titled: Effort vs. Concentration: The Asymmetric Impact of Pressure on NBA Performance.

There were a lot of numbers involved with this. They established what tasks constituted effort and what tasks constituted concentration based tasks. They wanted tasks that produced roughly the same result, but could be calculated differently. The authors decided that they would compare offensive rebounds as the effort task and free throws as the concentration task. Previous research had determined that an offensive rebound was worth roughly one point, the same as a free throw.

Their findings showed, at home, players performed better in late game situations that were related to increased effort and worse in late game situations that required increased concentration.

The offensive rebounding rate of the home team increases monotonically with the importance of the point, but the away team’s rate is flat, indicating the result is due to the supportive crowd and not other confounding factors. In contrast to free throws, for which the home team shows a decline in performance, pressure amplifies home-court advantage in the heat of the moment

I couldn’t help but think of Ersan Ilyasova.

Over his past two home games, Ilyasova has five offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, including a game winning tip in against the Wizards that came with two seconds left. On the season, Ilyasova is averaging 1.2 offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter per game. His next highest quarter is .9.

Just thought it was worth mentioning considering Ilyasova’s recent uptick and the upcoming trade deadline. Perhaps a team struggling to finish off games and in need of some offensive rebounding prowess might be interested?

Jeremy Schmidt writes the Milwaukee Bucks blog Follow him on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Categories: Bucks Player Features



  1. I am not opposed to trading Ersan, but here is what concerns me.  
    1. Pulling the trigger on a deal that nets us next to nothing while robbing of us our best non-Australian rebounder. 
    2. Considering how well he has been playing of late (i believe somewhere in the 17-10 realm) shouldn’t we at least look at how he and Bogut play together upon his return from injury?  If Ersan’s upswing is more than just a month long blip on the radar then that would be a very impressive rebounding combination.  
    IMO I would want a guaranteed first round pick and a reasonable SG/PF in return.  

  2. Hmmm. A team looking to close out games? Sounds like the bucks! In all seriousness though, strike while the iron is hot. Get rid of Ersan and hopefully get a first round pick. I have confidence that the bucks have no chance of resigning him. Before the season started he was already talking about how he wanted to stay and play in Turkey. Ersan said the next contract he signed was definitely going to be about the money, doesn’t really sound like a contract the bucks would be involved with. Although they do somehow find a way to pay Lrmam $5 million a year.

    The roller coaster of being a bucks fan……

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