Turnovers (05/25/13)

By John Ewing

A look at game changing plays in the final minute of Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals utilizing Live ScoreCaster.

In Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference Finals LeBron James led the Heat in scoring, rebounding, steals but also turnovers. Two of his five turnovers came in the final minute of play as Miami was attempting to tie or take the lead against Indiana. Below we analyze both turnovers, how each impacted the game and what would have happened if they did not occur.

Live ScoreCaster allows you to view current scores and play-by-play as well as live, updating projections from 50,000 simulations of the remaining time in each NBA game. Live ScoreCaster is totally free and available at PredictionMachine.com and for download on iTunes

To view the Live ScoreCaster for Game 2 of Heat/Pacers click here.

Heat vs. Pacers

  • Pacers even series and take home-court advantage with 97-93 victory.
  • In 125 previous playoff games, LeBron has turned the ball over just 7 times in the final minute of the game.
  • LeBron has as many turnovers (4) as points scored on drives to the basket with Hibbert on the court in the series. James is 4-of-5 on drives with Hibbert off the court. (ESPN Stats and Info)

GameChanger – LeBron’s 1st turnover in 4th

With 0:42 left in 4th and Pacers leading 95-93, LeBron James turns the ball over on an errant pass intended for Ray Allen. Prior to the play, Miami had a 42.9% chance of winning the game. The turnover dropped the Heat’s chances to just 27.2%. Had LeBron not turned the ball over and Miami had scored to tie the game, the Heat become 58.7% likely to win the game.

GameChanger – LeBron’s 2nd turnover in 4th

With 0:08 left in 4th and Indiana still leading 95-93, LeBron James drives to the basket (Hibbert on the court unlike Game 1) and attempts to pass the ball out to the perimeter but it is deflected. Before the turnover, Miami had a 42.4% chance of winning the game. After LeBron’s poor pass, Miami only has a 26.1% chance of winning. If Miami had tied the game on that possession they become 59.2% likely to win the game.

Each of LeBron’s turnovers were costly. On average the wayward passes dropped Miami’s win percentage by 16%. If the Heat managed to tie the game on either possession they become our most likely winner.

While the turnovers will get the headlines, another play that occurred in between the bad passes by LeBron may have been more detrimental to the Heat’s chances of winning.

After LeBron’s first turnover, the Pacers on their next possession turn the ball back over on a shot clock violation. Indiana actually got a little lucky that the shot clock expired because Dwyane Wade had Mario Chalmers open on the other end of the court for what surely would have been a game tying layup.

If Wade is able to make the pass up the court before the shot clock expires on Indiana and Chalmers makes the layup, Miami becomes a 58.8% favorite to win with 17 seconds remaining in a tie game.