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The Difference of One Year

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Are how the 2007-08 Kings doing in relation to the 2006-07 Kings?

This first graph shows total winning percentage over the course of the season. Red is 2006-07, blue is 2007-08.

As you can see, the team started off better a year ago before faltering and hovering around .400 the final two months. This team started awful and has risen up to above .400, where it currently chills.

But wins do not necessary capture everything which goes on. Let's look at cumulative point differential, with the same color code.

By this measure, the 2006-07 Kings were much better than this edition. Why is this so, considering the teams have equal records? When the 2006-07 Kings lost, they often lost by a few points, often in overtime. Thus, many of their wins were by substantial amounts.

When the 2007-08 Kings lose, they lose big. By 21, sometimes. By 16 other times. And they tend to perform well enough in close games, which boosts win percentage but does not do much for point differential.

Why is point differential? It has been found to be a more accurate measure of team quality than winning percentage. A 27-32 team with a -15 point differential will typically beat a 27-32 team with a -126 point differential, all else being equal. Hell, a 25-34 team with -17 point differential will typically beat a 27-32 team with a -126 point differential.

So kudos, I suppose, to Theus for keeping this team fighting. But realize the statistics show last year's version played better. The coach can do a lot for his status and future by "willing his team" into finishing strong. This team's direction is certainly brighter at this point in the season than last year's, though there is quite a bit room to make up.