We say it jokingly but also truthfully:
57 points in the first half.
Not too shabby, I suppose. I’m guessing the third quart collapse is going to be painful though.
col·lapse [kuh-laps] verb, col·lapsed, col·laps·ing, noun
verb (used without object)
1. to fall or cave in; crumble suddently: The roof collapsed and buried the crowd.
I'm pretty sure Pistons fans wish that would happen sometimes. It would outweigh the pain felt by seeing wins slip by. But is there any truth to this? Not necessarily that it's always a third
quart quarter collapse, but that the Pistons do normally have a period where they collapse? Is there any quarter that it happens in more often than the others? How many of them have really cost us the game?
So the only quarter we win on averages is the first quarter and it's not even close to a full point while we lose all other quarters by almost a point each quarter. That's depressing. But I guess we can kind of rule out Q1 as our normal collapse. Now, by the definition of collapse, the Pistons would have to fall suddenly, and I don't think you can do that from the onset (but then again, these are the Pistons). But for the record, 14 times in the Pistons 66 regular season games this year (only counting games where the Pistons were outscored at least one quarter), or 21.2%, the Pistons were outscored more in Q1 than they were in any other quarter of that game. And also for the record, there were only two games all year where we won or tied each quarter of a game, our game against Phoenix where we won by 40 and our game against Washington where we won by 32.
As far as the other quarters go, the Pistons were outscored more in each of these quarters more than any other quarter in the game: Q2 - 24 times (36.4%), Q3 - 14 times (21.2%) and Q4 - 18 times (27.3%). So in retrospect to the quote posted, it doesn't seem to be a third quarter issue perse. Now, of those times, how many of them resulted in losses? Well when the collapse happened in Q1, the Pistons lost 12 of the 14 times (85.7%). A collapse in Q2 resulted in a loss 16 of 24 times (66.6%). A collapse in Q3 resulted in a loss 10 of 14 times (71.4%). And finally, a collapse in Q4 resulted in a loss 11 of 18 times (61.1%).
The question is, what can we draw (or speculate) from these numbers? The Pistons have an issue finishing a half as compared to starting one. I think there are more numbers that are needed to verify my next assumption, but I would think that our starters are able to hold their own but our bench is extremely crappy. Ok, I say that in reference to scoring because Andre is anything but crappy (and he also should be a starter).
Surprisingly, the Pistons have outscored their opponents in 115 of 277 quarters played (including 5 overtime periods). That means 41.5% of the time, the Pistons win the quarter. I'd like to know how that stacks up against other teams but honestly don't have the patience to do the research. Of the other 162 quarters, the Pistons have only tied 12 of those times. So in 150 quarters, the Pistons have been outscored. When the Pistons win, they do so by an average of 2.84 PPQ. When the Pistons lose, they do so by an average of 2.99 PPQ. So it appears that we either win by 10+ points or lose by 10+ points, but not many "close" games. Using anything under 10 points to constitute a close game (though I don't consider it a close game), the Pistons have won 12 games by 10+ points and lost 25 games by 10+ points. That's 37 of the 68 games played, or 54.4%. If I were to take that number down to 5, then the Pistons have won or lost by 5 or more points 52 of the 68 games.
Also, here's another stat for you to chew on. Of the 18 times the Pistons collapsed in Q4, and of the 11 of those which were losses, 5 of those were games in which the difference in the 4th quarter was more than the difference of the game. The first game of the season, Houston outscores the Pistons 33-15 in the final period, wins by 9. The eighth game of the year, against OKC, the Pistons were outscored 30-17 and lost the game by 2 points. The 10th game of the year, the Pistons lose to Orlando by 4 after being outscored 39-31 in the final period. The 42nd game of the year, this time against Chicago (you know which one I'm referring to), the Pistons were outscored 28-14 in the final quarter to lose by 3. And lastly, to the Brooklyn Nets in the 50th game of the season, the Pistons were outscored 24-17 in the final period and lost by 3. Not one of those games are excusable if you ask me.
So in reality, the Pistons really do collapse in any quarter, but seem to do so more in the second and fourth quarter. Of our 45 losses, 20 (3 - Q1, 7 - Q2, 5 - Q3, 5 - Q4) of those came where the largest quarter deficit was more than the overall deficit, meaning for three of those quarters, the Pistons were the better team.