Archive for NBA Finals

King James makes royal blunder

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by nathanelwell

lebronIt would have been one of the most watched NBA Finals in the history of the playoffs.  Kobe vs. Lebron.  Two men whom the media have cautiously compared to His Airness.  But fate was not kind to King James, as the Orlando Magic pulled off the major upset against the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals.  I couldn’t help but be surprised with Lebron’s reaction after Game 6.  He promptly walked off the court, without shaking hands with any of the Magic players or coaching staff, and went off without the postgame interviews with the media.  Now, if Lebron left early to avoid the annoying Jim Gray, then I can understand.  No one likes being asked, “How do you feel that you should have won the Eastern Conference Finals and didn’t?  Did you screw up the Cavs chances?  Do you feel like you failed your team?  What does it feel like to suck?”  And no doubt, he was hurting from the loss.  But should Lebron have stayed after the game to congratulate the Magic for their surprising victory?  Lebron sure didn’t think so. “Its hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them.  I’m a winner.  I’m not being a poor sport or anything like that.  If somebody beats you up, you’re not going to congratulate them.  That doesn’t make sense to me.  I’m a competitor.  Thats what I do.  It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand” said Lebron.

Perhaps Lebron James has never watched a hockey game?  After two players pummel each other until noses bleed on the ice, they still can shake each other’s hand when the game is over to show good sportsmanship.  For someone who was annointed to be the next greatest NBA player, I think it was a severe blunder for Lebron to walk off.  A huge loss stings, but for the heart of the game, a man like Lebron should know better.  Even several of the Magic players were surprised with Lebron’s silence.  Maybe  before the game he watched the video of the 1991 playoff series the Bulls won against the bad boys of Detroit.  If you all remember, Isaiah Thomas led the starters off the court without conceding to MJ and the Bulls.  It would forever be tatooed in our minds as a cowardly act (at least I think so).  Maybe Lebron had a sour batch of Skyline Chili before the game.

I’m not trying to judge the guy, but simply wonder if Lebron acted out of character.  I have a feeling that he won’t make the same mistake again, lest King James desires to stay the media’s darling.  One thing is for sure, he should avoid learning his manners from John McEnroe!

John_McEnroe

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Someone Ate Their Lucky Charms!

Posted in NBA with tags , , , , , , on June 17, 2008 by twonateshow

Boston ended their 22 year NBA Finals drought, and defeated Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.  From the tip-off until the final buzzer, the Celtics unleashed on the Lakers, with Ray Allen hitting a remarkable 7 3-pointers, and Kevin Garnett posted a double double with 26 points and 14 rebounds.  NBA Finals MVP Paul Pierce added 17 points and 10 assists to complete the Celtic triumverate of dominance.  As the last 3 minutes of the game came to a close, the crowd loud and clearly sang the Steam song “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”.

The Celtics are NBA Champs!  Ay, the luck of the Irish…

 

Lakers vs. Celtics: A statistical nightmare

Posted in NBA with tags , , , on June 5, 2008 by nathanelwell

Tonight’s opening game of the NBA Finals will mark the 11th time that the Los Angeles Lakers will face the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals.  In previous NBA Finals appearances, the Celtics have put away the Lakers (yes, including the Minneapolis Lakers) in 8 out of a possible 10 times.  In the history of the NBA Finals, the Lakers have appeared a staggering 28 times, and have won half of the appearances (14).  The Celtics have appeared 19 times and have had a bit more luck by only losing in 3 of those 19 appearances (57’-58’, 84’-85’, 86’-87’).  As luck would have it, 2 of the Celtics 3 NBA Finals losses came against the Lakers (see chart below).

  Total NBA Finals Appearances W-L in NBA Finals Appearances Total NBA Finals against each other W-L in NBA Finals against each other
Los Angeles Lakers

28

14-14

10

2-8

Boston Celtics

19

16-3

10

8-2

In the 2007-2008 season, the Lakers scored an average of 108.6 points per game (ppg), while the Celtics scored 100.5 ppg, but held their opponents to a league best 90.3 ppg.  The Laker’s opponents scored an average 101.3 ppg.  Let us break it down even more.  The Lakers had 5 players that averaged at least 10 ppg, the highest being Kobe Bryant at 28.3 ppg.  Out of those 5 players, their ppg average is 17.2 ppg.  The Celtics had 4 players that averaged at least 10 ppg, the highest being Paul Pierce at 19.6 ppg.  Out of those 4 players, their ppg average is 16.6 ppg. 

The Lakers and Celtics were nearly identical in Field Goal (FG), Three Point (3P), and Free Throw (FT) percentages for the 2007-2008 season (see chart below).

 

FG%

3P%

FT%

Los Angeles Lakers

.476

.378

.769

Boston Celtics

.475

.381

.771

During the 2007-2008 regular season, the Celtics played the Lakers on two occasions and won by large margins in each game.  On November 23rd, 2007, the Celtics beat the Lakers by a score of 107-94, and on December 30th, 2007, the Celtics beat the Lakers by a score of 110-91.  During the season, the Lakers were 30-11 at home while 27-14 on the road.  The Celtics were 35-6 at home while 31-10 on the road.

As we look at the statistics above, we see two extremely talented teams that are meeting in the NBA Finals.  This will not be a snooze fest like the 2001-2002 Lakers-Nets Finals.  It could be argued that the Lakers have more experience in the NBA Finals (Phil Jackson, Kobe, Derek Fisher, etc) but we cannot forget the complete history of the Celtics in the NBA Finals.  The Celtics have phenomenal defense, but on the other hand, they have shown difficulty in winning on the road during the playoffs.  The Lakers have the Finals experience in the past, but can Kobe play unselfishly with the team around him?

Sigh….  With all of that said, I have no clue which team will go on to win the NBA Finals.  So I’m going to come up with the most ridiculous statistics and decide based on those statistics who will win the NBA Finals.    

Let alone all of the talent on both teams, lets take a look at how the Celtics faired against the Lakers on specific days of the week during the NBA Finals:

 

Celtics W-L Record

Lakers W-L Record

Sunday

7-9

9-7

Monday

3-0

0-3

Tuesday

5-3

3-5

Wednesday

5-4

4-5

Thursday

5-2

2-5

Friday

5-1

1-5

Saturday

3-1

1-3

Ok, I still have no clue who will win, so I have assigned each side of a coin to a team.  The Celtics are heads, and the Lakers are tails.  And who is the winner? 

Game 1 (heads) – Celtics win

Game 2 (tails) – Lakers win

Game 3 (heads) – Celtics win

Game 4 (heads) – Celtics win

Game 5 (tails) – Lakers win

Game 6 (heads) – Celtics win

I guess the Celtics will win the NBA Finals in 6 games.  Enjoy the Finals, and enough with statistics!