Friday, May 23, 2008

Who's gonna rock the NBA party?

ESPN has an article in which the writer says the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs are the teams which any "true" b-ball fan should cheer for going to the NBA finals this year. The article says to quit whining about the Spurs playing a boring game (i.e., Duncan's bank-shot), and to appreciate the Pistons' working as a team. The writer also makes it sound like SA and DET work harder than the other playoff contenders (Celtics and Lakers). How does the writer back-up the argument? With lots of assumptions, not including statistics. When it comes to quantifying boring, that's hard to do, but most people I know think Duncan is boring. We could grab stats to compare true team-basketball and hard-work: assists, steals, and blocks. (I'm looking at averages per team per game during the regular season.)

I'll rank assists first:
LAL 23.1
BOS 21.9
DET 20.4
SAS 20.0

Interesting, most people would say LAL is the most selfish team with Kobe being a ball-hog... hmm...

Now for steals:
LAL 7.6
BOS 7.6
DET 7.4
SAS 5.2

OK, so this is making the Spurs look bad, and the Lakers great.

Before I comment further, let's look at blocks.

LAL 6.9
DET 5.5
BOS 4.7
SAS 4.5

OK, maybe I'm not being fair because SAS and DET were lazier during the regular season, but LAL rocked the house. So if you think blocks, steals, and assists make an exciting game, then you are more likely to enjoy watching the Lakers or Boston. I'm not anti-Piston, but I do think the Spurs are booooring. I liked the Pistons better when Ben Wallace was at his prime.

update 5/27/2008

After talking to my roommate's dad, he suggested that a good measure of hard-working, team-play would be the shooting percentage of the opposing teams. Let's rank that stat:

BOS 41.9
LAL 43.2
DET 44.2
SAS 45.6

So once again we see that the Celtics and Lakers have had a better regular season. Why wouldn't we want those two teams in the finals? Hopefully we will.


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