3rd May 2011
3rd May 2011
31st January 2011
Just a brief rant about the media reaction to yesterday's Celtics win over LA...
After the game, especially on the SportsCenter coverage last night, I saw "Too Much Kobe" being held up as an explanation for the Lakers' struggles. Here's a sample:
"Bryant took 29 of the Lakers' 66 field goal attempts (43.9 percent) while he was on the floor. This was the 10th game this season that Bryant took more than 40 percent of the Lakers' shots while on the court. In those 10 games, the Lakers are 3-7. Los Angeles is much better when Bryant shoots a smaller percent of the team's shots while on the court. The Lakers are 23-5 when Bryant takes less than 35 percent of the team's shots when on the floor."
That's a familiar media theme when Kobe scores a ton of points but his team loses; we saw it a lot in 2006, for instance.
As far as I can tell, "Too Much Kobe" is exclusively an offensive criticism. Trouble is, L.A.'s offense was fine yesterday. Against the 3rd-best defense in the league, against whom an average team would expect to score about 104 pts/100 poss. at home, the Lakers scored 110.1. The offense is not why L.A. lost, and therefore "Too Much Kobe" can't be why they lost.
They lost because they allowed the 11th-best offense in the NBA to score a staggering 125.0 points per 100 possessions against them on the road. This may or may not be Kobe's fault -- aside from personal fouls, he wasn't overly active on D, and despite his scoring feats the Lakers were -9 when he was on the court.
But it can't possibly be because Kobe had zero assists.
15th November 2010
After five straight improbable comeback victories, I thought now would be a good time to post some Win Probability graphs from the Utah Jazz's recent winning streak. For those curious, the method for WP comes from an old Ed Küpfer post at APBRmetrics, and the play-by-play records come from ESPN.com (or FoxSports.com, in the case of Jazz-Heat and Jazz-Bobcats). All WP is from the perspective of Utah, and the numbers at the bottom of the WP graphs represent the minutes remaining in the game.
15th June 2009
And so it came to pass that Game 5 of the NBA Finals, at home in Orlando, would be the site where the weary Magic would make their last stand. Having allowed two games to slip through their fingers in the series already, Orlando now faced the sobering reality of needing to win 3 consecutive games against the Lakers, a team that did not suffer a 3-game skein all season long, to capture the prize. The odds were heavily against a comeback, but then again, the odds had been against the Magic all season. Did they have one last epic surge left, or would the Lake Show permanently crush their collective will in Game 5 on Sunday night?
12th June 2009
As we noted several days ago, Game 4 was essentially the second straight "must-win" game for the Orlando Magic -- their estimated probability of winning the series was already just 20% even after capturing Game 3 at home (a game which required a record-breaking shooting performance for them to narrowly defeat L.A.). Game 4 on Thursday night would be the most important of the series yet, then: Win, and you've given yourself a fighting chance again with things at 2 games apiece; lose, and face the unpleasant reality of requiring 3 straight wins (including 2 on the road) against the NBA's most talented team. In other words, it was make or break time Thursday night...
10th June 2009
With the series shifting to their own building for Game 3, the Orlando Magic knew they absolutely had to get a win by whatever means necessary if they wanted to have any shot at the NBA title. The Lakers' defense had ruled Games 1 and 2, holding the Magic below 100 points/possession in each of the matchups at Staples. While Rashard Lewis had still managed to play well, getting Dwight Howard, Hedo Turkoglu, Rafer Alston, and Mickael Pietrus going offensively would be a must for Orlando in Game 3. So did they get the job done at home, or did L.A. take a commanding 3-0 series lead?
8th June 2009
Another game, another crushing loss for the Magic. This one wasn't crushing because it was a blowout, mind you, but for the exact opposite reason: Orlando had the game in their grasp at various points in the 4th quarter (a buzzer-beating, game-winning alley-oop attempt by Courtney Lee literally missed by inches) and overtime, yet in the end they could not stave off the Lakers when it came down to making a key stop in the closing sequences. First, here's the advanced box score:
5th June 2009
Well, Game 1 is officially in the books, and it was a surprisingly one-sided affair:
16th February 2009
Boxscore Breakdown time! Well, kinda. I mean, I'm not going to take what was a fun and enjoyable showcase game for the league and break it down to our usual level of microscopic detail, but I did think it would be interesting to run our usual game numbers on the ASG. Because even meaningless exhibitions deserve the full treatment here at BBR.
9th February 2009
The last time Kobe Bryant's Lakers faced LeBron James' Cavaliers, L.A. came out on top with a 17-point victory at home. On Sunday, the two teams went head-to-head again in the final matchup of the season series, and this time the game would be staged on King James' home court, where Cleveland had not lost all season. But would the outcome be any different the second time around?