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I don't typically link directly to YouTube vids, but here's a brand new mix from KBlaze, one the net's best mixmakers, celebrating the highlights of The Admiral, David Robinson. D-Rob is one of our favorites here at the blog because his numbers were simply off the charts at his peak in 1993-94 & 1994-95. Yes, Hakeem did him dirty in the playoffs, but because he was on the wrong end of a few Dream Shake highlights (which I would challenge anyone to stop, btw) we don't think he's been treated fairly by the general public over the past 15 years. So here's to you, Mr. Robinson:
(Bonus points for old-school Craig Sager footage at the beginning, too. Didn't know that guy owned a suit that wasn't ridiculous...)
Here's a fascinating piece at the blog Cheap Talk regarding the frequency of tie games in basketball. If we assume points scored and allowed are independent of each other, our prediction for the odds of a tie after regulation is much lower than it actually is in real life. Why is that?
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...
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?
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:
Smith, a 6'3" guard who played in 906 consecutive games from 1972 to 1983 (an NBA record until A.C. Green broke the mark in 1997), was a 2-time All-Star and MVP of the 1978 midseason classic, in addition to being named 2nd-team All-NBA in 1976 (the same year he finished 9th in the league in Win Shares). Along with Bob McAdoo, he was the face of the old Buffalo Braves in the 1970s, before they became the Clippers. To be honest, the league could use a few more tough little guys like Smith nowadays. May he rest in peace.
Sometimes I mark the passage of time in my life by the sporting events that happened in a given year. Is that weird? Maybe so. But still, I'm prone to associating particular years with certain happenings from the world of sports -- for instance, I hear 1997, I think of Tiger Woods' historic victory at Augusta. 1998? Michael Jordan's "last shot". 1985? The start of the Celtics' dominating run to championship #16. Oh, and I was also born that year, can't forget that. But mostly I think of the Celtics.
A few minutes ago I added expanded standings pages to the leagues section of the site. These pages have two tables. The first table gives W-L records for various categories (by conference, by division, etc.) and the second table presents a team versus team matrix of W-L records. Enjoy!
In many guides, Nate Williams is credited with 1079 minutes played for the Kansas City-Omaha Kings in 1972-73. Williams scored 940 points that season, so if he really played 1079 minutes then his scoring rate of 41.8 points per 48 minutes would be one of the best marks in NBA history. Since Williams never even averaged 30 points per 48 minutes in any other season, this number was called into question by some members of the APBR. They discovered that while the Kings as a team had been credited with a total of 19880 minutes played, the sum of the individual minutes played for the Kings players was 18980, a deficit of 900 minutes. They reasonably assumed that Williams had been shorted 900 minutes, and that his season total should be amended to 1979 minutes. That number has been around for a few years now (it's the number you'll find on this site), but I did some further research that suggests that it may not be correct either.