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Archive for May, 2010

The Most Lopsided Series Sweeps of All-Time

11th May 2010

When the Orlando Magic put the finishing touches on their 4-game demolition of the Atlanta Hawks last night, it marked the 110th time in NBA history that one team swept another in a series of 3 games or longer. Several hours later, the Lakers added #111 to that list, ending Utah's season with an 0-4 series defeat. Both performances were impressive, so today I wanted to look at where they ranked in the pantheon of all 111 sweeps, and which series were truly the most lopsided of the lopsided.

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Posted in History, Playoffs, Statgeekery | 7 Comments »

Layups: How Much Would LeBron Make In a True Open Market?

10th May 2010

This is a fascinating piece from RealGM's Chris Reina, which asks how much LeBron James and other megastars would earn if they were allowed to auction their free-agent services to the highest bidder without a salary cap or maximum salary rule in the CBA to restrict their earning power... Since Michael Jordan made a record $30 million in 1998, some agents feel LBJ would easily command that amount even if you adjust for inflation (that'd be $44 million in 2010 USD). Others felt he'd be worth in excess of $50 million, or would sign for a multi-year deal valued at more than $200 million (a la Alex Rodriguez in baseball). Another interesting note is that the length of the contract would be shorter than the long-terms deals signed for baseball sluggers because James is perceived to be a bigger physical risk because of his playing style and the greater contact he takes, plus his reliance on unparalleled athleticism.

But all of that is largely irrelevant for now. As for how much LBJ will actually make next summer, the best estimate is $126 million ($21 million/year) over the next 6 years, followed by another 6-year, $180 million contract starting in the 2015-16 season. Of course, which team gets the privilege of paying him that much is still anybody's guess.

(Hat tip: TrueHoop.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

What Changed For the Suns and Spurs in 2010?

10th May 2010

The Suns and Spurs never faced each other in the playoffs before 1992, but they've been making up for lost time ever since. In the 18 years since then, the two teams have met in 47 games across 10 playoff series, with San Antonio winning 25 of the games and 6 of the series. While neither team has a huge edge in the aggregate, the Spurs definitely had Phoenix's number prior to this year. From 2003 to 2008 San Antonio had beaten Phoenix in 4 straight playoff series (winning 16 of 22 games), and going back to 1996 they had beaten the Suns in 6 of the last 7 series in which they faced off.

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Posted in Analysis, History, Playoffs | 4 Comments »

Layups: Antawn Jamison’s Mansion Is For Sale

10th May 2010

When Antawn Jamison was traded from the Wizards to the Cavs in February, it not only increased Cleveland's chances of winning a title, but it also meant his massive Bethesda, MD estate would soon be put on the market. Luxist has the goods:

"Jamison's Bethesda mansion is a six bedroom home done up in a lavish style. The listing says that the home was built in 2008. It has more than 12,000 square feet of finished space and includes an elevator, four car garage, library, kitchen and catering area, large master suite with a sitting home, home theater and more. The basement sports a wine cellar and poker room. There are theme bedrooms for some of Jamison's children including a sports-themed room for Antawn Jr. and a princess-themed bedroom for one of his daughters. The property is on .59 acres and has an outdoor hot tub."

Oh, and Jamison's asking price? Just a cool $4.15 million.

Posted in Layups | Comments Off on Layups: Antawn Jamison’s Mansion Is For Sale

Layups: NBA Teams = Shakespeare’s Plays

7th May 2010

From What Would Oakley Do?, here's an entertaining look at this year's playoff teams from a Shakespearian perspective. And pretty insightful, too -- for instance, if any NBA team has ever looked like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, I'd say the Hawks last night were it.

Posted in Layups, No Math Required | 3 Comments »

Can the Magic Go Undefeated In the Playoffs?

7th May 2010

The concept of a Fo'-Fo'-Fo' was immortalized by Moses Malone before the 1983 postseason, but while the Sixers stormed through the playoffs on the back of Malone's brilliant performance (.260 WS/48), Philly actually went 4-5-4, losing once to the Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. 18 years later, the L.A. Lakers looked as dominant as any playoff team ever has, but after going 3-4-4 to reach the Finals, a Game 1 lossĀ  -- ironically enough, to the Sixers -- derailed their hope of an undefeated playoff run. And so it has been that in all of NBA history, no team has ever swept the entire playoffs without a single defeat.

The only team with a chance to obliterate that piece of trivia in the 2010 playoffs are the Orlando Magic, 6-0 thus far after another big win over the Atlanta Hawks, a team that seems totally incapable of matching up with the Magic for 48 minutes. Right now, the Magic are 10 wins away from the 4-4-4-4 dream... What are the odds that they'll pull it off?

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Posted in Analysis, Playoffs | 15 Comments »

Basketball League of Amazing Benchwarmers (BLAB): Regular Season, Stage 2

7th May 2010

That's right, it's time once again to pay tribute to the fine journeymen of the Basketball League of Amazing Benchwarmers, one of the finest fictional basketball institutions founded in late April of 2010. For those who have no clue what this is, it's a fantasy league I put together that's named after the legendary Uwe Blab... In a nutshell, BLAB takes some choice scrubs from the past and gives them their own 6-team league, headlined by team captains Greg Kite, Larry Krystkowiak, Kevin Duckworth, Kurt Rambis, Joe Wolf, and Paul Mokeski. The season is 30 games per team, and outcomes are determined by the career Win Shares per 48 min. of the players on each roster (randomized using the players' seasonal standard deviations of offensive and defensive WS/48). The top 3 teams in the league table make the playoffs, with the eventual winner taking home the prestigious Uwe Blab Championship Trophy.

The last time we checked in with BLAB, the Joe Wolf-led Lone Wolfs were 8-2, sparked by the outstanding play of Mario Elie, as well as Chris Gatling off the bench. However, the Krystkowiak Special Ks were hot on their trail, just a game back at 7-3, and Team Mokeski was 2 games behind at 6-2. That was 10 games ago; here are the results since then:

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Posted in Insane ideas, Just For Fun | 7 Comments »

Layups: Antoine Walker Coming Back?

6th May 2010

The horror...

"Former NBA All-Star Antoine Walker is eyeing an NBA comeback. Louisville coach Rick Pitino says Walker will work out with several [Louisville] Cardinals during the next few weeks. Walker hasn't played in the NBA since 2008 and has suffered legal and financial woes since stepping away from the game ... Pitino, who coached Walker at Kentucky in the 1990s, said he also hopes Walker will talk to his players about the temptations that come with life as a professional."

Posted in Insane ideas, Layups | 7 Comments »

The Best Suns Team Ever

6th May 2010

7493226_Suns_v_WizardsWith a 2-0 lead in their conference semifinal series, this year's Suns team is currently looking like a good bet to defeat their hated archrivals, the San Antonio Spurs, and make the Western Conference Finals. The Suns have never advanced past the Conference Finals in the Nash era, and this year's likely WCF opponents have been a tough nut for Phoenix to crack, but it looks like the 2010 season is shaping up to be as good an opportunity as any in recent memory for Phoenix to make the Finals.

If you had told me a few years ago that we'd be saying this in May of 2010, after Mike D'Antoni departed and Steve Kerr shifted the franchise's direction with the acquisition of Shaquille O'Neal for Shawn Marion, I would have said you were crazy. Even now, this Suns team doesn't "feel" as great as the team that went deep in the 2005/06/07 playoffs, but here they are, with a chance to do something that the earlier incarnations of the Nash Suns never did. So how do these Suns stack up to Phoenix's past playoff teams?

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Posted in Analysis, Data Dump, History, Playoffs, SRS, Statgeekery, Statistical +/-, Win Shares | 6 Comments »

Lost E-mails and Feedback

6th May 2010

One of the things we pride ourselves on at Sports-Reference is that we respond to every e-mail and comment that users send us. Justin has done that for BBR since he started the site in April of 2004, and I do that now in my capacity as User Affairs Coordinator. Unfortunately, we just discovered that our technology has been letting us down for the past few months. When investigating a separate feedback problem at Baseball-Reference, Sean discovered another 150 or so messages stuck in our spam filter, many of which were related to Basketball-Reference. Those were just from the past month, so it appears we've been losing a lot of legitimate messages to our spam filter for at least five or six months. We believe we have fixed the problem going forward, but if there is something you sent us that we did not respond to, please accept our apologies and resubmit it here:

Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments »