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BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (November 26, 2010)

Posted by Neil Paine on November 26, 2010

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on November 25, 2010:

Rank Prev Team W L WPct Offense Rk Prv Defense Rk Prv Overall
1 4 Los Angeles Lakers 13 2 0.867 8.41 1 1 -0.20 13 17 8.61
2 5 San Antonio Spurs 13 1 0.929 4.79 3 8 -3.49 9 8 8.28
3 1 Miami Heat 8 7 0.533 4.11 4 2 -3.82 7 4 7.93
4 3 Boston Celtics 11 4 0.733 2.03 9 5 -5.83 3 5 7.86
5 7 Orlando Magic 10 4 0.714 0.06 16 18 -6.38 2 2 6.44
6 2 New Orleans Hornets 11 3 0.786 0.58 14 4 -4.84 4 3 5.42
7 6 Dallas Mavericks 10 4 0.714 1.15 12 10 -3.81 8 6 4.95
8 9 Denver Nuggets 8 6 0.571 2.72 7 11 -1.48 11 9 4.20
9 10 Chicago Bulls 8 5 0.615 -0.66 19 16 -4.83 5 7 4.17
10 12 Indiana Pacers 7 6 0.538 -0.65 18 13 -4.50 6 12 3.85
11 13 Utah Jazz 11 5 0.688 0.10 15 14 -3.10 10 10 3.20
12 11 Portland Trail Blazers 8 6 0.571 1.94 10 9 -0.08 14 14 2.03
13 8 Milwaukee Bucks 5 9 0.357 -7.75 30 28 -8.59 1 1 0.84
14 17 Oklahoma City Thunder 10 5 0.667 3.94 5 6 3.82 24 29 0.12
15 15 Phoenix Suns 7 8 0.467 4.90 2 7 5.01 30 24 -0.11
16 14 Atlanta Hawks 9 7 0.563 3.55 6 3 3.87 25 27 -0.31
17 16 Houston Rockets 4 10 0.286 1.26 11 12 2.44 20 16 -1.19
18 20 Charlotte Bobcats 5 10 0.333 -0.09 17 15 1.12 16 22 -1.21
19 23 Toronto Raptors 6 9 0.400 0.58 13 17 2.09 18 25 -1.51
20 18 Memphis Grizzlies 6 9 0.400 -2.86 23 23 -1.26 12 11 -1.60
21 21 New York Knickerbockers 8 8 0.500 2.06 8 19 3.89 27 21 -1.82
22 22 New Jersey Nets 5 10 0.333 -1.71 21 22 1.38 17 18 -3.10
23 24 Philadelphia 76ers 3 12 0.200 -3.91 26 27 -0.06 15 13 -3.85
24 19 Golden State Warriors 7 8 0.467 -1.55 20 20 3.61 23 15 -5.16
25 26 Cleveland Cavaliers 6 8 0.429 -3.24 24 25 2.12 19 20 -5.37
26 25 Detroit Pistons 5 10 0.333 -3.36 25 26 3.01 22 19 -6.37
27 28 Los Angeles Clippers 3 13 0.188 -2.42 22 24 4.87 29 28 -7.29
28 27 Minnesota Timberwolves 4 12 0.250 -5.33 29 30 2.87 21 23 -8.20
29 29 Washington Wizards 5 9 0.357 -4.22 27 29 4.26 28 26 -8.48
30 30 Sacramento Kings 4 10 0.286 -5.23 28 21 3.87 26 30 -9.10
HCA 2.89
LgAvg 107.34

To read more about the methodology and what these numbers mean, click here.

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52 Responses to “BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (November 26, 2010)”

  1. DSMok1 Says:

    I've been pondering something--would it not be better to minimize absolute errors, rather than squared errors, to avoid over-weighting blowouts?

  2. Neil Paine Says:

    I've thought about that, too, and you're definitely right that it would put less emphasis on correcting the extreme prediction errors that occur with blowouts. To take an NFL example, the 2009 Patriots actually led the NFL in SRS despite hardly being the best regular-season team (I'm a Pats fan, I can say this truthfully), simply because of the 59-0 demolition of Tennessee. As Doug said in the original SRS post, "it is easily imressed by blowout victories - this system thinks a 50-point win and a 10-point loss is preferable to two 14-point wins... Most fans would disagree with that assessment."

    Having said that, I was curious as to whether moving to a system that minimizes absolute errors actually improves predictive accuracy, so I ran a test on all RS games from 2008-2010. I split every team into 2 halves -- even-numbered games and odd-numbered games -- and ran two ratings for each half-season: the plain old vanilla SRS (minimizes squared errors) and an SRS variant that minimizes absolute errors. Then I looked at how well each half-season rating predicted W-L in the opposite half of the schedule; for instance, we would use ratings from odd-numbered games to try to predict performance in even-numbered games, etc.

    The results? 3,690 games were played from 2008-2010. Using ordinary (least squares) SRS from the opposite sample, we would predict the correct winner 2511 times. Using the SRS variant that minimizes absolute errors, we would predict the correct winner 2457 times. So even though the least-squares method does overweight blowouts, it still appears to be (slightly) more accurate in this out-of-sample test than a method that minimizes absolute errors.

  3. Anon Says:

    Amazing that the Heat are ranked this high in your rankings. With the way the media has carved them up like turkeys this week (the pun IS intended here :)) you would think that they're an average NBA team.

    I think people forget that record isn't always the best indicator of how good you are as a team, especially when you played a mere 15 games.

  4. Serhat Ugur Says:

    I visualized Neil's offensive and offensive rankings and get things easier for perception. What do you think?

    http://bit.ly/fAFDqd

  5. Anon x 2 Says:

    2. Neil - what if you did the same thing but only on the winning side. What if being blown out means a lot more than blowing someone out? So if you win by 35, it is diminished but if you lose by 35, it means the same as it does now in the SRS formula.

  6. Neil Paine Says:

    Re: #4 - That's good -- the only problem is that negative is good for defenses, so you might want to reverse the signs on the defensive rating before graphing. For instance, right now Milwaukee looks really bad (extreme bottom left corner), but they should probably be in the bottom right corner (bad offense, good defense).

    Re: #5 - Could be interesting, I'll have to look at that.

  7. dsong Says:

    By the way, I've been looking at a statistical prediction site, Accuscore. I'm not sure what kind of methods they use, but I'm really impressed by their predictions.

    Any idea what kind of numerical analysis they do?

  8. dsong Says:

    Wow, the Lakers are on top now! Hopefully that will continue over the course of the season.

    One important lesson to be learned is that early returns from BBR rankings will be all over the place. As more games are being played, the ratings are improving - let's see how it all shakes out as we progress deeper into the season.

  9. Gil Meriken Says:

    @heuvonkiller, wherever you may be- "But the Heat don't have Haslem! They don't have Miller! They need a point guard! They need a coach!"

  10. Gil Meriken Says:

    A little bit of advanced math here, too. 17 games (the Heat are now 9-8) is 20.7% of the regular season. I used my calculator to verify this.

  11. Anon Says:

    "A little bit of advanced math here, too. 17 games (the Heat are now 9-8) is 20.7% of the regular season. I used my calculator to verify this."

    You're right, Gil. No need for an 82-game season in the NBA...they should simply just cancel the regular season now.

    (Note: I used the following site to construct my post http://www.sarcasmsociety.com/sarcasm/howtobesarcastic)

  12. Gil Meriken Says:

    11. I see what you did there! You went from me saying that 20% of the season is done to me saying that they should cancel the rest of the season!

    (Note: I think you actually used the following site to construct your post http://www.poordebatetactics.com/strawman/how_to_create_a_strawman)

  13. Anon Says:

    Nice try Gil, but you're not fooling anyone with THAT argument.

    You don't get to pull the "fair debate" card after pretty much lowering the IQ of this thread with your posts above. C'mon man...it's pretty clear what your intentions were behind those posts.

  14. Gil Meriken Says:

    13. And ... again, deflecting the fact that you created a straw man ("Gil says the rest of the season should be canceled!"), and mightily knocked it down.

    How high was the IQ of this thread before I came in, anyway? And what ARE my intentions - if they are so clear - would you mind telling me?

  15. GordonX Says:

    @Anon: I don't think that the Heat's record is misleading. Aside from their impressive win against Orlando, the Heat have lost all games against playoff teams. Their rating is boosted by their blowouts of lower tier teams.

  16. Anon Says:

    @ Gil - not biting.

    @ GordonX - A valid point, but it reminds me of the Guts and Stomps thread a little while back.

    Not saying the Heat are making any excuses, but some of their losses have had some flukeish things take place. Take the Mavs for example: LeBron doesn't shoot 26% from the field all too often on a bad night regardless of the team he plays (the Mavs have had a pretty good defense so far). There were a couple shots he would have been better suited not taking, but he had some good looks that even someone who isn't a great jumpshooter would knock down. He even blew a wide-open layup attempt early in the 3rd during the Mavs hot start to the 3rd quarter. It was a nice to see him make his free throws, but I can see him going 13-15 from the line more often than 5-29 from the field without a made three, especially when missing a couple of those free throws takes him closer to his usual average at the stripe.

    And that was the most recent example - there are alot more. Say whatever you want about LeBron or the Heat, but these are the things the media and the overzealous fan don't remember (or decide not to consider) when they criticize the team. These things (along with the usual post-game critiques) are very much part of the difference between going 9-8 and having a better record.

    **Just a double-check on this fact - LeBron has shot 26% or below eight other times in his career. So this was definetely "one of those nights".

  17. Anon Says:

    **Should say 5-19 from the field.

  18. Anon Says:

    Just re-reading the recap of the recent Heat win vs. the Sixers, the press seemed to emphasize the fact that the Heat barely beat the worst team in the East. Mind you, this is the same press that also said "ho-hum" to the Heat's blowout games vs. these teams earlier in the season. Funny how that works, isn't it?

    I think that the Heat could have alot better record right now and the critics would still not be satisfied (I can only imagine it: "Yeah they're playing great now, in the REGULAR season. So what? The regular season doesn't even MATTER!"). So the continuous harping of the team's current record in November is pretty silly, especially when you know that the pundits will always criticize the Heat unless they win multiple titles.

  19. Ricardo Says:

    Anon completely missed the point of post #10.

  20. Dan Says:

    I'm not going to quote the whole thing, but it's all there with data available to the public.

    As far as the NFL is concerned:

    http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2005/fo-fox-guts-and-stomps

    People want to believe that the teams that can win the close ones are championship teams. But as counter-intuitive as it sounds, championship teams are generally defined by their ability to easily win games over inferior teams.

  21. Anon Says:

    ^^^Enlighten me then. I don't speak in troll.

  22. Anon Says:

    That post was for Ricardo.

  23. Sean Says:

    Ehhh... Miami? REALLY? That's gotta be a red flag for the formula that is being used.

  24. Jared Ras Says:

    Everybody, observe the presumably rare moment that one team (Milwaukee) has both the highest ranking in defense and the lowest ranking in offense! Has that ever happened to end the season? How did that team do record-wise?

  25. Matthew Says:

    The HEAT have fans now? You wouldn't think it looking at their half-empty arena.

    Just kidding.

    Anon, James actually shot below 26,3% from the field 21 times (17 times in the RS and 4 times in the POs). And it think it's fair to say that the ridiculous amount of FTs the Heat get could and should offset the rare bad shooting night. 38 to 13 against Indiana, was it? ;))

    Injuries or not, I find it amusing how the supposed super team is at 9-8 and wouldn't make the playoffs in the West if they started today. What happened to "give LeBron just another capable star and they'll go undefeated" and other nonsensical hyperbole.

  26. Anon Says:

    Matthew,

    I was just counting the regular season. Probably ran the Game Finder Tool incorrectly the first time around - my mistake.

    It's splitting hairs though; the fact is that LeBron doesn't have these kind of nights often. And seeing how he posted a sub-100 offensive rating while shooting 15 free throw attempts, no it didn't offset his shooting from the field.

    Also, this is why the playoffs are in April/May and not in November.

  27. dsong Says:

    Miami may eventually become an elite team; right now they're just a middle-of-the-road 9-8 teams with undeniable strengths and glaring weaknesses.

    I think Spoelstra is gone - especially after the "bump seen around the world". Spoelstra has lost Lebron James and that's all that really matters.

  28. Downpuppy Says:

    The Bucks stats give me nasty flashbacks to the Fratello era in Cleveland.
    No fun to watch that stuff.

  29. Anon Says:

    "Miami may eventually become an elite team; right now they're just a middle-of-the-road 9-8 teams with undeniable strengths and glaring weaknesses."

    I agree with this, except I think they are still among the league's best teams - even if their current record doesn't necessarily reflect it.

    It's hard to get separation between the truly great and bad teams when you've only played a handful of games so far. Can they Spurs maintain their strong start? New Orleans? Chris Paul is playing on another level right now (probably the league's early MVP), but even HE has fall back to earth a little bit. Etc. etc.

    LeBron and Wade are certainly in a bit of a slump. They probably picked the right time to do it though, and they should bounce back.

  30. Sean Says:

    My opinion of the Heat entering the season was that they would feast well enough on bad to so-so teams to chase 60 wins and be able to keep up a pace because their stars are young and fresh----I saw them emerging with the best record in the East but falling in the playoffs because the playoffs are entirely different than the regular season and I didn't see them possessing the type of game/ style that is conducive to championship caliber basketball; I didn't see that half court game that could carry them through a big series against the best in the NBA.

    I am suprised that they are having problems with more teams than I envisioned, though.

    'Jelling' may take more than 17 games---though it IS better than one-fifth of the way in. My concern was and is that James and Wade are the same type player. They don't compliment each other well in that they want to do the same thing as the other. IMO, James needs to change what he does for the team to benefit from all that talent that Wade and James have.

    Obviously, they can re-invent themselves and start winning more----but will they? I wouldn't bet against it, which is why I won't predict a 43-39 season (that would be embarrassing----but they have to change some things to avoid that). I still see them as a 50+ win team (but their play 'til this point has been every bit of 9-8 and they have NOT been better than their record IMO). I think people considering them an elite team is based more on forecasts than what they've been. At some point, no matter how sunny the forecast-----if it rained more than half the week, the weather was bad, plain and simple.

    They're just not a very good team right now. I don't care what the names are. I think LeBron James' game has to change. I think he needs to post up more. I just don't know if he has it in him.

  31. Sean Says:

    To #27

    My over/ under for Pat Riley to vulture the team away from the current Heats' coach was initially 24 games. But I read an article today about Riley's bumping of Van Gundy back in '05/'06 and the difference was that this team may not have that quick fix turnaround potential that the image conscience Riley needs to jump in.

    Back in '05/ '06, Riley replaced Van Gundy just after Shaq came back from missing 18? of the 1st 21 games. He made Van Gundy out to look bad but the truth is that Van Gundy was 9-9 WITHOUT Shaq (I think) and 'hero to the rescue' Riley was 0-4 without Shaq after taking over------but he HAD Shaq (unlike Van Gundy) for MOST of his games and was 41-16 WITH him (which Van Gundy could have managed JUST FINE as the Heat were 59-23 the year before).

    So the article made me reconsider that Riley will stay away perhaps.

  32. Sean Says:

    I wouldn't go too far into examining the Heat's losses in order to justify the belief that they're a really good team in a 9-8 disguise. I think they are what their record says they are. They may improve---but to date, they're a mediocre team, nothing more.

    They have 1 win against a team with a winning record (Orlando). Including Orlando, the total won/loss of their nightly opponents has been 54-94. They have managed a 9-8 record against that. Take out the Orlando game and dare to call it a fluke (a reversal of the idea that the LOSSES are somehow flukish for Miami)-----and Miami is 8-8 against a schedule of teams who are 42-90!

    That's just bad.

  33. Sean Says:

    Whoa. I'm sorry. I really messed up Post #32. Yeesh. Miami's 8 WINS other than the Orlando win came against teams that are a total 42-90. My bad.

    Naturally their schedule so far has been tougher than 54-94. That's the record of the teams their 9 wins (including Orlando)came against.

    My apologies. I hate bad info and I just screwed the pooch there.

    With that said, the basic theme stays the same---> they ain't winning games against good teams. They're feasting on dregs---and still struggling to be above .500.

  34. Anon Says:

    Sean, I think this blog has already visited the question of wins/beatdowns against bad and good teams before. It should be in an earlier post.

    Also, the Heat have played a game where LeBron shot 26% from the field (which doesn't happen often), a game where Wade was out of the lineup, a game where Wade had the worst offensive performance of his career, and a game where Paul Milsap more than doubled the number of made threes he had in his career in a span of 30 seconds. The last 30 seconds of regulation.

    If we're going to talk about luck and regression to the mean (which, to the disapproval of some sports fans, is a significant part of all sports including basketball), the Heat are due for a rebound (no pun intended). Improvements certainly need to be made, but the Heat haven't exactly been the luckiest team this season either. I blame the crazy witch doctor on that Cleveland radio show.

    Just kidding. Um...I think.

  35. Sean Says:

    To #34

    I suspect that over the next 17 games, they'll do better than 9-8. Maybe THEY get the breaks in 3 games and go 12-5, putting them at 21-13 thru 34 games. That would get them close to a 50-win pace. I still think they have problems and I don't know if Haslem and Miller can solve them.

    There's something fundamentally askew with the LeBron/ Wade combo. I think the solution lies with LeBron. But will he do anything about it? Or is he VERY content to play a style that entertains HIM?

  36. P Middy Says:

    I still don't understand why there is no pick & roll between Wade and James. Not once do they run it. Drives me nuts. What drives me nutser is that no-one on TNT or ESPN is bringing this to light. Am I insane? Is there some obvious flaw to running this play that I am missing? Has Riley handed down a decree that it shall not happen until he is coach? WHAT IS GOING ON? I feel like I'm on crazy-pills.

  37. Anon Says:

    "There's something fundamentally askew with the LeBron/ Wade combo. I think the solution lies with LeBron. But will he do anything about it? Or is he VERY content to play a style that entertains HIM?"

    Right now, I don't think it has much to do with LeBron on the team as it has to do with WADE'S own shooting. He still gets into the paint for drives and gets to the line a la 05-10 Wade, but he isn't FINISHING like he used to. And I don't know if you've seen his jumper during games, but it is a mess. The dude needs to iron out his shooting mechanics - he keeps shooting these ugly off-balance shots and seems to be using more his arms more than his legs. Maybe he's still dealing with the hamstring?

    Same goes with LeBron as well, except he has settled for jumpers more often than he has in the past (especially from three, where he is drawing iron this season). I don't have the shot chart for his midrange game this season, but I can guarantee you that teams LOVE seeing him settle instead of getting into the paint. For him, he needs to be a little less passive on the perimeter and break down defenses whenever he can to free up opportunities for himself and his teammates, as opposed to clanking the long jumper/shot from three.

    And P Middy is spot on. WHERE IS THE PICK AND ROLL? Is Sploestra saving it under his "trick plays" section of the Heat playbook?

  38. P Middy Says:

    T-MAC on the subject:

    "When they're on the court together, they're terrible," McGrady told the paper. "Him and D-Wade don't complement each other. They're somewhat the same type of players, 'Bron and D-Wade. ... Both of those guys need the ball, and they don't shoot the ball like Ray Allen. That's why they're having trouble scoring in the halfcourt, because they can't get a rhythm, because one of them is dominating the ball. That guy might be getting off, but the other guy [isn't].

    "That's why when they're on the court together, they're terrible. They're rhythm players that need the ball. I'm like that. I can't stand out there and catch and shoot. I've never been a guy that sits out there waiting for the ball to come to me."

    Sounds like something pick and roll would help alleviate. Bosh can crash the boards. Everyone is happy.

  39. Anon Says:

    I can understand what T-Mac is saying, but the theory that can't work together is absurb. These are supremely talented players with diverse skill-sets, and have a knack for adapting to the game as they need to. Wade's midrange shot is usually pretty solid, and Bron is a guy who can slash on cuts to the rim for easy shots (usually highlight-reel dunks) and has a decent shot from downtown. So this pairing can certainly work - but these guys need to get their shooting mechanics back in order first.

    Or, as P Middy so eloquently put it, run the freaking PnR already :)

    (One more hint for T-Mac and all the Heat critics: teams have played 16-18 games so far. Patience, young grasshopper...patience...)

  40. Anon Says:

    Also, food for thought for the wise: if you take even two of the examples I cited above where the Heat ran into some bizarre luck (say the Jazz and Grizzles games) the Heat are sitting at 11-6 instead of 9-8. No, you wouldn't confuse that record for the Lakers, but it looks alot better on paper, and it wouldn't be fodder for the anxious media who is currently writing an article every ten seconds about the Heat's mediocrity.

    Yeah I know, "woulda, coulda, shoulda". But this is just more proof that win-loss records can sometimes be misleading, and luck plays as much of a role in winning as recognizing that a Wade-James pick and roll would be pure awesomeness.

  41. P Middy Says:

    I actually don't think it's misleading at this point. Frankly, 11-6 should be something of a disappointment as well. They need a little more time to gel, no doubt. But there seem to be serious identity and intensity issues - which to me says the coach does not have the players attention and trust. I dunno whose fault it is, but Spoelstra has to go.

  42. Anon Says:

    11-6 should be something of a disappointment as well

    For their standards, yes. But it's better than 9-8, and the media (and also the Heat) wouldn't be stirring a such controversy over a record where you're five games over .500 instead of one.

    Crazy to think that two games - both of which could've very well been in the Heat's win column with a little better luck - is literally the difference between "we need lots more work, but not a bad record so far" and "ZOMG! WE SUCK! TRADE LEBRON AND FIRE SPOELSTRA!" (and yes, I've heard people calling for trading Bron). Surely people are smarter than that right?

    It will be interesting to watch the Spoelstra saga though.

  43. Ricardo Says:

    ^^^Enlighten me then. I don't speak in troll.

    Nothing remotely trollish about that one, Anon. It was a joke.

    "A little bit of advanced math here, too. 17 games (the Heat are now 9-8) is 20.7% of the regular season. I used my calculator to verify this."

    Using a calculator to determine how much of the season has been played and calling it advanced math - that's funny. I don't know how you interpreted this as a stealth slam against the Heat, or that Gil suggested the season should stop.

  44. Sean Says:

    At #37

    Anon, I think we agree on quite a bit here. You just got done saying that you don't think it has much to do with LeBron--------then you are critical of him, e.g., "he has settled for jumpers more often... especially from three, where he is drawing iron this season... teams LOVE seeing him settle instead of getting into the paint... he needs to be a little less passive on the perimeter... as opposed to clanking the long jumper/shot from three..."

    We agree. The only thing you didn't mention were the turnovers. I also have issue with his rebounding----but that's maybe a product of his style of play (which I say is not the style that would best benefit the team). Does he REALLY have the skill set to be a 'point' anything?

    I think Wade is playing the game he should----he just needs to execute better. Perhaps he's hampered by injury or just cold----regardless, I think he'll clear all that up eventually just doing what he's doing.

    LeBron, however, ISN'T playing the game he needs to play, IMO, for the team to benefit best. That's why I am saying LeBron has to change his style of play. I just don't know if he will.

  45. dsong Says:

    Forget about the Heat; when are the Lakers going to get their act together? Couple of awful losses to Utah and Indiana. They sure don't look like the best team in the NBA right now.

  46. Anon Says:

    Dsong, it amazes me how Kobe still insists on shooting the ball 30+ times when he has that kind of talent around him on the floor.

    He currently leads the league in usage right now. He's had a good start offensively, but did I miss something? Is he throwing it back to the 2006 season? Are Smush and Kwame still on the roster?

  47. dsong Says:

    Kobe is channeling his inner Dwayne Wade and it's not working. It only works if the refs give you two foul shots whenever a defender gets within a couple feet.

    Not sure what's going on, but Gasol isn't exactly getting good low post position on a consistent basis, or hitting the open guy on the pass outs. Artest isn't breaking down defenses and the bench has been inconsistent.

    With all that said, a home loss to Indiana is pathetic. There is no excuse for that. You can't blame that on just one guy. That was just a horrible performance.

    Hopefully the Lakers will get it together before it's all said and done. The season is long.

  48. Gil Meriken Says:

    46. Oh Anon, are you trolling? Kobe shoots it 30+ times, because most of time, it's the right play. He makes the right play. Most of the time. The Lakers issues are on defense, not offense. I'm going to guess that you think the Heat would be worse off with Kobe instead of Lebron, which I obviously think is wrong. Kobe is a more complete player (not perfect, just complete), and would be able to play effectively (i.e. winning basketball) with any other superstar, include Wade and James.

  49. Anon Says:

    The Lakers lost again, this time to the Grizz. That team might have a sub-.500 record but they have have good, young talent and some quality wins against the Heat and Lakers.

    So at 5 losses, does this mean that the papers are going to write that Lakers suck and the Spurs are winning the title?

    Long season people.

  50. Sean Says:

    At #49

    There probably isn't the panic button in LA because people have seen their formula work. We know the Lakers can make it work. We ASSUMED the Heat could. We're still waiting, thus the doubters. Of course the media is going overboard----that's what they do. The media doesn't report news/ stories anymore, they create buzz to sell THEIR story.

    Flashback to Game #7 of the 2010 Finals: Phil Jackson slaps Kobe in the back of the head (figuratively) and sits him to end the 3rd start the 4th quarters to REMIND him HOW the Lakers' formula wins (let the other people on the team get INVOLVED, e.g., Gasol, Fisher, etc.)

    We're still waiting to see if the Heat have a winning formula and if there is anyone in Miami who can remind LeBron what that is (like Phil can in LA).

    And of course, the Lakers danced and posed with pyro-technics in the offseason-------but that was during a championship parade.

    That Heat did that after signing contracts to play. That is why they are such ripe chum, rather than the Lakers.

    It's easier to say the Lakers are just skidding because they don't lose 3 in a row often. We don't know of the Heat are slumping or just being who they are. There's no baseline... and it's juicier to play it like this is who they are and what an awful disgrace it is.

  51. Anon Says:

    I was aware of that Sean.

    I'll be discussing this in the follow-up thread about the Heat.

  52. Gil Meriken Says:

    52. Anon - if they are going to write articles about winning 72 games at all (which I wish they wouldn't) they should at least write it in relation to the Spurs now, not the Heat or the Lakers, or any other team.