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BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (March 4, 2011)

Posted by Neil Paine on March 4, 2011

2010-11 NBA power rankings through the games played on March 3, 2011:

Rank Prev Team Cnf Div W L WPct Offense Rk Prv Defense Rk Prv Overall
1 1 Miami Heat E SE 43 18 0.705 3.82 4 3 -3.60 6 5 7.42
2 2 San Antonio Spurs W SW 50 11 0.820 3.74 5 4 -3.26 7 7 7.00
3 3 Boston Celtics E A 44 15 0.746 0.23 14 16 -6.51 2 1 6.74
4 4 Los Angeles Lakers W P 43 19 0.694 4.23 2 2 -2.26 9 9 6.49
5 5 Chicago Bulls E C 41 18 0.695 -0.52 19 18 -6.54 1 2 6.02
6 6 Orlando Magic E SE 40 22 0.645 1.61 10 10 -4.24 4 4 5.86
7 7 Dallas Mavericks W SW 44 16 0.733 2.32 9 9 -2.09 10 10 4.41
8 9 Denver Nuggets W NW 37 26 0.587 4.94 1 1 1.48 17 19 3.47
9 8 Oklahoma City Thunder W NW 37 22 0.627 3.42 6 5 0.62 16 16 2.80
10 11 Memphis Grizzlies W SW 34 28 0.548 -0.51 18 20 -2.86 8 8 2.35
11 10 New Orleans Hornets W SW 35 28 0.556 -1.62 22 22 -3.70 5 6 2.08
12 12 Philadelphia 76ers E A 30 30 0.500 -0.28 16 15 -1.86 11 11 1.58
13 13 Houston Rockets W SW 31 32 0.492 4.05 3 6 2.66 24 24 1.39
14 15 New York Knickerbockers E A 31 28 0.525 2.70 8 8 2.00 20 21 0.70
15 16 Atlanta Hawks E SE 37 24 0.607 -0.24 15 14 -0.86 13 13 0.62
Rank Prev Team Cnf Div W L WPct Offense Rk Prv Defense Rk Prv Overall
16 14 Portland Trail Blazers W NW 34 27 0.557 0.41 13 13 0.02 14 15 0.39
17 18 Phoenix Suns W P 31 28 0.525 2.95 7 7 3.07 25 26 -0.11
18 19 Utah Jazz W NW 32 30 0.516 1.31 11 11 1.88 19 18 -0.57
19 17 Indiana Pacers E C 27 33 0.450 -2.52 23 23 -1.65 12 12 -0.86
20 20 Milwaukee Bucks E C 23 36 0.390 -5.90 30 30 -4.54 3 3 -1.36
21 21 Golden State Warriors W P 27 33 0.450 0.74 12 12 3.92 27 27 -3.18
22 22 Charlotte Bobcats E SE 26 34 0.433 -3.23 25 25 0.26 15 14 -3.49
23 23 Los Angeles Clippers W P 22 40 0.355 -1.09 21 21 2.45 22 22 -3.53
24 24 Detroit Pistons E C 22 41 0.349 -0.32 17 17 4.30 28 28 -4.62
25 27 Minnesota Timberwolves W NW 15 47 0.242 -2.55 24 24 3.15 26 25 -5.70
26 25 Sacramento Kings W P 15 44 0.254 -4.34 27 28 1.52 18 17 -5.86
27 26 Toronto Raptors E A 17 44 0.279 -0.84 20 19 5.22 29 29 -6.06
28 28 New Jersey Nets E A 17 43 0.283 -4.30 26 26 2.17 21 20 -6.47
29 29 Washington Wizards E SE 15 45 0.250 -4.36 28 27 2.65 23 23 -7.02
30 30 Cleveland Cavaliers E C 11 49 0.183 -4.76 29 29 5.23 30 30 -9.99
HCA 3.41
LgRtg 107.84

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

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42 Responses to “BBR Rankings: Schedule-Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Ratings (March 4, 2011)”

  1. Neil Paine Says:

    Posted from the SSAC!!!

  2. P Middy Says:

    Nice!

    Any thoughts on the HEAT collapse last night? I thought it was partly them collapsing, and partly them getting jobbed by the refs. Anybody else see it that way? Orlando seemed pretty much allowed to hack and reach in as they desired in the fourth quarter . . . sometimes it just looks like that when teams are playing particularly good defense. But I am suspicious that you could have that kind of difference in FT attempts per half.

  3. Matt Says:

    Well, Miami did have 12 more free throw attempts for the game. It basically boiled down to them doubling down on Dwight and then Orlando finding the open guy on the perimeter. Miami was gifted a foul at the end of the game when Wade slammed into Howard who went up vertically.

    Still, when a team hits 16 threes at a 55% clip, it's going to be hard to beat them.

  4. P Middy Says:

    I call that "junk ball." It's the kind of hoops that allows you to beat a better team in the ECF and then get creamed in the NBA Finals.

  5. AYC Says:

    Why do statheads feel the need to keep making excuses for Miami?

  6. Jason J Says:

    I saw the same thing Middy. I wasn't particularly rooting one way or other, and I missed the entire first three quarters, so I don't know how consistent they were on it, but I thought there were maybe 4 or 5 non-calls on Howard alone that could have turned the last 6 minutes. Wade really does become about 1/4 as effective when he doesn't get his usual whistles. Miami's going to be in trouble against Boston in a 7 games series because Boston's one of those teams that will foul until the refs stop calling it.

  7. Neil Paine Says:

    I think that was a great example of what Brian Skinner (the academic, not the insanely-bearded player) presented on today: a trailing team must take on a risky strategy to mount a major comeback. 3s are inherently the highest-risk, highest-reward type of shot.

  8. Jason J Says:

    What you don't like the Donovan McNabb "run out of time in the Superbowl" method of comeback? Tom Brady tried it in the playoffs this year.

  9. Ed Says:

    Honestly, this has been a joke for a long-time. This system has had ranked Miami as the #1 team for a good portion of the season, even though it's pretty clear they're NOT the best team. At some point, if the answer you're getting makes no sense, the system need to be changed. Meanwhile, at the end of the first quarter, Spurs 36, Heat 12. Just saying...

  10. Anon Says:

    "This system has had ranked Miami as the #1 team for a good portion of the season, even though it's pretty clear they're NOT the best team."

    These aren't Marc Stein rankings, aka "the best teams that have played well recently". Fickle fans ans and the media only care about what teams have done lately.

  11. Sean Says:

    I agree that there needs to be some revising of any system that keeps sticking with Miami as the #1 team.

    They have been classic bullies. Come June, nobody will care what they did against the teams that didn't make the playoffs, nor should they.

    The 82 game regular season is a GRIND. Think about it. Baseball is a 162 game schedule---but at least you stay in the same city for a few days. In basketball, it's arena to airport to hotel to arena to airport, etc... Kudos to the Heat for maintaining focus despite this monotony and coming through with top efforts against teams that other playoff teams might lose focus against more often....

    ...BUT... success in the postseason has nothing to do with what the Heat appear to be best at: maintaining focus during the regular season schedule.

  12. JohnCena Says:

    Was this list compiled before or after the thirty point beatdown from the Spurs?

  13. Anon Says:

    "..BUT... success in the postseason has nothing to do with what the Heat appear to be best at: maintaining focus during the regular season schedule."

    We don't need to go back to the many threads that show the importance of the regular season now, do we?

    Everybody wants to be Miss Cleo when it comes to sports. Alot of people also have no idea how to do it, instead preferring to treat teams like the '01 Lakers and '10 Celtics as the rule rather than exceptions to the rule.

  14. Anonx2 Says:

    '01 Lakers were simply hurt during the regular season. If you looked at their play when healthy, the post-season was more predictable (no one would argue 15-1 was).

    How about this. Miami is 30th in the NBA in shot attempts at the rim. Has any team ever won a title doing that? My guess is no, but I don't have the database.

    Cleveland did the same thing the past 2 seasons by beating bad teams by a lot and struggle versus good teams. Maybe the problem is that Lebron is the exception to the rule.

  15. Anon Says:

    "Maybe the problem is that Lebron is the exception to the rule."

    And what exception to the rule would that be? Basketball TEAMS win basketball games? So star players must beat these teams by themselves?

    Here's a question: how many players in NBA history do you know have done just that? Dunno about you, but I KNOW the answer to this question is zero.

    The funny thing is, out of the Big 3, Wade has probably been the weak link in most of these "marquee games". It's not like LBJ has played spectacular, and Bosh put up that stinker in Chicago, but Wade has been a no-show. Not easy to win when one of your stars isn't contributing, especially with a team that is reliant on its trio to win.

  16. Anonx2 Says:

    Maybe the reason Wade isn't showing up is related to Lebron and his style of play? Notice how Bosh has become nothing but a mid range jump shooter in Miami? he does almost nothing what he did in Toronto that made him so effective on the low blocks and mid-post isos.

    the apbr forum discussed how swapping Mo Williams, Delonte West, and Varajeo (or Wallace) nets the same offensive rating as a unit alongside Lebron and Ilgauskis as Arroyo (or Chalmers), Wade, and Bosh. There's been no real difference (slightly worse, actually).

    So, we can continue to make excuses for Bron - the fact that his teams continue to lose despite HCA and a better point differential, that he's only one one playoff series where his team wasn't the overwhelming favorite, that his current team, in which he's teamed with an all-time great shooting guard, a perennial all-star power forward, and a top 5 defense and offense and is struggling to get near a .500 record versus >.500 teams.

    Or, we can realize that Miami is at the bottom of % assists, assist rate, shot attempts at the rim (meanwhile at the top of the list for 16-23 foot jumpers, the worst shot in the league, and struggles to score in close games against good teams at the end because everyone just packs the paint and dares Lebron to shoot a jump shot he knows he can't make consistently.

    Take note how Lebron dominates nearly every last couple minutes of a close game possession rendering Wade useless. It is not a fluke or anomaly when the team keeps losing for the exact same reasons, reasons others pointed out would be their demise before the season began.

    Lebron is a great player that can lift up mediocre players. He also isn't well-rounded enough to deliver it when it matters unless he stacks his teams even further.

  17. Anon Says:

    "He also isn't well-rounded enough to deliver it when it matters unless he stacks his teams even further."

    And this thankfully concludes your joke of a post. Bosh more of a post-player than midrange shooter? He's always been more of a shooter anway, and if you actually watch all the games (I can tell that you don't) he's not exactly looking to bang around in the post when he creates a shot. Miami not getting shots at the rim? Gee, what an inept top-5 league SOS-adjusted offense isn't it? Comparing a Miami offense to a Cavs offense that had been together for YEARS with many of the same core pieces? Wade rendered useless in games? Wade creates at a 30%+ clip, and the ball is often in LBJ's hands since he's the best playmaker on the team - he's always looking to get others good looks in addition to his own scoring. Wade has been a bit of a black hole on offense this season. Oh yes, and now the best part - LBJ "stacking his teams" for titles. That silly LBJ. Didn't he watch Magic, Bird, MJ, etc. play without Hall-of-Famers, league-leading 3pt shooters, and hard-nosed rebounders and defenders on the way to championships? Don't make me laugh.

    Here's the amazing thing about the Wade logic though - if Bron and Wade were to switch their production, and LBJ was the one turning the ball over and jacking up 18 footers/threes early in the shot clock like Wade has been doing in games, I guarantee you NOT ONE PERSON would blame Wade for this. Not. One. Instead, they would be all over LBJ's play and would be calling him more names than a Skip Clueless rant.

    The man simply cannot not win with some people no matter what he does. Even if he wins some titles. He is far from the perfect basketball player, but then again that's probably

  18. Anon Says:

    (continued) what people need to stop demanding from him and every other player in the first place.

  19. Anonx2 Says:

    "And this thankfully concludes your joke of a post. Bosh more of a post-player than midrange shooter? He's always been more of a shooter anway, and if you actually watch all the games (I can tell that you don't) he's not exactly looking to bang around in the post when he creates a shot. Miami not getting shots at the rim? Gee, what an inept top-5 league SOS-adjusted offense isn't it?"

    You misread my post. Nowhere did I mention Bosh playing with his back to the basket. Bosh's strength is his face up game, but not strictly as a spot up shooter (he's good at it, but he made his name facing up). from the high/mid-post to the elbow to the low bloc, especially on the right side, is where's he's most effective. And yes, he can post up and was effective at it from the right side (yay synergy). I take it you rarely watched him in Toronto.

    As for the comments about their offense, they destroy crappy teams, as I mentioned. What is their ORating against teams above .500? Or elite teams? Hollinger did a piece just on Boston's games which demonstrated Miami struggled on offense against them mightily. Knicks, Chicago, Boston, SAS, Orlando have all held them well below their average recently.

    "Comparing a Miami offense to a Cavs offense that had been together for YEARS with many of the same core pieces?"

    haha. The offense I compared them too included Mo Willams (1st season with bron), Delonte West (1st full season with Bron), Varajeo/Wallace (little offensive game) and teamed with Ilgauskis in both situations (so no benefit either way). Heck, Lebron played with Wade and Bosh in the olympics and other events so he knew them more than Mo Williams in '09.

    So yes, I think it makes a LOT of sense to compare the teams seeing as they're on equal footing.

    "Wade rendered useless in games? Wade creates at a 30%+ clip, and the ball is often in LBJ's hands since he's the best playmaker on the team - he's always looking to get others good looks in addition to his own scoring."

    I said rendered useless in the END of games. Nice straw man, though. I don't know the numbers nw, but halfway through the year Wade didn't even qualify to crunch time stats because he didn't have enough production (while Bron, Bosh, and I think House did) because he wasn't getting the rock at all. Oh, and Bron's crunch time stats were pretty terrible, including assists and turnovers.

    Oh, and why don't you go review almost all of Lebron's end of game losses where he threw up a brick (there's a lot this season). In nearly every one he poses after the brick instead of going after a rebound or doing something. The other night when Bosh took the 3, Bron was near the low block and as soon as Bosh got it, started trotted out nonchalantly. He saw the shot and didn't even think to rebound. Meanwhile, on the other side of the court Wade is fighting tooth and nail from the wing to get to the board. Lebron was so annoyed he didn't get the ball, he wasn't even ready for Miller's rebound pass to him, which caused him to brick yet another game winning or tying shot.

    He's done this all season long. When Wade has the ball, especially in the 4th quarter, he stands out by the wing doing nothing at all. Absolutely nothing. No cutting, no screening for someone. Just stands and waits to see if he gets it.

    "Wade has been a bit of a black hole on offense this season."

    Wade has his faults here too, no one argues otherwise. He also does little off the ball (but more than James).

    "Oh yes, and now the best part - LBJ "stacking his teams" for titles. That silly LBJ. Didn't he watch Magic, Bird, MJ, etc. play without Hall-of-Famers, league-leading 3pt shooters, and hard-nosed rebounders and defenders on the way to championships? Don't make me laugh."

    You're right, Magic, Bird, and Michael all left their team to play with the next best perimeter player in the game. Silly me.

    But you misunderstood my comment. I was implying that LBJ needs a ridiculously stacked team, not just a stacked team, to win a title to overcome his deficiencies in how he approaches the game.

    As he loses alongside Wade and Bosh and Miller, etc, I can't wait for the floodgate of excuses.

    "Here's the amazing thing about the Wade logic though - if Bron and Wade were to switch their production, and LBJ was the one turning the ball over and jacking up 18 footers/threes early in the shot clock like Wade has been doing in games, I guarantee you NOT ONE PERSON would blame Wade for this. Not. One. Instead, they would be all over LBJ's play and would be calling him more names than a Skip Clueless rant."

    Oh wow. are you not aware that this has already happened? now I question whether YOU watch the games. Lebron turns it over more often and shoots more 3s (despite being terrible at them) and yes shoots them early in the clock often. The blame is on Lebron because the ball is in his hands a lot more (usage is possessions ending, not touches).

    And Wade doesn't have to answer, he already led his team to a title. Lebron has continually failed in the post-season and will do so this season. Lebron gets the blame (other than his personality) because he refuses to become a well-rounded player and tries to scrape through with the least amount of effort.

    They struggle versus good teams when it matters because those teams can simply sag the paint and dare Lebron/Wade to beat them from the outside. Wade is 29 and has maxed out his game and his body. Lebron could still get into the post (which Miami sorely needs). he could also not be as much of a ball-stopper as he is. Right now, Miami's offense relies on forcing turnovers and fast breaks (where they are unstoppable in the open floor). Without that, they're screwed because of Lebron's deficiencies.

    It's the apologists who will tell us Lebron James had a good game versus San Antonio the other night. 26-8-7 on 19 shots. What a beast! Everyone else failed him. Granted, other plays (including Wade and Bosh) played worse, but he still played like crap. It was nce of him to pad his stats once the game was already over, however.

    Lebron only has Wade and Bosh. Clearly he needs more help. If they add Howard and CP3, Lebron's greatness will finally get them that elusive title.

  20. Anon Says:

    "Lebron gets the blame (other than his personality)..."

    Ah! This explains your posts. Easy to put the blame on someone when you don't "like" their personality.

    Let's take this one by one:

    "I take it you rarely watched him in Toronto."

    Actually I did watch him play often, and I'm well aware of the Synergy data. I'm guessing you have also read this link? http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/4356/how-advanced-stats-changed-chris-boshs-game

    Still doesn't change the fact he's primarily a guy who like's to face up your defender and shoot from the perimeter, NOT post-up like your classic big man. He's not doing anything different in his game in Miami than in Toronto; he's just doing less overall, while giving his Toronto possessions to LBJ and Wade.

    Who are better players. And SHOULD get the ball more often anyway.

    "As for the comments about their offense, they destroy crappy teams, as I mentioned. What is their ORating against teams above .500? Or elite teams?"

    Paltry sample sizes aside, I DID use Miami's offensive-point differential from the whole season (not just a couple games versus elite teams) with their scheduling taken into account.

    It's a more important and statistically significant source of data to use to predict games. Not a handful of games versus elites.

    "Heck, Lebron played with Wade and Bosh in the olympics and other events so he knew them more than Mo Williams in '09."

    Mo and Delonte played two full seasons plus the playoffs with LBJ. In the NBA too, compared to a couple of weeks with players in the Olympic games where the competition isn't neither as rigorous schedule-wise nor as stiff. Everyone else were core pieces who had played for years with LeBron and were well-adjusted to their role in the offense.

    Nice try though.

    "I don't know the numbers nw, but halfway through the year Wade didn't even qualify to crunch time stats because he didn't have enough production..."

    The man shoots two less shots per game than James per 48 minutes of crunch time on the season. Lol.

    LBJ shoots 80 points effective percentage points better from the field and is also better at getting to the line and making his freethrows (87% to 73%). And once again, LBJ is always looking to set up his teammates while also looking for his own shot. Wade has not done that, instead looking to shoot at almost every opportunity.

    "Meanwhile, on the other side of the court Wade is fighting tooth and nail from the wing to get to the board. Lebron was so annoyed he didn't get the ball, he wasn't even ready for Miller's rebound pass to him, which caused him to brick yet another game winning or tying shot."

    Brilliant psychoanalysis there, Mr. Freud.

    "The blame is on Lebron because the ball is in his hands a lot more (usage is possessions ending, not touches)."

    And the reason why he has had to use more touches is because Wade hasn't been doing his job. It's the classic chicken and egg arugment when it comes to usage and efficiency, but the proof is on the side of players doing more to cover for teammates who don't play as they should, not the other way around.

    My original point though was that you wanted to explain Wade's lack of production on LBJ not "giving him the ball" (which is false by the way). I was saying that this is a moot point, because you could reverse the player's roles and production and because you are buased against anything LeBron does you would STILL blame LBJ for it. Case in point? See this next statement:

    "It's the apologists who will tell us Lebron James had a good game versus San Antonio the other night. 26-8-7 on 19 shots. What a beast!"

    Wade used 40+% of his team's offense in that game, easily the most on the team. He played like garbage (76 ORtg). LBJ definitely outplayed Wade offensively in SA while Bosh had the best night of the three. But guess who you decide to channel most of your blame towards here? Hmm...and we also have these nice quotes from you as well:

    "And Wade doesn't have to answer, he already led his team to a title."
    "Wade is 29 and has maxed out his game and his body."

    See what I mean here? Your obvious vendetta with LBJ notwithstanding, these things (winning a title in the previous season) DON'T excuse Wade from not playing well. And you're acting as if he's still not one of the 3 best players in the league!

    "Lebron could still get into the post (which Miami sorely needs)."

    What the team needs is more consistency from the Big Three as a whole. LBJ has actually been the most conisstent player of the three in these marquee matchups and he doesn't need to do MORE when he has those players around him. Wade's slack needs to be picked up by WADE, not LeBron.

    "You're right, Magic, Bird, and Michael all left their team to play with the next best perimeter player in the game."

    When you got top 50 NBA players and other all-time shooters, rebounders, and defenders on your team, you aint gotta leave.

    I was implying that LBJ needs a ridiculously stacked team, not just a stacked team..."

    No he doesn't. He simply needs this team to play like they're capable of playing, in addition to improving his own play in games.

    Be more objective instead of turning this into the LeBron blame show. Whether he plays on the Cavs or the original Dream Team, EVERYONE has to play well and do their part to win games and championships in team sports.

  21. Sean Says:

    We don't need to go back to the many threads that show the importance of the regular season now, do we? Sez Anon>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    How many instances did the team in question (the one with the gaudy overall regular season) fair SO POORLY against the field it's going to have to get through come June?

    I'd be interested in seeing how teams who were bullies (thus padding their numbers against the weak, who also just got beat repetitively by the teams who are likely to be alive for the 2nd Round of the playoffs) did in the playoffs.

    Did these teams like Miami magically unhook their wedgies from the rafters where the elite teams left them during the regular season------ans win in the post season? Doesn anyone know?

  22. Sean Says:

    The Cleveland team that stunk this year minus LeBron had a better record WITH him in previous years than this year's Miami Heat team with it's 'star teamates'.

    Without trying the 'Miami couldn't be expected to gel yet' argument----cripes, it's 60+ games in----can anyone start to explain this? Miami got off a little slow---and that had to do with 'gelling' in all likelihood as well as Wade's health, so part of it is understandable... but shouldn't the LeBron Heat be MUCH better than the LeBron Cavaliers?

    We're constantly told that that NBA is a 'star driven league' and that you have to have STARS. That's in today's NBA and it was the case in Red Auerbach's NBA, as he was famous for saying this about trades: Just get the best single player in a multiplayer deal.

    And before Anon starts popping 'angry pills' before he responds (if he does)-----this is NOT a knock on LeBron James, or isn't MEANT TO BE, not that it's healthy for anyone to take it so personally anyway.

    Comments?

  23. Anon Says:

    "I'd be interested in seeing how teams who were bullies (thus padding their numbers against the weak, who also just got beat repetitively by the teams who are likely to be alive for the 2nd Round of the playoffs) did in the playoffs."

    There's a search engine feature at your left. Use it.

    "...but shouldn't the LeBron Heat be MUCH better than the LeBron Cavaliers?"

    This also isn't a videogame where everything magcally happens at the press of a button. These things kinda take time. Hell, it took MJ and Pip and their talented bunch HOW many years before they even reached the Finals? Much less become one of the beat squads in history?

    But never mind though. You weren't much of an MJ fan anyway.

    "And before Anon starts popping 'angry pills' before he responds (if he does)..."

    Very nice. I make some rational statements, and now I get depicted as the crazy one.

    This blog ain't for you Sean.

  24. Anon Says:

    Whoops, search on the right I mean. Better amend that one before it gets used as ammo against me ;)

  25. P Middy Says:

    LeBron still hasn't set a single pick for Wade. I imagine last minute of the game would be a great time to run that . . .

  26. Sean Says:

    There's a search engine feature at your left. Use it.>>>

    That's 'angry' for "Off the top of my head, I don't know and don't care to".

  27. Sean Says:

    "And before Anon starts popping 'angry pills' before he responds (if he does)..."

    Very nice. I make some rational statements, and now I get depicted as the crazy one.

    This blog ain't for you Sean.>>>>>>>>>

    No...no...nope... I didn't say CRAZY. ANGRY... sounding at least... now we're getting warmer. I'm just having a little fun with you there. That IS OK, right? Now.......tell me why this blog ain't 'for me'. I doubt anyone cares... but knock yourself out.

  28. Sean Says:

    But never mind though. You weren't much of an MJ fan anyway.>>>>

    MJ is one of the greatest players of all time. Was there something else?

  29. Sean Says:

    James had a chance to win it on a drive with 6 seconds left, missing a contested shot, and Wade's desperation toss from the right baseline bounced away as time expired.
    Bulls 87 Heat 86

    LeBron missed a contested layup in the closing seconds, then Wade missed a jumper at the gun.

    Those were the 12th and 13th consecutive shots that the Heat have missed with a chance to tie or lead a game in the final 10 seconds of regulation or overtime. James has missed four in this four-game losing streak alone.

    "I told my team, I'm not going to continue to fail late in games," James said. "I put a lot of blame on myself tonight. I told the guys that I just keep failing them late in games and I won't continue to do that.">>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    OK. You heard it. The failing late in games is OVAH. Right now, Miami is 3-12 VS the other teams in the Power Rankings 'Top 8'. Is it a harbinger of things to come in June--------or do 2 1/2 Men 'go southpaw' like Rocky Balboa and cross everyone up once the playoffs start? Is this all just an ingenious plot? Stay Tuned.

  30. Anonx2 Says:

    "Ah! This explains your posts. Easy to put the blame on someone when you don't "like" their personality."

    No, that's the explanation for fans as a whole, not me. I dislike numerous players, but respect their games on the court. I dislike Lebron on the court because he's lazy.

    "Actually I did watch him play often, and I'm well aware of the Synergy data. I'm guessing you have also read this link? http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/miamiheat/post/_/id/4356/how-advanced-stats-changed-chris-boshs-game

    Still doesn't change the fact he's primarily a guy who like's to face up your defender and shoot from the perimeter, NOT post-up like your classic big man. He's not doing anything different in his game in Miami than in Toronto; he's just doing less overall, while giving his Toronto possessions to LBJ and Wade."

    1. I said he's primarily a face up game. But he's devastating given the ball to work in isolation, not as a spot up shooter.

    2. He's shooting a career high of 16-23 FGA, lowest at rim FGA in 5 years (might be career, didn't run all the seasons). This is not an example of doing the same thing less. He's clearly been forced to shift his game to the outside more. He rarely gets a chance to do what he used to do in Toronto.

    "Who are better players. And SHOULD get the ball more often anyway."

    I don't think they should get the ball more, I think the way the offense is run needs to change. But Lebron won't do that. When Spo tried, Lebron tried to get him fired.

    "Paltry sample sizes aside, I DID use Miami's offensive-point differential from the whole season (not just a couple games versus elite teams) with their scheduling taken into account"

    Same excuse was given for Cleveland in the past and we all know how that turned out.

    "Mo and Delonte played two full seasons plus the playoffs with LBJ. In the NBA too, compared to a couple of weeks with players in the Olympic games where the competition isn't neither as rigorous schedule-wise nor as stiff. Everyone else were core pieces who had played for years with LeBron and were well-adjusted to their role in the offense."

    Mo Williams joined the Cavs in 2008-09. I cited ONLY 2008-09 stats, not two seasons worth of stats. Delonte played 26 games with Lebron prior to that season. Also, the Olympics has a toucher schedule. They play like 10 games in 2 weeks or whatever it is. Lebron only played with Z and Ilgauskis for years prior to '08-'09. Nice revisionist history.

    As i said. Mo-Delonte-Lebron-Wallace-Z got the same Orating in '08-09 as the current main 5 for the Heat (with Z at C). Both those units outside lebron with Z have barely played together entering that season.

    "The man shoots two less shots per game than James per 48 minutes of crunch time on the season. Lol.

    LBJ shoots 80 points effective percentage points better from the field and is also better at getting to the line and making his freethrows (87% to 73%). And once again, LBJ is always looking to set up his teammates while also looking for his own shot. Wade has not done that, instead looking to shoot at almost every opportunity."

    ESPN recently posted a stat that said Lebron is one of only 3 players in crunch time to shoot as many and as poorly from 3 as him. Yeah, he's really performing well. Like i said, I hadn't seen updated numbers since it wasn't updating, but at the time (I said HALFWAY) that was the case.

    Lebron's crunch time TOs and Assists are way worse than his season averages.

    And today was another shining example of him in crunch time. Down 1 with 15+ seconds, so he dribbles out the clock almost rather than making an early play so they could foul if they missed, then drives and shoots a terrible shot and fails. Again.

    "Brilliant psychoanalysis there, Mr. Freud."

    Excellent retort. Evade!

    "And the reason why he has had to use more touches is because Wade hasn't been doing his job. It's the classic chicken and egg arugment when it comes to usage and efficiency, but the proof is on the side of players doing more to cover for teammates who don't play as they should, not the other way around.

    My original point though was that you wanted to explain Wade's lack of production on LBJ not "giving him the ball" (which is false by the way). I was saying that this is a moot point, because you could reverse the player's roles and production and because you are buased against anything LeBron does you would STILL blame LBJ for it. Case in point? See this next statement:"

    I dislike Wade a lot more than Lebron and always have and still do.

    I'm just pointing out what is obvious if you watch the games. I think they're both at fault because they were two stupid they're the same player (with Lebron being better at it). Two wing players whose game relies on driving to the hoop at FTs and isolation and surrounding them with jump shooters. But they don't compliment each other.

    Lebron deserves more to blame because he can still improve while Wade cannot and Lebron left his team to come to this one. But I blame them both. And Bosh too for being soft as Charmin.

    "What the team needs is more consistency from the Big Three as a whole. LBJ has actually been the most conisstent player of the three in these marquee matchups and he doesn't need to do MORE when he has those players around him. Wade's slack needs to be picked up by WADE, not LeBron."

    The reason the big 2.5 can't all play well together against the good teams is because they don't compliment each other, specifically Bron and Wade. But you don't seem to understand this. Against the dregs, they get turnovers and run outs and overpower teams on sheer talent.

    But against legit competition? They can't. For Wade to go off, Bron will have to struggle. For Bron to go off, Wade will have to struggle. Good teams will take one of them out. How many games against top 4 seeds in the NBA have all 3 played well? 1? 2 games? There's a REASON for this. Lebron's style of play hurts Wade's game. Lebron needs to adjust his game; Wade is too old to do so.

    "No he doesn't. He simply needs this team to play like they're capable of playing, in addition to improving his own play in games."

    This team is not capable of it because Bron's game is not conducive to winning without a host of 3 point shooters around him.

    The heat are at the bottom of at the rim shots, average at FTs, take the most 16-23 foot shots, and shoot an average number of 3s despite being above average at them. Translation: Teams back the paint and close out on 3s and when that happens, Miami can't win because Lebron can't hit those jump shots consistently enough.

    "Be more objective instead of turning this into the LeBron blame show. Whether he plays on the Cavs or the original Dream Team, EVERYONE has to play well and do their part to win games and championships in team sports"

    The blame falls on both Wade and Bron for being stupid enough to think their games could co-exist. Lebron would have been better off in Cleveland and making that move for Bosh or Miami would have been better off bringing in bosh and using the money for Bron on 2 players.

    Lebron should have a post up game, a better mid-range game, better footwork, and not have to rely on a bullrush to the rim for a foul anymore. He's not improving as a player despite being in his prime. He's the better player and performing better, but he's to blame because HE wanted this and now HE is the one unwilling to allow for a change to the offensive system or improve his game.

    Everyone excused Lebron because Mike Brown ran a Lebron iso to death. Lebron moves to Miami and guess what, we see nothing but the Lebron iso (or Wade iso when he's out) even though Spo tried to put in an actual system. Who is to blame most other than Lebron?

  31. Sean Says:

    Everyone excused Lebron because Mike Brown ran a Lebron iso to death. Lebron moves to Miami and guess what, we see nothing but the Lebron iso (or Wade iso when he's out) even though Spo tried to put in an actual system. Who is to blame most other than Lebron?>>>>>>>

    Speaking of Mike Brown... WHOA. He was on ESPN doing the NBA and YIKES! that guy is tough to look at with his million teeth and giant gums. I don't blame anyone for wanting him out of their huddle. He's tough to look at in the same manner Tony Robbins is. Teeth. Gums. More teeth.

    Who's to blame most other than LeBron? Let my favorite Michael Caine movie of all-time guide us here... Blame It On Rio.

  32. AYC Says:

    Wade has struggled because he had to change his role the most; he was asked to play off the ball, which was never his role before. As I have pointed out several times before, it makes much more sense to use LBJ off the ball because of his size. But Bron has never developed an inside game, despite being built like Karl Malone. Somebody should point out to him that the two legends he always gets compared to -MJ and Magic- were both excellent post-up players despite playing in the backcourt.

  33. Sean Says:

    The Miami Heat are the gift to ESPN that just keeps giving. After losing again last night to a top team in the closing seconds (which included missed shots by LeBron AND Wade), the head coach reported that 'players were crying' afterwards in the lockeroom.

    The loss, missed shots and alleged crying were all the juice ESPN talking heads needed to do their show. ESPN did manage to fit a little constructive basketball talk in there when Chris Mullin opined that LeBron might want to slide down to the block and post up more because driving to the hoop from the top 'isn't there'.

    Of course, ESPN made sure they asked Mullin if he ever cried after a tough loss---to which he said 'never... not yet'.

    I hope for Miami's sake that it's all contrived and that nobody was crying and that they are feeding ESPN red herring and laughing at them as they chase a non story because ESPN is such a hype machine (and I know the E is for 'entertainment', but just gimme the sports)and they are becoming a reality show instead of a sports report desk---it would be great if ESPN was getting played the fool.

    If for some reason Miami players were actually crying, then they got problems. How immature can they get? Unhinged? Just win a couple games against likely 2nd Round playoff participants and end a certain segment of criticism. No crying. Such melodrama if it's true. They'd be getting sucked into their own reality show which are usually about trainwrecks--------nothing to strive for.

    I thought what Mullin said about LeBron posting up was interesting, as he is likely NOT a 'hater', but just being objective. Also, what does LeBron mean when he says he will stop failing late in games? Is he going to do something DIFFERENT to achieve that? Like the alcoholic who is going to stop drinking? Alchoholics don't stop failing everyone AND continue drinking. What's LeBron going to stop doing? START doing? You can't keep doing the SAME thing and expect different results. That is what they call crazy.

  34. Sean Says:

    I guess I'd like to know if there is something that LeBron thinks he is doing wrong. The alchoholic knows it's the booze... the obese guy knows it's the food. They have the makings of a basic plan right there--------> to stop doing 'those' things...

    But what about LeBron? Does he intend to continue the same way, with the *change* being that he 'makes' the closing shots? Would that be akin to a morbidly obese guy who won't curb his caloric intake----but vows to lose the weight? He'll just be 'better at an unhealthy lifestyle'?

    Or does LeBron intend on changing something? It will be interesting to see.

  35. P Middy Says:

    Yeah, the main problem is this unspoken acceptance that LeBron and Wade are good enough to beat double teams. Clearly that's not working. I agree with Mullin and Sean here. They have got to stop the isolation plays at the top and run something real. I still think pick and roll is an easy answer. It allows Wade and James to both be heading to the basket at the same time even though there's still only one ball on the court. I can imagine that play drawing at least 4 defenders. Should be easier for their jankier players to shoot open closing shots.

  36. Anon Says:

    "He's shooting a career high of 16-23 FGA, lowest at rim FGA in 5 years..."

    Whatcha expect? He's playing alongside Bron and Wade who are better shot-creators anyway. Playing alongside those players = less opportunities to get your "shine on" in isolation. Not exactly a revelation here, and not a coincidence that his usage is also the lowest since 05 as well.

    "I don't think they should get the ball more, I think the way the offense is run needs to change."

    The better players (usually) get the ball more in basketball. That's how it works.

    "Same excuse was given for Cleveland in the past and we all know how that turned out."

    It's not an "excuse"; it's a fact that can be verified by years of data. Doesn't matter which team you're talking about. No one said point-differential was the best predictor of games to make up excuses for Cleveland.

    "Mo Williams joined the Cavs in 2008-09. I cited ONLY 2008-09 stats, not two seasons worth of stats."

    Mo joined a team with a system already in place with core players already in place in which he didn't need to radically change his role in the offense. Same with Delonte. These guys were complementary pieces to the star already in Cleveland (LBJ).

    The Heat had to incorporate a superstar and a star alongside their current superstar and its role players in their offense. There's a difference. Boston made it work right way in 08 when they got off to their hot start, but that was an aberration. These things aren't magic and they take time to work.

    "ESPN recently posted a stat that said Lebron is one of only 3 players in crunch time to shoot as many and as poorly from 3 as him. Yeah, he's really performing well."

    He's outperforming Wade though, who some people want to get the ball more.

    "Lebron's crunch time TOs and Assists are way worse than his season averages."

    His usage also goes up in crunch time as well.

    "And today was another shining example of him in crunch time. Down 1 with 15+ seconds, so he dribbles out the clock almost rather than making an early play so they could foul if they missed, then drives and shoots a terrible shot and fails. Again."

    Huh? The Heat didn't have a remaining timeout. You don't shoot early and then foul to put the other team on the line to increase their lead when you don't have a remaining timeout on the inbounds. LBJ went for the win as he should, and shot it early enough (with good defense by Noah) to allow his team to get an offensive rebound for another look. Wade just missed off the front rim.

    "Excellent retort. Evade!"

    Not evading here. Just pointing out the silliness in subjectively interpreting the play as you did earlier. There's no need for that.

    "Lebron deserves more to blame because he can still improve while Wade cannot and Lebron left his team to come to this one."

    "Improve"? LBJ has already hit his peak as a player at his position.

    "But they don't compliment each other."

    They're still playing.

    "The heat are at the bottom of at the rim shots, average at FTs, take the most 16-23 foot shots, and shoot an average number of 3s despite being above average at them."

    The funny thing is, is most of their losses against good teams they're actually pretty good at getting to the rim and converting free throws. So that's not the issue.

    The issue is shooting from the field. You're right that teams work to keep LBJ/Wade out of the paint and shoot from outside, but guess who's been the main culprit of the two here? Hint: It ain't the man you've been ranting about.

    "Lebron's style of play hurts Wade's game."

    Oh yes. LBJ is the one telling Wade to jack up long midrange shots and turn the ball over seven times during games right? And playing matador defense?

    This is what I'm talking about. Everyone here wants to blame someone else's OWN play on another player - especially a player that creates alot of his own offense. That should NEVER be done. And FWIW, I was a Wade fan LONG before watching LeBron James. From his college ball in Marquette actually.

    Simply put, I've watched him play ever since then, and the man needs to STEP HIS GAME UP. He's better than that, no matter who he's playing alongside with.

  37. Anon Says:

    "That's 'angry' for "Off the top of my head, I don't know and don't care to"."

    No, it's that there are actually articles on the very questions you've asked earlier. Just saying - they have been addressed already.

    "Now.......tell me why this blog ain't 'for me'."

    Your posts, for starters. What the heck are you talking about? I like funny as much as the next dude, but talk about random...

  38. Anonx2 Says:

    "Whatcha expect? He's playing alongside Bron and Wade who are better shot-creators anyway. Playing alongside those players = less opportunities to get your "shine on" in isolation. Not exactly a revelation here, and not a coincidence that his usage is also the lowest since 05 as well."

    You said he's doing less of the same. I demonstrated he's not only done less, but his game has changed to fit Bron/Wade. a higher % of his shots are outside than ever. It's not a case of every shot decreasing by 20%. Outside shots have gone up, inside shots have gone down. They don't allow him to iso much at all, which is his best asset.

    "The better players (usually) get the ball more in basketball. That's how it works."

    While the better players should get the ball more, it's not an optimal strategy to overuse your best player.

    "Mo joined a team with a system already in place with core players already in place in which he didn't need to radically change his role in the offense. Same with Delonte. These guys were complementary pieces to the star already in Cleveland (LBJ).
    The Heat had to incorporate a superstar and a star alongside their current superstar and its role players in their offense. There's a difference. Boston made it work right way in 08 when they got off to their hot start, but that was an aberration. These things aren't magic and they take time to work."

    This is all BS. Boston won the title it's first year together which added 2 HOF players. Ray and KG came in and Rondo was in his 2nd year and the system also changed.

    The 2000 Lakers won the first season with Phil and the triangle (and Kobe's 1st real season started, 1st full season with Glen Rice, 1st year harper). And they won 67 games to boot.

    You're making a bunch of BS excuses. Last decade alone 2 teams with a new system and players won it all. The "new" team stuff is bull. Boston just won in 2008 and won a ton of games (66 I believe) having never played together.

    You throw Boston out as an aberration but show NO PROOF of this at all. You assume it because you want to give an excuse for Miami.

    "He's outperforming Wade though, who some people want to get the ball more."

    And maybe it's because Wade needs the ball more to perform better. If Lebron had it less, perhaps he'd perform worse, too. Basketball is a rhythm sport.

    "His usage also goes up in crunch time as well."

    And in Cleveland his crunch time usage went all up, but his assists/TOs didn't get worse like this.

    "Huh? The Heat didn't have a remaining timeout. You don't shoot early and then foul to put the other team on the line to increase their lead when you don't have a remaining timeout on the inbounds. LBJ went for the win as he should, and shot it early enough (with good defense by Noah) to allow his team to get an offensive rebound for another look. Wade just missed off the front rim."

    Wrong. You shoot early also because an Oreb gives enough time to set up for a better shot. And even if you miss and foul, 6-8 seconds is enough to get the ball up the court. Wade's look was terrible because he had no time.

    "Not evading here. Just pointing out the silliness in subjectively interpreting the play as you did earlier. There's no need for that."

    No, it's a clear evade. Everything i said was true.

    "The funny thing is, is most of their losses against good teams they're actually pretty good at getting to the rim and converting free throws. So that's not the issue.

    The issue is shooting from the field. You're right that teams work to keep LBJ/Wade out of the paint and shoot from outside, but guess who's been the main culprit of the two here? Hint: It ain't the man you've been ranting about."

    Actually, it is.

    Lebron: Rim (5.7 FGA), 3-9 ft (2.4), 10-15 ft (1.5), 16-23 ft (5.4), 3pt (3.7)
    Wade: Rim (7.3 FGA), 3-9 ft (3), 10-15 ft (1.7), 16-23 ft (3.6), 3pt (2.7)

    Perhaps you should do your research first before posting.

    ""Improve"? LBJ has already hit his peak as a player at his position."

    That's ridiculous. LBJ can't add a post game? If he's peaked, then Miami is in trouble.

    "Oh yes. LBJ is the one telling Wade to jack up long midrange shots and turn the ball over seven times during games right? And playing matador defense?

    This is what I'm talking about. Everyone here wants to blame someone else's OWN play on another player - especially a player that creates alot of his own offense. That should NEVER be done. And FWIW, I was a Wade fan LONG before watching LeBron James. From his college ball in Marquette actually.

    Simply put, I've watched him play ever since then, and the man needs to STEP HIS GAME UP. He's better than that, no matter who he's playing alongside with."

    I can only assume you've never played ball in any meaningful way. Yes, Wade jacking up shots is affected by Lebron James play and visa-versa. Basketball is not played in a vacuum.

    Furthermore, as I proved, Lebron is the one jacking up shots, not Wade (or rather, to a greater extent). Wade shoots more at the rim and the same he has the past 3 years. Lebron is shooting less at the rim than the past 4 seasons! He's also taking more long 2s than Wade and 3s. Lebron ratio of long shots to short shots has increased this season while wade's has dropped!

    Lebron is also turning the ball over more often. Lebron has had 9 6+ TO games including Boston (8), Philly (9), Portland (6), Atlanta (6). They've both had numerous bad TO games. To imply it's only Wade is ridiculous.

    You are ignorant of the statistics and you're clearly an apologist for all things Lebron. As I said, both players deserve blame (as does Bosh), but Lebron chose this team, lebron is the one calling the shots and demanding the ball over Wade, he deserves more scrutiny.

  39. Sean Says:

    "That's 'angry' for "Off the top of my head, I don't know and don't care to"."

    No, it's that there are actually articles on the very questions you've asked earlier. Just saying - they have been addressed already.(Anon)

    Why do I think that if results showed it was common for teams that won NBA championships to get repeatedly beaten in the regular season by the top 8 teams in the league---you'd just say so and not be so coy? Oh, well.

  40. Sean Says:

    "Now.......tell me why this blog ain't 'for me'."

    Your posts, for starters. What the heck are you talking about? I like funny as much as the next dude, but talk about random...(Anon)

    Ha! So... this blog 'ain't for me' because......... you personally don't like my posts? KUDOS! The role of 'the pretentious, persnickety 4 year old' is YOURS.

  41. Anon Says:

    "You said he's doing less of the same. I demonstrated he's not only done less, but his game has changed to fit Bron/Wade."

    You're actually right. I went back to read what I posted on the matter. Point conceded.

    However, with the evidence of a inverse relationship in usage/efficiency from ORtg and +/- regressions, the brunt of the possessions are going to LBJ/Wade as they should. They are the players who should be "iso'd" more for their possessions than Bosh.

    "And maybe it's because Wade needs the ball more to perform better. If Lebron had it less, perhaps he'd perform worse, too".

    The evidence doesn't support this concept though.

    "You throw Boston out as an aberration but show NO PROOF of this at all. You assume it because you want to give an excuse for Miami."

    Not true. The 08 Celtics and the 83 Sixers are the only teams with Big 3s (players who were previously "alpha-dogs") that came together to take on different roles on their new team and win a title in their first year.

    I realize the 99 Lakers were in the lockout season, but Glen Rice still started the backhalf of their games and was also a starter in the playoffs.

    "Perhaps you should do your research first before posting."

    I was referring to the games against elites the Heat didn't win, not the regular season.

    I should have been more clear however. Teams work to keep LBJ/Wade out of the paint, but regardless of where they take their shots LBJ has been better coverting them in these games.

    "Wrong. You shoot early also because an Oreb gives enough time to set up for a better shot. And even if you miss and foul, 6-8 seconds is enough to get the ball up the court."

    This is a first. The strategy in those situations is to burn enough time off the clock so if you make the shot, the other team has less of an opportunity to answer with a shot of their own. You shoot early enough though just to allow your team to either tip in the miss or get a chance to grab the board and put up another shot attempt. LeBron did just that.

    With no timeouts, it makes no sense to put up an early shot where if you make it, the other team can make a game winner of their own, or if you miss, the other team is more likely to grab the rebound, foul them where they can go up by more points, then have to hoist up a shot at the buzzer without a set play.

    "No, it's a clear evade. Everything i said was true."

    No, it's you putting your own subjective spinoff on that play.

    It's a bit off-topic.

    "That's ridiculous. LBJ can't add a post game?"

    I meant that in terms of production he's probably at his peak.

    Post play has it's own tradeoffs inherent in one's production as well. LBJ is an explosive perimeter player that can shoot the three, go where he wants with the dribble to draw defenses and find open teammates, and get to the rim/draw contact with defenders. Post play allows for high % looks and also draw doubles, but you're trading it off for these stregnths that he SHOULD use be utilizing with his athleticism in his prime.

    "I can only assume you've never played ball in any meaningful way."

    Not true.

    "Yes, Wade jacking up shots is affected by Lebron James play and visa-versa."

    You're actually correct again, but that's why we have things like usage. It's not like I'm saying Wade's gotta play better without considering the context of possesions or the value of the shot-attempt - I am.

    "You are ignorant of the statistics and you're clearly an apologist for all things Lebron."

    There's data to support all of my arguments. But I ain't apologizing for LBJ's play - he hasn't played as well as he's capable of and he too has to play better in these games. I'm just not putting how WADE has played on him as well, all other things considered.

    I think I made the points I wanted to state for this thread. And Sean, I don't 'hate' your posts - they're just a bit bizarre. Won't knock your style though. To each his own.

  42. Sean Says:

    And Sean, I don't 'hate' your posts - they're just a bit bizarre. Won't knock your style though. To each his own. (Anon)

    Then the 'this blog ain't for you' comment is the most bizarre of all, isn't it? Hey... I ENJOY you, sir. That's a fact.