Posts Tagged ‘Detroit Pistons’

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA [2008-2009]: Part I

December 16, 2008

The 2008-2009 NBA regular season schedule has reached the 1/4 pole, as all 30 teams have played at least 20 games. Given the history of this league and …

What it takes to win the NBA Championship

… it is helpful to evaluate where they rank against one another at this juncture.

QUALITY RATING & QUALITY INDEX RANKING

NBA 2008-2009
[as of Mon Dec 15 2008]

Team

W/L

Win%

PDR

PAR

RDR

QR

QIR

EC

WC

Cavaliers

20/4

.833

1

1

3

5

1

2

 

Celtics

23/2

.920

3

2

1

6

2

1

 

Hornets

13/7

.650

6

3

10

19

3

 

4

Blazers

15/10

.600

10

9

1

20

T-4

 

7

Rockets

15/9

.625

8

5

7

20

T-4

 

5

Lakers

20/3

.870

2

14

6

22

6

 

1

Spurs

15/8

.652

7

6

11

24

7

 

3

76ers

10/14

.417

16

8

4

28

 

11

 

Jazz

15/11

.577

9

11

9

29

8

 

8

Mavericks

13/10

.625

11

16

7

34

 

 

9

 

Nuggets

17/7

.708

4

15

16

35

9

 

2

Hawks

15/9

.625

12

7

17

36

10

4

 

Magic

19/6

.760

5

10

24

39

11

3

 

Bucks

11/15

.423

18

17

5

40

 

10

 

Pistons

13/9

.591

14

12

22

48

12

5

 

Suns

15/10

.600

13

22

14

49

13

 

6

Bobcats

7/18

.280

24

4

22

50

 

14

 

Heat

12/12

.500

15

13

25

53

14

7

 

Nets

12/11

.522

20

24

12

56

15

6

 

Bulls

11/12

.478

17

21

18

56

16

8

 

 

Pacers

8/16

.333

21

25

13

59

 

13

 

Grizzlies

9/15

.375

22

18

19

59

 

 

10

Timberwolves

4/20

.167

28

23

14

65

 

 

14

Clippers

6/17

.261

25

19

25

69

 

 

13

Raptors

10/14

.417

23

20

30

73

 

12

 

Thunder

2/23

.080

30

26

20

76

 

 

15

Knicks

11/13

.458

19

29

28

76

 

9

 

Kings

7/18

.280

29

28

20

77

 

 

11

Wizards

4/18

.182

27

27

27

81

 

15

 

Warriors

7/18

.261

26

30

29

85

 

 

12

Legend:
W-L – Won Loss Record; Win% – Winning Percentage; PDR – Points Differential Rank; PAR – Points Allowed Rank; RDR – Rebound Differential Rank; QR – Quality Rating; QIR – Quality Index Ranking; EC – Eastern Conference Playoff Position; WC – Western Conference Playoff Position 

Note:
1. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion and Finalist has had a QR ≤ 34.
2. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion has had a QIR ≤ #9.
3. Since 2000-2001 7 of the 8 NBA Champions have had a QIR ≤ #4. 

Take note of where your favourite team stands today … and where it will need to get to, over the course of the next five months, in order to be considered a legit contender for the 2009 NBA Championship.

Rebounding Differential Rankings in the NBA [Nov 6]

November 7, 2008

When this corner of the sports blogosphere told you earlier this fall/summer that the Raptors trade for Jermaine O’Neal was not going to be enough, by itself, to fundamentally improve Toronto’s Rebounding Deficiency from the last few seasons there were boatloads of delusional fans some who did not want to believe this specific assessment of this team, in advance of actually seeing real live NBA games this season with their own two eyes.

—————–

How could the acquisition of a former 6-time NBA All-Star …

in exchange for a smallish, erractic [but talented] Point Guard [i.e. TJ Ford], an over-the-hill, lumbering, strictly speaking part-time Center [i.e. Rasho Nesterovic], the 15th player from their roster last season [i.e. Maceo Baston], and a flip-flop of the No. 17 [overall] and No. 41 Draft Picks from the 2008 NBA Draft, who turned out to be Roy Hibbert [C] and Nathan Jawai [C], respectively …

possibly NOT improve the Raptors decidely mediocre rebounding numbers from the last few years in any significant way, shape or form?

—————–

Well … as of Thursday, November 6, 2008 the Basketball Acumen of this specific correspondent seems to be as sharp [and accurate] as ever:

[Statistics from NBA.com]

NBA

Rebounding Differential

Per Game

2008-2009

[as of Thu Nov 6]

Rank

Team

+/-

1

L.A. Lakers

+12.25

2

Detroit

+11.00

 

Philadelphia

+11.00

4

Cleveland

+9.00

5

Phoenix

+5.20

6

Utah

+5.00

7

Atlanta

+3.66

8

Boston

+2.40

 

Milwaukee

+2.40

10

Golden State

+0.40

 

Portland

+0.40

12

Orlando

+0.20

13

Charlotte

-0.25

14

Chicago

-0.60

15

Houston

-1.40

16

New Jersey

-1.66

17

Sacramento

-1.80

18

Memphis

-2.00

19

Oklahoma City

-2.25

20

New Orleans

-3.00

21

Denver

-3.50

 

Minnesota

-3.50

23

Dallas

-3.75

24

Miami

-4.00

25

San Antonio

-4.25

26

Indiana

-4.66

27

Washington

-7.33

28

New York

-8.75

29

L.A. Clippers

-9.00

30

Toronto

-10.50

When a certain NBA observer tells you something about ‘How the Game actually Works in this League’, in advance … it might well be in your best interests to believe what this person has to say, even though you are not able to fully comprehend it, at that point in time.

—————–

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”Anonymous

The Better Half in the NBA: Day 1

October 28, 2008

And, so … it begins:

1 Los Angeles Lakers [W1] … A Legendary season awaits
2 Boston Celtics [E1] … Still the Champs
3 Detroit Pistons [E2] … Bad Boyz II, under MC [Hammer]
4 Phoenix Suns [W2] … Sunrise, Sunset, under TP
5 Utah Jazz [W3] … Tried & True
6 Houston Rockets [W4] … Combustible on any given night
7 Dallas Mavericks [W5] … letting Freedom Reign, under RC
8 Orlando Magic [E3] … holding strong with new additions
9 New Orleans Hornets [W6] … due for a small slip backwards
10 Portland Trail Blazers [W7] … The 2nd Coming begins
11 Cleveland Cavaliers [E4] … The King is in the house
12 Philadelphia 76ers [E5] … major moves this off-season
13 San Antonio Spurs [W8] … a struggle without Manu
14 Denver Nuggets [W9] … re-tooling their defense
15 Chicago Bulls [E6] … expect big things from VDN & ‘Mr. Rose’

Comprehending pre-season standings in the NBA

October 24, 2008

The NBA’s pre-season schedulae of games is rapidly coming to a close.

In general, how a team fares in its pre-season games … in this League, at least … provides a preliminary indication of where it actually stands, relative to the competition, heading into the new campaign.

Annually, there are three major categories of teams in the NBA:

1. Above .549 [High End]
2. .450-.549 [Middle]
3. Below .450 [Low End]

——————————————-

When you examine the current standings for the pre-season: 

2008-2009 Conference Preseason Standings
Eastern Conference
Eastern W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Orlando 6 1 0.857 0.0 4-1 4-1 3-1 3-0 6-1 W 6
Boston 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-2 3-2 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 2
Detroit 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-1 3-0 3-2 3-0 6-2 L 1
Atlanta 5 3 0.625 1.5 4-1 3-1 1-2 4-1 5-3 W 1
Philadelphia 4 3 0.571 2.0 4-3 4-1 1-2 3-1 4-3 W 1
Indiana 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-0 1-0 3-1 1-3 4-4 W 1
New York 3 3 0.500 2.5 3-3 3-3 0-2 3-1 3-3 L 1
Toronto 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-1 1-1 2-3 2-1 4-4 L 2
Chicago 3 4 0.429 3.0 0-1 0-1 1-3 2-1 3-4 W 2
New Jersey 2 4 0.333 3.5 1-4 0-4 1-3 1-1 2-4 L 4
Washington 2 4 0.333 3.5 0-1 0-0 0-2 2-2 2-4 W 1
Cleveland 2 5 0.286 4.0 2-3 0-1 1-3 1-2 2-5 L 1
Miami 1 5 0.167 4.5 0-3 0-1 1-3 0-2 1-5 L 1
Milwaukee 1 6 0.143 5.0 0-2 0-2 1-3 0-3 1-6 L 2
Charlotte 0 8 0.000 6.5 0-4 0-4 0-2 0-6 0-8 L 8
Western Conference
Western W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
New Orleans 7 0 1.000 0.0 2-0 1-0 4-0 3-0 7-0 W 7
Minnesota 6 2 0.750 1.5 2-1 2-1 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 1
Denver 4 1 0.800 2.0 2-1 2-1 3-0 1-1 4-1 W 1
Houston 5 2 0.714 2.0 5-0 3-0 3-1 2-1 5-2 W 3
L.A. Lakers 5 2 0.714 2.0 1-2 1-1 5-2 0-0 5-2 W 5
Phoenix 5 2 0.714 2.0 3-0 1-0 2-1 3-1 5-2 W 3
Golden State 4 2 0.667 2.5 2-1 0-0 3-0 1-2 4-2 W 2
L.A. Clippers 4 3 0.571 3.0 2-2 2-1 0-3 4-0 4-3 L 2
Portland 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-3 0-2 2-2 2-1 4-3 L 1
Utah 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-2 2-1 1-1 3-2 4-3 W 2
Dallas 4 4 0.500 3.5 1-0 0-0 2-2 2-2 4-4 L 2
San Antonio 3 3 0.500 3.5 0-2 0-2 1-2 2-1 3-3 L 1
Memphis 2 6 0.250 5.5 0-2 0-2 2-2 0-4 2-6 L 4
Oklahoma City 1 5 0.167 5.5 0-4 0-1 0-1 1-4 1-5 L 2
Sacramento 1 7 0.125 6.5 1-7 0-2 1-3 0-4 1-7 L 6

——————————————

what you see, with only 4 days left, is generally speaking fairly representative of what you should now expect to get over the course of the 82-game regular season from these teams, in a broad sense.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Above .549
Orlando, Detroit, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia

.450-.549
Indiana, New York, Toronto

Below .450
Chicago, New Jersey, Washington [playing without Arenas], Cleveland [playing few minutes with LBJ] , Miami, Milwaukee, Charlotte

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Above .549
New Orleans, Minnesota, Denver, Houston, LA Lakers, Phoenix, Golden State, LA Clippers, Portland, Utah

.450-.549
Dallas, San Antonio [playing with Ginobili]

Below .450
Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento

——————————————-

Although it’s not uncommon for a team to shift from the High End to the Middle over the course of the regular season; it is rare for a team to move from the High End to the Low End … and vice versa … once the regular season starts unless, of course, it has to play [or is playing currently] without 1 or more of its marquee players for an extending number of games.

What is usually the most interesting thing to see, however, over the course of the 82-game regular season, is which few teams are able to elevate their performance (i) from the Middle into the High End, and (ii) from the Low End into the Middle … automatically making them one of the ‘Feel Good’ stories of the year; and, which few teams, if any, will go in the opposite direction … automatically making them one of the ‘Biggest Disappointment’ stories.

Into which specific category does it look as though your favourite team is going to fit this season?

High End now that stays in the High End
High End now that drops down into the Middle
Middle now that steps up into the High End
Middle now that stays in the Middle
Middle now that drops down into the Low End
Low End now that steps up into the Middle
Low End now that stays in the Low End

NBA owner No. 1

September 5, 2008

In so many different ways … and, crucially, some of THE ones which matter most …

(for example)

* I depend, 100%, on the people who are in charge of whatever they’re in charge of. And nobody has run the Pistons better than Joe [Dumars].

* The reason I get rid of a coach is if he’s lost the players. I don’t want to subject my players to a coach they don’t want, basically and in whom they have lost faith.

* I’ve been living with this for 30 years or more, I don’t see color. I don’t distinguish color anymore, which is a good thing. Thirty years ago, I might have. But by being with the players, getting to know them, if you asked me do we have a white player on the team, I couldn’t tell you — well, I could tell you, but it wouldn’t make any difference. I get to know the personality much more than the color of the skin. Color means nothing.

Bill Davidson

Bill Davidson

this Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee [2008] fits the Bill Laimbeer to a tee.

Aptly described as “honest, direct, self-assured, and charming” by Mitch Albom, this is the first extensive interview this correspondent can recall by the octogenarian owner of the Pistons and the Shock.

And, it’s a beaut.

Bill Davidson Speaks … on Isiah, Laimbeer, Joe D., Rasheed, Race, He who is not what he appears to be, Carlisle, Flip, Curry, NBA Owners, NBA Referees, Hugh Evans, tips of icebergs, the City of Detroit, Politics & Business, the Commish, etc.

Yet another ALL-TIME CLASSIC!

Pistons stay the course … with a new head coach

August 13, 2008

Thus far, there’s a lot this corner likes about one Michael Curry, new head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

Courtesy of True Blue Pistons, Curry gets a positive vibe from Kwame Brown

======================

“What I was hoping for with him and what I got is that he didn’t use anything as an excuse,” Curry said of the most significant off-season addition to the Pistons’ roster, the 6-foot-11, 270-pound veteran big man signed as a free agent. “He put it all upon himself. He didn’t use the way the coach used him or injuries or being young when he came in the league – none of that.

“He took responsibility for himself and, really, once he did that, for me it was easy. That’s one of the biggest things – to get athletes to hold themselves accountable. Whether he did that when he was 18 or 19 – I’m pretty sure I was mature at 18 or 19, but I wouldn’t have been ready to be thrown into a No. 1 pick or right into the NBA and handle that kind of responsibility. Whether he acknowledged responsibility at that time didn’t really matter to me. The fact that now he does is the only thing I want to judge him on.”

======================

Other Detroit Piston Information from this Off-Season

When the Raptors changed directions with their team, dating back to Feb/2006 and the hiring of Bryan Colangelo (GM), one of the options they had at the time, was to hire Michael Curry, as a young Assistant GM, to work extensively with Wayne Embry (Interim GM) for a period of time and, eventually, to assume full control of the Basketball Operations, on behalf of MLSE, for the franchise in Toronto.

Had this happened, back then, it would have been intriguing to see how the on and off-court development of the Raptors might have been effected and, possibly, be in a different position than it is today (i.e. better off or worse).

A former (and highly effective role) player in the NBA, one-time President of the NBAPA, former Vice President of Player Development for the NBDL, and former Assistant Coach for the Pistons, with a Masters Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Michael Curry has the type of diversified basketball background it takes to eventually become a solid head coach in the NBA (in the mold of men like Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, and Gregg Popovich).

Time will tell … if Joe Dumars (Pistons GM) has Struck ‘Gold’, once again, or if this latest coaching move is simply ‘Strike Two’.

Pistons vs Celtics will go to Game 7

May 29, 2008

Before the Eastern Conference Finals began the one thing this corner felt confident about was the number of games this series would be going …

NBA Playoffs Conference Finals Preview

In the aftermath of last night’s Game 5 victory by the Celtics, at home, and well in advance of tomorrow evening’s Game 6 (@ Detroit) … EXPECT to see the Pistons respond like a champion, by … Buckling-up, Concentrating … and giving Maximum Effort … to give credence to that forecast made here 9 days ago.

Regardless what ‘the final number’ is, how bad Rip’s elbow injury is, how many TO’s they eventually make, how poorly they shoot it from the field or from the 3, or how drastically they get pummelled on the glass …

these DETROIT PISTONS are going to win Game 6.

 

PS. These 2 teams are that close in ability, and the winner of this series (overall) is going to be decided in the final few possessions of Game 7. Make a shot; Miss a shot … Make a stop; or, not … Make a FT; Miss a FT … Get a Rebound; or, not. These are both high calibre, championship quality NBA teams, and it will be a shame to see either one lose.

8 Possessions which extended the Pistons’ season

May 27, 2008

One of the things which many astute NBA observers fail to realize is just how many games are actually decided by the specific outcomes of a small set of Fulcrum Possessions, regardless what other advantages and/or disadvantages might be unearthed from a detailed examination of the various ‘Game Stats’ from that contest.

The final score of last night’s Detroit victory (at home) versus Boston was 94-75 … a 19 point differential.

However, save for the following 8 possessions [#1-8, below] in this game … 4 of which the Pistons played on Defense and 4 of which they played on Offense … last night’s eventual outcome would have been markedly different.

———————————————————

Pierce Layup Shot: Made (16 PTS) 4:51
[BOS 73-78]
 
  4:50 Team Timeout:Regular
  4:50 Hunter Substitution replaced by Billups
  4:50 Maxiell Substitution replaced by Wallace
  4:50 Stuckey Substitution replaced by Prince
  4:38 Hamilton Foul:Offensive (5 PF)
  4:38 Hamilton Turnover:Foul (2 TO)
[#1] Pierce Jump Shot: Missed 4:28  
  4:26 Prince Rebound (Off:0 Def:2)
  4:05 Prince Hook Shot: Missed Block: Garnett (2 BLK)
Pierce Rebound (Off:2 Def:6) 4:03  
[#2] Rondo Layup Shot: Missed 3:46  
  3:44 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:3)
Perkins Foul:Shooting (6 PF) 3:23  
Perkins Substitution replaced by Brown 3:23  
  3:23
[DET 79-73]
[#3] Wallace Free Throw 1 of 2 (13 PTS)
  3:23
[DET 80-73]
Wallace Free Throw 2 of 2 (14 PTS)
[#4] Allen Turnover:Bad Pass (2 TO) 3:13  
  2:55
[DET 83-73]
[#5] Billups 3pt Shot: Made (10 PTS)
Assist: Prince (3 AST)
Team Timeout:Regular 2:53  
Brown Substitution replaced by Posey 2:53  
Garnett Hook Shot: Made (16 PTS)
Assist: Posey (1 AST)
2:31
[BOS 75-83]
 
Allen Foul:Personal (2 PF) 2:14  
  2:14
[DET 84-75]
[#6] Hamilton Free Throw 1 of 2 (15 PTS)
  2:14
[DET 85-75]
Hamilton Free Throw 2 of 2 (16 PTS)
  2:04 McDyess Foul:Shooting (4 PF)
[#7] Allen Free Throw 1 of 2 missed 2:04  
Team Rebound 2:04  
Allen Free Throw 2 of 2 missed 2:04  
  2:03 Wallace Rebound (Off:1 Def:4)
  1:47
[DET 87-75]
[#8] Hamilton Driving Layup Shot: Made (18 PTS)
Assist: Billups (6 AST)

———————————————————

Full Play-By-Play (Bost @ Detroit, Mon May 26)

In a 3:04 span of the 4th Quarter (4:51-1:47), Detroit converted on 4 of their 6 possessions (66.7%), to the tune of 9 points, while allowing Boston to convert on only 1 of their 5 possessions (20.0%), for a total of 2 points (including 2 crucial missed FTA’s by Ray Allen, the leading percentage free throw shooter in the 2008 Playoffs). 

Given the time & score, at that point of the game …

* 1 Jump Shot: Missed (Paul Pierce)
* 1 Layup Shot: Missed (Rajon Rondo)
* 1 Turnover (Ray Allen)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Missed + Missed (Ray Allen)

by the Celtics … in concert with the Pistons offensive execution, which included …

* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rasheed Wallace)
* 1 3Pt Shot: Made (Chauncey Billups)
* 1 pair of FTA’s: Made + Made (Rip Hamilton)
* 1 Driving Layup Shot: Made (Rip Hamilton)

proved to be THE difference between the Pistons’ season coming to an abrupt end on Wednesday night in Boston (Game 5) or ensuring that at least one more home game is played in Detroit during this post-season (Friday night’s Game 6).

 

Detroit @ Boston, Game 2 by the numbers

May 23, 2008


Interesting ‘Game Stats’ from the Pistons’
victory last night, on the road, against the Celtics …

 

Det 103, BOS 97 Recap
Boxscore

Full Play-By-Play

 

Category

Detroit

BOSTON

Points Scored (PS)

103

97

PS Per Quarter (Difference)

1) 18 (-2)

2) 32 (+9)

3) 28 (+2)

4) 25 (-3)

1) 20

2) 23

3) 26

4) 28

Possessions

94

98

Possessions Per Quarter (Difference)

1) 23 (+1)

2) 21 (-9)

3) 25 (0)

4) 25 (+4)

1) 22 (-1)

2) 30 (+9)

3) 25 (0)

4) 21 (-4)

Points Scored Per Possession (PSPP)

1.10

0.99

PSPP Per Quarter

1) 0.78

2) 1.52

3) 1.12

4) 1.00

1) 0.91

2) 0.77

3) 1.04

4) 1.33

Field Goals Made (FGM) – Field Goal Attempts (FGA) [FG%]

35-71 [49.3]

35-72 [48.6]

FGM – FGA [FG%] Per Quarter

1) 6-16 [37.5]

2) 11-17 [64.7]

3) 7-17 [41.1]

4) 11-21 [52.4]

1) 7-15 [46.7]

2) 6-18 [33.3]

3) 9-18 [50.0]

4) 13-21 [61.9]

FGM Per Possession Per Quarter

1) 0.26

2) 0.52

3) 0.28

4) 0.44

1) 0.32

2) 0.20

3) 0.36

4) 0.62

Free Throws Made (FTM) – Free Throw Attempts (FTA) [FT%]

28 – 32 [87.5]

 

22 – 25 [88.0]

 

FTM – FTA Per Quarter (First – Last)

1) 6–7 (11:37-1:45)

2) 9–10 (9:01-2:33)

3) 10–11 (4:37-0:40)

4) 3–4 (0:10-0:01)

1) 5–5 (9:46-0:18 )

2) 10–12 (8:16-0:04)

3) 7–8 (8:05-0:26)

4) 0–0

FTM Per Possession  Per Quarter

1) 0.26

2) 0.43

3) 0.40

4) 0.12

1) 0.23

2) 0.33

3) 0.28

4) 0.00

Rebounds

31

38

Rebounds Per Quarter (Off + Pts)

1) 5 (0 + 0)

2) 7 (0 + 0)

3) 10 (3 + 2)

4) 9 (4 + 4)

1) 9 (2 + 2)

2) 12 (5 + 4)

3) 9 (3 + 4)

4) 8 (2 + 4)

Turnovers

11

13

Turnovers Per Quarter (First-Last)

1) 5 (10:06-0:30)

2) 1 (8:18)

3) 3 (10:08-7:47)

4) 2 (11:46-5:53)

1) 5 (11:14-0:54)

2) 5 (11:10-4:00)

3) 3 (3:45-0:40)

4) 0

Turnovers Per Possession Per Quarter

1) 0.22

2) 0.05

3) 0.12

4) 0.08

1) 0.23

2) 0.17

3) 0.12

4) 0.00

 

Interpret at your leisure … especially the Sabermetricians amongst you.

NBA Playoffs Conference Finals Preview

May 20, 2008

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) BOSTON CELTICS (H)

(2) DETROIT PISTONS

By the Numbers

QIR – #1 (6)
Points Differential Rank – #1
Points Allowed Rank – #2
Rebounding Differential Rank – #3

QIR – #2 (10)
Points Differential Rank – #2
Points Allowed Rank – #1
Rebounding Differential Rank – #7
 

Basketball Acumen

Still the team to beat in the East with home court advantage. Team D is The Story, fuelled by KG. Must find a way to shake lose Ray Ray on Offense. Easier said than done. Key Match-up: Doc Rivers vs Flip Saunders, especially, during the last 6 minutes of each game.

Good enough to win the series. Quality depth is outstanding. Top notch young players will need to continue stellar play. Rodney Stuckey (PG) is the Real Deal. Must assert their collective will to match the Celtics on the glass. Key Match-up: ‘Good’ Sheed vs ‘Bad’ Sheed.

Who will win

It’s going to go 7 games and it’s just too close to call. 

 

Western Conference Finals

(1) LA LAKERS (H)

(3) SAN ANTONIO SPURS

By the Numbers

QIR – #10 (30)
Points Differential Rank – #3
Points Allowed Rank – #19
Rebounding Differential Rank – #8

QIR – #7 (23)
Points Differential Rank – #8
Points Allowed Rank – #3
Rebounding Differential Rank – #12
 

Basketball Acumen

Will need to out-score the Spurs. Bench must continue to score, making open shots. Key Match-up: Kobe vs Ginobili. Without Bynum, should be the underdog in this specific match-up. Must improve interior D to have a chance. Ariza’s D & Rebounding will be missed. Will go as far as the MVP takes them.

The Heart of a Champion. Quality depth is first rate. Versatile and physical. Veteran role players know what it takes to win. Will win the series if they can dominate the glass. Team ethos is the best in the League. Key Match-up: Gregg Popovich vs Phil Jackson, the two best coaches in the NBA today.

Who will win

It’s going to go 7 games … and it’s just too close to call.