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View Full Version : If match up advantages exist, can there truly be a best team in the league?



Chronz
04-28-2017, 09:44 PM
Its like choosing between rocks-paper-scissors, isn't it?

At least in certain years cuz I dont know if this applies to damn near perfect squads vs their respective competition. Like lets say MJ's Bulls flat out didn't exist, I remember the 90's for the West having that highly matchup dependent aspect come playoffs.

Chuck's Suns, GP and Kemp's Sonics, Hakeems Rockets all seemingly had that dynamic (the Stockton/Malone Jazz figured in that somehow). IIRC, Kenny Smith spoke about this phenomena on TNT once.

Chuck would more than neutralize Kemp and just destroy the Sonics, the Sonics could (illegally) D up Hakeem better than anyone and the Rockets had no answer for Kemp/GP but the Rockets could beat the Center less (soft)Suns. I believe the biggest reason the Rockets moved so much of their quality depth for Chuck was to solve the Kemp problem and help keep him away from Hakeem (his quickness really bothered him as both the man defender and the helper).


So if I were to ask you to grade these cores in various years, how would you go about it if you were to believe the end result of any tournament would be based on the standings? Do you just grade them based on how they fared vs the league at large at that point?

Quinnsanity
04-29-2017, 12:15 AM
My instinct is always to trust an 82-game sample. If one team was significantly better than everyone else in the regular season, I'd say they were the best team even if they lost in the playoffs. Matchups can derail any team no matter how great. I still sort of wonder if the Sonics could have beaten the '96 Bulls if Payton had defended MJ the entire series. Where the playoffs come into the equation for me is when two teams are really close and you need to see them head-to-head to get a better idea of how good they are. Like if two teams have similar net ratings, are only a few wins apart and had similar health throughout the season, I'll probably have an opinion about who is better, but I'm willing to have an open mind and see how a series shakes out.

Funny you should mention the mid-90's West though. I was just thinking about it when listening to the Lowe-Arnovitz podcast earlier today. It really feels like the Jazz only made the Finals in '97 and '98 because of attrition. Barkley was fat by then, Hakeem was old and Kemp was traded to Cleveland. They were the only contender left. When all of those teams were at their peak, Utah was clearly fourth imo.

ewing
04-29-2017, 09:52 AM
Nope and this why I keep saying the games should played virtually. If nerds can't map everything out with an algorithm what's the point?


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Heediot
04-29-2017, 10:56 AM
Funny you should mention the mid-90's West though. I was just thinking about it when listening to the Lowe-Arnovitz podcast earlier today. It really feels like the Jazz only made the Finals in '97 and '98 because of attrition. Barkley was fat by then, Hakeem was old and Kemp was traded to Cleveland. They were the only contender left. When all of those teams were at their peak, Utah was clearly fourth imo.

The Spurs were no push-overs either.

KingPosey
04-29-2017, 11:51 AM
Yes.

Quinnsanity
04-29-2017, 02:28 PM
The Spurs were no push-overs either.


True. They didn't lose the war of attrition as directly as the other teams did, but Robinson got hurt in '97 and that knocked them out of contention, then in '98 Duncan was only a rookie so hard to expect him to contend for a title. But yes, Robinson's '97 injury was another direct cause of Utah finally being able to make the Finals.


Nope and this why I keep saying the games should played virtually. If nerds can't map everything out with an algorithm what's the point?


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What's so wrong with the idea of the champion and the best team being two separate teams? Like why does that offend your sensibilities? The regular season measures teams on generally equal footing. The playoffs have a far higher degree of variance and random ********. You can be a better team and lose a series on a few bad calls in one game, a minor injury here, some ridiculous three-point variance there. Things like that can swing a few games, which is all it takes to win a series, but they balance out over an 82-game sample. And if teams win a title that way? Great. That was the goal in the first place, to win four games out of seven against four different opponents. That doesn't mean they were better. Like it's ****ing laughable to suggest that last year's Cavs were better than last year's Warriors. That doesn't mean the Cavs weren't deserving champions. They're two separate things.

Chronz
04-29-2017, 02:39 PM
Nope and this why I keep saying the games should played virtually. If nerds can't map everything out with an algorithm what's the point?


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What if we instead had a soccer style tourney with the 4 best records or whatever all facing each other?

Chronz
04-29-2017, 02:42 PM
The Spurs were no push-overs either.
I always felt like they were. Outside a few years but a trend began to emerge with Drob in the playoffs

ewing
04-29-2017, 04:49 PM
What if we instead had a soccer style tourney with the 4 best records or whatever all facing each other?

Chronz, please we're Americans


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kobe4thewinbang
04-30-2017, 02:17 AM
Two words: Adjustments and Chess.