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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    23,165

    The Phil Jackson Rule: 40 Before 20!

    Phil Jackson always said a championship team gets 40 wins before 20 losses.

    Teams that have met that criteria:

    Bucks, Raptors, Celtics, Lakers and Nuggets.

    Teams that have failed:

    Heat, 76ers, Rockets and Jazz.

    The clippers get to 40 and 19 with a win next game vs the Nuggets but honestly, even if they lose that one, load management is to blame so it's unfair to count them out.

    My question is, Do you Agree with Phil that these are the teams that can win it all?

    Eastern Conference:

    Bucks
    Raptors
    Celtics

    Western Conference:

    Lakers
    Nuggets
    Clippers

    Basically just 6 contenders. I honestly have to agree.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31,268
    I don't think there's any real connection between when you get your wins and whether you can win a title or not. Good teams and contenders win a lot of regular season games. But there are a lot of teams over the years that would have won 40 games before losing 20 that totally flopped in the postseason.

    I can't think of a ton of teams that lost 20 games before winning 40 and went on to win a title, but I can think of at least one off the top of my head: the 95 Rockets. They're the perfect example to bust that theory, because they made a massive deal before the trade dealing (acquiring Drexler) that vaulted them from a borderline playoff team to a serious contender.

    I would think health would be another factor as well. I've got to think there's a champion somewhere in league history where health was an issue earlier in the season, but they got healthy and peaked later in the year.

    And, full disclosure, I obviously have a reason to want to refute this theory as a Rockets fan. I do think the Rockets should be a serious contender right now. And like their '95 counterpart, they made a big deal before the trade deadline that made them a noticeably better basketball team. But everyone can feel free to disagree with me. You're entitled to your opinions.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    NYC
    Posts
    4,618
    getting to 40 wins early has a direct correlation to playoff seeding which means HCA. Also generally speaking, if you get to 40 wins early, you are pretty damned good.

    The Rockets example is an exception to several rules. Afterall, they are the lowest seed to ever win it all, they broke all of the "rules" thanks to two of the GOATs.
    Last edited by AntiG; 02-28-2020 at 02:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31,268
    But to your point, the Rockets are only two games out of the 2 seed right now. They could easily have a top 2 seed in the West without following the "40 before 20" guideline. I 100% agree that seeding is important and the '95 team is an exception, but that was my point. That you can still win a lot of games and end up with a high seed by peaking later in the season after the All-Star break.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    8,697
    Correlation not causation. Seeding is far more important than when your wins came. The last time a non top 3 seed won a championship was (wait for it) the '95 Rockets. Before that it was the '69 Celtics. Realistically, you need to be one of the 3 best teams in conference to have a shot, and if you're 4th-6th you might win one once in 25 years.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    46,033
    Quote Originally Posted by mightybosstone View Post
    I don't think there's any real connection between when you get your wins and whether you can win a title or not. Good teams and contenders win a lot of regular season games. But there are a lot of teams over the years that would have won 40 games before losing 20 that totally flopped in the postseason.

    I can't think of a ton of teams that lost 20 games before winning 40 and went on to win a title, but I can think of at least one off the top of my head: the 95 Rockets. They're the perfect example to bust that theory, because they made a massive deal before the trade dealing (acquiring Drexler) that vaulted them from a borderline playoff team to a serious contender.

    I would think health would be another factor as well. I've got to think there's a champion somewhere in league history where health was an issue earlier in the season, but they got healthy and peaked later in the year.

    And, full disclosure, I obviously have a reason to want to refute this theory as a Rockets fan. I do think the Rockets should be a serious contender right now. And like their '95 counterpart, they made a big deal before the trade deadline that made them a noticeably better basketball team. But everyone can feel free to disagree with me. You're entitled to your opinions.
    Which of the 60 win teams they defeated, wins the title if the rockets never trade for clyde drexler

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