30 to 16 to 1:(Part Three) The Powers To Be

Posted on 08/01/2010 by

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30 to 16 to 1. Based on a half baked notion, that since the true goal of any NBA season is to turn thirty teams into one champion and as we saw in my earlier piece, what wins in the regular season is not necessarily what  gets you the trophy, my 2010 Playoff Review series continues.

The Half-Baked Notion:

Simple (based on 2010 numbers):

  • The best two players accounted for 55% of a teams wins in the 2010 Playoffs.
  • The top three players are just below the pareto threshold
  • The next three (4,5,6th man) account for the rest of the positive win contribution about equally.
  • After that everybody else actually hurt teams in the playoffs.

The format will look at the best six players in the playoffs for each team, will look at how many wins their coach/injuries might have cost them and talk about their opportunities/drawbacks going forward (and if they’ve done anything in the off-season to address these). We will go from least productive to most productive team in the Playoff (based on the table that follows now):

This piece covers the Bulls & Heat.

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.

The Second City

  • The Storyline: The Bulls’ young guns scrappily fought the best regular season team and their coach but bowed down to the King.
  • The Good: Noah outplayed all the Cavs bigs. Flip & Hinrich showed up. The Bulls have a strong base in Noah (an affordable,underrated piece)  for success in the years to come.
  • The Bad: Rose continued his run as most overrated young point guard. He’s been average at best. Taj Gibson got totally outplayed. Rose’s next contract could be a franchise killer unless he steps it up
  • The Coach: His GM tried to kick his ass.  He’s now coaching the Clippers. Nuff Said.
  • Needs: More Playoff proven pieces, bigs & shooters.
  • Major Moves: The Bulls have been fairly active in the summer. They wiffed on the King and the Native son but by signing Boozer,Brewer, Watson & Korver and losing Pargo and Miller they gained about 20 to 25 wins. If Rose lives up to the hype and Taj continues to improve this goes from a 60 plus win team to a 65+ win team.
  • 2011 Outlook: Two superstar bigs, a young good PF & PG. Stealing the Celtics defensive guru to coach them. In a normal year, we would all over the Bulls and talking up their challenge to the Lakers Threepeat attempt. But the second city did not win the offseason and face a war in their conference. I believe they win an epic battle with the Magic (as currently configured) but fall short of the Finals and bow down again to the dastardly King and his court in the conference Finals. I do however think that given the age of their Gibson, Rose & Noah, time is on their side.

The Bad Guys


  • The Storyline: Wade channeled 1986 Jordan against the Celtics. What a pity the rest of the Heat thought he was staging a re-enactment.
  • The Good: Dwayne Wade shows Kobe you can shoot efficiently against the Celtic D.
  • The Bad: For the love of god, Jermaine O’Neal played major minutes here.
  • The Coach: Spoelstra gets a gold star for his playoff best performance.
  • Needs: Some help for Wade.
  • Major Moves: Really? You don’t know. Check this out. Riley took the rest of the league out to the woodshed in the offseason. By my count he brought in a net of 41 wins worth of talent to South Beach. Following the logic of the model for the playoff that only the top six matter, here’s the avg. wp48 of their top six over the last three years :
  1. LeBron James    0.385
  2. Dwyane Wade   0.272
  3. Mike Miller         0.218
  4. Chris Bosh           0.181
  5. Udonis Haslem   0.151
  6. Carlos Arroyo     0.100
  • 2011 Outlook: The Miami Heat are now the Bad Guys, the main event. They will sell out every stadium and put on a basketball show not seen since the 86 Celtics. They will get booed lustily by some and loved by others. My prediction is that they will have to go through the Knicks, the  Celts, The Bulls and the Lakers to win it all (David Stern,TNT and ABC  just wet themselves from happiness). Barring an injury (and it has to be to one of the top two) I just don’t see how they can be stopped. This team is custom built for the playoffs and I would bet money that they will pick up at least one more vet looking for a ring before all is said and done (perhaps both teams will be playing hard in south beach).

Strangely Appropriate as Team Dillinger's Mascot

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