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 second of the Conference Finalists: The son of Jor El and his crew in the magic kingdom.
“If I go crazy then will you still
Call me Superman
If I’m alive and well, will you be
There holding my hand
I’ll keep you by my side with
My superhuman might
Kryptonite ” -3 Doors Down
- The Storyline:Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Walton, Rodman, Hakeem, Robinson, Duncan, Shaq, Wallace, Garnett, Gasol. The classic story in the NBA is that you need the big man to win and that the truly great big man always wins out at least once. Dwight Howard certainly is a great big man. If we look at the ten greatest seasons by a center under or at the age of 24, Howard owns 4 of them. He is certainly fits the bill as the last son of an extinct planet. What’s interesting about this table is that everyone on it although superhuman in their youthful glory is far removed from the season of their eventual triumph. The big man’s moment of glory does not come in the first act of their career. Howard and the magic are no exception.
- The Good:The Magic did not waste Howard’s prime delivering in 2009 & 2010 two of the top 20 performances in the history of the league. Sadly they came at a really bad time (see below)
- The Bad: Why Vince Carter was on the court over Redick or Pietrus (or hell the towel boy) I don’t know. The Rashard Lewis deal continues to be the turd in the freezer for this team.
- The Coach: Coach Van Gundy needed to tell Vince to sit himself down.
- Needs: The magic are a deep team that is built for the regular season. Their biggest problem is that they need either a physical 4 who can take advantage of all the attention Howard gets and act as an enforcer or they need to bring in a proper Jimmy Olsen to Howard’s Superman.
- Major Moves: Lost Barnes, picked up Duhon and Qrich. If Barnes hadn’t gone to shore up the Lake show I’d call this basically a pass.
- 2011 Outlook: This team will continue to be a force in the Regular season and they might get lucky and steal one but they need to go all in if they want a dinasty.I see a 4 seed for this team out East and a showdown with the Heat in the 2nd Round. Dwight is still far away from his happy ending. For Robinson it was Duncan arriving after a lost (or tanked?) season. For Moses ,it was a loaded Philly team and fo,fo,fo. For Shaq it was Phil,Kobe and LA. For Hakeem, it was Jordan riding a bus and Big Shot Rob. Dwight will need some similar turning point in his narrative to make his movie ending a happy one. I have no clue what that could be though.