The Fun Rankings

Posted on 04/08/2011 by


“Laugh and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone; For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, But has trouble enough of its own” -Ella Wheeler Wilcox

This is what's know as a swerve

Lately, I’ve been ignoring a vital part of my mission statement.

It’s been all serious stat work. I’ve been ignoring the silly.

Move along. Nothing to see.

No worries. Consider this a respite.We’ll get back to the hard facts tomorrow.

This is more the right speed

With a clear goal in mind, a song in my heart and that annoying darkness gone from my soul, I set off to find an idea. It came to me suddenly.  I would rank every possible non- finals nba playoff series in terms of fun thru a completely made up set of criteria using proper value engineering techniques. The way this works is simple:

  1. Get a list of all the playoff Teams together
  2. Rank the team in each category as either a : 9 (High),5 (Mid),1 (Low)
  3. Add up the scores for each team
  4. Determine the level of rivalry between each team as either a : 125% (High),100% (Mid),75% (Low)
  5. Do a cross-matrix where we add the scores from 3 for each team and multiply by the value from 4

Pretty clear right?

Hopefully more clear than this (Image courtesy of

Let’s start with the factors:

  1. Fanbase Size,Quality and Passion: This is the one that warms David Stern at night. Lot’s of fans means lots of interest. Lot’s of passionate fans make a series fantastic.

    Hey Mark, the internet says hi!

  2. Playoff Experience: Has this team gotten it done before. Is this their first dance or can they Bring it?

    Know your role.

  3. Star Power: Will I be amazed? Is there a real chance that we’ll get to see something truly unique ? That’s the key for this one.

    48 Special

  4. Hateability “The Old Firm”: This is for teams that are so successful that it’s easy to root against them. Success (and Phil Jackson) are key on this one. The Black hats always bring the excitement.
  5. Likeability “Cinderella Factor”: The opposite of Factor 4. Are we looking at a ragtag bunch of outcasts? Has the phrase : “Nobody believed in us” been uttered? Particularly poignant when combined with the Ewing theory.

    "Ewing Theory? What's he talking about? We got traded to the Knicks"

  6. Historical Implications: I tweeted this today:”Ah but I love Manu. Him and Tim taking one last shot against the upstart Bulls or Heat would be poetry”. Am I watching something I’ll be talking about years later? Does this story fit in a larger tapestry?

    This could very well get a sequel

  7. Team Quality: Will I be watching a truly great team? Could these guys hang with the pantheon?

    It's a good question

  8. Fun Factor:Is this a fun team to watch? Will the games be ridiculously fun?


  9. Fanbase Hateability: You know who you are.

    At least, I am self-aware

  10. The Rivalry Factor: “Clean Old Fashioned Hate”: How much do these teams dislike each other? Is a fistfight likely to break out? Is it personal?

    Your momma

Factors in let’s look at my totally irrational ratings. First By Team:

Then the Rivalry Factors:

And finally lets put them together:

The Top ten possible non-finals matchups?

  1. Boston-Miami
  2. Boston-Chicago and Miami-New York
  3. Spurs-Lakers
  4. Lakers-Thunder
  5. Mavs-Lakers
  6. Lakers-Nuggets
  7. Boston-Orlando and Miami-Orlando
  8. Boston-New York and Miami-Chicago

The bottom five are:

  1. Atlanta-Indiana
  2. Philly-Indiana
  3. Philly-Atlanta
  4. Indiana-Orlando
  5. Memphis-Portland

I don’t know about you but that looks right to me

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