The tea leaves point to the Green Clovers

I hate to make any predictions this NBA offseason, but if history is any guide, the Boston Celtics should prevail in the 2010 NBA Finals.

NBA history has made one lesson plain.  If you have a Finals matchup featuring an “Excellent Offense/Average Defense” against an “Excellent Defense/Average Offense”, 9 times out of 10 the Defensive team wins.  And I may be understating those odds. 

If the defense the Celtics have played thus far this offseason is for real, then they should win in six games.  I just cannot state that definitively because the team basically sandbagged the second half of the season.  But I don’t see why they wouldn’t show up strong in these Finals.

Another thing to consider is that the Boston Celtics have played better against better competition, plowing right through two of the best regular season teams in Cleveland and Orlando.  Utah and Pheonix were formidable in their own right, but not so much as the former.

Below I have links to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics Regular Season and Playoff Win Charts.  The Charts purport to assign credit for each team’s regular season and playoff wins and losses, respectively. 

You will notice if you look at the Lakers Charts that Kobe and Gasol are right on their regular season numbers this postseason and that Andrew Bynum has really stepped up big time.  However, Ron Artest, despite some memorable heroics, has struggled mightily.

For the Celtics, its been Rajon Rondo both in the regular season and the postseason.  Everyone else has been close to their regular season numbers, with Baby Davis improving upon his.  Kendrick Perkins numbers have shrunk, but he’s gotten a steady diet of Dwight Howard the last six games, so his numbers aren’t terrible.

I’d like to make the case for the Lakers, because I love their frontline, with Odom, Gasol, and Bynum.  But unless they revitalize their defense in a hurry,








7 Responses to “The tea leaves point to the Green Clovers”

  1. TC from Racine Says:

    I know one thing, some point guards (a certain fella just down I-94, for example), I look at and wonder what the big deal is. Rondo, though, his game is an impressive thing to watch, reminds me of Sessions when he actually got to start, only with superior teammates.
    I feel the Celtics are gonna get that 18th banner, though the Lakers never make it easy for anybody.
    a bit off topic, did you hear about this LeBron parade some Clipper fans put together?

  2. Blake Says:


    About the whole block/assist thing, what if a player is playing good defense and pokes the ball out of the hands of his opposition, and it rolls to another one of his teammates. His teammate gets the greater reward to his win score, even though the ball just rolled to him. Same goes for something like a block, some players just happen to pick up the ball since it came there way yet they get the reward for picking up the possession. Is that just the way it works? Sorry for all the questions, it’s just that some of these Q’s have just been asked by some friends of mine who are trying to understand MWS.


    • tywill33 Says:

      There’s other peculiarities with MWS48 besides the ones you’ve mentioned. For instance, since the metric is based on headtohead comparisons with a live opponent, then a player who gets his shot blocked by the man he’s being compared to suffers both a missed shot (for himself) and a blocked shot (for his counterpart). That makes that miss (-1.5) whereas a normal miss should only be (-1.0). And a player who has the ball stolen by his counterpart suffers both a steal (for his opponent) and a turnover (for himself). I could nullify those oddities by not considering blocks or steals, or by simply divying out the opponent numbers based on positional adjustment rather than direct head to head. (I do that for all seasons prior to the 82games data). But I don’t think either of those two methods is superior to using transcript or 82games data, and since the 82games/transcript method has proven both accurate to actual wins produced (94.7% every season) and internally consistent from season to season, I’m really not bothered by little glitches like that. My hunch is that the situations either don’t occur that often, or valuing them in the peculiar way somehow does reflects something valuable about how wins are produced in the game of basketball.

      • Blake Says:

        And since MWS is so dependent on how your counterpart plays, what if a SG is guarding a PG for the whole game and gets lit up. Does the other PG get punished for that? Or do you recognize that and punish the SG?

      • tywill33 Says:

        Those situations are rare, but I would consider the “PG” who guards a SG as a SG. I define the players by their height and weight, because that is more reliable than doing it by their offensive role.

        For instance, Oscar Robertson is traditionally considered a “point guard”, because he handled the basketball. But for MWS48 purposes, however, he is considered a shooting guard. That’s because the counterpart information or estimates are what I’m after, and if you go back and look at the rosters he played on in the 1960s, he’s 4 to 5 inches taller and substantially heavier than any of the other guards on his team’s rosters. Because of that I can say with almost certainty that he would have guarded the oppositions “bigger guard” on al occasions.

  3. tywill33 Says:


    Are your friends trying to make the argument that Jeff Green is a valuable player? They should rely on the Win Shares metric. According to Win Shares, which I think is a decent metric, Green was the team’s second most valuable player behind Durant. Of course, if you look closely he’s got an inordinate amount of “Defensive Win Shares”, the one area where I really have a gripe with Win Shares (a player is awarded a “stop” simply by grabbing a defensive rebound… misengineering like that leads to peculiar results, like last season Charlie Villanueva led the Bucks in defensive win shares).

    • Blake Says:

      Surprisingly, no one has questioned Jeff Green. He’s young and maybe he’ll improve, but he’s only bringing the Thunder down at this point. They should be looking for a big man.

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