Monthly Archives: March 2014

About Those Numbers From the 1960s…

When I was a kid, I can remember looking at a basketball encyclopedia and being amazed by some of the statistics from the 1960s:

And the list goes on.

I was born in the 1970s, but the decade I most closely identify with my childhood is the 1980s. We had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird and later Michael Jordan, but I can remember thinking “These guys are good, but they must not be that good. Their numbers aren’t close to those put up by guys like Chamberlain, Russell, and Robertson.”

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2014 NCAA Tournament Forecast

Using the team ratings found on, I ran 10,000 simulations of this year’s NCAA tournament. A summary of the results of those simulations appears below.

I used the K.I.S.S.* method for these simulations, so I did not make any adjustments for injured players (e.g., Kansas and Joel Embiid), “hot” teams (e.g., Michigan St.), or distance traveled (e.g., Arizona will not have to travel very far in their regional).

* Keep It Simple, Stupid

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The Metronome

The San Antonio Spurs have been a juggernaut in the Tim Duncan era*, winning four NBA titles and finishing with 50 or more wins in every season but one**.

* The 1997-98 season to present.

** That would be the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, when San Antonio won 74.0 percent of its games and claimed its first NBA championship.

In the Duncan era, the Spurs have had a winning record 96.5 percent of the time during the regular season. To put that number in perspective, the only other franchise to break 80 percent over that time period is the Los Angeles Lakers, a distant second at 80.8 percent.

And over that same span, the Spurs have had the NBA’s best record on 15.5 percent of all days during the regular season, second only to the Lakers (16.5 percent).

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From 50 Wins to 50 Losses

After yesterday’s 19-point loss to the Chicago Bulls, the New York Knicks are now 21-39 and almost a sure bet to lose 50 games.

This disaster of a season follows a 54-win campaign in 2012-13, and as I mentioned on Twitter this morning that would put the Knicks in rarefied air:

I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at the NBA teams that went from 50 wins one season to 50 losses the next.

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