NBA Playoff Critique – 2014
A 4 POINT PLAY ANYONE?
A few NBA analysts and announcers have recently wondered why there are so many potential 4 point plays this season. Simply put, announcers with very little analytical thought might look at the league offices a little more closely. Is it a possibility that there has been a directive from the NBA office to NBA referees that if it looks like a foul or maybe even close to a foul while a shooter is attempting the 3 point shot, you error on the side of caution and call a foul (even though it could go either way).
One doesn’t have to necessarily keep score to intuitively think there are an extremely amount of fouls call as the player is launching a long distance thought. For those who prefer data to intuition, as of last night’s game, there were 70 fouls called on this type of shot. Mind you, it’s shattered the previous record and we still have the finals to go through.
DOES THE REGULAR SEASON RECORDS AGANIST CERTAIN OPPONENTS NECESSARILY MEAN MUCH IN THE PLAYOFFS?
Sports broadcasters and analysts during the playoffs make a big deal about how well each team faired against each other during the regular season. Let’s ‘Peel the Onion.’ For example, I heard a number of times on TNT and ESPN how Oklahoma City Thunder (OKC) were 4-0 against the San Antonio Spurs (SA) during the regular season. I’ve also heard that the Brooklyn Nets were 4-0 against the Heat from Miami this season (BTW, the Heat defeated the Nets in 5 games). How significant should regular season records against each of your opponents count come playoff time?
Let’s take OKC and SA, San Antonio is focused on winning as many games during the regular season but mind you, there are also other key objectives to achieve. A team like the Spurs will experiment with different lineups or different offensive or defensive combinations. Sometimes, they go with a big front court which might help prepare them for a team with large forwards and centers. During the playoffs, how well one has performed during the regular season is forgotten and the amount of success a team may have in April, May and June is how well they match up against that particular opponent. If a team is successful during the 1st or 2nd round, one could say that winning team effectively dealt with matchups during those earlier rounds. As they continue in the playoffs, matchups will continue to be a critical part of the playoff challenges — which may mean that “tweaking” and experimentation done during the regular season may not be done in vain.
There are several Spurs’ players over the age of 32 so coach Popovich of San Antonio is prudent about handling back to back games or 4 games in 5 nights. He and the entire organization gets it, the regular season is 82 games long — a marathon and not a sprint — besides closing out the season on a positive note, are they healthy for the playoffs? Do they have several strategies to address various matchup problems they may see? Does the entire team realize each an every one of the players have a role or certain roles to play?
Sometimes one might forget the regular season records or how well playoff opponents did against one another during the regular season grind. Look at how well some of these teams did during the regular season preparing for the most challenging part of the season.
IF YOUR SHOT IS BLOCKED, ARE YOU ASSESSED AN ATTEMPT?
Is a blocked shot classified as an attempt? I’ve wondered that for many years and it’s interesting, I’ve never heard it discussed during an NBA broadcast. I guess at some point I could look it up on the Internet, I’ve just thought it’s something that at some point, a broadcaster would mention…I’m still waiting.
LAST TIME YOU HEARD ANNOUNCERS TALK ABOUT THE NUMBER OF TIMEOUTS FOR EACH PLAYOFF GAME?
So each team in the playoffs gets 7 timeouts per game, when was the last time announcers mentioned how many timeouts each team receives per game? Do the networks and/or the NBA regularly convey to announcers and NBA analysts to leave that issue alone? Perhaps it’s better that you leave that alone, so the average fan, Joe Smith probably might not realize that an NBA game takes longer than it ever has.
SHOULD PLAYERS OR TEAMS PREOCCOUPY THEIR MIND AROUND THE ‘R’ WORD?
Certain players or teams sometimes complain about not getting much love or respect from the media or other teams. really? Who cares about respect? I want championships and guess what comes with championships besides rings, respect. It’s pretty simple, if you feel a lack of respect, a championship will fix everything.
SHOULD AN NBA PLAYOFF GAME START WITHIN 5 MINUTES OF THEIR SCHEDULED TIME?
Game on Saturday night, May 24, between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers was scheduled to begin at 7:30 CT on ESPN. It didn’t start until 12 and 1/2 minutes after the official start time. Should not a game scheduled for a given time start within 5 minutes or so of that time?