A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Do we have the title favorite wrong? Check out Oklahoma City’s historical point differential

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Wizards v/s Thunder 03/14/11

Wizards v/s Thunder 03/14/11 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With the Miami Heat on an 18 game winning streak and Lebron playing at a historic level, many people are resigning that they’re the easy favorites to repeat for the title. Myself included.

As for the Thunder, I have my doubts because I personally I tend to think their brand of athleticism over skills/fundamentals, is typical of teams that do better in the regular season than playoffs. I’ve been pushing the Spurs as the true favorite in the West.

Then I saw the Thunder’s SRS (point differential, adjusted for competition): +9.5! How impressive is that number? Check out this list of teams above 9 in SRS here

If they finish above 9 in SRS, they’ll be only the 9th team to do it. Currently, their +9.5 would rank 6th all time. Of the 8 teams to finish above 9 before – the 71 Bucks, 72 Bucks, 72 Lakers, 86 Celtics, 92 Bulls, 96 Bulls, 97 Bulls and 08 Celtics, only the 72 Bucks didn’t win the title – because they lost to the 72 Lakers, who had an even higher SRS – someone had to lose. So historically once a team crossed that point differential barrier, they’ve become unbeatable by mere mortal teams.

This is a big deal. While it’s a small sample size and eventually “someone has to lose”, until that historical streak is broken, it’s arguably enough to at least, call the Thunder the favorite.

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Written by julienrodger

March 11, 2013 at 5:39 pm

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