How was your week

Posted: May 28, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Last night in the NBA’s Eastern conference finals was another example of why it’s a good thing that I don’t gamble for a living. I honestly thought that the Boston Celtics would close out their series with the Miami Heat at home especially with all of the injuries that the Heat were dealing with. Well Miami won Game 6 in Boston last night 111-103 to tie the series at 3 games apiece. Since Miami was the #1 seed in the Eastern conference, they’ll host Game 7 Sunday. ESPN is televising the game which is scheduled for tip-off at the FTX Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Miami has been dealing with various injuries throughout this series, but last night Tyler Herro was the only one of the Heat players who has been injured hat didn’t play last night. Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, P.J. Tucker and Max Strus all returned to play major minutes for Miami.

Butler played 46 minutes and was the game’s leading scorer with 47 points. Lowry posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes. Strus added 13 points in 34 minutes while Tucker played 25 minutes and scored 11 points. Butler was just one rebound and two assists short of posting a triple-double.

Boston was led by Jason Tatum with 30 points. Derrick White came off the Celtics bench and was their second leader scorer in the game with 22 points. Jaylen Brown added 20 points while Marcus Smart (14 points) and Robert Williams III (12 points) each scored in double figures.

With the series now tied at three games apiece and the series headed back to Miami you’d have to think that the Heat would be the favorite to advance to the NBA finals and face the Golden State Warriors, but both teams have won on the road in this series, so I’m not sure you can count the Celtics out.

Now I can’t say that I’m really leaning one way or another as to who might win. Of course, if I was it would be easy for you to just select the opposite of me and that would probably work out for you, but since I don’t really have a pick, you’re going to have to let me know who you think is going to win Game 7 and advance to the NBA finals.

I heard it mentioned a couple of ties this week that there haven’t really been very many close games in the NBA playoffs. I looked back at the conference finals and in the Western conference every game was won by 10 points or more except one. In the Eastern conference there have been two games that were decided by less than 10 points last night’s game was an 8-point win for Miami and Miami also won Game 3 by 6 points.

I haven’t heard too many reasons for the lack of close games, but I did get to hear Kendrick Perkins take on this and I thought it was interesting. Perkins believes that the biggest reasons for the lack of close playoff games is analytics. Perkins pointed out that multiple times he’s seen player pass up on a lay-up and move the basketball to a player at the three-point line who missed the shot. In essence that means a team just gave up what would’ve almost been a sure two points for no points and if that team is trailing then they could’ve put themselves in a bigger whole if the other team went down and scored.

As you’ve read my takes on analytics in baseball here before I’m sure you can guess that I agree pretty much 100% with hat Kendrick Perkins pointed out. Of course, this isn’t going to change anything even though a former NBA player like Perkins has now pointed it out and that’s kind of sad.

I don’t understand how it make sense for an NBA team to give up a certain two points just for the opportunity to shoot a three-point shot. It’s not like Perkins was talking about the difference between a player taking a 20-foot jump shot and a three-point shot, he was talking about a player passing up on a lay-up. What do you think an NBA player shoots percentage wise on lay-ups? While I know it’s not 100% because we’ve seen bloopers with NBA players missing them, but you’d have to think that they make at least 99% of their lay-ups.

Now I understand that three pints is better than two points, but isn’t two points better than no points? Or is there something in the analytic math that overrides that?

Comments
  1. It’s very tough to pick the winner in Sunday’s game since both teams have won on the road. And, as you pointed out, Miami has been playing hurt all series.
    But I have to give the nod to Miami after their inspired victory last night. By the way, what team did Butler originally play for??

    Like

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