Dallas-Miami Game 5: A Rare Offensive Show In The Finals.

In tonight’s Game 5, Dallas and Miami both shot at least 50% from the field; this feat has been accomplished only 4 other times since the 1991 Finals.  This was a beautiful game to watch; it was more about great shooting than about poor defense.  Oddly enough, every one of the other instances involved the Lakers; it’s probably just a product of them making the Finals seemingly every other year.
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Game 4: The Lakers Showed Their True Colors.

This edition of the Lakers has shown what they’re really made of; no closeouts on Dallas’ three-point shooters, and no defensive intensity led to their record-setting 36-point defeat.  Additionally, I don’t think Odom’s and Bynum’s behavior are reflective of the Lakers organization, but it sums up what’s been going on with the Lakers all season.    
In the above table, a strong defending NBA champ is defined as one that is a 1 or 2 seed in the playoffs.  Dallas’ win over the Lakers today puts them in position to reach the NBA Finals.  Since 1981, there have been 9 “strong” defending NBA champs beaten in the playoffs the next season, and they lost their final game by an average margin of 9.9 points.

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Lakers-Mavericks: Why Haven’t They Played More In The Playoffs.

An interesting stat came to mind as the Lakers/Mavs series is set to start.  Kobe and Dirk have never played each other in the playoffs.  The table below tries to find out if this quirky stat is because they just missed playing each other in some years or because they weren’t on track to play each other.  The table assumes that the Western Conference Playoffs go chalk, or all the higher seeds win their series.  An example of how the chart works is:  If the playoffs went according to the seeding, the Lakers should have played Denver 3 times, but only played them twice.   

I think the real interesting stat is not that the Lakers and Mavs haven’t played each other in the playoffs during the Kobe-Dirk era, but that they were only expected to play once in the 9 times that they have been in the playoffs together.  No other Western Conference team had as many common playoff appearances with Lakers, with as few expected matchups with the Lakers.

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