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@  Dayak : (30 January 2014 - 05:36 AM) Back to back, Spurs and Mavs! I love it.
@  RudyT1995 : (30 January 2014 - 04:38 AM) Re: Mchahle's limp. It might have something to do with his playing the 87 playoffs on a broken foot.
@  feelingsuper... : (30 January 2014 - 04:29 AM) Last night the Spurs, tonight the Mavs, how sweet it is! Yessss!
@  MrLobble : (30 January 2014 - 04:26 AM) question: why does mchale always walk with a super limp like his left N*t is heavy?
@  Opasido : (30 January 2014 - 04:21 AM) Hey Mark cuban, how do you like dwight howard now
@  Opasido : (30 January 2014 - 04:20 AM) Man everything was going against the rockets at the end.. 2 3pt fouls, backcourt violation, howard goal tend, out of bound turnover with 20 secs left
@  thenit : (30 January 2014 - 04:18 AM) Closer than I wanted but DMo stepped up big
@  jorgeaam : (30 January 2014 - 04:17 AM) FSS favorite kind of game, Dallas losing against us
@  Drew in Abilene : (30 January 2014 - 04:17 AM) Back to back against San Antonio and Dallas, both games without Harden and four other Rockets, yet they somehow pull out two wins... Impressive, even if the ending of tonight's game shaved a few years off the end of my life.
@  miketheodio : (30 January 2014 - 04:15 AM) omg...
@  miketheodio : (30 January 2014 - 04:10 AM) those 2 "3" point fouls...
@  Sir Thursday : (29 January 2014 - 07:46 PM) Re: GS. The Warriors are more fun to watch, that's part of it. When you watch the Rockets you get interminable trips to the foul line and Harden isos that really kill the mood.
@  RollingWave : (29 January 2014 - 07:39 AM) Portland lost too, Memphis is simply on fire lately.
@  rocketrick : (29 January 2014 - 06:20 AM) Maybe since Mark Jackson previously was part of the media and now coaches the Warriors, that might have a bit to do with it, too
@  Buckko : (29 January 2014 - 06:15 AM) Even though the rockets and GS have been in similar circumstances, we continue to outshine them time and time again. Yet we're always ranked below "NBA's Love Child" as someone from the forum described them. They're from Cali, this is houston, yall know how the media works.
@  feelingsuper... : (29 January 2014 - 06:03 AM) I'm so glad Golden State lost. That team is do overhyped, even guys like Lowe and Rose hype them, hilarious.
@  rocketrick : (29 January 2014 - 05:35 AM) I understand when the Lakers employ Hack a Howard. They suck and can't defend. But the Spurs?
@  feelingsuper... : (29 January 2014 - 05:24 AM) I agree thenit, the remnants of their talent combined with their system still allows them to win against most teams but they cannot compete against elite talent for much longer.
@  rocketrick : (29 January 2014 - 05:24 AM) The Spurs won't be facing the bottom 22 teams in the Playoffs (well, maybe just one in the first round)
@  thenit : (29 January 2014 - 05:22 AM) they are 32-1 against the bottom 22 teams with worst records. And 1-11 against top7 best rec teams

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Fighting for Seeding

Playoffs

36 replies to this topic

#1 Drew in Abilene

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:50 PM

As a long time college football fan and the son of a sportswriter, I've spent many Saturdays watching games featuring teams ranked ahead of the Aggies, hoping the top ranked teams lose and open up an opportunity for A&M to move up in the standing. This year, I'm applying that same mantra to basketball.

 

Winning the 1 or 2 seed in the West is a huge priority for any would-be contender. With a definite top tier of talent in the conference, an easier fist round against a weaker team could be all the difference when it comes to making a long playoff run. Other than the Rockets, I think it's fair to say that the other challengers in that top tier are the Spurs, Clippers, Thunder, Warriors, and Grizzlies. To earn one of the top two seeds, we'll have to outperform at least four of them.

 

That's why I'm going to try to keep track of their ebbs and flows throughout the season. Once every week or two, I'll post updated records, a challenging game for them that's coming up, and how Houston is shaping up in the fight for playoff positioning. 

 

Rockets: 2-0

Nov. 4th at Clippers

 

Spurs: 2-0

Nov. 5th at Nuggets

 

Clippers: 2-1

Nov. 4th vs Rockets, Nov. 7th at Heat

 

Thunder: 1-1

Nov. 6th vs Mavericks

 

Warriors: 1-1 

Nov. 6th at Timberwolves

 

Grizzlies: 1-1

Nov. 6th vs Pelicans


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#2 j_wehr

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    Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:59 PM

    Hi Drew, a really good site to keep track of this kind of stuff is http://www.sportsclu...ts.com/NBA.html, which I'll be posting about once the season is farther along.


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    #3 Buckko

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      Posted 02 November 2013 - 09:05 PM

      I think we can beat the clippers unless CP goes for 40&15
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      #4 rockets best fan

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      Posted 02 November 2013 - 09:31 PM

      @DrewinAbilene

      good idea...........looking forward to your updates. I love members who contribute positively to the site......and you are for sure within that company :)


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      you can only warn a man that the bridge is out.....if he keeps driving he's on his own B)


      #5 rocketrick

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        Posted 02 November 2013 - 09:52 PM

        As a long time college football fan and the son of a sportswriter, I've spent many Saturdays watching games featuring teams ranked ahead of the Aggies, hoping the top ranked teams lose and open up an opportunity for A&M to move up in the standing. This year, I'm applying that same mantra to basketball.

         

        Winning the 1 or 2 seed in the West is a huge priority for any would-be contender. With a definite top tier of talent in the conference, an easier fist round against a weaker team could be all the difference when it comes to making a long playoff run. Other than the Rockets, I think it's fair to say that the other challengers in that top tier are the Spurs, Clippers, Thunder, Warriors, and Grizzlies. To earn one of the top two seeds, we'll have to outperform at least four of them.

         

        That's why I'm going to try to keep track of their ebbs and flows throughout the season. Once every week or two, I'll post updated records, a challenging game for them that's coming up, and how Houston is shaping up in the fight for playoff positioning. 

         

        Rockets: 2-0

        Nov. 4th at Clippers

         

        Spurs: 2-0

        Nov. 5th at Nuggets

         

        Clippers: 2-1

        Nov. 4th vs Rockets, Nov. 7th at Heat

         

        Thunder: 1-1

        Nov. 6th vs Mavericks

         

        Warriors: 1-1 

        Nov. 6th at Timberwolves

         

        Grizzlies: 1-1

        Nov. 6th vs Pelicans

         

        The Grizzlies and Thunder are getting off to a less than stellar start. Could be a harbinger of things to come with the exception that when Russell Westbrook returns that should help right the Thunder ship. Even in saying that, I believe the loss of Kevin Martin is going to be difficult for the Thunder to overcome who will instead have to rely on Reggie Jackson and Jeremy Lamb to make up those points.


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        #6 thejohnnygold

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        Posted 03 November 2013 - 04:16 PM

        Hi Drew, a really good site to keep track of this kind of stuff is http://www.sportsclu...ts.com/NBA.html, which I'll be posting about once the season is farther along.

         

        Whoa, that is a lot to look at :lol:

         

        DrewinAbiliene, I am also looking forward to your updates.  j_wehr, that website you posted is amazing, but it made me cross-eyed.  I think I have a natural aversion to that kind of sensory overload :(


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        #7 Sir Thursday

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        Posted 03 November 2013 - 05:03 PM

        Whoa, that is a lot to look at :lol:

         

        DrewinAbiliene, I am also looking forward to your updates.  j_wehr, that website you posted is amazing, but it made me cross-eyed.  I think I have a natural aversion to that kind of sensory overload :(

         

        Once the lines for Houston on the graphs at the top are much higher than everyone else's it'll be a lot easier to parse ;)

         

        That site looks like a really useful resource, especially once the playoff races start to heat up near the end of the season.

         

        ST


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        #8 Drew in Abilene

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        Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:07 AM

        I'm glad some people think it'll be useful and fun this season. Sir Thursday's Schedule Analysis threads over the last few years were that for me, and were the catalyst for me to go from a forum reader to registered poster. I figured after a few years of reading and posting here and there, it would be worth my while to try to contribute more regularly. I'm looking forward to keeping up with this race with y'all this season!


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        #9 NorEastern

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          Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:49 AM

          Thanks for posting a compatible topic. I spent 15 minutes doing a full RAPM graph of the NBA 2012-2013 season and did not feel that I should start a new topic with the material. However I worked on this post for over an hour. Maybe my priorities are screwed up.



          Notes:
          1) The methodology used here is exactly the same as that used in the Parsons dRAPM post.
          2) To calculate the team RAPM scores I multiplied the number of minutes each player played by their RAPM scores (not quite correct - it actually is MIN*RAPM/(48*82)). This is necessary because RAPM scores are per 100 possessions (+200 for the total of oRAPM and dRAPM). This is required because the raw totaled RAPM scores would weigh a player who played 50 minutes last season the same as a player who played 3000 minutes.
          3) RAPM uses a Bayesian statistical technique to adjust scores depending on weighted scores from the last three seasons. There are a variety of statistical reasons to do this, and if anyone is interested I certainly can discuss it further. This inclusion frees me from doing a regression to mean analysis of the data.
          4) However Note 3 means that improving players (Harden, Lin, Parsons) are penalized because they are improving every season.
          5) However Note 3 means that declining players (KG, Pierce and Terry) are have their scores artificially inflated because they are declining every season.
          6) Simple statistical techniques (tricks) can solve Notes 4 and 5. However it is laborious to apply to every every NBA player and I am not willing to put in the days of effort needed. There are resources available that do the analysis in various spotty and sometimes unreliable fashions.
          7) RAPM does not take into consideration major influences such as LBJ being the best basketball player on the planet. Nor can it quantify the exquisite roster fit that exists in a team like MIA.
           
          Discussion:
          1) RAPM for the Nets is inflated (see Note 5).
          2) RAPM for MIA is deflated (see Note 7).
          3) To a lesser degree RAPM for the Rockets is deflated (see Note 4).
          4) I believe we can safely say that the Rockets easily have the needed talent to secure the #1 or #2 seed in the West.
          5) If you did not already know (LOL), if OKC had retained Harden they could have perhaps had the best basketball team ever to play on this planet.
           
          If there are any questions please feel free to ask.

          Edited by NorEastern, 04 November 2013 - 03:53 AM.

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          #10 Fury

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          Posted 04 November 2013 - 02:43 PM

          5) If you did not already know (LOL), if OKC had retained Harden they could have perhaps had the best basketball team ever to play on this planet.
           
           

          One flaw with that logic, Harden was greatly efficient when on the Thunder, but his overall effectiveness was hamstringed by the presence of 2 First Team All-NBA caliber teammates. If still on the Thunder, Harden would not be considered a Top 10 talent in this league. I predict he'd hover around #20.


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          #11 rocketrick

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            Posted 04 November 2013 - 02:52 PM

            There have been many, mahy great basketball teams that have played on this planet just in the past 50 years or less.

             

            I just can't envision the Thunder with Durant, Westbrook, Harden et al "being the best basketball team ever to play on this planet"

             

            Simply does not compute in my mind.


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            #12 NorEastern

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              Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:10 PM

              One flaw with that logic, Harden was greatly efficient when on the Thunder, but his overall effectiveness was hamstringed by the presence of 2 First Team All-NBA caliber teammates. If still on the Thunder, Harden would not be considered a Top 10 talent in this league. I predict he'd hover around #20.


              Absolutely. And that is why I said perhaps. But if last season the Thunder managed to get Harden 37 minutes on the court they possibly could have had 3 of the top 5 NBA players this season and possibly 3 all-NBA first team all stars with the continued decline of Wade and Kobe. But this was a playful "what if" observation, fun to consider, but pretty meaningless to the NBA going forward.
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              #13 thejohnnygold

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              Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:31 PM

              When considering the "what-if" of OKC we have to also consider the Perkins trade.  They let Jeff Green go on a calculated risk that looks like they lost on.  The Thunder could be sporting a starting 5 of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Jeff Green, and Ibaka.  I recognize that any comparisons or thoughts of best team ever are far fetched, but that team could have done amazing things (especially before salary management became such a hindrance).  Considering all of these players are still yet to peak there is merit in considering this hypothetical.  Let's all give Sam Presti a round of applause for letting the rest of the league have a shot at winning titles over the next decade.

               

              I am starting to feel like the Rockets may sacrifice playoff seeding in lieu of player health when it is all said and done--in three games we have already incurred a lot of bumps and bruises.  The good news is we may not need one of those top seeds if we can go into the playoffs at full strength.


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              #14 BrentYen

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              Posted 04 November 2013 - 07:51 PM

              Good point, we were really kind injury free last season. Really can not ask that to repeat.


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              LOF here.


              #15 rockets best fan

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              Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:27 PM

              When considering the "what-if" of OKC we have to also consider the Perkins trade.  They let Jeff Green go on a calculated risk that looks like they lost on.  The Thunder could be sporting a starting 5 of Westbrook, Harden, Durant, Jeff Green, and Ibaka.  I recognize that any comparisons or thoughts of best team ever are far fetched, but that team could have done amazing things (especially before salary management became such a hindrance).  Considering all of these players are still yet to peak there is merit in considering this hypothetical.  Let's all give Sam Presti a round of applause for letting the rest of the league have a shot at winning titles over the next decade.

               

              I am starting to feel like the Rockets may sacrifice playoff seeding in lieu of player health when it is all said and done--in three games we have already incurred a lot of bumps and bruises.  The good news is we may not need one of those top seeds if we can go into the playoffs at full strength.

              hindsight is always 20/20, but I agree the trouble started when they traded Green for Perkins. Perkins is worthless.......while Green has yet to fulfill his potential, on his bad day he is still light years better than Perkins. after flopping on that trade Presti did it again with Harden. I think there is some merit to what Jalen Rose said about them in the team previews with Bill Simmons " they were a victim of their own drafting success" they had such high success of drafting in a number of drafts that it made them view players as expendable as long as they could keep the draft picks flowing. they are now finding that replacing the talent they released more of a task than they anticipated. IMO they have clearly taken two steps back this year. 1. they have not replaced the 14ppg Martin gave them from the Bench last year. their youngsters appear much like ours ( still a year away from meaningful contributions). 2. all the teams around them became much better.........Rockets, Clippers and GSW........plus the Spurs are still around. IMO they needed to improve just to keep pace and have fail to do that.


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              you can only warn a man that the bridge is out.....if he keeps driving he's on his own B)


              #16 Drew in Abilene

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              Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:23 AM

              The earliest results in the West are in, and the Rockets have jumped out to the front of the pack. Houston has notched two wins against lottery-bound teams and two wins against teams that should vie for playoff spots in the West. Unfortunately, the Rockets were severely outplayed when visiting the Clippers for their first game against a potentially elite opponent. But at 4-1, they've shown flashes of brilliance and the ability to grind out tough wins.

               

              Though the Lakers shouldn't be difficult to dispatch without Bryant and with Nash ailing, their game will no doubt be full of drama. The bigger test remains the second meeting with the Clippers, who should not have such an easy time blowing past Houston with Patrick Beverley hounding Chris Paul. With a healthy roster and a friendly crowd, this rematch is a golden opportunity to not only take back some ground in the playoff seeding race, but also to make a statement to the West.

               

              For the competition, both the Clippers and the Warriors have brutal weeks looming. Three games apiece against strong teams with playoff aspirations should make for a difficult slate, and going 2-1 during this stretch would be a positive for either team. The Spurs are part of the tough week for the Warriors, but also have to visit New York to take on the nicks, albeit without Tyson Chandler. The Grizzlies also conspire to make Golden State miserable this week, and will meet up with a currently undefeated Pacers team a few days later. The Thunder have the easiest schedule this week by far. Their only opponents that looks to be contending for a playoff spot are the Pistons and maybe the Wizards. But Washington has looked so awful thus far that I can't in good conscience list them as a real threat.

               

              So there's the weekly Top 2 Seed Chase update. Below are the current records, along with when they'll be facing some tough competition. 

               

              Rockets: 4-1

              Nov. 9th vs Clippers,

               

              Spurs: 4-1

              Nov. 8th vs. Warriors, Nov. 10th at Knicks

               

              Clippers: 3-2

              Nov. 7th at Heat, Nov. 9th at Rockets, Nov. 11th vs. Timberwolves

               

              Thunder: 2-1 (Pending the results of their game tonight against the Mavs)

              Nov. 8th at Pistons

               

              Warriors: 4-1

              Nov. 8th at Spurs, Nov. 9th at Memphis, Nov. 12th vs Pistons

               

              Grizzlies: 2-3

              Nov. 9th vs Warriors, Nov. 11th at Pacers


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              #17 CC.

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              Posted 07 November 2013 - 06:39 AM

              Tomorrow we'll be 1st seed in Western Conference. ;)

              But these next six games, I can surely say we'll go 5-1, or at worse 4-2

               

              vs Lakers----HOU wins

              vs Clippers 2 days later ----HOU wins but it'll be a closeee game, Clips just lost to Magic on the road, that's what convinces me

              vs Toronto----HOU wins

              @ Philadelphia----possible HOU 'upset'-beating the Heat, and Chicago, even at home and with no expectations-is still no easy task

              @ New York-----Without Chandler, heck yes HOU win

              vs Denver----HOU wins, this Denver team isn't like last years

               

              And if I had to pick another loss-I'd give it to Clippers on Saturday.... But 9-2 is not a bad way to start the season! And if that's not 1st seed by then, then this conference is proving just how stacked it is.


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              #18 rockets best fan

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              Posted 07 November 2013 - 07:00 AM

              Tomorrow we'll be 1st seed in Western Conference. ;)

              But these next six games, I can surely say we'll go 5-1, or at worse 4-2

               

              vs Lakers----HOU wins

              vs Clippers 2 days later ----HOU wins but it'll be a closeee game, Clips just lost to Magic on the road, that's what convinces me

              vs Toronto----HOU wins

              @ Philadelphia----possible HOU 'upset'-beating the Heat, and Chicago, even at home and with no expectations-is still no easy task

              @ New York-----Without Chandler, heck yes HOU win

              vs Denver----HOU wins, this Denver team isn't like last years

               

              And if I had to pick another loss-I'd give it to Clippers on Saturday.... But 9-2 is not a bad way to start the season! And if that's not 1st seed by then, then this conference is proving just how stacked it is.

              I think there is no reason we shouldn't win all those games.......if there is a loss it better be the clippers, because losing to any of the others means we played down to our opposition


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              you can only warn a man that the bridge is out.....if he keeps driving he's on his own B)


              #19 thejohnnygold

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              Posted 07 November 2013 - 06:03 PM

              This LA game makes me nervous.  The Lakers are built to beat us.  They thrive on the three ball (and so far do it well) which keeps them from the teeth of our defense and in the soft, pink underbelly.  While their defense is not a concern, they can get hot and shoot us out of the building, plus you know Jordan Hill is looking to make a statement both because Houston didn't want him and to show that Howard isn't needed in LA. 


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              #20 NorEastern

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                Posted 07 November 2013 - 07:47 PM

                Congrats JohnnyGold on your 2000th post!
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