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What Makes an NBA Champion?

Interesting data. When I've looked at Finals teams in the past I looked at whether players had accolades prior to the championship year, because no doubt they get more recognized once their team is elite.

For example, if the Sixers have the best record at the all star break and makes the Finals then I'm sure Jrue or someone will make All NBA and likely the All Star game. The only way they don't get more all stars is if the win a title without a top record- which rarely happens in the NBA as compared to other sports.

The question in today's NBA isn't whether one needs a superstar, but rather how many?

Shocked that you consider the '77 Trail Blazers as a team without a superstar. Have people forgotten how dominant Bill Walton was before he rolled his ankle? Still amazes me how someone who weighed 210 could thoroughly control the paint. Got the MVP the next year.

Hollins was an All-Star as well, but not a superstar.

Well, I guess that depends on the definition of Superstar, and by my own definition (a limited one, to be sure), Walton was a Superstar that year and the next one. So Walton was a Superstar in '77-'78 the same way Mark Rypien was a Superstar in 1991.

By the way, CharlieH, the Blazers manhandled the Lakers 4-0, but Kareem outscored Walton 121-77 in the series while the Blazers won by 12, 2, 5, and 4 points. The individual matchup was hardly a manhandling.

In any case, when the '77 Finals are replayed or discussed, the Sixers are usually portrayed as the team with the individual stars and the Blazers as the team that played as a team.

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Charlie H on Oct 12 at 15:42
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Walton wasn't a superstar? He manhandled Kareem in the playoffs that year. Based on pure ability, he might be top 5 all-time at his position.

He was 2nd team all-NBA that year, FWIW.

Good stuff Statman.

I made a similar exercise during the season last year. I evaluated the way the best 5 teams in 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 played in the regular season (on average) and compared it with the way the Sixers played. The results, meaning the weaknesses i identified, were pretty much the same: very low free throw rate and not good enough shooting. Both areas should be fixed this year (and going forward) on paper so we'll see how good this team can be.

I think health will be the biggest issue for the Sixers to become a championship contender going forward. FTR is the other issues, but in time i think that will be fixed to a reasonable level.

Fantastic read, thanks for this. Amazing how it all makes sense. The inside scorer, FTR and 3-point shooting is what will be the difference for this team between pretender and contender, and I do feel like we are putting all our eggs in one basket (Bynum). If he plays really well we can fight for the East title. Otherwise we'll be back where we started.

an hour later after the advertised start time, is there a delay or something?

Nope, it just wasn't on TV.

Collins calls out team on conditioning after loss. kind of curious considering Richardson just said he's never been in a camp like this where everyone has shown up in shape. apparently Collins was talking about Kwame & Lavoy specifically.

Sixers schedule another injection for Bynum knees...not in Germany... More to come...

from Philadelphia, PA
john mitchell‏@JmitchInquirer

“You know what, he may have showed Andrew a couple of things though, especially on screen-and-roll coverages and one-on-one defense. Offensively? No way. Kwame, he’s a great defensive player. He’s one of the best defensive big men I’ve ever seen. But in terms of offense, he was challenged.” - more gold on gold Kobe on Kwame

http://www.complex.com/sports/2012/10/kobe-bryant-says-the-76ers-gave-kwame-brown-too-much-money

Nice post for this rainy monday

Thanks for all the hard work. It will be interesting to keep your analysis in mind as the season progresses.

Hopefully your right about Bynum getting to the line because I'm not sure there's anyone else on the squad that really likes to attack the rim. Evan seems to have that mindset although he hasn't really shown the ability/athleticism/skill set/whatever to avoid blocks and draw fouls. Also, although I don't really know his game, I've always had the impression that Richarson is a pretty hard-nosed player (For some reason I get the feeling he's going to turn out to be one of my favorite players on the current roster.).

Also considering the rest of the roster it seems like Bynum will really have to bring his "A" game when it comes to rebounding. Hopefully Thad can step it up in the rebounding department and Lavoy has shown he's willing to bang some down low. But it does seem to me the Sixers may be hard pressed to attain contender rebounding numbers with the roster as is. Though Evan has shown the willingness (and in this case the ability) to really help in this regard.

So it does seem that, in many ways, we may indeed be putting all our eggs in one basket. However, Evan may also be in a position to make a very meaningful contribution to two of the areas (FTs and rebounding)that could get the Sixers that much closer to contending.


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