June 29, 2009

Why did the Cavs lose to the Magic?

Filed under: Uncategorized — wwinston @ 10:15 pm

While we work for the Dallas Mavericks rating players and lineups, after our Mavs were eliminated I rooted hard for LeBron and the Cavs. Like many others, I was very upset that the Cavs lost to the Magic and LeBron and Cleveland endured another year of frustration. The Cavs did not have to lose this series. The following two pieces of information tell us why they lost the series:

  1. In the 57 minutes during which Ben Wallace played and Joe Smith did not the Cavs were clobbered by 58 points. Adjusting for the strength of the Magic players in the game during this time, the Cavs played 40 points (per 48 minutes) worse than an average NBA team.
  2. In the rest of the series the Cavs dominated the Magic by 43 points in 236 minutes and played 18 points (per 48 minutes) better than average.

If the Cavs had played Joe Smith more with Wallace or had played Wallace less minutes, the NBA’s dream Cavs-Lakers series might have become reality.


  1. [...] I think this explanation might be the final punctuation on the subject before the new season starts. I can’t believe [...]

    Pingback by Conspiracy Or Random Tragedy. « believelandcavaliers — October 1, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

  2. No one cares what an old man thinks.

    Magic were better.

    Deal with it.

    Comment by Joe Blunts — October 2, 2009 @ 12:17 am

  3. Read this on truehoop, and I gotta say, this made me smile, because I agree with it, and because Big-Ben has been more like Pig-Pen for the last several years: stinking up the joint.

    Joe Smith…your cool

    Comment by Chris — October 2, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

  4. This conclusion is asinine. Rewatch the series. The reason why the Cavs lost is (1) they couldn’t handle the high pick and roll. (2) Illgauskas cannot guard dwight howard at all. the guy has a limitedoffensive game but looked like pau gasol during that series (3) Even though Lebrong had huge stats, that’s only because the stupid coach rode his ass like a horse and by the end of every game he was super tired…in fact in one game he could barely walk off the court as i recall.

    He’s not as bad as hollinger though. PER is one of the dumbest metrics. You know, with league pass and everything, there’s no reason not to have detailed stats with every game..like hockey assists, taking charges, fg% vs. a certain player, forcing a turnover, etc…

    Comment by QuixoticStranger — October 6, 2009 @ 5:43 am

  5. another feather in the cap for the illustrious mike brown!

    Comment by matt w. — October 6, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  6. # 2..REAL basketball fans care about WHY teams win or lose…fair weather fans / band wagon jumpers just care about WHO wins or loses

    #4..your first reason just points to the fact that Wallace WAS the cause…he couldn’t defend the P&R either where Smith can…reason two, I agree…reason three…LeBron WANTED to be out there..the fatigue issues were from dehydration..a training staff responsibility, NOT the head coach’s

    Comment by L Ship — October 25, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

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