Saturday, May 30, 2009

LeBron's odds of beating the Magic...maybe no so insurmountable?

My Dad sent me a very interesting article calling into question whether or not the Cavaliers odds of beating the Magic were as bad as we all thought.

Teams that were once down 3-1 in a seven game series in the NBA have come back to win said series only eight times in 187 tries. Which is a winning percentage of roughly 4.


However, this article brought into question whether or not those numbers are actually reliable when comparing them to the current series.

Consider that in a large numbers of those series that the team that was supposed to win (the favorite) most likely held the 3-1 lead. They were probably led by All Stars, MVP's, and future Hall of Famers. I doubt Magic or MJ would ever relinquish a 3-1 strangle hold on a series.

So after a little digging, I found a neat little article (from a Cavaliers fan) that details and gives a short synopsis of the previous eight instances.

Here's a brief rundown of how they broke down:

  • 7 of the 8 times the team held home court advantage.
  • The one time the team didn't hold the home court advantage was the 1995 defending NBA Champion Houston Rockets against the Phoenix Suns. The Rocket were led by a guy named Hakeem and another named Clyde (who was acquired from Portland in a midseason trade). They'd go on to win their second title in as many years.
  • Three times it was during the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • One time Orlando was the loser.
  • Three times the team that won the series went on to win the NBA title.
  • The winners of these series had some of the greatest players to ever step foot on a basketball court. The names included: Elvin Hayes, Steve Nash, Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, Sam Jones, Robert Parish.

    But then there were guys like Clyde, Hakeem, Wilt, Russell, Bird, Havlicek, Baylor, West, McHale.

LeBron certainly has his work cut out for him, but the precedent has been set, and it is not an impossible task. Considering he's got home court, playing in an eastern conference final, and will be one of the best to ever play the game, at least he's pushed the odds a little more in his own favor. It will definitely not be easy, but it is certainly within reason considering the players and teams that have done it before him.

Here's to hoping that the Cav's win tonight and we all get treated to another Game 7.

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