I Was Wrong…but not really

When asked before the LA Clippers-Houston series, I freely said that I thought the Clippers were the far better team and would win handily. Cullen Baggett claims that the word sweep left my lips. While I don’t recall saying it, it certainly was not far from my thoughts. Knowing Chris Paul would not play, I didn’t believe in a sweep, but I still believed they were the better team.

Well, now the series is tied 3-3 and the Houston Rockets are headed home for game seven with momentum and must be considered the favorite. So, clearly, I was incorrect. Clearly two teams that had the exact same record in the regular season, including the same record at home and on the road, and are tied 3-3 in a series are of approximately equal worth. Two teams this equal are a coin flip.

Not so fast. First of all, if your best argument is that the teams are even, then your argument is not that good. Second of all, the teams aren’t quite as even as you might believe. While Houston is home for game 7 because they won their division, the fact is that had they either both won or both not won their divisions, the Clippers would have won the tiebreaker.

Breaking down tiebreakers is not much of differentiation, but looking at the numbers beneath those base numbers is different. The Clippers had a better offense and a better defense this year. Their point differential was 2.2 points per game better. That’s equivalent to the difference between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Phoenix Suns PLUS the difference between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Utah Jazz. It’s almost 200 points better during the season.

They’ve also been better in this series. Thirty-five points better, which is two and a half times better than the point differential during the regular season. But this cannot be surprising to the people who have watched this series. Of the six games, the Clippers were clearly better through 36 minutes in five of those games. The other game (Game 5) was one where they clearly were casual with the game. Of course, we know that games aren’t 36 minutes and the Clippers were also casual at the end of games 2 and 6.

Even without Chris Paul early (and him being less than 100% late), the Clippers have been the dominant team. Now, this is the great part about sports. The dominant team doesn’t always win. There are times when an 18-0 Patriots team can lose Super Bowl XLII. So, the Clippers can dominate the series and still not win. That’s possible. And part of winning an NBA Title has to do with learning how to win games you have no business winning.

So, I’m excited to watch game 7. I’m excited to see if the better team will win. I’m excited that we have a trade-off between better skill and more opportunistic playing. I’m excited that sports are fun because of the unknown. So, I guess I was wrong…but not really.

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Where are we Now?

To find the Iceman, listen to The RANC Sports Show for the latest on a Vegas guide to Sports!

To find the Phat Man, there is a new weekly NBA podcast called “Both Guys Played Hard with Twitch and the Phat Man” debuting on May 22. Keep coming back for more info!

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February 25th Show

On today’s show we discussed the Lions releasing Reggie Bush, the latest in the roller coaster career of Josh Hamilton. We also discussed Derrick Rose’s injury status and court storming. We also created our very own hashtag #sportbuffetspeaks.

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February 18th Show

 

Today’s show featured a panel of writers from our title sponsors at WWW.RANCSPORTS.COM

We discussed current news about Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, the NBA trade deadline, UK basketball, the Duke/UNC rivalry, Larry Fitzgerald, Jason Giambi and the newest wrinkle in the Deflategate soap opera. Enjoy!

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Iceman on The Aristocrats Show

Check out Iceman’s appearance on The Aristocrats. Check out their site at Aristocrat Sportsnet

 

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February 14th Show

In today’s episode, we talk Peyton Manning’s decision to come back and if Jim Harbaugh’s resignation was actually a mutual decision. We talk Roger Goodell’s pay raise in 2014 and the possibility of the NFL without “Beast Mode.” We wrap up with some encouraging news about Paul George’s future with the Pacers and the potential announcement of an event we’ve all been waiting for. Enjoy!

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February 12th Show

On today’s show, we discuss NBA all star game weekend and does it have the same excitement as years past. We talk Tiger Woods and his continued struggle on the course. We discussed potential new homes for Larry Fitzgerald and Ndamakong Suh, and if Mike McCarthy relinquishing play-calling duties is a good or bad thing for the Packers. We finished with a little Pete Rose Hall of Fame talk. Enjoy!

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February 11th Show

On today’s show John Saracco, CEO of Aristocrat SportsNet, filled in for Matt West as we said our goodbyes to a Las Vegas legend, Jerry Tarkanian. We also discussed the controversy surrounding Jackie Robinson Little League in Chicago. We the moved onto the MVP race in the NBA as the first half of the season winds down in to All-Star weekend. Finally, we wrapped the show with a little NFL talk.

Check Out Aristocrat SportsNet

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February 10th Show

Welcome back to the Buffet! After a brief hiatus, Matt and Ice are back. So grab a plate because we are dishing out sports knowledge on our silver platter. Today we talked about Tom Brady and his place among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. We also discussed the NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s proposal for playoff playoff realignment and the comparison of scheduling and geography of the NHL, NBA and NFL.

We are Back on Aristocrat SportsNet. Check out our live stream shows daily over at Aristocrat Sportsnet

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Quick Take: Ohio State

I don’t believe this was foreseen, even as late as the JT Barrett injury. Nevertheless, if this teaches us nothing else, it teaches us that a college football playoff is a good thing. As recently as last year, Ohio State would not have made it. In fact, had the same formula as last year been used, Baylor might have gotten the fourth spot.

Unfortunately for those that were not given a chance to prove it on the field, just know that we (as college football experts) know nothing. We said the SEC West was far and away the best division in the history of college football. The bowls told a different story. We thought the Big 10 was down. The bowls tell a different story. This is the very reason that a playoff is necessary. Without a playoff it is all just a bunch of people sitting in a room guessing as to whose better.

The improvement that is necessary is to allow a few more teams a chance. Nothing huge, but it is possible that the best two teams in the country were TCU and Ohio State and every single voter in every single poll left out at least one of those two teams. Let’s tweak the system.

But lest we take away from the greatness that was Ohio State, let’s talk about how awesome they were. If you want to continue to call Jones a third string quarterback, that’s fine. But this Spring could be the best college competition since Jameis Winston, Jacob Coker, and Clint Trickett competed for the starting job. I’m guessing that (similar to that situation) at least one of them transfers before graduation, and my guess is Braxton Miller goes somewhere else next year.

So, no more college football until Labor Day Weekend. Can we wait?

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