Mar 19, 2011, 8:00 PM EST
Interesting post put up at Hoopdata, simply looking at playoff team’s records since the All-Star Break (coming into Saturday’s games).
What you notice is some team’s stumbling to the finish line in the East.
New York 7-7
We knew the Bulls have been getting healthy and playing their best ball, but how much better they’re playing right now than the other contenders is really noticeable. Miami is under .500, and Boston has cooled off considerably after the break. We knew that, but to look at the teams ranked like this brings a new perspective to it.
Philadelphia is just playing quality ball and getting the most out of the team they have. Doug Collins has really done a masterful job. This is the team the top seeds in the East may want to avoid in the first round — even if you beat them it will be a longer, harder struggle than other teams will face. A healthy and consistent Elton Brand has made a difference in Philly (he may not have been what he was five years ago, but he’s back to being a solid part of the team).
Atlanta has had a crazy drop off. What is more shocking is that Larry Drew took over for Mike Woodson and finally introduced movement into the offense — no more “iso Joe” — and the offense got worse. Much worse, like 5.5 points per 100 possessions worse. Going from second in the league in offensive rating last year to 20 this season. With basically the same players, all still theoretically in their prime. They are getting blown out by every playoff team they seem to face lately.
All these notes come with one big caveat — Boston was 11-11 in their last 22 last season, but got healthy and rested, entered the playoffs where they got their groove and rode it to the finals. So, don’t read too much into these records. But it is interesting.
By the way, follow the link to the article and you see everybody in the West is over .500. The Lakers are hot (11-1) but nobody is cold.
- Report: Danny Ainge telling other teams he won’t trade Rajon Rondo 0
- PBT Extra: How would the NBA benefit from legalized sports betting? 2
- NBPA ready to appeal Jeffery Taylor’s 24-game suspension 10
- Alex Len, No. 5 pick in a draft full of players who looked like busts as rookies, showing he doesn’t deserve the label 5
- PBT’s Wednesday night NBA Winners/Losers: Video of LeBron’s fumble, other tight finishes 14
- LeBron James, with chance to beat Spurs, loses ball to end game (video) 39
- NBA suspends Hornets’ Jeff Taylor for 24 games following guilty plea for domestic violence 7
- PBT Extra: Is Dwight Howard NBA’s newest villain? 31