The Sports Report

A Statistical Take on Sports and Politics

Lakers and Cavs: The Numbers

For more information on this post, please visit http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/?p=10237 to see the explanation behind the numbers. This post serves as a explanation for my conclusion and my entire argument over at WFNY.

These numbers are broken down into four sections, diving into the strength of schedule of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Section 1 breaks down the win-loss record among simple win distribution, and also includes the average differential. Section 2 then goes a step further, breaking down the types of teams that lost to the Lakers, Cavs, both or neither, and analyzing what that shows about the two squads. Next, Section 3 is a new process I created of standardizing the schedules where I looked to show what their win-loss records would be if they only played every single team in the NBA at home one, and on the road once. To top it all off, Section 4 breaks down the win-loss records and differentials of the two teams against playoff and lottery teams in the two conferences.

Section 1: Win-Loss Records

Against common teams with 50+ wins

Lakers 16-6 with diff of +5.77, Cavaliers 12-5 with diff of +5.94

Against teams with 41-49 wins

Lakers 13-6 with diff of +5.37, Cavaliers 17-5 with diff of +6.68

Against teams with 30-39 wins

Lakers 10-4 with diff of +5.29, Cavaliers 23-2 with diff of +10.32

Against teams with >30 wins

Lakers 24-1 with diff of +11.92, Cavaliers 14-2 with diff of +10.81

Section 2: Type-Casting the Teams

Neither team lost to Dallas (50 wins), Golden State (29 wins), the LA Clippers (19), Memphis (24), Milwaukee (34), Minnesota (24), New Jersey (34), New York (32), Oklahoma City (23), or Toronto (33).

Against these particular ten teams who averaged 30.2 wins on the season:

Lakers 30-0 with diff of +11.93, Cavaliers 26-0 with diff of +15.81

The LA Lakers lost to these teams while the Cavaliers did not: Charlotte (35 wins), Denver (54 wins), Phoenix (46), Portland (54), Sacramento (17), San Antonio (54) and Utah (48).

Against these particular seven teams who averaged 44.0 wins on the season:

Lakers 15-9 with diff of +5.00, Cavaliers 15-0 with diff of +12.60

The Cavaliers lost to these teams while the LA Lakers did not: Boston (62 wins), Chicago (41 wins), Houston (53) and Washington (19).

Against these particular four teams who averaged 43.8 wins on the season:

Lakers 10-0 with diff of +9.90, Cavaliers 8-6 with diff of +4.57

When you combine the results against these eleven teams who averaged 43.9 wins on the season:

Lakers 25-9 with diff of +6.44, Cavaliers 23-6 with diff of +8.72

On the season, both teams lost to Atlanta (47 wins), Detroit (39 wins), Indiana (36), Miami (43), New Orleans (49), Orlando (59) and Philadelphia (41).

Against these particular seven teams who avearged 44.9 wins on the season:

Lakers 8-8 with diff of +1.50, Cavaliers 17-8 with diff of +3.80

Section 3: Standardizing the Schedule

The Los Angeles Lakers played every team in the Eastern Conference twice (going 21-9), and every team in their Pacific Division (Phoenix – 46 wins, Golden State – 29 wins, LA Clippers – 19 wins, Sacramento – 17 wins) four times. In addition to this, they played six of the ten remaining Western Conference teams four times each. The four teams in the Western Conference that they played three times were the Dallas Mavericks (50 wins, played extra game at home), Oklahoma City Thunder (23 wins, played extra game on road), San Antonio (54 wins, played extra game on road) and Utah Jazz (48 wins, played extra game at home).

Dallas = swept season series, Oklahoma City = swept season series, San Antonio = won at home and split games on road and Utah = won both at home and lost on road. Thus under normal circumstances, the Lakers would have gone 6.5-1.5 instead of the 10-2 like what happened in the odd 82 game regular season.

Against the other ten Western Conference teams, the Lakers went 34-6. Cut this in half, and you get 17-3, add 6.5-1.5 and you get them going 23.5 and 4.5. Add this to their 21-9 Eastern Conference record and their standardized record is 44.5 and 13.5.

The Cleveland Cavaliers played every team in the Western Conference twice (going 26-4), and every team in the Central Division (Chicago – 41 wins, Detroit – 39 wins, Indiana – 36 wins, Milwaukee – 34 wins) four times. In addition to this, they played six of the ten remaining Eastern Conference teams four times each. The four teams in the Eastern Conference that they played three times were the Charlotte Bobcats (35 wins, played extra game at home), New Jersey Nets (34 wins, played extra game on road), Orlando Magic (59 wins, played extra game on road) and Toronto Raptors (33 wins, played extra game at home).

Charlotte = swept season series, New Jersey = swept season series, Orlando = lost both road games while winning at home and Toronto = swept season series. Thus under normal circumstances, the Cavs would have gone 7-1 against these four teams, instead of 10-2 like what happened in the odd 82 game regular season.

Against the other ten Eastern Conference teams, the Cavaliers went 30-10. Cut this in half, and you get 15-5, add 7-1 and you get them going 22 and 6. Add this to their 26-4 Western Conference record and their standardized record is 48 and 10.

Section 4: Playoff and Lottery

Against the seven teams that did not make the playoffs in the East:

Lakers 11-3 with diff of +6.57, Cavaliers 22-3 with diff of +12.52

Against the other seven teams that did make the playoffs in the East:

Lakers 8-7 with diff of +2.50, Cavaliers 18-9 with diff of +4.70

Against the six teams that did not make the playoffs in the West (excluding Phoenix):

Lakers 22-1 with diff of +12.00, Cavaliers 12-0 with diff of +14.00

Against the other eight teams in the West (including Phoenix):

Lakers 22-7 with diff of +6.83, Cavaliers 14-2 with diff of +9.44

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April 17, 2009 - Posted by | The Boots | , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] For the detailed math, check out my blog: http://jrosen.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/lakers-cavs/ […]

    Pingback by Lakers and Cavs: Numbers for the NBA Finals | WaitingForNextYear | April 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. You left out the amount of minutes LeBron plays against bad teams. The Cavs play him when they are up 21 just to get him stats. Kobe sat out of the fourth quarter 8 times this season.

    Comment by Mark | April 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Mark, I respectively disagree with your subjective analysis. As a loyal Cavaliers fan, there have been multiple occasions this season when the team has benched LeBron entirely for the fourth quarter in blow-outs. Thanks for checking out the site, I appreciate it!

    Comment by Jacob Rosen | April 18, 2009 | Reply


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