Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thunder vs. Spurs (a trip to the statistical Wabac Machine)

Sherman:  Mr. Peabody, you know the Spurs take on the Thunder on Thursday night, and with the Thunder only being a game behind, how big a game is this?  And, how can we tell who's going to win?

Peabody:  My dear boy Sherman, the Thunder are currently 1-2 against the Spurs this season, with only one of those games being decided by less than 10 sounds like we'll need to go to the Statistical Wabac Machine to answer your question, Sherman.

Durantula:  Hey, what's the Statistical Wabac Machine?

Peabody:  Well, Mr. Durantula, it is a version of the original Wabac machine that looks at a statistical analysis that can help us answer Sherman's question.

Durantula:  Ok, does Kalamian and Trakh know about this?

[Wabac noises...]

Sherman:  Wow Mr. Peabody, what are we looking at...there are so many numbers, what do they mean?

Peabody:  Whatever we want them to mean, Sherman, so let's take a look.

So far, the Thunder are 1-2 against the Spurs this year, which we already know. But, there are a number of things we need to look at for this contest tomorrow.  

Statistically speaking, we will look at the Thunder's home record (32-5) , and how they've played against the Spurs this season.  Now, Sherman, my boy, this is a limited statistical analyis, to be sure, so keep in mind there are only 1,000 other relevant statistics that should be combined here for an accurate analysis, but we simply don't have the time, or want to put in the effort.

- The Thunder average 109.1 points per game at home, while the Spurs average 102.5 points on the the Thunder almost a 7 point advantage.

- The Thunder and the Spurs have both averaged 94.7 points per game, during their 3 meetings thus far this year, so that's pretty...well, exactly even.

- The Thunder's home averages, against their games with the Spurs look like this:  +2.4 FG, +1.3 3ptFG, +10.7 FT made, +10.6 FT attempted, +6.6 Total Rebounds, -2.3 Assists, +4.7 Blocks, +.5 Turnovers, and +.5 PF...again, advantage Thunder.

Well, Sherman, that's the quick breakdown of what's happened this year for the Thunder at home, and how they've played against the Spurs.

Sherman:  Golly Mr. Peabody, it sure looks like the Thunder should win the game somewhere by something like 14.4 - 16.2 points.

Mr. Peabody:  That's my boy Sherman.

Sherman: But, Mr. Peabody, what about those 1,000 other things you said could affect the game?

Durantula:  Yeah, what about those?

Mr. Peabody:  Well, Sherman and KD, to touch on a few:

- Manu Ginosebleed is out with a "sore hamstring" meaning, he's either truly old now, or Popp's sitting him.

- Tony Parker still has a sore left ankle, but apparenlty he's playing tonight against the Orlando Magic, but rumor has it that the ankle will be "sore" tomorrow against the Thunder and that Popp's gonna sit him.

-Tim Duncan has a sore knee, which could be true, he is older than Gandalf, but, again, Popp's could sit him as well.

Sherman, KD, it really comes down to a couple of things...The Spurs, as an older and more mature team than the Thunder, are more interested in getting healthy for the playoffs, and not as interested in winning the Conference Title.  However, even if the Thunder win tomorrow, that only creates a tie with the Thunder and the Spurs, and as my source, Royce Young points out, the Thunder would win the Conference Title, based upon the 2/2 record tie break going to the conference record.  But, that still doesn't take into account the fact that there are more games to play, meaning that the Thunder would still have to maintain the tie, or outright lead to win the Conference, and home court advantage throughout the first 3 rounds of the playoffs.

Sherman:  Golly Mr. Peabody, that's a lot of information and some heresay, how do we know for sure what's going to happen.

KD: Yeah, Mr. Peabody, how do we know what's going to happen?

Mr. Peabody:  Well, Sherman and KD, that depends on a few things: 

1. Will the Thunder play their average home game?

2. Will Popp sit his stars?  And, if he does, can the Spurs bench own the Thunder like they did last time they played?

3. KD, much of this is up to you...will you be Durantula, or Drunken Giraffe?

Durantula:  I resent that last comment, it's not my fault my arms and legs flail when I turn the ball over.

Mr. Peabody:  KD, keep doing what you're doing, but remember...when you catch the ball from downtown, look for the catch-and-score first, then drive.  Take a note from Mr. Jordan, assess your options before hand, and execute immediately.

Durantula and Sherman:  Sure thing, thanks Mr. Peabody.