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BillLaimbeer: How many minutes does it take to be an NBA Champion?

Discussion in 'Pistons and Basketball Articles' started by BillLaimbeer, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Much has been made this year about the reduction in minutes for the Piston starters. That got me to thinking… “I wonder how many minutes the starters on recent NBA Championship teams have played?” So, here you have it, the average minutes played for the core guys of the last 10 Champs:

    [​IMG]

    Well, the minutes played over the last 6 seasons have been around 29-31 minutes. The exception to that was the 2004 Pistons, where starters averaged 34.4 minutes. The 2001 Lakers played the heaviest minutes over the last decade, averaging 35.0 mpg.

    Okay, the Pistons played 34.4 mpg and still won the ‘Ship in 2004, but the last few seasons the minutes increased and it was these “dead legs”, of course, that cost them more titles. Well, not so fast. Let’s see how the minutes fared since the 2004 run:

    [​IMG]

    In Larry Brown’s second season, the mpg spiked to an all-time high of 36.3. We all remember, of course, that team narrowly missed a repeat title. In the first two seasons of the Flip Saunders era, the mpg actually dropped an average of one minute per game, resulting in back-to-back ECF losses. Last season the mpg were back down to the exact same level as the ’04 Championship season.

    In 2008, the starter minutes dropped significantly. The 31.7 mpg is eerily close to the 31.9 mpg average of the last 10 NBA Championship teams. What does it all mean? Who knows? Ask me again in 2 months.
     
  2. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    Nice work Bill! Very tight.
     
  3. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    I wonder if the "tiredness" is the cumulative effect of playing all those games every year. Maybe mental tiredness as well as physical. It did hurt the team that there was no bench that could change the way the game was played. The championship team had Corliss and Memo and James. The past couple of years prior to this season, the bench was really weak. There are many factors one of which is the "switch" thing and competition adjusting to Pistons play.
     
  4. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    I think you're on to something there.

    When you average the last 10 years, it equals 31.88, very close to the 31.7 that we've averaged this year.

    I'm wondering how those 10 teams that you showed "shortened" their rotations in the post season. Did they give their starters 31.7 minutes in the regular season and then abandon that formula for the playoffs? I think it is interesting how the 2001 Lakers were so different than the 2000 or 2002 in terms of minute distribution. What was different about that year?
     
  5. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    2000 Roster:
    Shaquille O'Neal | Kobe Bryant | Glen Rice | Ron Harper | Rick Fox | Derek Fisher | John Salley | Robert Horry | A.C. Green | Tyronn Lue | Brian Shaw | Devean George | John Celestand | Travis Knight

    2001 Roster:
    Shaquille O'Neal | Kobe Bryant | Derek Fisher | Rick Fox | Horace Grant | Isaiah Rider | Ron Harper | Brian Shaw | Robert Horry | Stanislav Medvedenko | Tyronn Lue | Devean George | Greg Foster | Mark Madsen

    2002 Roster:
    Shaquille O'Neal | Kobe Bryant | Robert Horry | Derek Fisher | Rick Fox | Devean George | Samaki Walker | Lindsey Hunter | Stanislav Medvedenko | Mitch Richmond | Brian Shaw | Mark Madsen | Mike Penberthy | Jelani McCoy
     
  6. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Derek Fisher went from 23.1 mpg in 2000 to 35.5 mpg in 2001 to 28.2 mpg in 2002.

    Horace Grant played 31.0 mpg in 2001, but that was the only year he played for the Lakers.
     
  7. Delfino Delivers

    Delfino Delivers Bench Warmer

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    That was my first question? Of the teams that one the championships; what were the average minutes through their play off run. Did the minutes spike during the play offs or was the coach consistent with the minutes all the way through?
     
  8. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    It's so easy to pose questions and so time consuming to answer them.
     
  9. Delfino Delivers

    Delfino Delivers Bench Warmer

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    Exactly!!
     
  10. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    LOL. I started to research DD's question (which was a very good one, by the way) and then wondered if someone else might look it up if I was too lazy....
     
  11. TaS

    TaS All-Star Forum Donor

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    That is exactly why we need our own research division with interns.
     
  12. pass99

    pass99 All-Star Forum Donor

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    Could be the cumulative weight of their money belts...the legs go first ya know.
     
  13. coynejeremy

    coynejeremy All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Haha - Great post! It's funny because it's true!
     
  14. mikhail1973

    mikhail1973 All-Star Administrator 1x Fantasy Champion

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    Blame everything on Sheed.
     

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