Archives For Playoffs

toronto-bruins

Jesus saves and Lucic scores on the rebound

//reddit

This a video of Red Auerbach explaining what flops are and why they are terrible…in the 1970’s. [Ed note: Auerbach was the original flop-hater]

He was trying to nip this BS in the bud.

However, despite his best efforts he obviously failed in his efforts to keep out the fake fouls.

The fact that LeBron James had never fouled out of a playoff game before this past game 4 against the Celtics is unbelievable. Not unbelievable as in it’s an incredible feat. Unbelievable in the literal sense in that it should be impossible to play in 107 playoff games prior to game 4, average 43 minutes a game, and never pick up 6 fouls.

Some more unbelievable numbers: In 108 career playoff games, Lebron has been called for just 260 fouls, an average of 2.4 per game. Over that same time he has taken 1118 free throws, an average of 10.3 per game, or essentially drawing five shooting fouls per game.*

Now before you say it’s just a result of Lebron being bigger, stronger, and faster than everyone else and the fact the The Miami Heat’s strategy seems to be to dribble around for 15 seconds before driving to the hoop and flailing around looking for calls, let’s do some comparisons.

Shaquille O’Neal, in 216 career playoff games, attempted 2317 free throws, an average of 10.7 per game. Similar to Lebron’s average, even though Shaq was literally unstoppable in his prime and his awful free throw shooting made “hack-a-Shaq” a legit strategy on defense. Shaq also was called for an average of 3.6 personal fouls per game.

Now let’s take a look at Shaq’s former running mate Kobe Bryant: 220 games, 1617 free throws, 7.4 fts per game. 3 personal fouls per game.

And how about Michael Jordon? 179 games, 1766 free throws, 9.8 fts per game and 3 personal fouls per game.

So what we learned is Lebron is getting fouled at a pretty incredible rate, especially considering he isn’t such a bad free-throw shooter, you’d expect teams would be purposely doing it. And he is getting called for fouls at an unbelievably low rate.

“Let’s not hurt the game,” barks Auerbach at the end of his tutorial, which is really some advice that David Stern should take to heart. When game stories become about the refs, flopping and superstars getting the calls, you’re doing something wrong.

*Stats in this post do not reflect Game 5 of the Heat Celtics series

Also, to apologize for the number heavy, humor light post, here is solidly entertaining and funny parody of Niggas in Paris called Flop So Hard. It makes fun of flopping in the NBA. Get it?


Jeff Halpern – Washington Capitals

Halpern (35 year old Center) has had a pretty weak season. So weak, he’s got benched the last few games of the season. Scoring a career low 4 goals does not help his case to play in the playoffs. I don’t know if he will play against the Bruins. His experience can prove valuable on a team that doesn’t know how to show up to a playoff series. He might stay a healthy scratch. He might play a game or two. But he does have a good chance of playing unlike most of the remaining list.

 


Colby Cohen – Boston Bruins

Cohen (23 year old Defenseman) has been spending most of his time in the AHL since leaving Boston University. Considering that most Defensemen don’t peak athletically until later in their career, this big (‘6″3 215lb) defenseman will see time in the NHL. But not during this year’s playoffs. Although the Bruins have been suffering some injuries to their defensemen, they stockpiled a few “4th pairing” defensemen. So fat chance Cohen skates in Boston.

 


Brett Sterling – St. Louis Blues

Sterling (27 year old Winger) consistently tears it up in the AHL. Unfortunately this skill does not transfer over well to the NHL. Much to the point, Sterling has been reduced to 30 NHL games over the span of 5 years. There might be a small chance Sterling sees some playoff ice time considering injuries and the possibility of the Blues making a deep playoff run.

 

 


Ethan Werek – Phoenix Coyotes

Werek (20 year old Center) is a hard working two way player out of Canada. Currently playing for the Portland Pirates, I would not expect to see Werek play in this year’s playoffs. With only 10 goals in his move to the AHL, Werek has a year or 4 before he sees his first NHL game.

 


Stephen Weiss – Florida Panthers

Weiss (29 year old Center) will be making his first ever playoff appearance. In comparison to the rest of the players on this list, Weiss has had multiple 20 goal seasons in the NHL. Which makes me wonder. Is Weiss actually Jewish? I get the whole playing in Florida thing, and the name sounds pretty Jewish. But I haven’t actually seen any proof of his Jewishness other than being listed on Wikipedia. The same source that thinks Geno Malkin is half Jewish. There was that whole yarmulke fiasco, but still not sure that was all for Weiss.

 
UPDATE:
Grossmann plays for the Flyers

Nicklas Grossmann (AKA Nicklas Grossman) – Philadelphia Flyers

How could I forget Nicklas Grossmann? Possibly because I was spelling his name wrong the entire time. But is that my fault? After he was traded from the Dallas Stars to the Philadelphia Flyers, Grossmann (27 year old Defenseman) came out and said: “When I was young coming up I didn’t want to say anything, I was just happy to have a jersey with my name on it.” Unfortunately, Grossmann is suffering from a concussion after sustaining the injury in a horrible game 4 lass against the Penguins. Grossmann isn’t the greatest defenseman in the league. He doesn’t score much (1 assist in 23 team playoff goals). But he uses his body and he uses it well. That being said, I’m not sure we will see him in the second round of the playoffs. He is day to day, whatever that actually means.