Heroes and Goats from Game Three of the NBA Finals
Here is tonight's "NBA Finals Win Contribution BoxScore". If you don't know what it is, brief yourself here very briefly. For those in the know, here is what I call the best reflection of who played well and who didn't in Game 3 of the 2008 NBA Finals (negative Win Contributions are in red):
Team Win Score: 26.5
Team Win Score: 37.0
Heroes of Game 3
1. NBA Fans who watched that ugliness
By my Ugly Index (Missed Shots + Turnovers + Personal Fouls / Points), that ball game was 70s bad. It recorded a 1.005 on the index (the closer to 1.000, the uglier the game), meaning that the 3 bad things (all in the numerator) combined to outweigh the one pretty thing (in the denominator) that people want to see: points.
2. Sasha Vujacic
Phil stuck with Sasha through the bad times and it finally paid off. A magnificent performance for sure, that, probably even more than Kobe's, is the reason the Lakers are still breathing in this series.
3. Ray Allen
The former Milwaukee Bucks star had his biggest night ever on the big stage. He got the better of Kobe Bryant again last night, but Kobe was pretty good himself. This is the postseason Sugar Ray that Bucks fans remember (his career postseason offensive Win Contribution in a Bucks uniform was an incredible +0.757. And which Antlerhead will ever forget his game winning slam dunk? He was a beauty when it mattered!)
4. Jordan Farmar
He had a +1.000 Win Contribution and he only played 20 minutes! (That fact landed Philipo on my "Goats" list). Had Farmar played more, and the suddenly totally ineffective Lakers veteran Derek Fischer played a lot less, I'm thinking this could have been an easy Lakers victory.
5. Kobe Bryant
Yeah, the refs gave him the "protection package" tonight, but he still had to make it happen. His free throw shooting was a bit woeful, however.
6. Michelle Tofoya
Did you see the hustle she showed... in heels no less, getting a locker room report on Rajon Rondo's ankle? Brilliant.
7. James Posey
Those who don't understand effective basketball will look at his box score and go... Eh? But those in the know realize he had a highly effective game and should have gotten many more minutes.
8. Jeff Van Gundy
He usually keeps it real, and he did tonight. "If one more guy hits their heart after they make a jump shot, I'm going to lose it!!" America collectively nodded its head in agreement.
Goats of Game 3
1. Kevin Garnett
Where have you gone, Kevin Garnett? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you. Last night the disappearing man had his first hugely bad game of the postseason. He's got nothing but favorable matchups, and he will not/can not exploit them to Boston's advantage.
2. Lamar Odom
Odom has been TERRIBLE this entire NBA Finals. TERRIBLE. If this guy's play has not explained to NBA fans why tall, multifaceted, perimeter minded power forwards are actually A VERY BAD THING FOR YOUR TEAM, then go ahead and draft Anthony Randolph or Donte Green or any of the other "freakishly athletic" stiffs in the draft who are just tall small forwards masquerading as power forwards.
3. Glenn "Doc" Rivers
Why in hell was he playing PJ Brown and Eddie House at the end of that game? What on Earth possesses him to play PJ Brown so much? By my estimation, Brown has played one good game in the last 9 postseason games, and many of those bad games have been horrible. Doc Rivers needs to play the numbers and stop playing his damn hunches.
4. Phil Jackson
He keeps landing on here because he has no clue. Why won't he play Farmar? Why didn't he recognize Ariza was having a productive game?
5. Paul Pierce
As Pierce goes so go the Celtics. But tonight they could have overcome his woes if he would have just had an ORDINARY BAD GAME. No, he has to have an historically abysmal game. If you understand Win Contribution, you understand how difficult it is to play bad enough for long enough to produce a Win Contribution as bad as -2.313.