Basketball Wiretap

NBA Finals Parity Through The Decades (Infographic)

Jun 13, 2017 4:49 PM

With The Finals featuring the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers for the third straight season and no end in sight to their hegemony, there have been concerns voiced about the lack of parity in the NBA.

The league has always uniquely titled towards superstars as well as an infrequency for upsets due to the seven-game series format.

With two more Finals remaining in the current decade, there have been five different champions and eight different finalists.

The below chart shows a decade-by-decade look at how much parity there has been in terms of The Finals. The almost universally celebrated 1980s stands out as the decade with the least amount of parity in the modern era considering there were so few teams still when the Boston Celtics dominated the 1960s.


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Warriors' 15-17 Playoff Winning Percentage Short Of 90s Bulls, 00s Lakers

Jun 13, 2017 1:45 PM

The Golden State Warriors now have a 47-15 record (.758 winning percentage) in the playoffs over the past three seasons, winning two titles and coming one victory short in 2016. 

While they were unable to threepeat as the early 2000s Los Angeles Lakers did or the Chicago Bulls did twice in the 1990s, it remains an impressive three-year run. The Warriors lost just one game in the 2017 playoffs.

The Lakers went 45-13 (.776 winning percentage) from 2000 until 2002 in the playoffs, while the Bulls 45-13 between 1991 and 1993, and 45-13. 

The first round of the NBA playoffs were best of five until 2003.

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Tags: Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ, NBA Playoffs

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Game 5 Draws Highest Rating Since 1998

Jun 13, 2017 11:05 AM

ABC's coverage of Game 5 drew a 16.0 metered market rating, which is the highest since Game 5 of 1998 and up 13 percent from 2016 and 2015.

The game is the highest-rated non-Game 7 NBA game in ABC/ESPN history.

There was also an average of 537,000 streaming viewers, which ranks only behind Game 7 in 2016.

Ben Cafardo/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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LeBron James: Warriors Assembled A Great Team

Jun 13, 2017 12:51 AM

Following the Cleveland Cavaliers' Game 5 loss to the Golden State Warriors, LeBron James was asked if there was ever a point in which he felt they were overmatched.

"No, I don't think I've ever -- not one time did I feel like we were overmatched until probably like I looked up, there was like a minute 20, and we were down 13, I believe, or something at that point," said James. "And I was like, okay, we left everything on the floor, and it still wasn't enough.

"So that's -- they assembled a great team. We were able to get them last year, and they went out and got one of the best players that this league has ever seen, so they did a good job of -- a great job, their front office and their players, by doing that recruiting, the things that they did in the summertime, and obviously it paid dividends."

James was also asked how he views the Warriors when he considers his future in the NBA.

"Well, it's a two-sided question because for me personally -- I don't know," said James. "I need to sit down and figure this thing out. And so I don't know as far as me personally right now.

"But as far as that team, they're going to be here for a while. They're going to be around for a while. Pretty much all their guys are in their 20s. Pretty much all their big-name guys are in their 20s, and they don't show any signs of slowing down. So there's going to be a lot of teams that's trying to figure out ways to put personnel together to try and match that if they're able to actually face them in the Playoff series, both Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Because they're built for -- from my eyes, they're built to last a few years. So we'll see."

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Warriors Win 2017 NBA Finals With 129-120 Game 5 Victory

Jun 12, 2017 11:54 PM

The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers by a final score of 129-120 in Game 5 to win the 2017 NBA Finals.

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry continued to lead the Warriors, scoring 39 points and 34 points respectively. Durant was named MVP of The Finals.

LeBron James had 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in a losing effort for Cleveland.

The Warriors close out the playoffs with a 16-1 record, only losing in Game 4 at Cleveland.

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Steve Kerr Wants Warriors To Play With 'Appropriate Fear' In Game 5

Jun 12, 2017 7:57 PM

While the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in last year's Finals, they enter Game 5 in the same position.

Steve Kerr wants the Warriors to be on edge in Game 5.

"For us as a team tonight, we have to be more on edge," said Kerr. "I hope we're a little more nervous. We didn't seem that nervous in Game 4. Nervous is good. Appropriate fear is the Gregg Popovich line. You need that. And when we come out the beginning of Game 4 and lose shooters and turn the ball over carelessly, we're obviously not ready. So I would hope we're more ready, more prepared tonight."

The Warriors had a comeback win in Game 3 and were blown out in the fourth quarter of Game 4.

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Referees Admit Miscommunication On Kerr-Draymond Technicals

Jun 10, 2017 10:49 AM

Referees admitted there was a miscommunication in which the scorer's table recorded a technical foul assessed to Steve Kerr as being given to Draymond Green.

John Gobble had called the technical foul on Kerr, but the official scorer did not correct the mistake.

"In the moment, I thought I had verbalized to the table that the technical foul was on Coach Kerr," Goble told a pool reporter after the game. "After looking at the video, I did not verbalize to the table. And looking at the video, I should have done a better job of making sure that the table knew the technical foul was on Coach Kerr."

Green said he believed that Davis, the referee who called the technical in the third quarter, did think it was Green's second technical foul and was prepared to eject him for a relatively mild reaction to a foul.

"It's crazy to think that [Davis] thought that was my second technical foul, and I would get a technical foul for that, but whatever," Green said.

"I thought they called [the first technical] on Draymond," Kerr said. "I thought I deserved it. But I thought I heard the PA announcer say that it was on Draymond. So then I thought the second one, Draymond was going to get kicked out, but they explained that the first one was on me."

Brian Windhorst, Baxter Holmes/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Warriors Enter Game 4 With Best Net Rating In Playoff History

Jun 8, 2017 12:23 PM

The Golden State Warriors will enter Game 4 of The Finals in which they can close out a 16-0 run in the playoffs with a Net Rating of +16.0.

The Los Angeles Lakers in 2001 had a Net Rating in the playoffs of +13.6, the 1991 Chicago Bulls had a Net Rating of +13.3, while the 1996 Bulls had a Net Rating of +12.2.

The Lakers of 2001 went 15-1 during those playoffs, only losing in Game 1 of The Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 1991 Bulls had a playoff record of 15-2 and the 1996 Bulls went 15-3.

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Draymond Told Durant 'We Don't Need You Much Until Finals'

Jun 8, 2017 11:24 AM

Draymond Green was candid with Kevin Durant during the regular season that they wouldn't really begin to need him until the playoffs.

Durant famously joined a Golden State Warriors team that had won 73 games during the previous regular season but blew a 3-1 lead in The Finals.

"I actually told him earlier in the year. He might have got frustrated one time. I said, 'Hey, my friend. To be honest with you, we don't really need you that much in the regular season,'" Green recalled saying to Durant. "'But you know, when those NBA Finals come around, we're really going to need you to play big for us.' He was like, 'Ah, all right.'

"He's been playing big for us, so I guess I'm a genius."

Durant hit the Warriors' game-winning shot in Game 3 and he's now scored at least 25 points in all eight of his Finals games.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Tags: Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Ratings For Game 3 Of 2017 Finals Up 14 Percent From 2016

Jun 8, 2017 10:42 AM

Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals had a 13.4 rating on ABC, up 14 percent from 11.8 in 2016.

The game peaked with a 15.6 rating at the end of the game.

Through three games, the series is averaging a 12.8 metered market rating, up four percent from a 12.3 in 2016.

Nearly 2 million unique viewers streamed the game.

With the Golden State Warriors up 3-0 over the Cleveland Cavaliers, it will be interesting to see how Game 4 compares to last season.

Ben Cafardo/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA Playoffs

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Stephen Curry Has Warriors' Highest On/Off Net Rating In Playoffs
Draymond Green ranks second behind Stephen Curry at +16.8, followed by Kevin Durant at +9.6 and Klay Thompson at +9.5.

NBA Math

LeBron James: It's Still Just Basketball At The End Of The Day
LeBron James said he can't remember how the Cavaliers felt down 0-2 in 2016.

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Iman Shumpert Requires IV Fluids After Game 2, May Start Game 3
Iman Shumpert was considered a bright spot for the Cleveland Cavaliers because of his attack mentality and on-ball defense against Kevin Durant.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN

Stephen Curry's Dribbles LeBron Around In Warriors' Game 2 Win (Video)
While Stephen Curry had a triple double with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, his dribble move on LeBron James in the third quarter had the crowd and internet buzzing.

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Steve Kerr Returns For Game 2
Steve Kerr has been out since Game 3 of the first round.

Sam Amick/USA Today

Regular Season Net Rating Comparisons Of Finals Teams (Infographic)
The Warriors have the biggest advantage in regular season Net Rating over their Finals opponent in history.

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LeBron James Not In 'Prove People Wrong Department' Anymore
LeBron James has evolved in his career where outside discussions of his game no longer impact him.

Brian Windhorst/ESPN

Game 1 Of Finals Draws 12.4 Rating, Streaming Up 43 Percent
Game 1 of The Finals had an overnight rating of 12.4, which is the third highest ever for a Game 1 on ABC.

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Steve Kerr Could Coach Game 2 Barring Setback
Steve Kerr watched Game 1 with Luke Walton.

Ramona Shelburne, Chris Haynes/ESPN

Stephen Curry Hopes To 'Sustain' His Play For Next Three Weeks
Stephen Curry has struggled at times in each of the past two Finals.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Steve Kerr Unlikely To Coach Game 1 Of Finals
Steve Kerr has had good days and bad days since his procedure earlier this month.

Chris Haynes/ESPN

Zaza Pachulia Cleared To Play Normal Minutes In Game 1
Zaza Pachulia participated in all parts of all three practices on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Anthony Slater/San Jose Mercury News

Kevin Love Finds Cavs' Underdog Label 'Funny'
BPI says the Warriors have a 93 percent chance of winning the series.

Dave McMenamin/ESPN