Friday, March 21, 2014

STATISTICS ABOUT BASKETBALL GOAT. PART 3.

What do the statistics say about who should be the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T)? PART 3.


A. INTRODUCTION.
The 80’s remains a decade ruled by two of the best teams ever to play in the NBA. Their 2 charismatic leaders fought for the NBA championship and the title of the most valuable player during the entire decade. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird each won 3 MVP titles in the 80’s. Combined, their teams made the NBA finals every year in the decade. The Los Angeles Lakers won 5 titles and the Boston Celtics 3.
The 80’s also saw the arrival of some amazing players (that would rule the 90’s) in one of the best ever draft (in 1984). The four top players that emerged from it were Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley and John Stockton.
In summary, the 80's saw some of the most amazing and entertaining players in NBA history while the 2 leaders of my screening for the decade (Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, as expected) are usually in the G.O.A.T discussion.

Just to remind you, I put the introduction of my part 1 and the link to the article (if you want to access the statistics that I use to elect the G.O.A.T of every decade).  
What I wanted to look at for a long time was: What do the statistics say about who should be the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T)? Effectively, outside of statistics, we all have a point of view about who is/was/should be considered the G.O.AT. Just to name a few that are widely considered as a reference over the decades:
·      Bill Russell with his eleven titles,
·      Wilt Chamberlain with the most impressive statistics ever for a player, 
·      Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer,
·      Larry Bird & Magic Johnson, the 2 "show time" leaders of the 80's,  
·      Michael Jordan, a guy called "God" by mister Bird, 
·   And Shaquille O'Neal (link to his statistics) & Tim Duncan, the two most dominant  winners/players since Jordan's departure.


B. RESULTS.
Here is the result for players reaching my benchmark of 5 variables/statistics in at least 2 years of playoffs (you can click on any player in the table below to reach his complete statistics; season and playoffs. Otherwise, if you click on any player in the text about his statistic, you will attain its bio if there is one on nba.com):

G.O.A.T RANK
Player
From
To
TOTAL G.O.A.T SCORE (years my benchmark have been reached by the player)
In % of years played in playoffs
1
Larry Bird
1981
1990
7
58,3%
2
Magic Johnson
1980
1991
6
46,2%
3
1984
1985
2
22,2%
3
1978
1981
2
33,3%
3
1986
1990
2
15,4%
3
1989
1992
2
25,0%
3
1982
1983
2
16,7%
  
a. The top of the 80's decade? 
1.   Larry Bird is the G.O.A.T of the 80's with a total of 7 years. He also detains the record for reaching my benchmark in term of years played in the playoffs (with 58.3%). Over his career of 13 years (he played every year except one in the playoffs), he won 3 championships, 3 MVPs, 2 finals MVPs and had impressive statistics: 23.8 Pts, 10.3 TRB, 6.5 AST & 55.1 TS% per game in the playoffs. Larry Legend missed the benchmark mainly due to his True Shooting Percentage (5 times).
2.     Magic Johnson, second for the 80's decade, went 13 years in the playoffs and reached 6 times my statistical benchmark. He won 5 NBA championships, 3MVPs and 3 finals MVPs (the first one as a rookie). He had impressive personal statistics over his 13 years with 19.5 Pts, 7.7 TRB, 12.3 AST & 59.5% TS%. Magic missed the benchmark mainly due to his points (5 times).

b. The followers and the biggest surprise/miss?
1.    There are 5 players that reached my statistical benchmark 2 years. Within this group, Kevin McHale won 3 championships (and 2 “sixth man of the year” awards) with Larry Bird and the Celtics while Mark Aguirre won 2 titles with Detroit. In term of points, the leader is Marques Johnson with 21.5 Pts per game played in the playoffs ahead of Kevin McHale (18.8 Pts). The 2 leaders in rebounds are Larry Nance and Marques Johnson with 7.9 TRB. In assists, Marques Johnson leads the group with 3.7 AST ahead of Mark Aguirre (2.6 AST). Finally, in TS%, Kevin McHale (61.80%) is first and Kiki Vandeweghe second (58.40%).
2.     At the end, there is no surprise in the 80’s as the two most outstanding players of the decade, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, come on the top of my screening.


COMING SOON: PART 4: THE G.O.A.T of the 90's... 

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