Spurs set modern record for NBA Finals offensive rating


The Spurs clobbered the Heat in the NBA Finals, setting a record by outscoring Miami by 70 points.

How did they do it?

Though it’s defense was fine, San Antonio gained its big advantage on offense.

The Spurs moved the ball, got open looks and knocked them down. It seems simple, but they perfected the scheme and its nuances.

San Antonio scored 119.0 points per 100 possessions – the best offensive rating in any Finals since at least 1978, when the NBA began tracking turnovers.

Here’s the offensive ratings (black) and defensive ratings (silver) of every NBA champion in the Finals since then. (Click to enlarge.)


Team Offensive rating Defensive rating
2014 SAS (d. MIA, 4-1) 119.0 102.8
1989 DET (d. LAL, 4-0) 117.2 109.5
1995 HOU (d. ORL, 4-0) 116.3 105.6
2002 LAL (d. NJN, 4-0) 115.2 102.2
1987 LAL (d. BOS, 4-2) 114.7 111.3
2012 MIA (d. OKC, 4-1) 112.9 106.4
1991 CHI (d. LAL, 4-1) 112.0 101.7
1985 LAL (d. BOS, 4-2) 110.3 105.8
2008 BOS (d. LAL, 4-2) 109.5 101.3
1993 CHI (d. PHO, 4-2) 109.2 109.4
2001 LAL (d. PHI, 4-1) 108.4 99.1
1986 BOS (d. HOU, 4-2) 108.1 102.5
2009 LAL (d. ORL, 4-1) 108.0 97.2
2000 LAL (d. IND, 4-2) 107.9 113.5
1992 CHI (d. POR, 4-2) 107.8 99.9
1983 PHI (d. LAL, 4-0) 107.6 95.5
2011 DAL (d. MIA, 4-2) 107.5 105.3
2013 MIA (d. SAS, 4-3) 106.6 105.6
1996 CHI (d. SEA, 4-2) 105.8 103.9
1984 BOS (d. LAL, 4-3) 105.8 108.7
1990 DET (d. POR, 4-1) 105.7 100.1
1982 LAL (d. PHI, 4-2) 105.3 104.7
2004 DET (d. LAL, 4-1) 105.0 92.4
1988 LAL (d. DET, 4-3) 104.7 109.8
1980 LAL (d. PHI, 4-2) 103.9 99.6
2010 LAL (d. BOS, 4-3) 102.8 98.5
2007 SAS (d. CLE, 4-0) 102.5 94.2
1997 CHI (d. UTA, 4-2) 102.3 101.0
1998 CHI (d. UTA, 4-2) 102.1 93.0
1981 BOS (d. HOU, 4-2) 101.4 91.0
2005 SAS (d. DET, 4-3) 100.3 102.6
2006 MIA (d. DAL, 4-2) 99.3 97.8
1978 WSB (d. SEA, 4-3) 98.7 95.1
1979 SEA (d. WSB, 4-1) 98.1 91.5
1999 SAS (d. NYK, 4-1) 97.7 89.0
2003 SAS (d. NJN, 4-2) 97.4 90.0
1994 HOU (d. NYK, 4-3) 96.2 98.2

There are multiple formulae for estimating number of possessions. I used FGA-ORB+TOV+FTA*.44.

Newspaper editor on Michael Jordan article: ‘What other photo could be more suitable than the infamous Crying Jordan meme’

SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 11: Michael Jordan to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame speaks during an induction ceremony on September 11, 2009 in Springfield, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
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A Malawian newspaper, writing about Michael Jordan’s statement on race, used the Crying Jordan photo accompany the article.

How did that happen?

A page designer who didn’t understand the meme? A joke never fixed before printing? A staff-wide ignorance of the photo’s cultural relevance?

Justin Block of The Huffington Post:

As it turns out, the newspaper is called The Nation, or The Malawi Nation. When reached for comment on Thursday afternoon, The Nation Senior News Analyst Joy Ndovi stated that using the Michael Jordan Crying meme was intentional, and said Sports Editor Garry Chirwa picked the photo.

Chirwa told us that when he read the story, he felt that the emotions packed within Jordan’s quote, “I could no longer keep silent,” were represented in the Michael Jordan Crying meme.

“I just imagined him crying,” Chirwa wrote via WhatsApp.

Ndovi echoed Chirwa’s sentiments:

The article on Jordan reacting to the violence in U.S. was just the perfect one for the meme to be used. It depicts the emotional state of the former NBA star. Though it might seem unconventional, what other photo could be more suitable than the infamous Crying Jordan meme?

I can think of a few.

Amar’e Stoudemire: ‘My heart was in two places – Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted’

New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns
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Before signing with the Knicks to retire, Amar’e Stoudemire reportedly wanted to sign with the Suns this year and last.

He essentially confirmed both accounts.

Stoudemire, via Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic:

“The last two years, we made phone calls to Phoenix but I wasn’t getting any positive response,” Stoudemire told azcentral sports on Thursday. “That would’ve been the perfect way to go out. I didn’t want to beg Phoenix. My heart was in two places – Phoenix and New York. I just went where I was wanted.”

According to the report, Stoudemire wanted to play for Phoenix next season — not just retire as a Sun. If that’s the case, I see why the team passed. The Suns have 15 players (the regular-season roster limit), are rebuilding and already have Tyson Chandler as a veteran big.

But if Stoudemire wanted sign an unguaranteed deal with the Suns then retire as a ceremonial move, it’s a little harder to explain Phoenix’s reluctance. Perhaps, the Suns were caught off guard by such a request. Nobody in memory had done something like that in the NBA. The gesture is far more common in football and baseball.

Either way, Stoudemire retiring as a Knick wasn’t designed to show a long-standing bitterness toward the Suns.

A recent bitterness toward the Suns? Maybe.

Karl-Anthony Towns dunks on poor kid (video)

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns celebrates after hitting the game-winning shot in an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Saturday, April 9, 2016. The Timberwolves won 106-105. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)
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Karl-Anthony Towns has replaced Anthony Davis as the consensus MVP-in-waiting.

Are you ready, NBA?

Here’s a sneak preview of the Timberwolves center’s future:

Craig Sager to skip Rio Olympics to fight leukemia

CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 16:  Legendary TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager talks with Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors at Quicken Loans Arena on June 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. Sager is on a one game assignment for ESPN. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Sager’s fight with leukemia will prevent the basketball sideline reporter form covering the Rio Olympics for NBC.

NBC said Thursday in a statement that the 65-year-old Sager is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Sager was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2014 and announced in March that he was no longer in remission.

The Rio Games would have been Sager’s fifth Olympics.

Sager has worked for Turner Sports for 34 years. At the ESPY Awards this month, Vice President Joe Biden presented Sager with the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.