Spurs set modern record for NBA Finals offensive rating

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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.)

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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.

Andrew Bogut signs to play in NBL in native Australia

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Back in January, the Los Angeles Lakers waived Andrew Bogut. He had a very limited role on a Los Angeles team that was not making the playoffs, serving as a backup big man against teams who use a traditional center. That’s not much of a role anymore. He’s a center who can pass, shoot from the midrange a little, and knows where to be defensively, but the game has evolved as Bogut’s skills have faded. Bogut tried to latch on with a contender for the playoffs, but could not find a team to take him.

So he is going home.

Bogut is signing to play for the Sydney Kings in Australia’s NBL.

Bogut was the first No. 1 draft pick from Australia when he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2005. He made the All-Rookie team that season, was All-NBA in 2010, but may be best known for his role as a crucial part of the defense of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors in 2015 (and his injury during the 2016 Finals is an underrated reason Cleveland was able to pull off a miracle comeback).

At age 33 Bogut may not have a spot in the NBA, but in the NBL he both will thrive for a few more years but also be a huge draw and get the welcome home from fans that he deserves.

When Lance Stephenson gets a traveling call, he earns it (VIDEO)

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Yes, guys get away with traveling in the NBA. James Harden on the step back (sometimes, not always), or guys sliding left/right to avoid a closeout at the arc and not bothering to dribble while they do it.

Lance Stephenson got called for traveling Sunday in the Pacers’ loss to the Cavaliers. In a game where Stephenson got under the skin of LeBron James and drew a technical (and tied him up for a jump ball at one point), this was the best Lance highlight of the game. Because if you’re going to travel, you should go all in.

Never change Lance. Never change.

Matthew Dellavedova steals pass, hits wild scoop shot at buzzer (VIDEO)

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Matthew Dellavedova is a hustler. Everybody knows that. Well, unless you want to argue he’s more about grit. It’s really your call.

But against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, Dellavedova came through with whatever you want to call it — hustle, grit, moxie, gumption.

As the first quarter wound down and the Celtics tried to inbound the ball, Dellavedova spied his opponents rolling the basketball in order to save time on the clock.

That allowed the Australian native to fly in and do this:

That’s a steal, a scoop, and a score all within 1.2 seconds.

Milwaukee won Game 4 and evened the series with the Celtics, 2-2.

Cavaliers tie series with Pacers in Indiana, 2-2

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Sunday night’s game between the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers was raucous. Bankers Life Fieldhouse was rocking, and despite Indiana’s best effort to put back seemingly every offensive board it encountered, LeBron James‘ 32 points was just too much to overcome.

Facing the possibility of going down 3-1 in the first round, the Cavaliers pulled out the win, 104-100, and sent the series back to Ohio for Game 5.

The game came down to the final period following a surge by the Pacers to end the third quarter. The teams were tied several times midway through the fourth, but a tip shot by Thaddeus Young wth 6:13 left gave the Pacers the lead as fans in Indiana went wild.

Cleveland then came roaring back. At the three-minute mark, James drove to the basket and scored. Thirty seconds later, Kyle Korver hit a big-time 3-pointer to put the Cavaliers up by four points, a mark the Pacers couldn’t recover from.

LeBron scored again with 1:52 left, and despite some weird late-game antics — featuring none other than Lance Stephenson — the Cavaliers were able to remain resolute down the stretch.

James finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. Kyle Korver added 18 points on 4-of-9 shooting from deep, and Kevin Love had five points with 11 boards.

Victor Oladipo struggled for Indiana, scoring 17 points but shooting just 25 percent from the floor. Seven Pacers finished in double-digits, with Young notching an impressive double-double of 12 points and 16 rebounds.

Game 5 will be played in Cleveland on Wednesday, April 25.