Feb 24

Blazers Fight Off Boston

By mikebarrett
One thing you know going into a game against this Boston Celtics team, coached by Doc Rivers- they don't go quietly.  If you bring a knife to what is always a gun fight, you're not going to live to tell about it.

Boston also has the star power and experience to weather a lot of tight, late-game situations. They don't get rattled, even in front of a raucous building like the Rose Garden when it's packed full of 20,484 fans.  The question late in this game was, would Portland's confidence level, that's taken some serious dents in the last couple of weeks, be able to hold in the clutch?

Like Friday's game against the Lakers in L.A., this one had a playoff-type atmosphere.  That's what you get when you battle between two teams fighting for positioning, during this post-all-star break blitz.  There's not much sand left in the hourglass, and quality teams, like Boston, understand that.

The Blazers got off to a bit of a shaky start in this one, and it would have been very easy to start with the "here-we-go-again" thoughts.  The Celtics started with a ton of energy, and Kevin Garnett, who was rested on Friday in Phoenix, looked to have very fresh legs.  The Celtics jumped on top 7-0, and looked to be firing on the cylinders they have left this season.

The Blazers then decided to take a page from Boston's book and get tight and nasty on defense. 

By the end of the first quarter, the Blazers had taken a six-point lead.  Their lead was seven at halftime, and four going into the final quarter.  Several times it appeared the Trail Blazers had taken control for good, only to see the Celtics charge back out of a time out and close the gap again.

You want one quick reason why the Blazers won this game?  Wesley Matthews.  Playing basically on one leg, Matthews led the way with 24 points, and hit five of his eight three-point attempts.  His last one was his biggest one of the night.  It came with :53 seconds left and Portland leading by only three.   It gave the Blazers a 92-86 lead, and that would turn out to be the final score.

Nic Batum was also solid with 18 points and six rebounds.  JJ Hickson posted his 30th double-double, with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points.  Damian Lillard, who was hounded by a host of Celtics during this game, had a hard-earned 12 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds.  We're going to continue to see teams try and completely beat him up, meet him at halfcourt when he's bringing the ball up, and throw multiple looks at him defensively.  The Lakers had so much respect for Lillard they put Kobe on him during the fourth quarter on Friday.  

The leader of the bench unit on this night was Victor Claver.  This rookie continues to make the most of his minutes.  If you're gauging production by points alone, you're not going to be happy most nights with the bench.  But, if you're looking for guys who bring energy, activity, and play with a high basketball I.Q., this was the kind of game Claver gave on Sunday.  He had 4 points and 10 rebounds in his 20 minutes of action.  

I don't always love the +/- stat, because on some nights it can be misleading.  But, Claver was a +17 on this night, which was actually pretty telling.  He had a huge impact on the game when he was in there.

This was also the first game for the newest Blazer, Eric Maynor.  He's been getting a crash course on the offense, and for point guard, that can be challenging.  Maynor was solid in his 15 minutes, scoring a bucket and dishing out 3 assists.  He and Lillard even saw some action together, which we thought we'd perhaps see.  It gives Damian a chance to play off the ball, and he's shown he's enough of a scorer to be effective at the two-guard spot.

Most importantly, the Blazers snapped their losing streak- the overall streak, and their six-game skid to Boston.  The Celtics have given the Blazers fits in recent years, and came into this game as the only team in the NBA with a winning record, all-time, in Portland.  There are 28 other teams that would love to be able to say that.  Boston still can, even after this loss, but the Blazers got the job done on this night.  

Next up, it's Denver, on Wednesday night, as the four-game homestand continues.  Talk to you then.


  1. wow ok there are a few things i would like to say here. Much better officiating calls went both ways we got some they got some. I dont mind it when that happens. Next i really love our starting five they are as good as any starting 5 in the league i think. Also i like Victor's improvements he is a solid defender kinda reminds me of batum when he came to the league. Next i like Eric Maynor he has good court vision and minus that one turn over he did a good job i think his offense will come to him. What people don't realize is in both Utah and Oklahoma when he played they did not need him to score when u got guys like Kevin martin and James harden playing along side you you pass the ball. Here we will need him to score so i think he will when he get more comfortable i expect his points to go up to about 6 a game with 4 assists. Also i think we should send Nolan and maybe Lenord to the D league for a while maybe even the remainder of season let them get playing time they will always be ready when we need them just a thought.

    by Avgjoe28 on 2/24/2013 11:28 PM
  2. Hey Mike,
    You are right the quick answer to who won the game for the Blazers is Matthews. The guy is incredible. He was on one leg and one arm also. I saw him help a teammate off of the floor holding his left arm back as if to protect it. Few players can play with injuries and be effective. Matthews is one of those players. He brings something to the team when he is on the floor. Attitude.
    Having said that I want to give the game ball to Victor. 10 rebounds from the bench. Solid defense. Took care of the ball. Was all over the floor making basketball plays. I'm sold, he is NBA caliber.
    The rest of the bench played well. Meyers changed shots, had a block, rebounded and fouled hard at the right time.
    Maynor has changed everything. Him being on the team will solidify the rotation. Stotts has something to work with. Substitutions will make more sense. Maynor gives us instant flexability.
    The Blazers are going on a run. If they stay healthy they finish this season strong.
    Finally JJ another doub/doub. The defense Batum played on Peirce late in the game had a huge impact.

    by Divotking on 2/24/2013 11:28 PM
  3. by Divotking on 2/24/2013 11:34 PM
  4. Mike: I thank you for the blog. I was delighted the game was on KGW and I got to watch the two Mike's, I think you covered the basis great; Eric is going to be alright, Leonard looked good tonight, and our starting 5 are monsters.

    by Hg on 2/24/2013 11:53 PM
  5. This was a very nice win. The Blazers have now played two very good games in a row against pretty decent teams. They lost in LA because...well, you know. Apparently in Los Angeles you can get mugged with the cops watching, and all they'll do is give you a ticket if you're too slow handing over your wallet. With officials who could actually recognize a foul tonight it was a different story. I was really impressed with how the Blazers held up against the pressure and pounding; they are improving in that department. It's funny, I almost got the feeling that Wesley's bad ankle improved his shooting form. It took the excess leg action out of his shot. I think for a guy as hyperactive as Wes it may help to have part of your body damped down.
    The young twenty-something in the house got to go to the game tonight. She's not exactly a huge fan, but had a great time, and afterwards posted a little "heart" reaction to Victor Claver.

    by David Maclaine on 2/25/2013 1:29 AM
  6. Keep on playing well; better and better

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/25/2013 2:55 AM
  7. Man. I'm having withdrawals. I've been gone and missed the last two games.

    by Ancientone on 2/25/2013 5:54 AM
  8. I am sure I will miss the next game, Ancientone. You didn't need the added hard ware for the last two games (clothespins). As I felt they were well played games.

    I can't always tell when we play poorly or if our opponents are just hot that night, but the fact that too many opponents being hot just against PDX, Made me buy extra clothespins, but then I remembered these are a bunch of young kids playing against veteran players that knows how to mess up PDX offensive and defensive game. And we were just supposed to improve as the season rolls on; I feel we are doing that.

    For me, this season, it is not so much about winning or losing games, but go in and make a statement each and every game. Of course we haven't done that, so clothes pins are needed. Nevertheless, not to make excuses, but with Nic and Wesley ailing in the last seven games, makes me wonder if the culprit was the injury bug that made us play rotten; if we looked on the brighter side of the injuries, it gave Claver a chance to get some burn, and it showed last night. It prompted Olsey to shore up our guard situation and last night was a peek of a good back up PG and another guard duo that will help give Matthews more time to heal.

    The losing to the Lakers, and winning against Celtics was almost identical games as for as adjustments and playing hard competitive games; it is almost a proven trend that PDX will give the above .500 teams a hell of a game, win or lose, but it also a proven trend that below .500 teams or against teams with worst win and lost records then us, we will play double clothespin games, Why?

    by Hg on 2/25/2013 7:51 AM
  9. I had a great pair of seats in 5th row for this game that I sold to a friend of mine being I go on vacation this week and opted for tickets to the OKC game in April. Definitely regretting that decision after this win, but none the less, glad they got it. I'm going to miss the next 3 as well in this home stand.
    Hoping we can see Houston and Utah hit a bit of a slump, and we rise up back into the race. I'd love for it to come down to the wire, even if we don't make it to playoffs this year. As long as they can keep games like this one coming, and the Lakers, minus the officiating, I'll be a happy fan.

    by blazerglen on 2/25/2013 8:33 AM
  10. How many rookies on our bench ? Now we have a legit NBA player on the pine. I don't want to take too much away from the help Ronnie gave us but Maynor has game. Sorry Nolan you were given your opportunities. Maynor is not the second coming but when his number is called we don't fall off that much. In 15 minutes last night you can already see what he brings. This team, with a bench, could have stirred things up this year. All is good the future is bright.

    by the golden ladder on 2/25/2013 9:29 AM
  11. Great effort last night by the starters and a shout out to Victor Claver who is turning out to be a smart defender and great rebounder. He's got great hands..now a win streak to 30 wins and we're back on track!

    by riverman on 2/25/2013 9:55 AM
  12. A ton of awesome from last night! :)

    I know some ppl had written off/have been just too fickle w/ Meyers & Claver (& Joel) BUT HAVE PATIENCE w/ OUR guys (AND ALL OUR guys), they WILL b just what we need; we've just got 2 b supportive & patient w/ them; 2 of 3 really showed us some good things last night, Joel (remember, he won't b an All-Star BUT he will b like a better scoring Nick Collison & I'm VERY happy w/ that :) WILL come around too.

    by Simpson on 2/25/2013 10:18 AM
  13. Loved that game. Glad to see Nic add something. Wes was fabulous.
    Lill and LA steady as usual in spite of the double teaming they get. Glad they could come back after that debacle in LA. I've heard it said that the NBA needs to have LA in the playoffs and the refs got the message. I think i would pull a POP and minimally play my starters when in their house. Why tire them out. Seems the big names get the benefit of calls. Might send a message to NBA management.
    Go blazers and rip city. Yeah!

    by allie-oop on 2/25/2013 10:29 AM
  14. whew! we really needed this one. definitely great to protect our house and beat the Celtics. i think this is a really good win for us, especially to start this four-game home stand.

    Wesley had a great game, but you can still tell it's painful for him out on the court. i think all-star break really helped Nicolas. he played well against the Lakers and turned in another solid performance tonight. JJ was strong as well.

    i've been wondering which young bench guy would be the 1st to step up and show signs of emerging as a solid and reliable option off the bench. i've got to say, i think it's Victor. i'm even more convinced after watching Courtside tonight. i've been saying for quite a while that i like Victor's all-around game. he doesn't seem to have one area which he comes up huge, but he seems to do everything pretty well. he can play three positions. i think he's playing very well as of late; playing within himself and with a team-first mentality. i absolutely adore those 10 rebounds he grabbed last night. i'm definitely looking forward to seeing him get more minutes this season. he's certainly earning them.

    now is the time to step up our game. i think we need a mini run here to put ourselves in contention for a playoff spot. whatever happens i still think it's that for which we should reach.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/25/2013 7:36 PM
  15. Hey Kassandra; I agree with you fully on Victor, that was the only thing good that came out of Wesley's and Price's injury was it gave Victor some burn time and that is really all him, and Freeland needs. Leonard is starting to play better again after his ankle sprain. LaMarcus is getting stronger after his ankle sprain, and I am sure the Eric will be OK, off the bench so do believe we may be in position to step up our game. Look at the bright side most of our remaining opponents are above .500 or already in the play-offs and that seems to be our cup of tea. If we can't get to the play-offs, I bet we will be a good spoiler for one of the teams

    by Hg on 2/25/2013 10:11 PM
  16. The wednesday night game is going to be radio only, if I can get the station. we are getting some added clients that wants work done Wednesday night. Boy I will sure be glad when I am old enough to retire.

    by Hg on 2/25/2013 10:13 PM
  17. A short mathematical study shows play offs; Kassandra; are no longer reachable. What is possible and must be done is improving the way the team plays; preparing to reach playoffs next year for sure.
    Houston is 31-27 and 53,4 % while Portland is 46,4 %. But to reach Houston which is expected with 44 wins at the end of the season you would need 19/26 = 73,1 % on the 26 next games, that is a *continous* 58 % improvement till the end of the season; much more than the (53,4 - 46,4) / 46,4 = 15,1 % difference in wins between Houston and Portland since the beginning of the season. Have a happy birthday; Kass.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/25/2013 11:28 PM
  18. To explain it better, consider that the 58 % continuous improvement needed till the end of the season is in fact a (58 - 15,1) / 15.1 = 284,1 % improvement on the improvement Houston did over Portland since the début of the season.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/25/2013 11:41 PM
  19. @Soopadeajo Sopadeajo:
    On the normal trend we may mathematically be out of the play-offs, but we are not Mathematically out of the play-offs until the last possibility is gone. If we win all our games and Houston Houston, and Utah goes on a skid we could possibly be in. Not likely of course, but possible.

    by Hg on 2/26/2013 12:16 AM
  20. Not sure my mathematical percentaging deductions are quite correct, though.. because i get for Los Angeles, they´ll need (35,4-10,6)/10.6 = 234,0 % improvement on the improvement Houston did over Los Angeles since the debut of the season which seems to be too high; i was expecting around 150 %.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 12:25 AM
  21. I was wrong, i am just an "amateur" not a mathematician. I just found a way to calculate the right and correct probability -hope i am not wrong this time- using the binomial distribution/probability.

    Houston has 55.3 % probability (which is good probability) to win at least 13 of its 24 remaining games and get to at least 44 wins and 39, 2 % probbility to get to at least 45 wins.
    Los Angeles has only 2,2 % probability (a very low probability) to win at least 17 games out of 24 and get to at least 45 wins.
    Portland has only 0,5 % (a very very low probability) to win at least 19 games out of 26 and get to at least 45 wins.

    I strongly believe Los Angeles will not reach play-offs; not to speak of Portland. Next year will probably be better.

    I used this on-line calculator:
    For Portland enter this:

    Probability of success on a single trial : 0.464
    Number of trials : 26
    Number of successes (x) : 19
    And finally read:
    Cumulative Probability: P(X >=19) : 0.00537908303767598

    Have also a fast look at:

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 2:04 AM
  22. To explain the counter-intuitive binomial probability a little bit more let´s consider the probabilty of a team with average wins of p = 0,464 to win at least 2 of the next 4 games.
    The general formula is for a given number of trials; n (here n=4) and a given number x of successes (here x>=2) is:
    P(X=x) = C(n,x)*p^x*q^(n-x) wher q = 1-p is the probability to loose = 0,536 in this case and C(n,x) is the number of different ways to arrange/gather x events out of n. In genral C(n,x)= n!/(x!*(n-x)!) where n! is the factorial (n! = n*(n-1)*(n-2)*...*2*1). In this case C(4,2) = 4!/(2!*2!) = 4*3*2/2*2 = 6.
    Intuitively we understand better why C(4,2) = 6 by considering that out of 4 games winning 2 of them can be done in 6 different forms like this:
    1) wwll : win the first two games and loose the next two
    2) wllw
    3) llww
    4) wlwl
    5) lwlw
    6) lwwl

    So P(X=2) = C(4,2)*p^2*q^2 = 6*(0.464)^2*(0.536)^2 = 0.3711 = 37,11 % is the probability of winning *exactly* 2 games out of 4.

    The probability of winning exactly 1 game out of 4 is:
    P(x=1) = C(4,1)*p^1*q^3 =4*0.464*(0.536)^3 = 0.2858 = 28.58 %
    And the probability of winning exactly 0 games out of 4 is :
    P(X=0) = 1*1*(0.536)^4 = 0.0825 = 8,25 %
    The probability of winning *less than 2 games* is: P(X=2). The opposite of any probability r (r=2) = 1- P(X=13) = 55.3 %
    Winning at least 14 games out of 24 is P(X>=14) = 39.2 %
    Winning at least 15 games out of 24 is P(X>=15) = 24.7 %

    We clearly see that winning just 2 more games (15 instead of 13) out of 24 is more than 2 times more improbable (24.7 is less than 55.3/2); that we cannot apply lineal proportional logic to calculate the true probabilities of winning loosing in games.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 4:43 AM
  23. There has been an error in the copy and paste process in the last lines:

    The probability of winning *less than 2 games* is: P(X=2). The opposite of any probability r (r=2) = 1- P(X=13) = 55.3 %
    Winning at least 14 games out of 24 is P(X>=14) = 39.2 %
    Winning at least 15 games out of 24 is P(X>=15) = 24.7 %

    We clearly see that winning just 2 more games (15 instead of 13) out of 24 is more than 2 times more improbable (24.7 is less than 55.3/2); that we cannot apply lineal proportional logic to calculate the true probabilities of winning loosing in games.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 4:49 AM
  24. The probability of winning *less than 2 games* is: P(X= less than2) = P(X=0) + P(X=1) = 36.83 % is the exact opposite of winning *at least 2 games*; that is p(X= more or equal than 2). The opposite of any probability r (r less than 1) is 1-r. So P(X= more or equal than 2) = 1- P(X= less than 2) = 1- 0.3683 = 0.6317 = 63.17 %.

    Now to win at least 8 games out of 16 with the same p = 0.464 would be 48.2 % and at least 32 out of 64 would be 32,5 % and the probability of at least 41 wins out of 82 with this average p is only 29.3 %.

    Now take the example of Houston with p = 0.534.
    Winning at least 13 games out of 24 is P(X= at least 13) = 55.3 %
    Winning at least 14 games out of 24 is P(X= at least 14) = 39.2 %
    Winning at least 15 games out of 24 is P(X at least 15) = 24.7 %

    We clearly see that winning just 2 more games (15 instead of 13) out of 24 is more than 2 times more improbable (24.7 is less than (55.3)/2); that we cannot apply lineal proportional logic to calculate the true probabilities of winning loosing in games.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 5:01 AM
  25. Soopadeajo Sopadeajo, I agree on the probability of getting to the play-offs, but not because of the math, but because of the going trend. We are young and growing, but not fast enough to be fantastic; we would need help from other teams to get into the play-offs now and that is a fact that can't be planned for. There are to many well ifs.

    by Hg on 2/26/2013 5:06 AM
  26. Fortunately we are dealing with people. What was the probabilty many moons ago of the Lakers winning 33 games in a row. Yet they did it. Just the optimist in me.

    by Ancientone on 2/26/2013 8:56 AM
  27. Winning 33 games in a row might be much more difficult to calculate the probability. But certainly that´s very difficult to do.

    PS: I am not saying you must stop fighting. On the contrary you must go on fighting; this season, playing well, and getting the more good wins you can; because this will serve for the future; for experience of winning, for experience of playing well; for next seasons.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 9:42 AM
  28. @Soopadeajo Sopadeajo: first, thanks for the birthday wishes. technically, it's tomorrow, but i plan to celebrate all week anyway.

    i tend to stay away from the intricate math when try to predict the futures of sports teams during runs to the playoffs. the reason being is simple: as accurate as the math has to be, the unpredictability is as uncertain. you never know when a team will go on a little winning -- or losing -- streak; you never know when a team will lose to a team it should beat (sound familiar this season?!) or beat a team it maybe shouldn't; you never know about injuries to your team or another; and, of course, you never know when your team is going to be sandblasted by the officials and/or league (such as the game against the Lakers friday night).

    On Courtside, Wheels and Tone talked about the Rockets having the easiest schedule of the remaining playoff contenders (i happen to think they'll make the playoffs). the biggest two wild cards to me are the Warriors and Jazz (not necessarily in that order). The Warriors seem to be slipping faster than anyone in the top eight and the Jazz are only a half game ahead of the Rockets with a challenging schedule ahead of them.

    I guess my point is, until we are absolutely mathmatically out of the playoffs, and i don't think we're really close to that now, it's for that which we strive. even it it ends in futility, this is how we build the character and training for these guys. i've never been one to give up on or "tank" a season just because the playoffs may seem distant. 26 games is a a lot of time (nearly a third of the season). anything can happen.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/26/2013 10:01 AM
  29. @Hg: i'm really liking Victor's game. it seems even when he's not having a great night numbers-wise, he's not hurting us either. he's a pretty good defender and very versatile. it seems that his adaptation to the nba is going more quickly than the other rookies, sans Damian. Meyers has had stretches where he's played well and now seems to be one of those. Joel needs some court time; in a consistent rotation, he would have gotten it by now.

    with the way Victor is playing, the promise of Eric and the continued emergence of Meyers is making me extremely interested in what the second unit guys can do in this last third of the season. i seem to recall many saying this is when we could expect to see the young guys' previous court time pay some serious dividends as we head down the home stretch.

    we ended last season with a win percentage of .394. right now, we're at .464. obviously, that's an improvement. i'd love to see our bench step up a little more and, if that happens, i think we can get to those 41 wins i predicted prior to the season starting. a 15-11 record here on out would accomplish that. of our remaining 26 games, 14 are at home.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/26/2013 10:34 AM
  30. Soopadeajo Sopadeajo: I am with Kassandra, it is way to early to throw in the towel and play for next year, (1). Nobody knows what next year can bring, With injuries, how fast the keepers advance, how good are the replacements and on and on, (2) I am to old to worry about next year, LOL. but I do agree, that you keep on fighting and winning and learning for the today not next year. As Tone said you play the bench more as they get better, but only to give the starters more rest time, then you are talking Three or four minutes longer for Lillard and LaMarcus, and to have that experience for injuries not for next year.

    It is true that our play-off hopes are slipping, tomorrow nights game may be the turning point though, if we can get back to five hundred and as Kassandra said with the possibilities of other teams slipping, We are right back in the hunt. I would love to see them make the play-offs, but regardless of whether they do or not, it is the joy of being able to watch them grow and mature even in a bad game that I love. As Antonio said, part of getting mature is not looking at the opponents win loss record and playing accordingly; but just playing the next game in front of you with the same intensity and energy.

    Otherwise, I am guilty of loving my Blazers, good or bad, Like Ancientone, I am optimistic that every game will come out well, and yes, like Ancientone, I bought a bag of clothespins for the stinky games.

    As I said earlier we may not make the play-offs, but don't let the team know it. they are here now and they are trying to win games and young enough to be part of the future with the Blazers and all in all if we don't make it we will be spoilers and I do hope it is the Lakers in the next game and maybe be the ones that helps Utah slip, or the Grizzlies or even GSW.

    OK ancientone you can go get your snack

    Kassandra, My Bad that I forgot your birthday, Hell I can't even remember mine, or my age, but Happy birthday my friend.

    by Hg on 2/26/2013 10:51 AM
  31. Again, in the case of Portland, with the average (till now) p= 0.464 wins and with 26 remaining games to play, we do have the following probabilities P:
    P(win at least 13 games) = 43.0 %
    P(win at least 15 games) = 16.9 %
    P(win at least 17 games) = 4.1 %
    P(win at least 18 games) = 1.6 %
    P(win at least 19 games) = 0.54 %

    But it must be known that this probability of winning 19 games is the sum of the probabilities of winning exactly 19 games and also winning exactly 20 games ... and also winning exactly 26 games. And it is only 0.54 % !!!

    And if Portland had the same average percentage of wins as does Houston ?
    Then, with p = 0.534
    P(win at least 19 games out of 26) = 3.3 % which is still a very low probability.
    We need p = 0.71 for a positive probability (more than 50 %), that is in this case: P(win at least 19 games out of 26) = 51 %.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 10:52 AM
  32. Not to throw any towel: you must play as if you were to be the champions.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 10:59 AM
  33. OBTW, I finally beat Kassandra at something for the time being; it appears that I am more long winded then her, or maybe with my old age, I just ramble more, but hey Kassandra don't take that as a challenge because I am a very slow reader, and it would cost me two trips to the Frig and my waistline can't afford it LMAO,

    We will beat Denver for the second game of a 20 game win streak, Sorry Soopadeajo Sopadeajo, the Devil and Kassandra made me do that. Everybody knows what a brat I am LOL. Peace my friend.

    by Hg on 2/26/2013 11:03 AM
  34. Another OBTW, the probability of my wife and I going the the local Casino and with in an hr both winning 500 bucks is about a gillion to one, but we did it. Also the probabilities of us going broke in and hour is almost 100% and we surely have done that, so there is exceptions to the probabilities test.

    Also, Soopadeajo Sopadeajo: your probabilities goes back to the first of the year, when the team was young and our bench was zelt. Now with a better bench with more experience a PG that is stepped beyond a rookie, we are a much better team, and we will continue to get better, So therefore, IMO, the probabilities are not accurate. and as Ancientone, it is hard to gage humans with mathematical probabilities.
    Not picking on you, you just got my mind in over drive Peace

    by Hg on 2/26/2013 11:43 AM
  35. Hg: Consider it done. Fridge is now empty.

    by Ancientone on 2/26/2013 2:40 PM
  36. The trouble with using mathematical formulas to project the chance of victory is that to begin the calculation you need a reliable number. Choosing the team's current winning percentage represents a reasonable, conservative estimate, but, to put that more plainly, it's really just a decent guess. We know that some teams improve as seasons progress, go to the playoffs and beat teams with better records. Those victories could be luck, and sometimes probably are, but in many cases teams simply learn to play together, get improvement from young players, and get over the injuries that slowed them early on. If a team has really improved, then you need to use a higher number at the start of the calculation. But figuring out whether the team has improved, and should be considered, say, a .500 team instead of a .464 team, is not easy. Most of us would say that starting to get victories over good teams, rather than losses to bad ones, would be a positive sign. We could also argue that a young team that has been showing improvement might be better than its record. But you could also say that Portland has been in so many close games, which can go either way depending on the luck of a couple of shots down the stretch (or a couple of bad calls by the refs) means that we have no real baseline. And if you throw out all the games decided by, say, six or less, you'd have too small a sample size to rely upon. As for observation evidence, you could say that having a couple of starters slowed by injury, on a team whose bench has been sub-par all year, suggests that the team will not play better than they did when those guys were healthy. I suspect that your overall analysis is correct, and the Blazers have very little chance to make the play-offs. But your attempt at precise calculations doesn't mean much, because we don't have reliable numbers to start the process. I'm pretty sure that the Blazers have won a lot more games when they're down by double-digits than the odds would consider probable. Maybe they've just been very lucky, and their record is actually better than their talent. But it's also possible that the wins reflect a kind of mental toughness that will produce a similar come-back effect down the stretch. My hopes aren't high, but I'll enjoy finding out.

    by David Maclaine on 2/26/2013 3:05 PM
  37. Hey David: the Blazers are guilty of playing down to what they feel are lesser opponents, but as you said, with a injured player coming back makes many teams better then there records and more home games then away games could make a team look better then what they really are. That is why we lost some of those way games because they are better then their record, and Portland because of youth, are much better at the Rose Garden then they are on the road, So that also have to be added in to the probability. So as you I am going to sit back and enjoy watching PDX trying to beat the odds again

    by Hg on 2/26/2013 4:14 PM
  38. Hg;
    I think you found the answer hidden in one of your responses. Check the Vegas line on the playoff chase. Cheer for the Blazers but don't bet your lunch money my friend.

    by Divotking on 2/26/2013 4:55 PM
  39. @Hg: i'm glad you beat me to it. keep in mind; i'm now studying for three majors so i regiment my time to my school work extremely rigidly. i don't see it as a challenge since i don't think it needs to be. i'm not even going to go into the math, etc., because i said it all before. my sister, Angi, wrote a blog on this site not quite a year ago where she stressed the importance of striving to win every game rather than tanking games. she wrote it from the aspect of her as a member of her softball team and a promise she and her players made to each other that no matter how the game is looking, they always will play their hearts out for each other. as you may surmise, i agree with her 100 percent on this. therefore, i will never back down from that position (neither will she; remind me to tell you sometime about the stubbornness of why she doesn't put the "e" on the end of Angi). our younger guys are getting minutes and, guys like Victor are earning more and more. that's how they will improve, rather than being given minutes because we've stopped playing to win.

    i appreciate the birthday wishes. it's tomorrow, though Angi herself just texted me to tell me that as of about 45 minutes ago, i turned 21 in england!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/26/2013 6:47 PM
  40. @Soopadeajo Sopadeajo: frankly, i'm not worried about any amount of math right now. i will tell you that your calculations do not in the least take into account the unpredictability i mentioned in my previous post addressed to you. i stated the following:

    "you never know when a team will go on a little winning -- or losing -- streak; you never know when a team will lose to a team it should beat (sound familiar this season?!) or beat a team it maybe shouldn't; you never know about injuries to your team or another; and, of course, you never know when your team is going to be sandblasted by the officials and/or league (such as the game against the Lakers friday night)."

    the win-loss potentials don't take those unpredictable factors into account at all. i'm sure it's great to have a mathematical formula to use, but it simply doesn't apply. let's go back a couple weeks. remember when we were 25-23 (prior to the seven-game skid)? our probabilities of making the playoffs would have looked a lot different then. the simple point is this: at that time, the mathematical equations had no way to take into account that we would lose seven straight games and, furthermore, had no way to take into account that that seventh loss would come pretty much at the hands of the league and it's officials.

    and that's the important thing here. as i said before, there are way too many unpredictable aspects of professional sports to be able to accurately rely on that kind of mathematical equation. granted, it looks cool, but given the unpredictability of the league, i just don't see any accurate substance to it.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 2/26/2013 6:47 PM
  41. I was not really following Portland until this last 2 games-i did not watch any game, just some of the resumes- and did not know the "unhappy" 7 losses in a row and the 25-23 previous result.
    Francis Galton coined the "regression towards the mean" experimental concept. He had discovered experimentally that the size of the descendant of the biggest flies was normal: We do not need any experiment here. Reading the old roman and greek texts we know flies existed and had the same size than today- and most animals. So there is a regression towards the mean; else flies would now be half a pound weight.
    Why did you choose to loose 7 in a row instead of winning, say, 9 or 10 in a row ? You did a bad choice. But you´ll tell me it was not your choice; i´ll tell you a team who cannot choose, cannot be a champion or a quality team.
    How many games did you loose because of the officiating ? How many did you win for the same reason ? How many did Lakers in its golden time? And Oklahoma or San Antonio now ? When i have watched San Antonio and Oklahoma games, i almost always saw them playing well but i have seen Portland playing bad. Many times when there is a few seconds left only, the ball goes to Aldridge because nobody else seems to be able; and Aldridge also fails then and at times; and also against Lakers. I agree ,though, the officiating was not balanced in the last game against them.

    Consider now the same average ratio of wins p= 0.464; but at mid-season.
    Say you have won 19 and you need 26 more wins to beat Houston or any other team for the playoffs out of the remaining 41 games. Then the probability P(at least 26 wins) = 2,1 % which is 3 times better than now; but yet a too low probability.
    And now let´s see what happened when 40 % season and 32 games played with 15 wins and the same p = 0.464. P(at least 30 wins) = 3.7 %; a better result but yet low. But consider a different p =0.5, that is just and only a 7.8 % increase in the average ratio of wins and 16 wins with 50 games left to play.
    P(at least 29 wins out of 50, with p=0.5) = 16.1 %. You see and may be understand that a minimal increase (8%) in the average winning ratio leads to a huge -like in the chaotic reign of some physical phenomena like meteorology wher the mathematical differential equations are very hard to solve; but i am far from being an expert- increase of 335 % of the final probability. And a probability of 16 % is good enough to consider there is a chance to go to the playoffs when the season was at 40 % and with just 8 % more wins. No cheap literature here; just solvable well know formulas and equations. Also no chaotic phenomena at all, but predictable probability; though it looks like chaos.

    And if you had not lost 7 games in a row , but the average expected of 3 then yo´ll be in almost the same favorable position Houston is. But the fact is you are not. Of course if magic happens and you win 15 in a row; you´ll go to playoffs but that´s magic, because you are not the Lakers or the Celtics in the golden times or Oklahoma now. There is no way to discuss magic.

    Finally consider two teams A and B. A thinks they´ll go to the playoffs because they do not know probability. But in team B , they know a bit of maths and how much improbable is to be there. Team B will play better and get more experienced, its wins will be better wins because they´ll play well just to play well, not be hoping any futile reward and be better prepared than team A for next year season; they´ll building from now.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/26/2013 11:17 PM
  42. Be careful with time, keep an eye on it; Kass; have a good birthday. Mine is tomorrow; 59 times crossing the same line around the yellow star and yet not fully tired.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/27/2013 12:32 AM
  43. Soop;
    Sorry for the shortening of your name. I can't get a handle on your handle. I can't spell it and I can't pronounce it. I like the fact you are an international fan. A long distance love affair with the Blazers. What's not to love. Right ?
    I like your angle on magic. This season has already been magical. We found a gold nugget in Damian. Overtime wins. Last second shots. Come from behind wins.
    It's the underdog syndrome. David and Goliath. That's the true magic of sports. When the math says one thing and the heart says another.
    Americans say "It's never over 'till it's over". Fight to the bitter end. Without hope you never find magic.

    by the golden ladder on 2/27/2013 9:46 AM
  44. To the golden ladder: OK.
    You may call me Soop. In fact my nick is written twice, only because i mistook when signing in for facebook and i do not know; nor consider, the way to fix it.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/27/2013 11:01 AM
  45. Having looked at the statistics after the game versus Denver; you play too many 3 shots. That lowers the general effectivity and is the responsable of the loss. A WAY TO PLAY MORE 2-POINTS less 3 points; must be found.

    by Soopadeajo Sopadeajo on 2/27/2013 11:23 PM
  46. Soop: According to the latest NBA stats, the corner three-pointer is the most efficient shot, based on number of points scored per shot. I don't have the actual number at hand but it's something close to 1.2 points per shot for the corner three. That's equivalent to shooting 60% on two point shots. Since very few players shoot 60%, and those are mostly bigs who never shoot threes, it seems the corner three is next best to layins and dunks.

    by dgpdx on 3/2/2013 9:53 PM
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