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Author Topic: The 40-20 Club  (Read 1188 times)

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The 40-20 Club
« on: February 18, 2020, 07:43:22 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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Phil Jackson famously once said that he believed the mark of a genuine contender is that the team wins 40 games before notching its 20th loss.

We're right about at the point in the NBA season where most teams have either hit that threshold or failed to meet it.


These are the teams that are either in the club already or appear likely to be get in:


Bucks - 46-8

Lakers - 41-12

Raptors - 40-15

Celtics - 38-16

Nuggets - 38-17

Clippers - 37-18



Could make still make it:

Jazz - 36-18

Heat - 35-19





Six teams, maybe as many as eight! 

This strikes me as a large number of teams with a claim to contender status.


Last year, only 4 teams hit the mark (Bucks, Raps, Warriors, Nuggets).  The same was true the year before that (Raps, Celts, Warriors, Rockets), and in 2017 there were 5 teams (Cavs, Warriors, Rockets, Spurs).

I don't have time to go back through the last two decades of NBA history, but I would guess that having more than 4 or 5 teams hit this mark is quite unusual.


What do you think?  Do you buy that there are really this many contenders this year?  Is the bottom third of the league just especially soft this year, resulting in more teams with elite records?


As good as the Bucks are, I don't think there's an invincible team this year.  Each team has significant flaws, and any of the teams in range of 40-19 has a case to make for having a shot at the Finals, if not the title.
You値l have to excuse my lengthiness葉he reason I dread writing letters is because I am so apt to get to slinging wisdom & forget to let up. Thus much precious time is lost.
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Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2020, 07:57:26 PM »

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It would be an interesting study to go through all the championship winners in the past years, and see how many actually didn't make the 40-20 club.
2020 Celticsstrong All-2000s Draft: Denver Nuggets:
PG: Gary Payton / Kyrie Irving / Steve Francis
SG: Rip Hamiltion / Raja Bell / Danny Green
SF: Carmelo Anthony / Glenn Robinson / Robert Covington
PF: Draymond Green / Anthony Mason
C: Tim Duncan / DeMarcus Cousins / Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 09:14:15 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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It would be an interesting study to go through all the championship winners in the past years, and see how many actually didn't make the 40-20 club.


Check out this article from 2018

http://lrnba.com/2018/04/18/anatomy-of-a-contender-40-before-20-part-1/


Only three title winners in the last forty years or so didn't make the cut. The 94 Rockets, the 04 Pistons, and the 06 Heat.

The 98 Spurs were in a lockout season so couldn't really qualify.



I suspect the 2010 Celts did not qualify and they came very close to a title.
You値l have to excuse my lengthiness葉he reason I dread writing letters is because I am so apt to get to slinging wisdom & forget to let up. Thus much precious time is lost.
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Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 09:39:23 PM »

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It would be an interesting study to go through all the championship winners in the past years, and see how many actually didn't make the 40-20 club.


Check out this article from 2018

http://lrnba.com/2018/04/18/anatomy-of-a-contender-40-before-20-part-1/


Only three title winners in the last forty years or so didn't make the cut. The 94 Rockets, the 04 Pistons, and the 06 Heat.

The 98 Spurs were in a lockout season so couldn't really qualify.



I suspect the 2010 Celts did not qualify and they came very close to a title.
Thx for the interesting read. I looked through this last decade, and it seems that the 40-20 club varies from 4-6 members. The Western conference had times that 4 different teams were in the 40-20 club, while the Eastern conference has had only one at some points.
2020 Celticsstrong All-2000s Draft: Denver Nuggets:
PG: Gary Payton / Kyrie Irving / Steve Francis
SG: Rip Hamiltion / Raja Bell / Danny Green
SF: Carmelo Anthony / Glenn Robinson / Robert Covington
PF: Draymond Green / Anthony Mason
C: Tim Duncan / DeMarcus Cousins / Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 10:00:08 PM »

Online SparzWizard

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We all know the Jazz, Heat, and Nuggets are not making it to the Finals.

Five teams that will contend for a title: Bucks, Celtics, Clippers, Lakers, Raptors.

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 11:42:14 PM »

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It would be an interesting study to go through all the championship winners in the past years, and see how many actually didn't make the 40-20 club.


Check out this article from 2018

http://lrnba.com/2018/04/18/anatomy-of-a-contender-40-before-20-part-1/


Only three title winners in the last forty years or so didn't make the cut. The 94 Rockets, the 04 Pistons, and the 06 Heat.

The 98 Spurs were in a lockout season so couldn't really qualify.



I suspect the 2010 Celts did not qualify and they came very close to a title.

Interesting to look at the 'anomaly' of the 2014-15 Cavs.  They not only failed to make the 40-before-20 mark, they actually started out with an awful 19-20 mark ... before roaring to the Finals.

Overall - the fact that the 40-20 percentage was worse for teams that 'only' made the Finals vs those that one suggests that Finals teams that start the regular season slow and then finish it stronger have been less successful at winning it all than teams that started stronger.

One comment I liked reading was in the section discussing the 40-20 teams at the time of the article, in the 2017-18 season, which included the Rockets, Raptors, Warriors and Celtics.   Of the Celtics' chances of reaching the Conference Finals the author had this to say:

Quote
The Celtics also have a 2-0 lead over the Bucks but with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out for the remainder of the playoffs (reportedly), are not expected to make the Eastern Conference Finals.

 :laugh:
NBA Officiating - Corrupt?  Incompetent?  Which is worse?  Does it matter?  It sucks.

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2020, 01:44:14 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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Quote
The Celtics also have a 2-0 lead over the Bucks but with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out for the remainder of the playoffs (reportedly), are not expected to make the Eastern Conference Finals.

 :laugh:


Yeah I enjoyed that part, as well.

Though it brought me back to the disappointment of losing at the very end of Game 7 to that awful Cavs team.
You値l have to excuse my lengthiness葉he reason I dread writing letters is because I am so apt to get to slinging wisdom & forget to let up. Thus much precious time is lost.
- Mark Twain

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 01:46:54 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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You値l have to excuse my lengthiness葉he reason I dread writing letters is because I am so apt to get to slinging wisdom & forget to let up. Thus much precious time is lost.
- Mark Twain

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2020, 01:58:53 PM »

Offline Briantir

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We all know the Jazz, Heat, and Nuggets are not making it to the Finals.

Five teams that will contend for a title: Bucks, Celtics, Clippers, Lakers, Raptors.

Yup those are my 5 as well, Philly didn't keep Butler so they suck now people think Joel and Simmons are good but if you watch that Philly Toronto series from last year Butler was the superstar that series Joel Embidd was shut down by Gasol and JJ Reddick was amazing for them too.

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 02:41:58 PM »

Offline Fafnir

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Nuggets massive homecourt disparity in the regular season makes me suspect they don't make the cut. Their point differential is middling and they are outperforming it by a whopping 4 (highest in league) games to get their current record.

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2020, 03:50:49 PM »

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Quote
The Celtics also have a 2-0 lead over the Bucks but with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward out for the remainder of the playoffs (reportedly), are not expected to make the Eastern Conference Finals.

 :laugh:


Yeah I enjoyed that part, as well.

Though it brought me back to the disappointment of losing at the very end of Game 7 to that awful Cavs team.

I can't believe they lost to that awful Cavs team in Game 7 at the Garden. Their one and only home loss in that playoffs.

Had the C's win, they likely beat GSW in 7 games and win #18.

Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 03:51:03 PM »

Offline Phantom255x

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Nuggets massive homecourt disparity in the regular season makes me suspect they don't make the cut. Their point differential is middling and they are outperforming it by a whopping 4 (highest in league) games to get their current record.

What do you mean massive homecourt disparity? Aren't the Nuggets like 21-7 at home, 17-10 away. That seems very balanced.
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Re: The 40-20 Club
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2020, 03:56:39 PM »

Offline Phantom255x

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I'll admit, I do think the "40-20" metric holds some weight. Of course, you may see some teams who "miss the cut" but get absolutely red hot in the 2nd half and make a deep playoff push, but in terms of identifying true contenders it seems to do a great job.

I'd say the true threats to win it all (in no order) are Boston, Denver, Utah, Toronto, both LA teams, Milwaukee and Houston.

Some might be surprised at seeing Houston, but their smallball thing actually has been working and I think they'll give teams fits with Westbrook and Harden potentially going berserk. Even the LA teams I think will have their work cut out for them against Houston, because while they may have the best frontcourt/wing duos, I doubt their guards (especially the Lakers' guards) can contain Westbrook + Harden. In the past, their biggest obstacle was Golden State, but now as OP mentions, I wouldn't say there's a "clear cut" favorite and the field is wide open.
"Tough times never last, but tough people do." - Robert H. Schuller