Bill Russells Celtics Were Great Tim Duncans Spurs Have Been Better

The 1980s Lakers win eight championships in a row and 10 championships in 12 years, pretty much matching the 1960s Celtics.Tim Duncan’s Spurs win 10 titles (and counting), instead of five.Larry Bird wins eight rings — including five in a row — instead of three.LeBron James wins six consecutive championships — two with the Cavaliers of the Central League and four with the Heat of the Eastern League — and is in contention for a seventh this year.The New York Knicks have a mini-dynasty, winning the Eastern League five times in eight seasons from 1993 to 2000.The Oklahoma City Thunder, rather than missing their window, win four straight Western League championships from 2011 to 2014.Karl Malone and John Stockton are three-time champions instead of perennial bridesmaids.The New Jersey Nets three-peat in the Eastern League from 2002 to 2004.Russell’s 11 rings are still impressive, but they’re no longer such an outlier when looked at in this way. Or here’s another method: Instead of assigning hypothetical championships, take away some credit for championships that were won in a smaller league. For instance, if a team won a championship in a 10-team NBA, it would get credit for one-third of a championship in a 30-team league.By that calculation, the Celtics’ 11 championships are equivalent to three or four championships in a 30-team league.3Specifically, they’re worth 3.4 championships. The other dynasties aren’t affected as much. Duncan’s Spurs still pretty much get full credit for all five championships. Jordan’s Bulls get credit for five or six, and the 1980s Lakers about four.You can argue, of course, that the Celtics were so far ahead of the pack that they’d have held on to most of their championships even in a 30-team league. But they weren’t that dominant in the regular season. In Russell’s tenure with the team, they averaged the equivalent of a 58-24 regular-season record. That’s very good — but not much better than, say, Dirk Nowitzki’s Mavericks over the past 15 seasons. They weren’t even especially dominant in the playoffs! In their 11 championship seasons, Russell’s Celtics won 67 percent of their playoff games. Other NBA champions throughout history have won 73 percent of theirs.The Celtics came through in the clutch, obviously, just about every time it mattered — Russell was 10-0 for his career in Game 7s! But if you’re accused of benefiting from playing middling competition,4The Celtics’ average playoff opponent during Russell’s tenure had an Elo rating of 1570 entering the game. The Duncan-era Spurs have faced playoff opponents with an average Elo of 1639, by contrast. the more persuasive rebuttal comes from blowing your opponents out.One final objection we anticipate hearing from Celtics fans: Isn’t it harder, in some sense, to win a championship in a 10-team league since the player talent pool is more concentrated? In a literal sense, the answer is “no”; it’s easier to win a championship when there are more championships to go around per team.5Consider that if you reduced the entire NBA to just two All-Star teams, East and West, each of them would win the championship about half the time.But it could be argued that the average quality of competition was higher during the 1960s, with just 10 teams or so, instead of 30. Elo doesn’t make too many assumptions about this.6Elo’s implicit assumption is that the quality of NBA competition is fairly constant over the long run but that it can be disturbed in the short run by rapid expansion. I’m not sure it’s a winning argument, however. Consider:In the 1960s NBA, there were still remnants of a racist quota system that limited teams to three or four African-Americans.There were almost no international players in the 1960s, whereas now they make up about a quarter of league rosters.The U.S. population has increased by about 75 percent since 1960.Basketball has become a far more prominent and lucrative sport; in the mid-1960s, the NBA averaged only about 5,000 fans per game. A talented amateur athlete might have opted for another sport before basketball, and it was not uncommon for high NBA draft picks to bypass the league for another option.In other words, it seems likely that the NBA talent pool has grown at least as fast as the number of franchises since the 1960s. The 1960s didn’t even feature particularly great “fundamental” basketball. League-wide free-throw percentages were typically about 72 percent or 73 percent, compared with more like 75 percent or 76 percent now. The Celtics were the best team of their era, but also a product of it, and that era isn’t as rich for NBA competition as the one we have now. WTF, nerds? You’re telling us that this season’s Golden State Warriors, who haven’t won anything yet, are better than Bill Russell’s Celtics, who won eight titles in a row and 11 in 13 seasons?Actually, no. It would be ridiculous to say that. Last week, we released an interactive graphic, “The Complete History of the NBA,” which uses a relatively simple formula called Elo to rate NBA teams. Indeed, it currently ranks this year’s Warriors as the fourth-best team in NBA history, although they may rise or fall depending on how the rest of their playoff run goes. Meanwhile, no single season from the 1960s Celtics dynasty ranks higher than 47th on the all-time list.But Elo’s claim is that the 2014-15 Warriors season has been better than any single season in the Celtics’ run. In terms of long-term accomplishments, of course, it’s not even close. The 1960s Celtics’ competition comes, instead, from about who you’d expect: the 1990s Bulls, the current Spurs dynasty and the 1980s Lakers and Celtics.I’ve thought a lot about how to use Elo to rate sports dynasties. It’s a tricky problem, in part because you have to define when a dynasty begins and ends. Almost all of us would agree, I assume, that Michael Jordan’s Bulls were one continuous dynasty even though Jordan temporarily retired in the middle of it. But what about Kobe Bryant’s Lakers? Should the three titles they won from 2000 to 2002 be considered part of the same dynasty as the two they won in 2009 and 2010?Here’s one fairly simple approach (let us know down in the comments if you have a better method): We’ll define a dynasty as ending when a team’s Elo rating falls below 1500, which is the long-term league average. This is a reasonably forgiving standard, since teams carry over part of their rating from one season to the next. For instance, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Elo rating never fell below 1500 this season even though they started out 3-12.By this definition, Jordan’s six titles do get grouped together. The Bulls’ rating never fell below 1527 even when Jordan was playing outfield for the Birmingham Barons. But Kobe’s five titles are not considered part of the same dynasty since the Lakers’ Elo rating was below 1500 for part of the 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.The longest streak of above-average play belongs to the San Antonio Spurs. Their Elo rating rose above 1500 on Jan. 3, 1998, and hasn’t fallen below it since, a period that covers more than 17 years, or 1,644 games1Regular-season and playoff. and counting. That’s impressive even compared to the Celtics, who had an above-average Elo rating from March 14, 1956 to Nov. 12, 1969. Insanely great — 13.5 years and 1,198 games — but not as great as the Spurs.The 1980s Lakers also had a longer streak (1,363 games) than the Celtics. But maybe, even if the Celtics’ streak was slightly shorter, they were playing at a slightly higher level than those other teams?Not according to Elo. The Spurs had an average Elo rating of 1664 during their streak, as compared with 1634 for the 1960s Celtics. The Lakers’ Elo rating, 1641, was also slightly higher than the Celtics’.We can also assign an overall score to each dynasty by taking a team’s average Elo rating during the streak, subtracting the league-average rating of 1500, and multiplying it by the number of games the streak lasted.2For math geeks: This is equivalent to calculating the area under the curve between a team’s Elo rating and the league-average rating. Overall, this method has the Spurs way out in front — 40 percent better than any other dynasty. The 1980s Lakers are in second, while the 1990s Bulls jump ahead of the 1960s Celtics to place third. (What about the the Warriors? Their current “dynasty” ranks as only the 47th-best all-time. Check back in 2023.)But: the rings! How can you ignore 11 championships?You could certainly develop a dynasty-rating method that puts more emphasis on winning titles. The simple method we’re using in this article gives no special credit for them, which is why — once you get past the canonical dynasties in the top five — it likes teams like the Dallas Mavericks from 2000 to 2012, who won just one title, and the 1990s Utah Jazz, who won none.But there’s something to keep in mind when you consider the 1960s Celtics and their rings. It’s much easier to win a championship in a 10-team league, like the NBA was, on average, when they were playing, than in the 30-team league we have now.Here’s an illustration of that. I divided the 30 current NBA franchises into three “leagues” of 10 teams each:The Eastern League consists of franchises currently in the NBA’s Atlantic and Southeast divisions.The Central League consists of franchises currently in the Central and Southwest divisions.The Western League includes franchises from the Pacific and Northwest divisions.Then, for each season since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976-77, I assigned a champion to each “league” based on which of its 10 teams advanced furthest in the actual NBA playoffs. When there were ties — for instance, if the last two teams from a “league” were both eliminated in the NBA conference finals — I broke them based on which team had the higher year-end Elo rating. Check out what happens: read more

Europa League showed their identity – Rodgers

first_imgThe former Liverpool boss praised players and fans for playing their part in “a proper victory” over Bundeliga high-fliers RB Leipzig.An early goal from Kieran Tierney and a late goal from Odsonne Edouard earned a 2-1 win over the Bundesliga side and boosted Celtic’s hopes of qualifying from their group.Rodgers has seen his side show impressive domestic form in recent weeks and he felt the team brought that form to Europe.“It was a proper victory for us this evening,” he said, according to Stv Sport.“Everyone knows the level that Leipzig are playing at week in, week out, and where they sit in their domestic league. We saw over there what a good side they are.“But everyone involved with Celtic deserves a huge amount of credit. The players were outstanding. I think we brought our true face to the game tonight in terms of how we’ve been playing and with our pressing.Leicester City, Manchester UnitedMatch Preview: Manchester United vs Leicester City Boro Tanchev – September 13, 2019 Old Trafford is the venue for the Premier League encounter between Manchester United and Leicester City, which kicks off at 16:00 (CET) on Saturday.“We brought our identity to the game.”Rodgers also praised the effort of the fans and that the support from the stands for the team’s victory.“The players knew they had to work hard defensively,” Rodgers added. “They were aggressive, fought for every ball and then they showed the quality when they had it.“And then obviously the supporters were absolutely magnificent.“It’s always very emotional here at Celtic Park but that synergy between both [players and fans] brought us the result“It was a fantastic three points for us.”last_img read more

Mobile Technology for Business Owners On the Go

first_img Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Hotel rooms. Coffee shops. Planes, trains and automobiles. Sometimes these remote places become a small-business owner’s office when he or she is traveling. But just because you’re on-the-go doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected to your business and keep up with the myriad of tasks on your plate.Luckily for road-warrior types, a number of gadgets and high-tech services are designed for helping business owners boost productivity while on the move. Here’s a look at some of the best:Hands-Free Calling and Bluetooth HeadsetsThe Platronics Voyager PRO+A number of high-quality, hands-free calling and wireless Bluetooth headsets can make it easier to participate in meetings or converse with colleagues while driving. The MoGo Talk XD and XD2 ($99.99) are practical options that offer four hours of talk time and noise and wind-reduction features, as their earpieces snap directly into a compatible iPhone case. Given this specialized housing, it’s difficult to lose the devices.Still, those looking for premium audio quality or a more stylish solution can try the Motorola Finiti ($129.99), whose three microphones do an excellent job of filtering out ambient background noise.Related: Top 10 Car Technology TrendsWhile a little larger and less aesthetically pleasing than some of its rivals, the Platronics Voyager PRO+ ($99.99) is a contender as well. Its features include crisp call quality and an optional phone service that lets you use voice-activated commands to send email and texts, or listen to breaking news.In-Car Apps and Online ConnectivityFord’s hands-free, voice activated SYNC with MyFordTouch technologyCar owners looking to stay connected also have several choices. Ford’s SYNC with MyFordTouch hands-free, voice activated technology is available in a number of its models, including the 2011 Taurus and Explorer, and 2012 Focus and Mustang. It includes a color-coded dashboard display with dual 4.2-inch LCD monitors and the ability to access turn-by-turn directions or retrieve your phonebook for hands-free calling. You can also dictate Tweets or change radio stations via spoken command.For Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC or Buick owners, in-vehicle emergency and communications service OnStar offers a MyLink app that lets you turn your phone into a remote control. Using it, you can unlock your door, start the vehicle or activate your horn and lights from a distance.Toyota will soon introduce an in-dash multimedia system called Entune, which pairs with smartphone apps so you can conduct online searches via Bing, book lunch meetings through OpenTable or access traffic reports and stock quotes.GPS, Outdoor and Location-Based DevicesBusiness owners who frequently travel to remote areas might consider picking up the Spot Connect ($169.99 + $99.99/year). A puck-shaped navigator that connects your smartphone to communications satellites, it offers instant location tracking as well as the option to check in with the office anywhere, regardless of local cellular coverage.Related: 10 Brands That Can Help Make Business Travel More BearableThe Spark Tablet PC CasePair that with the Spark Tablet PC Case (not yet priced, due Spring 2011) and you’ll be ready to do remote fieldwork. The case is a lightweight, waterproof solar charger that stores a full charge with exposure to sunlight for your iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab.Should the need to capture on-site images for research, fact-finding or insurance purposes arise, Pentax’s Optio WG-1 GPS digital camera ($399.95) can help as well. It’s a rugged 14-megapixel model with video recording features that’s water-, cold- and shock-proof. Additionally, it includes GPS geo-tagging features, so you can quickly associate images with your location.Presentation and Public Speaking ToolsPortable presentation tools can be a must for mobile operations. Among the more intriguing options is HP’s Pocket Whiteboard ($699.00), which attaches to your PC or laptop via a USB connector. By sketching with its stylus, you can transform almost any flat surface into a 10-foot tall drawing board ready to scribble flowcharts, diagrams or notes on.Another is Papershow ($199), a wireless tool that allows you to write using the system’s Bluetooth digital pen on a piece of interactive paper. Your notes will then appear on a Mac or PC via a wireless USB connector.Related: New Conference-Call Tool Makes Group Calls from the Road EasierThe Sony Handycam HDR-PJ50VWhile a more expensive solution for displaying sales pitches or market forecasts, the Sony Handycam HDR-PJ50V ($999.99) also promises to save you from carrying multiple gadgets. A two-in-one high-definition (HD) video camera and projector, it can record more than 90 hours of board meetings, presentations and product demos on a built-in 220 gigabyte hard drive. The device can also display up to 60-inch images on-command.The next time the open road or a cross-country flight beckons, consider packing any or all of these devices along. Allowing you to stay productive while in-transit, all are ready to travel whenever you are. 4 min read May 11, 2011 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more