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The Real Reason the Lakers Need Homecourt

The Lakers recently have been dismissive of their poor start to the season, which has included a 3 game and 4 game losing streak against one of the weakest SoS in the league. On one hand, Mark Medina makes a valid point that Game 7 last year against the Celtics would probably have turned out much differently in a TD Garden madhouse. Brian Kamentzky of ESPN Los Angeles further reiterates the point, noting that only 23% of road teams have won the Finals since the league went to a 16 team format.

Of even greater concern is that the Lakers, on a collision course for their 4th consecutive Finals appearance in 2011, have still not proven they are more than a one Kobe show on the road in the Finals, even those that they have won. The statistics speak volumes. These are Kobe and Pau’s stats home and away during the 2008 finals
Pau Gasol 2008 and 2010 Finals Home and Away Statistics

Home/Away PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Home 18.4 12.6 4.1 0.6 2.3
Away 14.8 9.0 2.8 0.7 0.8

Kobe Bryant 2008 and 2010 Finals Home and Away Statistics

Home/Away PPG RPG APG SPG BPG
Home 25.4 8.0 4.6 3.0 0.1
Away 29.3 4.7 4.3 1.7 0.8

While Kobe actually (and perhaps not surprisingly) improved on the road, Pau (the so-called most skilled big on the planet), averaged a mediocre 15-9-3 line during 6 road games against the Celtics — a stat line that may make David Lee’s grandmother proud, but was far from dominating. In the safe confines of Staples, Pau averaged 27% more PPG and 34% more RPG. With this in mind, it is safe to say the Lakers may have dodged a bullet last year with LeChoke and his fellow Cavs bowing out early against the Celtics.

So, all this being said, how do the Lakers homecourt chances look from here on out? Actually, not as bad as one may think. First, let’s assume that homecourt is really only important in the Finals, since it is unlikely that the Spurs and Mavericks will beat the Lakers in a 7 game series, regardless of where on the planet that series is played. That really leaves the Celtics and the Heat as the primary obstacles. The Celtics are well ahead of the Lakers, however, they have an old team that is already coming aparas the season wears on. The Scheme Team is just 1.5 games ahead of the Lakers and have played 3 less road games. To get homecourt, the Lakers probably need to win around 62 games, which would require them to finish 40-10.

Difficult yes? But do the Lakers know any way different?

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Discussion

7 Responses to “The Real Reason the Lakers Need Homecourt”

  1. You suck.

    Posted by Dirty South | January 30, 2011, 11:10 pm
  2. troll.

    Posted by Brown Mamba | February 4, 2011, 5:10 pm
  3. fuck you!!!

    Posted by Lebron James | February 22, 2011, 3:36 am
  4. I guess this is half truth..
    but statistics doesn’t prove anything..

    players can do better that they are if they want/try to..

    Posted by LakerFanatic | February 22, 2011, 10:08 am
  5. If the celtics and lakers meet in the finals again, the lakers will not need home court because the celtics have no legit bigs

    Posted by Tremaine Edwards Jr. | March 2, 2011, 7:09 pm
    • Tre — I agree, the biggest winner from the Perkins-Green trade may have been the Lakers. Pau and Odom wanted no part of a Garnett-Perkins frontcourt. We saw the rebounding difference when Perk was out for Game 7 of last year’s Finals. All that being said, neither player has shown the ability to seize the moment on the road against the Celtics, so it remains to be seen whether they are able to play better with Krstic in the lineup.

      Posted by Brown Mamba | March 2, 2011, 9:06 pm
  6. My favorite sentence from this post: “…since it is unlikely that the Spurs and Mavericks will beat the Lakers in a 7 game series, regardless of where on the planet that series is played.”

    Posted by flacito | May 9, 2011, 9:17 pm

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