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The Boxscore Geeks Show: Every Year is an Asterisk

We're back! We discuss the NBA Finals ... tangentially. We discuss two of our favorite topics - how modern NBA players are better than past ones, and how positions still matter in basketball. Tune in!



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Video Show

Show Notes

Pete Holmes on Google and Not Knowing stuff

We discuss The Flynn Effect, which notes that on standardized tests that are normalized to average, people seem to be improving. For instance, every decade the average gains roughly three points on the IQ test. We relate this to the NBA, tune in!

This was inspired by two things. First, Jack O'Brien (@jack_obrien), founder of and former host of the Cracked Podcast, has left after over a decade there. On his first and last episodes of the podcast, he discusses the Flynn Effect. If you're a Jack O'Brien fan, you can check out (there's a c in that URL that's hard to catch!) to see what he'll be doing next.

Also, Magic Johnson hypothesized recently that the Show Time Lakers would sweep the current Warriors. I had one retort for that:

Additionally, I find it laughable the notion that a team in the 80s would stand any shot at competing with the best team from three decades in the future. It's the same as thinking a team from the 60s could compete with the Showtime Lakers!

We compare the Flynn Effect to another popular theory: Moore's Law, which relates to how the speed of computing has risen dramatically. For example, my iPhone, which is actually quite old, is significantly faster as a computer than an expensive computer I built myself in high school.

I definitely want to look at how the average NBA player has changed. I attempt to improv an example in the show, which fails, mostly. Fun note though, the average wing in 1986 shot under 30% from three!

Kevin Durant is helping the Warriors play 'small ball'? No! We discuss the notion of positionless basketball and rehash Ari Caroline's work on this.

I feel bad for Lebron because he's doing all that he can averaging a triple double in the Finals but its not enough against the star-studded Warriors and he's going to get hated on because he lost. People will look at his Finals record and try to compare it to Jordan and Kobe etc Most casual fans never look at the context they just look at who won and who lost in the end unfortunately.
xitongzou: Stephen A Smith already did a rant that you can't be considered GOAT if you get swept in the finals. Nonsensical argument, but there it is from a pretty influential basketball voice.
Yup, from the same people who think losing in the first round is better than losing in the Finals.. (since it doesnt affect finals record)

Lol, that is always a point I bring up. People mention Magic as one of the best all time (which they should) and then bring up his 5 titles. I feel his 9 NBA finals in 12 (or is it 13? too lazy to check) is far more impressive than 5 titles. If a title is the ultimate goal than you should be judged at how close you got to that goal as an average, not just how many times you summited.
^ indeed. The most successful star players are probably Bill Russell (11 rings in 13 seasons), Tim Duncan (won a ring in three different decades) and Magic Johnson (9 Finals in 12 years), if we judge purely by winning and never missing the playoffs, these three are the mount rushmore. Of course then we have guys like John Havlicek who is 8-0 in the Finals, Jerry West who went to 9 Finals as well, and Tom Heinsohn who astoundingly went to the Finals *every year* of his career.
I feel bad for LeBron not so much because sure his accomplishments might not be liked by guys suck as skip Bayless or Stephen a but at the end of the day he still has 3 titles in 8 finals.

I feel more for example Sidney moncrief who was never able to get to the finals because the Celtics and the sixers were just too strong and he was also a player whose prime was cut short due to injury, had he been healthy he would have had more all stars, more all nba team and he would have been selected to the hall of fame immediately.
Now that the season has finished is there going to be a post on how the "Trip to Vegas" bets did?

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