Golden State and the Power of (un)Luck


That was, according to FiveThirtyEight, the probability that Houston could miss that many threes (this seems almost as unlikely as a referee presiding over 13 playoff games where the home teams recorded a .077 win percentage). Basically, if Houston had merely shot "miserably awful" from the three point line, instead of "historically unprecedentedly catastrophically", today's speculative headlines would be about whether the Warriors window is closing, rather than whether or not "live by the three, die by the three" is a valid title strategy.

In other words, the fact that I have to listen to Chuck babble about how you can't win titles "shooting jumpers" for another year is really bad luck. And that's just one form of luck. We could also talk about how there shouldn't be much doubt that Minnesota and Utah were both probably tougher opponents than San Antonio and New Orleans, respectively, despite the fact that the #1 seed (in theory) provides the easier path to the finals.

Or the fact that Chris Paul had the audacity to get hurt in game 5 of the conference finals, while his counterpart Steph Curry was smart enough to get hurt a couple of weeks before the playoffs started instead.

As for Houston, there will be a lot of results-oriented punditry about how they should do things differently. I'm very much reminded of a certain Billy Bean quote. The reality is that the Rockets should probably just keep doing what they are doing (except for the whole getting Paul injured thing). Better luck next time, am I right?