The 2009-2010 N.B.A. Finals and N.H.L. Stanley Cup Finals are under the way. What are the main factors that determine the winners? What are the characteristics that could determine which team will take home the prize? Fans of sports may find this piece interesting because of its sports analysis. Executives and sports organizations may be interested in knowing how we conduct our research initiatives in order to assist teams maximize your chances of winning.
After studying the NHL Draftkings Optimizer series, or championship games that comprise The N.F.L., N.B.A., Major League Baseball and N.H.L., and the major finals of tennis and golf We identified the characteristics of 50 championships in our book “Who will win in the Big Game? A Psychological and Mathematical Method.” Based on similar research, we analyzed certain characteristics of championships that could aid in predicting the winner of the N.H.L. and N.B.A. Finals.
This article will concentrate on the dynamics of leadership defense, consistency, and leadership. These are the aspects that are most relevant for the upcoming finals of this year as they apply to every major sport we’ve looked at.
Leadership in the back of the bench and on the field has been proven to be significant statistically in the context of winning championships. Our study has revealed that there are coaches who are able to lead their teams towards excellence. There are coaches with more experience, like Phil Jackson, the Lakers’ Phil Jackson, with superior records in finals, than an unscientific mathematical model could suggest. Phil Jackson is 10-2 in N.B.A. Finals as coach. Others are Red Auerbach, John Wooden, Chuck Knoll, Bobby Bowden, Scotty Bowman, and Al Arbour – all are coaches who have well-above.500 record in appearances at the finals.
A strong leadership style in the field is important. In the last twenty years, teams that has the most offensive stars in terms of points per game , has been 14-6 (70.0 percent) at the N.B.A. Championships. This favours players like the Lakers as well as Kobe Bryant, with his 27.0 points per game during the entire season.
In the same way, hockey teams that have better offensive leadership had a record of 19-11 (63.3 percent) at the Stanley Cup Finals over the thirty years that have passed, determined by the points earned. This is a factor that favours teams like the Black Hawks, and Patrick Kane (88 points) over the Flyers and Mike Richards (62 points).
In nearly all sports we have examined, defense is the only way to triumph in championships. Our research has proved that this is true for championships like the Super Bowl as well as the World Series. This assertion is applicable to the Stanley Cup Finals and N.B.A. Championships too. In the last three decades, the team with the highest goalie’s save percentage has been 18-11 (62.2 percent). Since the period of high scoring from in the mid-80’s until the mid-90’s, defense in hockey has become a stronger active. Teams that have the best save rate have:
* 3-0 in the last four years (teams were similar save percentages in one time),
* 6-1 in the last 8 years
* and 13-4 in the over the last 18 years.
This is in favor of those Philadelphia Flyers with their.907 save percentage, compared to that of Chicago Black Hawks and their.903 save percentage.
Defense can also help teams in basketball achieve championships. It is evident that, on average, defensive elements are more closely linked to being successful than offensive ones. In the last twenty years, the side that has the best defense, measured by points per match, have finished 13-7 (65.0 percent) during N.B.A. Championships. This is a factor that favours those Celtics (95.6 points each game) during the current season. The Lakers have surrendered 97.0 scores per match in the season’s regular seasons.
Another important aspect to win is the ability to stay consistent. It’s interesting to note that this kind of “consistency factor” is often associated with “less thrilling heroics” than the majority of sports fans might think. For instance in baseball, our study shows that the batting average is more closely linked with winning World Series than home runs.
Similarly, in N.B.A. Finals, the field shot percentages are much more significant than shooting percentages of three points. In the last 20 years the team with the highest shooting percentage in the field has been 12-7 (63.2%)) in the professional basketball championship series. This is a factor that favours the Celtics this year, as they have their 48.3 percentage of FG %, compared to that of Lakers’ 45.7%.
Championship Factors and 2010 Finals
Which team will take home this year’s Stanley Cup Finals? The #2 seeded Black Hawks are heavy favorites over the seeded #7 Flyers (about 2.5-1 favorite) However, the Flyers certainly have the power in the bench and between the goalposts in order to make an appearance.
The N.B.A. Finals present an interesting dilemma. The factors that determine leadership point to that of the Lakers (coaching and stars in leadership) however, other elements (defense and the consistency) favour the Celtics.