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Post Info TOPIC: Big Fros and Short Shorts--Strat Ball Tourney
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General Manager

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Posts: 13508
Date: Oct 7, 2016
Big Fros and Short Shorts--Strat Ball Tourney
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Due to the three point line, as well as the stupid "Hack-a-Whoever" foul rule, teams shy away from emptying the bench in the 4th quarter with a big lead (like say 15 or so) until the last minute.

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"NACSTER'S HISTORICAL REPLAY"

34 REPLAYS IN THE BOOKS!

1876-1883

1896-1900

1906

1916-1917

1921, 1929

1936-1937

1943, 1946

1956-1963

1976

1986

1991, 1996

37,117 regular season games through 34 replays!

 

 



Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Posts: 701
Date: Oct 14, 2016
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CENTRAL

Atlanta (#3) at Cleveland (#5)

ATL 24 28 35 28-115

CLE  19 28 24 17-88

High Scorers

ATL: John Drew 29, Eddie Johnson 16

CLE: Mike Mitchell 21, Bingo Smith 16

The Hawks get a great, controlled game from Drew, solid production from their bench, and run the brick-laying Cavs out of their own gym. Cleveland kept it close for about 28 minutes or so, and then the Hawks applied pressure, creating turnovers and forced shots, and soon the deficit had ballooned to over thirty. Cleveland got no home-cooking; they were called for 31 fouls to just 18 for the visitors, resulting in a 34 to 12 free throw disparity. Campy Russell struggled from the floor and was held to just 10 points, and the previously red-hot Jim Chones finally cooled off as well (10 points.) Cleveland is eliminated with the loss, while Hubie Brown's Hawks advance to play the loser of Detroit-Houston. 

Cleveland finished 2-2, so just for fun, let's compare some scoring averages versus actual, real numbers in parentheses;

Campy Russell  20.8 (21.9)

Mike Mitchell 17.0 (10.7)--I used Mitchell more than the Cavs did. Mike could shoot the rock and proved to be an efficient scorer in his career. He was a rookie in 78-79, but I played him more like a veteran, although his lack of defense and rebounding would no doubt have cost them in different match-ups, and perhaps led to less time.

Jim Chones 17.0 (13.4)

Bingo Smith 13.0 (11.2)--close enough for a bingo?

Austin Carr 9.3 (17.0)--just couldn't buy a bucket.

Foots Walker 8.7 (10.1)

Cleveland scored 107.8 a game versus 106.5, while allowing 106.8 (110.2). Given that it is just four games and their competition was probably weaker than their actual schedule, I can certainly live with these results. 

Mike Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Posts: 701
Date: Oct 14, 2016
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PACIFIC

Los Angeles (#3) at San Diego (#5)

LA  30 27 32 23-112

SD 27 22 35 32-116

High Scorers

LA: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 31, Adrian Dantley 28

SD: Lloyd Free 25, Randy Smith 22

Kareem comes out motivated and engaged and the Lakers jump out to an early double digit lead. But the power forward match-up goes decisively to the Clippers as former Laker Kermit Washington (17 points) dominates Jamaal Wilkes (just 7 points), both on the glass and on the scoreboard, and the Clips are able to hang around, bolstered by Freeman Williams long range marksmanship (16 points) and relentless offensive rebounding. They finally take over the lead in the fourth quarter, and the last three minutes sees a thrilling back-and-forth duel between Dantley and Free, as the two gunners exchange field goals on six consecutive possessions. Ultimately the Clippers hang on before a disappointing crowd that is nearly evenly split between locals and Laker fans who made the drive south. Jabbar finishes with 12 rebounds, six blocks, and five assists, but fouls out, and with the rest of his team, retires from the tournament winless. The surprising Clippers advance to play the loser of the Phoenix-Golden State game.

 

As a lifelong Laker fan, this was a bit of a downer, but also completely in line with what it was like to be a supporter post-West/Wilt, pre-Magic. As a kid it seemed like the Lakers should have been much better during this season; Kareem was, well Kareem, and they had AD, Wilkes, Sweet Lou Hudson who was a shooting legend, Kenny Carr who was so physically gifted, and young Norm Nixon who was a human assist. They just should have been better.

Of course as an adult I can look back on their roster now and see an immediate issue--they were playing two small forwards. They also didn't play much defense or rebound (partly because they were playing two small forwards), and had an awkward mix of really old guys (Ron Boone, Hudson) marginally useful guys (Don Ford, Dave Robisch), and some talented guys they never played (Brad Davis and Michael Cooper) all torpedoing any chance they had of being really good. And throughout it all, in the annoying manner of nearly every fan base, their rooters made the best player in the league the scapegoat for their disappointment.

Folks who were not following the Association in the mid-to-late seventies or who are too young to remember that far back don't realize what a pranging Jabbar took during this time. They just know about the titles in the eighties and the scoring record. Maybe about his time with the Bucks when he almost single-handedly revived that franchise and led them to a championship. Or at UCLA, when he was the greatest college player ever and won three titles. And just maybe when he was the most sought after recruit at Power Memorial HS in NY. In the mid-to-late seventies, with those accomplishments still clear in the rear view mirror, he was nonetheless labeled as lazy, sullen, and unmotivated, and worst of all, a guy you couldn't win with anymore. Maybe even a coach-killer.

And at times he probably was all of those things, but he was also the best player in the league (save perhaps for the brief run by Bill Walton.) The Lakers, coached by Jerry West of all people, were so dysfunctional it was hard to blame him. The team's construction top to bottom made no damn sense. Then they drafted some kid from Michigan State and now the four year period from 75-75 to 78-79 is sort of forgotten. Unless you lived through it and have a good memory.

I happen to remember it quite well and I was really hoping Kareem could lift LA to greater heights in this project, but I have to give Strat credit nearly forty years later--this really felt authentic as an experience.

As unpleasant as it was...



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General Manager

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Date: Oct 14, 2016
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I went into basketball-reference and checked out the season stats.

Regarding your original post about the league records........I had forgotten how balanced the league really was. No super teams. No teams tanking. Every team scored at least 100 points. You definitely can make a case in saying the 3-point shot really did kill the pace of the game, especially now-a-days. I'm not saying the game is better or worse now, the talent these guys have is simply amazing. I guess you can say it compares to the NFL now (higher scoring) versus the era of the 70's where every game was 14-10.

__________________

"NACSTER'S HISTORICAL REPLAY"

34 REPLAYS IN THE BOOKS!

1876-1883

1896-1900

1906

1916-1917

1921, 1929

1936-1937

1943, 1946

1956-1963

1976

1986

1991, 1996

37,117 regular season games through 34 replays!

 

 



Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Posts: 701
Date: Oct 14, 2016
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I will continue to maintain the three point field goal was the worst thing that ever happened to the sport. I would have (and did) think those that resisted it were dinosaurs, stuck in philosophical tar, destined to be viewed over time as the fossils they were. Well, the fossils were right.

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First Base Coach

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Posts: 3797
Date: Oct 15, 2016
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I am also a Laker fan, or was. I don't follow basketball anymore. I do have the 83 season and loved playing it! After reading your posts, I may have to break it out again.

Saying that, baseball is my favorite



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

Status: Offline
Posts: 701
Date: Oct 16, 2016
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I have the 80-81, 84-85, 90-91, and three others from the nineties I picked up during one of those great winter sales Strat used to do to clear out their inventory. Loved those sales. I had a 90s tournament I was doing years ago, but I stopped for some reason. Oh yeah, now I remember...I hated the NBA in the 90s! ;) I may break it out again though, once this one is finished. I really wish Strat would make retro cards to go along with their computer disks, although I know that will never happen. I have to go to Statis-Pro hand homemade cards for the older years. Or spend an arm and a leg on Ebay or Moonlight Graham for the sets they did do.

Along those lines, does anybody know when they changed the old format? I noticed the first couple of years used a slightly different format for player cards with completely different split cards, but I'm not sure if the change came in 74-75 or later. Also, does anybody know if the 79-80 set used the older format or was the first season of the current style? At some point I may pick up another older year, but I just about jumped the shark and bought a 72-73 card set without the split cards, thinking it was compatible with my 78-79 set. Fortunately I realized soon enough that this was not the case.

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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Oct 16, 2016
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ATLANTIC

New Jersey (#3) at New York (#4)

NJ  32 23 25 23-103

NY 24 27 24 30-105

High Scorers

NJ: Jan van Breda Kolff 21, John Williamson 20

NY: Toby Knight 24, Jim Cleamons 17

Sometimes the crazy gets you a win, sometimes it just gets you. Van Breda Kolff channeling his inner Larry Bird is crazy enough--but the Nets leading for 98 percent of the first 47 minutes but losing is just nuts. So was the odd battle down the stretch between Williamson and Ray Williams, two players not noted for their sanity. Williamson was held to six in the first half as VBK and that noted scorer George Johnson (11 points, nine in the first half) did most of the damage. But Super John was never known for giving up shots, and he took more than his share in the second half. At first they found the mark, but as New York battled back, the Net guard began to take stranger and less sane attempts. Meanwhile Williams, who had done little to nothing since the Knicks playoff opener, converted a three point play to tie the game up with 48 seconds to play, and then hit a running one-hander over Johnson to give the Knicks an amazing comeback win. All told the Knicks scored the game's last eight (Knight converted a missed free throw rebound into a three-point play) as Red Holzman, back from retirement,  guides his woebegone Knicks one more surprising step toward the division title. New York will play the loser of Washington and Philadelphia, while their neighbors across the Hudson say sayonara.

Red Holzman, NY Knick Head Coach



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Posts: 701
Date: Oct 21, 2016
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MIDWEST

Milwaukee (#3) at Chicago (#5)

MIL  25 32 30 36-123

CHI 39 36 41 25-132

High Scorers

MIL: Kevin Restani 24, Marques Johnson 21

CHI: Artis Gilmore 33, Reggie Theus 22

If it's the Bucks and Bulls, it must be raining buckets. Another shootout and another Chicago victory, as the "Gilmore" factor proves too large to overcome. Namely, the A-train has yet to play an opposing center that will either A) limit him defensively or B) make him work, i.e., get him in foul trouble, on the other end of the floor. Artis had 24 in the first half alone, and when the Bucks committed to sagging back on him, Theus, Wilbur Holland, and the versatile Mickey Johnson (both with 20) drained open outside shots. Milwaukee rallied late to make the score look respectable, but the final result was never really in doubt, almost from the opening tip, although surprising performances from guys like Restani and Ernie Grunfeld (13 points) kept it from truly getting ugly. Being the lowest seed in the division has not prevented Chicago from advancing up the ladder and they now await the loser of the Denver-Kansas City match-up and a real shot at winning their division. Meanwhile the Bucks go home to work on their defense (which in a couple of years will be among the best in basketball.)

Doing a little bit of everything for the Bulls



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Oct 23, 2016
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CENTRAL

Detroit (#4) at Houston (#2)

DET 27 24 30 40-121

HOU 25 26 32 24-105

High Scorers

DET: Leon Douglas 20, M.L. Carr 19

HOU: Moses Malone 29, Robert Reid 15

The upsets keep coming as yet another lower seed prevails. This one was all about foul trouble; the Pistons went hard to the cup, and the Rockets kept fouling them. All five Rocket starters had two personals by the end of the first quarter, and all but one, Malone, had three by halftime. As a result, the Pistons shot 28 free throws in the first two periods (made 19), which set them up for second half success. While Moses was the only Rocket to actually get DQed, their bench was forced to play a lot of minutes and other than Reid, was not up to the task. Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich both had dreadful shooting nights, while Detroit had seven double digit scorers (Tyler 18, Lanier 17, Tatum 17, Porter 12, Long 12.) It all caught up  to Houston by the fourth quarter, and the Pistons ran away with the W. Detroit continues their road trip to San Antonio, while the Rockets face an elimination game against the Hawks in Atlanta.

Coming up big off the bench



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Oct 28, 2016
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PACIFIC

Golden State (#6) at Phoenix (#2)

GS   16 23 36 26-101

PHX 26 25 34 36-121

High Scorers

GS: Robert Parish 27, John Lucas 23

PHX: Paul Westphal 22, Walter Davis 20

The Warriors' run of defense-first upsets is halted, as the Suns absolutely dominate Golden State on the offensive glass, and rebuff a second half rally to win going away. Neither team shot the ball well early, but the Suns kept getting second, third, sometimes four chances and eventually the rebounding imbalance wore the Warriors down. Nonetheless, they were able to cut the Suns' lead to five midway through the third behind Parish and Cool Hand Luke, but Phoenix got hot and the Warriors could not keep up. Double zero and Lucas seemed like the only guys who showed up for Al Attles; only one other player, Sonny Parker (12 points) scored in double figures. Westphal's numbers were a bit misleading--he shot horribly the first 30 minutes of the game, but the Suns have decent depth and were able to overcome his off night and Alvan Adams' foul trouble with 40 bench points, led by Mike Bratz' 16. They advance to play the Sonics, while the Warriors move to the loser's bracket and their first home game of the tournament, an elimination re-match with the Clippers.

 

When I was a kid playing high school basketball, one of the drills we did was the "Walter Davis Drill." Basically you lined up and threw the ball off the backboard; the next guy in line followed up your "shot" with the same thing in mid-air, and the line continued until the coach blew the whistle, each man retrieving the previous man's ricochet before the ball hit the floor. It was supposed to help with follow-up shots and developing some explosion when going for rebounds, based on the premise that Walter used to do that drill by himself, and it accounted for some of his freakish leaping ability and body control. I don't know that it was especially useful, and I doubt if teams still do that now they call it the Walter Davis drill. I doubt any kids playing basketball today even know who Walter Davis was.

And that is the shame of a sport like basketball, which much like football, is a sport which gives short shrift to its past. Unless a player is a legend of the game, of which there are precious few, the memory of the sport and it's fans seem to last only as long as a generation, if that. Walter's career ended in '92, more than twenty years ago, and his peak ebbed a few seasons before that. He never played for a championship team, and toiled in the relative obscurity of Phoenix (and later Denver) so is often overlooked in those rare instances when great players of the late seventies and early eighties are discussed.

But the "Greyhound" was a tremendous marksman who twice shot 56% from the field and was a lifetime .511 from the floor despite playing primarily on the perimeter. He averaged 19 points a game for his career despite playing just 28 minutes a contest, all the while combining incredible athleticism with ruthless efficiency. He was a beautiful athlete, a gold medalist with the 76 Olympic basketball team, a rookie of the year, and the Suns all-time leading scorer, yet like many of the stars of this era, he is largely forgotten. It is for players like Walter that replays like this are a done, a brief celebration of the neglected and overlooked, and hopefully a reminder that greatness is not in the sole ownership of the present .

The Greyhound



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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Date: Nov 18, 2016
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ATLANTIC

Philadelphia (#2) at Washington (#1)

PHI    24 29 23 17-93

WAS 25 29 26 28-108

Leading Scorers

PHI-Julius Erving 20, Doug Collins 17

WAS-Bobby Dandridge 20, Elvin Hayes 18

The Sixers were able to overcome an early fifteen point deficit, but could not ultimately shake loose from a tenacious Bullet D, who limited them to just 17 fourth quarter points (only six in the first six minutes of the deciding period.) Although small forwards Dandridge and Erving both went for twenty, Washington's man had the clear advantage, forcing Erving into missed perimeter shots and first half foul trouble. The Sixers did a better job at attacking the rim after the first quarter and went to the line 23 times (17 makes) to Washington's scant 12 (made just 8) , but were beat up on the boards and allowed too many easy shots. Gene Shue shortened his bench to no avail--Joe Bryant and Eric money did not see action until the final two minutes of the game, an odd decision given how poorly Henry Bibby and Caldwell Jones shot the ball . The 76ers now have an elimination re-match with the Knicks at the Garden. The winner will have to beat the Bullets twice to win the division. 

Bob Dandridge, Washington



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Third Base Coach

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Date: Nov 18, 2016
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pfunkone wrote:

ATLANTIC

Philadelphia (#2) at Washington (#1)

PHI    24 29 23 17-93

WAS 25 29 26 28-108

Leading Scorers

PHI-Julius Erving 20, Doug Collins 17

WAS-Bobby Dandridge 20, Elvin Hayes 18

The Sixers were able to overcome an early fifteen point deficit, but could not ultimately shake loose from a tenacious Bullet D, who limited them to just 17 fourth quarter points (only six in the first six minutes of the deciding period.) Although small forwards Dandridge and Erving both went for twenty, Washington's man had the clear advantage, forcing Erving into missed perimeter shots and first half foul trouble. The Sixers did a better job at attacking the rim after the first quarter and went to the line 23 times (17 makes) to Washington's scant 12 (made just 8) , but were beat up on the boards and allowed too many easy shots. Gene Shue shortened his bench to no avail--Joe Bryant and Eric money did not see action until the final two minutes of the game, an odd decision given how poorly Henry Bibby and Caldwell Jones shot the ball . The 76ers now have an elimination re-match with the Knicks at the Garden. The winner will have to beat the Bullets twice to win the division. 

Bob Dandridge, Washington


 Even in replays we can't win a game.  Times are tough in Philly.



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Baseball ... this field, this game ... It is part of our past.  It reminds us all of what once was good -- and could be again.



Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Posts: 701
Date: Nov 19, 2016
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I really enjoyed the Sixers back then--an appreciation which eventually receded when they threatened the Lakers. ;)

I was more of a McGinnis guy, but it was tough to root against Doc and there was so much talent on those mid-to-late-seventies clubs. But Washington was tough, and Philly has it's work cut out to win this division now. Knicks will be ready and at home (although aside from getting last "change" and a modest jump ball advantage, HCA doesn't amount to much in this version of Strat.)

I think there is a chance the current Sixers might be a decent young team in a year or two. Whether they will be able to get beyond that is anyone's guess, and whether their approach will ever be worth the mounting losses over the last few years is a whole other debate.

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Luxury Box Season Ticket Holder

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Posts: 701
Date: Nov 25, 2016
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MIDWEST

Denver (#2) at Kansas City (#1) 

DEN 22 38 21 32- 113

KC    29 37 22 22- 110

Leading Scorers

DEN: David Thompson 30, Dan Issell 23

KC: Sam Lacey 18, Phil Ford 16

Lacey missed a turnaround from the right block with six seconds left that could have put KC ahead, and Tom Boswell rejected Bill Robinzine's final attempt to secure a victory for the Nuggets. The defensive stand was apropos--Denver held the Kings to just 44 points in the second half, rebounding from a fifteen point first quarter deficit to take the lead in the final stanza. Anthony Roberts came off the bench to spark Denver in the fourth, and scoring eleven of his 13 points to start the period. George McGinnis, after a poor first half, poured in 14 of his 20 in the final 24 minutes. KC's bench, led by Dr. Dunk Darnell Hillman's 12, played well but Cotton Fitzsimmons may have rode them too long, allowing Denver to trim the lead here and there to make the comeback more feasible. Sharpshooters Otis Birdsong (12 pts.) and Scott Wedman (14) were erratic; both were held to four in different halves, and that inconsistency was enough to cost the Kings a game they could have won.

Big game for the "Skywalker," David Thompson



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