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Post Info TOPIC: Big Fros and Short Shorts--Strat Ball Tourney
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Date: Nov 25, 2016
RE: Big Fros and Short Shorts--Strat Ball Tourney
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CENTRAL

Houston (#2) at Atlanta (#3)

HOU 31 26 29 33- 119

ATL 42 31 32 34- 138

Leading Scorers

HOU: Moses Malone 29, Rudy Tomjanovich 26

ATL: Dan Roundfield 24, Steve Hawes 24

Houston's attempt to win a game by playing zero defense is predictably disastrous. The Hawks drive to the hole with impunity, and drill open jumper after open jumper. Although he scored a team high 29 to go along with 15 rebounds, a frustrated Malone basically quit playing in the second half. It showed in the combined totals of Hawes and Tree Rollins, Atlanta's centers, who totaled 37 points against the Rocket's MVP, 23 after the intermission. Opposing power forwards Tomjanovich and Roundfield both bounced back with strong games after sub-par performances, but it will be the gutty Hawks who will move on, as the Rockets are swept out of the playoffs. Calvin Murphy (just eight points, and only 18 for the two games) and company will have the summer to think about what might have been had they bothered to guard anyone. Fast Eddie Johnson added 20 for the Hawks, while Mike Newlin showed some grit, getting 23, including 15 in the second half as the Hawks flew away and hid.

Steve Hawes, Atlanta 



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7830.41 in reply to 7830.36 
 

PACIFIC

San Diego (#5) at Golden State (#6)

SD  25 21 18 34- 98

GS 35 33 30 28- 126

Leading Scorers

SD: Sidney Wicks 18, Freeman Williams 17

GS: Sonny Parker 24, JoJo White 24

The unlikeliest rematch of late playoff underdogs goes to the unlikeliest of all, as the Warriors continue their miraculous run. For the second time Golden State shuts down Lloyd Free, holding the Clipper's leading scorer to a mere 9 points, while hitting their own shots at a frightening pace. Warrior depth played a huge role--both teams got into early foul trouble, but Golden State could turn to White, who had his best game of the playoffs by far, and solid contributors like Tom Abernathy (12 points.) Al Attles decision to start the taller Wayne Cooper over Abernathy turned out to be key. Coop had 13, and kept Kermit Washington and Swen Nater from dominating the glass. Nater (11 points) was particularly frustrated, and had his shot blocked twice by the underrated Parker, who turned in his best performance of the playoffs, scoring, defending, and setting up teammates. The Warriors win puts them into what amounts to the Pacific semi-finals. To win the division they will need to defeat the loser of the Phoenix-Seattle game, then sweep the winner. Meanwhile the Clippers go home, still trying to figure out why this match-up has been so confounding.

The do-everything Warrior



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ATLANTIC

Philadelphia (#2) at New York (#4)

PHI 33 38 28 24 - 123

NY   34 36 29 19 - 118

Leading Scorers

PHI: Julius Erving 39, Doug Collins 16

NY: Toby Knight 23, Earl Monroe 23

The Doctor returned to the launching point of his legend (Long Island, Rucker Tournament, etc.) and delivered the highest scoring performance of the playoffs thus far as the Sixers outlasted the determined Knicks at the Garden. No one on Red Holzman's roster could contain Erving, who scored 27 in the first half alone. He abused Glenn Gondrizeck, Michael Ray Richardson, and dunked over the Human Fly-Swatter Marvin Webster more than once. For NY, Knight played a quietly effective offensive game but was worked on boards by Caldwell Jones and Steve Mix and missed two key free throws down the stretch. Ray Williams had 20 for New York, but the 76ers were able to counter with seven players in double figures as they spread the ball around more efficiently the second half. Both teams shot the ball well, but Philly was able to apply defensive pressure in the fourth quarter and gain control of the outcome. Philadelphia advances to the Atlantic division finals against the Bullets, who they will need to beat consecutively to move on. The Knicks are eliminated after after a decent tournament showing (3-2).

The incomparable Julius Erving



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Some Numbers For Comparison (real life in parentheses)

New York PF 109.8 (107.7) / PA 114.8 (111.1) / PD -5.0 (-3.4)

Knight 21.8 (16.6)

Monroe 15.6 (12.3)

Williams 15.4 (17.3)

Cleamons 12.6 (9.5)

Webster 11.4 (11.3)

Meriweather 9.8 (9.5)

Richardson 8.8 (6.5)

Gondrizeck 7.8 (5.6)

Glenn 4.4 (7.8)

Rudd 2.8 (3.2)

The Knicks traded away Bob McAdoo and Spencer Haywood midway through the year, so Toby Knight's increased scoring average is actually reflective of that change. And the Pearl got more touches and playing time to take up the slack left by those two as well. A lot of shots to spread around with their mutual departure. Only guy that really seemed off his game was the Stinger, Mike Glenn, who never really shot the ball well in any of these games and whose defense (or lack thereof) seemed to be a bigger deficit than I wanted to expose the Knicks to in the moment. On balance, though. I'd say the numbers look pretty good for just five games.

The Pearl filling it up off the bench



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Some more numbers, this time from the 2-2 Clippers...

San Diego PF 101.3 (113.1) / PA 114 (114.9) / PD -1.8 (-12.7)

Smith 16.5 (20.5)

Free 14.3 (28.8)

Nater 13.5 (10.7)

Williams 13.3 (10.4)

Washington 12.8 (11.3)

Wicks 12.0 (9.8)

Weatherspoon 11.3 (13.8)

Kunnert 6.8 (6.5)

Whitehead 2.8 (1.2)

Bigelow 1.3 (2.9)

The Clippers disparity in accuracy is largely attributable to two things; Lloyd Free wouldn't have hit the Pacific Ocean from a luxury liner observation deck during three of these games, and the Golden State Warriors (which is sort of why he struggled so much in two of them.) Take out the Warrior games or have Free hit closer to his average and the numbers start to shape up a little, but if ifs and nuts were candied nuts, etc, etc. Clippers were an equally poor defensive team in both the four games here and real life. Ahh, small sample size fun.

Image result for lloyd free

Lloyd B. Bricking



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MIDWEST

Kansas City (#1) at Chicago (#5)

KC   34 22 15 26 - 97

CHI 21 29 31 28 - 109

Leading Scorers

KC: Otis Birdsong 21, Scott Wedman 16

CHI: Ollie Johnson 22, Artis Gilmore 22

Kansas City got out to a significant lead early and seemed poised to end the Bulls Cinderella run. They were making their shots, but were also active defensively, causing ten turnovers in the first quarter, 22 overall. Chicago was able to whittle away at the King lead with little contribution from Gilmore or Mickey Johnson, and eventually took control of the game in the second half. A huge disparity in offensive rebounds (credit Mark Landsberger for his spark in this area) and some efficient offense from the A-Train and Reggie Theus (19 points) keyed the victory as the Kings blew their second and last game, showing no closing ability, and an unwise propensity for relying on long range jumpers. The Bulls advance to the division finals and must dispatch the Nuggets without a loss in two straight games to take the crown.

 

Bulls were carried in the first half by the long forgotten Ollie Johnson...



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CENTRAL

Detroit (#4) at San Antonio (#1)

DET 31 31 26 34 - 116

SA   29 19 34 25 - 107

Leading Scorers

DET: Bob Lanier 36, John Long 16

SA: Larry Kenon 36, George Gervin 21

Lost amid the other Cinderalla stories of these playoffs is the tremendous effort of the Pistons, now undefeated in four games. Paced by Lanier, Detroit was able to withstand the inspired effort of Kenon, and shut Gervin down for a half, leading to a decisive upset victory. The Spurs were able to cut the lead to two late in the third, but could never surge ahead. Foul trouble (26 PFs) plagued San Antonio, and had Detroit shot the ball more efficiently from the line (16-30) they game could have been completely out of reach by halftime. In general, the Spurs did not seem interested in defending for much of the game. In addition to the Iceman's underwhelming performance, James Silas managed just four points off the bench for Doug Moe's club, which got just 18 overall from its reserves. San Antonio moves to the loser's bracket for an elimination game with Atlanta, while the Pistons take the top spot in the division and will need to lose back-to-back to either the Spurs or Hawks to be ousted.

"Bigfoot" Bob Lanier



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Phoenix (#2) @ Seattle (#1)

PHX  22 23 26 19 - 90

SEA  26 23 22 28 - 99

Leading Scorers

PHX: Walter Davis 20, Alvan Adams 17

SEA: Lonnie Shelton 18, Fred Brown 18

Too much balanced scoring, too much defense from the Sonics who pulled away late. In addition to Shelton and Downtown Freddie, the Suns left Dennis Johnson (17) open and he knocked down shots. Gus Williams (16) shook off a slow first half, and John Johnson pitched in 15 and held Davis to just 4 FGs. Seattle played at their pace, and stifled the Suns offense in the fourth quarter to advance to what amounts to the Pacific division title. Phoenix has a re-match with the Warriors with the winner hosting the Sonics in a do-or-die game. Phoenix needs Truck Robinson to get loose to advance. He was held to just 10 after scoring only 13 against Golden State.

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Fred Brown, Seattle

 



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Washington (#1) @ Philadelphia (#2)

WAS 39 24 20 31 - 114

PHI    22 20 18 30 - 90

Leading Scorers

WAS: Bob Dandridge 22, Elvin Hayes 16

PHI: Julius Erving 16, Bobby Jones 14

The Bullets jumped the Sixers early, and Philly could never recover. Once the Bullets cooled off from their brilliant opening offensive display, they applied defensive clamps to Philly's big guns and forced numerous turnovers and missed shots from the perimeter. The 76ers were able to cut the lead to thirteen in the third quarter, but the Bullets quickly responded and pushed their advantage back to 25 where it would more or less remain for the rest of the contest. Once again, Dandridge outplayed Dr. J, as Julius could not repeat his heroic performance at the Garden. In the end, both teams emptied their benches for the fourth quarter, as Philly conceded defeat and elimination from the tournament. The win gives the Bullets the Atlantic crown and a brief respite from competition as attention turns toward the remaining three divisions.

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The Big E, Elvin Hayes

 

If you look at pictures or basketball cards from this era, there is a really good chance that one of the teams in the photo will be the Bullets. I noticed this as a youngster, and have been reminded of that tendency again as a I search for pics to add to the game stories. I have always assumed that their was something pleasing about the red-white-and-blue background the Bullets uniforms added to the picture that led photographers to seek them out when doing live shots. But then again, maybe Topps and others used a lot of DC photographers. 

Don't really know, but I did love those unis back in the day and enjoyed their seeming omnipresence. And it goes without saying, the nickname Bullets was a hell of a lot better than the silly "Wizards." But that is a whole other story, whose background requires more time and energy to deconstruct than I care to expend. 

 

 

 



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Go, Sonics!!!



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Thought that might please you. ;)

As in real life they are balanced and they can D up. I see a collision with the Bullets down the road in the Championship Series (I think the NBA started officially calling it "The Finals" for the 1984-85 season.)



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San Antonio (#1) @ Atlanta (#3)

SAN 37 29 27 48 - 141

ATL  28 24 18 16 - 86

Leading Scorers

SAN- Larry Kenon 28, James Silas 26

ATL- Eddie Johnson 16, Tom McMillen 15

Not a typo. The Spurs outscored the Hawks by 32 points in the fourth quarter. Never seen anything quite like it, but then the Spurs could do things like that back in the day. This was a Doug Moe team, after all. Although San Antonio led most of the game, there was still a sense that Atlanta could make a run to get back in it. That hope was largely eliminated by the Hawks poor shooting in the third, and then any need for in-depth game analysis was obliterated by the Spurs utterly unconscious performance in the final stanza. Silas got eighteen of his points in the fourth and Coby Dietrick a dozen of his 21 in the last twelve minutes. Even Allan Bristow and Louis Dampier managed to knock down a trio of jumpers a piece. Meanwhile the Hawks were garbage in garbage time, bricking fifteen footer after fifteen footer. Dan Roundfield had another worthless performance (4 points) and a pouting Terry Furlow was blanked. Only drawback to San Antonio's otherworldy performance was George Gervin being held to just eleven and battling foul trouble. It was Ice's second straight off night, and the Spurs can scarcely afford another in their quest to unseat the Pistons. Next meeting will be at the Silverdome and the Spurs will need to win that game and then another back at the Hemisfair to take the division.

James Silas, San Antonio

 

James Silas is another guy whose memory has been lost to history, one whose exploits are shrouded by the mists of the the red-white-and-blue-ball league and the limited exposure it provided it's stars. Nicknamed "Captain Late" because of his tendency to bring his best late in games (much like in this one), Silas was a complete offensive player who never got to really show his absolute best in the NBA. Injuries shortened his career, but when healthy he was all-rookie and twice all league in the ABA, posting a 24/5/4 season the year before the merger. He could flat out shoot the rock, but was strong enough to get to the rack as well. He was the first Spur to get his number retired, but I doubt there are many people under the age of fifty who remember him with anything approaching clarity.

But that was the ABA; for every Julius Erving whose reputation was actually enlarged by the lack of exposure, there were a dozen James Silases or Roger Browns, great players who few got to see at their best and even fewer remember.



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Just throwing some numbers out...

The Hawks split their four games. In real life they averaged 109.1, and allowed 107.1. In this playoff they scored 111.8 and gave up 113.5.

Player, PPG (PPG IRL)

John Drew, 18.0 (22.7)

Eddie Johnson, 17.3 (16.0)

Steve Hawes, 12.7 (12.5)

Tree Rollins, 11.0 (8.4)

Dan Roundfield, 10.5 (15.3)

Jack Givens, 9.5 (7.7)

Tom McMillen, 9.3 (7.0)

Armond Hill, 8.7 (10.2)

Terry Furlow, 8.0 (9.9)

Charlie Criss, 5.5 (5.3)

The only guy that was way off was Roundfield, who was disappointing in three of the four games, and has never performed well on my tabletop in any season or format. Always liked Danny's all-around game, but he has been a dog for me with the dice. Drew would have been about right at his average after a hot start, I think, but I sat him a lot of the last game due to foul trouble and the blowout. But with John you were really never sure what you were going to get, so his inconsistency was actually pretty accurate.

What has been interesting to me as I occasionally post the numbers, is that the very basic rest rules Strat used (and still essentially does) work pretty well. When I was younger I used to try to get really exact with how many minutes each guy got so they would be close to their average. It was a pain and detracted from my enjoyment of the game.

And it was also largely unnecessary, because if you consider foul trouble, injuries, match-ups, and blowouts, your subs will usually get their minutes if you are patient and reasonable. My only interpretation of the rest rule that is not explicit is that six minute and twelve minute rest guys (and eighteen in the "newer" version) have to split their rest requirement per half. So if foul trouble forces somebody to sit longer than six minutes in the first half, a six minute guy would still have to rest his three in the second half. I think that is more realistic and it forces you to use the bench a little more frequently. I let the iron men (three minute in this version, two minute in the updated game) get their rest in one chunk and call it good, but there are very few of those players.

John Drew, in one of the odder magazine cover shots of the era



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Since I did the Hawks, here are the Sixers, who also split their four games.

PPG- 108 (109.5 IRL)

PAPG- 106 (107.7 IRL)

 

Julius Erving, 23.0 (23.1)

Doug Collins, 16 (19.5)

Bobby Jones, 13.3 (12.1)

Darryl Dawkins, 12.5 (13.1)

Steve Mix, 12.5 (9.3)

Henry Bibby, 8.8 (12.2)

Caldwell Jones, 7.5 (9.3)

Joe Bryant, 6.7 (7.6)

Eric Money, 6 (11.8)

Maurice Cheeks, 4.5 (8.4)

I think Money's card is based on his combined stats--these are just for Philly. E-Money (which I have also been referred as, coincidentally) was a fine offensive player, but his defense left a lot to be desired so he didn't play much for me. And I have no idea how to get Bibby to his scoring average--he just couldn't shoot, although a lot of people seem to remember it differently. I remember him being pretty useless offensively, so this didn't surprise me. Mix got into the mix because he could shoot, and being rated as a center, caused a lot of match-up issues that were fun to exploit.

Sixers should have been better but they turned the ball over too damn much. And in real life, they were 20th in that category, so score another one for Strat.

Lefty Steve Mix, showing off the jumper



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Denver (#2) at Chicago (#5)

DEN 28 30 23 28 - 109

CHI 30 36 31 23 - 120

Leading Scorers

DEN: Dan Issell 24, Charlie Scott 23

CHI: Artis Gilmore 28, Ollie Johnson 20

The surprising Bulls defeat the Nuggets at their own game, out scoring them at the Stadium, forcing a winner-take-all game at McNichols Arena for the Midwest division title. Gilmore continues to imitate Wilt Chamberlain, and his supporting cast takes turns stepping into the spotlight (Reggie Theus-16, Mickey Johnson-17.) Ollie Johnson had another big game, but perhaps a bigger contributor was little-used John Mengelt who  tossed in ten and who along with Wilbur Holland (12 pts.) outplayed David Thompson (held to just 18.) Scott had his best game of the post season, but George McGinnis was limited to just eight minutes due to foul trouble and got a single FG and two rebounds. Issell spent the second half in the post with mixed results; Gilmore ended with five fouls, the only way to counter his dominance, but "the Missile" only scored six, and his former Kentucky Colonel teammate swatted away four shots with no reason to stray from the paint. Where Issell plays, down low or on the perimeter could be a huge factor in how the division finale plays out. But either way McGinnis has to stay out of foul trouble for Denver to avoid an epic upset.

Johnny "Crash" Mengelt

 

Did you know Johnny Mengelt once scored 60 points in a game at Auburn? Did it against Alabama, and his senior year he nearly averaged 30 (28.3), after averaging over 26 his junior year. Late sixties, early seventies was a great time for NCAA shooting guards. Calvin Murphy, Rick Mount, and of course Pete Maravich, just to name the most notable (and I am probably neglecting a few.) Good times...



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