The Most Productive Lakers and Celtics of the 2010 NBA Finals

| by David Berri

Here is the Wins Produced view of the NBA Finals after Game Six:And here are a few additional thoughts…

  • Before Game Six the story for the Lakers was Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, and not much else.  After Game Six, the story is now Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, and Lamar Odom. After this trio, though, there isn’t much else. This trio, though, might just be enough. 
  • The gap between Kobe and Pau Gasol has narrowed. But Gasol has still produced more wins than Kobe. Of course, as Kobe fans argue, this is because Gasol plays with Kobe; and Kobe makes Gasol hit a higher percentage of his shots. And apparently, playing with Kobe also makes Gasol grab more rebounds and turn the ball over less. You might guess that I am somewhat skeptical of this story. I would add, Gasol posted a 0.556 ADJ P48 in Memphis in 2006-07 (his last full season in Memphis). He posted a 0.563 ADJ P48 with the Lakers in 2008-09 (his first full season with the Lakers). Gasol did post a 0.616 mark this past season.  So it seems the Kobe effect takes a year to appear. 
  • It also seems to me that it was good that Kobe shot less in Game Six. As I noted after Game Five, I suspect the Lakers would be better off if a few shots Kobe would like to take would go to Gasol (or Lamar Odom). That would be probably be good for the Lakers (but not so good for Kobe).
  • The loss of Kendrick Perkins is certainly not good news for the Celtics. If you look at regular season production (see the Wins Produced numbers from Andres Alvarez), you see that Perkins was above average in the regular season. In contrast, Rasheed Wallace and Glenn Davis were in the negative range. Yes, Davis has generally played well in the Finals.  The careers of Perkins and Davis, though, suggest that Boston is better off with the former on the floor.
  • That being said, Davis has guaranteed a victory and Perkins (as far as I know) never made any such guarantee. So Davis is already having an impact. By the way, we all know Joe Namath made a successful guarantee in Super Bowl III. What is the record on these guarantees across the past 40 years? I have to think it is well below 0.500.
  • If the Celtics somehow make good on the Davis guarantee and overcome the loss of Perkins – and the love affair with Kobe doesn’t still give Kobe the MVP – someone on the Celtics will have to be chosen as MVP. The leading scorer is Paul Pierce. But the leading producer of wins has been Rajon Rondo. Look for more on the Rondo story on Friday (regardless of who wins tonight). 

- DJ