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Has the NBA crossed the line from sport to game of chance?

The regular season is exciting but feels more like Vegas than the NBA.

I just read about the Knicks (8–16) beating the Bucks (15–7) 136–134 in overtime at Madison Square Gardens. This must have been one of the most electrifying games in the last 20 years for a terrible New York team, so I’m happy for them.

Milwaukee is a much better team, coming into the game with the second best record in the NBA, and a whopping +10.1 point differential. In spite of their seven wins, the Knicks’ -5.6 point differential projects to a 25-win team, and without Kristaps Porziņģis, that’s not much of a stretch of the imagination.

I looked at the box score. Milwaukee dominated the boards (51–41), had more free throws (31–21), points in the paint (54–44) and fast break points (15–4). They also had more steals (11–5) and blocks (4–2).

How is a game like this possible?

Only one number ended up counting in this game, 58.8. That was the Knicks’ 3-point percentage, as they hit 20 of 34 three point shots. Now if you’re the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets, I can wrap my mind around that number, as those players are some of the great and most prolific three point shooters in the history of the NBA.

But here’s the breakdown of the stars who powered the Knicks (.331 3P% for the season) comeback:

Noah Vonleh (3 for 3) is a .321 3P% career shooter.

Emmanuel Mudiay (4 for 5) is a .316 3P%, career shooter and is even shooting worse this year (.302)!

Damyean Dotson (5 for 5) is .338 3P% career shooter, and has played almost as many games in the G League as he has with the Knicks. (At least he was a 44% high volume three point shooter in his senior year of college).

Kevin Knox (5 for 12) was the only bum, shooting a paltry 41.6%. He is a .321 3P% shooter in his rookie season.

I’m getting a little disgusted by so many instances where the superior team loses because the weaker team just throws up prayers.

Are you?

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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