1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

[ESPN Insider] Franchise Rankings

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by Garner, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Garner

    Garner Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    4,688
    Likes Received:
    1,846
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/playo...inger_john&page=FranchiseRankings2010-Rockets

    Enjoy-

    No. 10: Houston RocketsEmail Print Comments6 By John Hollinger
    ESPN.com
    Archive


    Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images
    Hakeem the Dream took his game and the Rockets to new heights in Houston's two title seasons.

    10. HOUSTON ROCKETS: 50.4 POINTS PER SEASON (1967-2010)
    Wins: 1,779
    Playoff wins: 116
    Series wins: 24
    Titles: 2
    All-Stars: 51
    Best player: Hakeem Olajuwon
    Best coach: Rudy Tomjanovich
    Best team: 1993-94 (58-24, won NBA title)

    While we bemoan the nicknames L.A. and Utah were stuck with because the relocated teams carried a nickname to a city where it no longer made sense, Houston was a bit more fortunate. The Rockets left San Diego after only four years but brought the Rockets name to Houston --- the home of NASA headquarters. It was a perfect fit.

    The club has been synonymous with great centers ever since. Moses Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon both won MVP awards and conference championships here, while Yao Ming has become a worldwide icon.

    FRANCHISE HISTORY
    Houston Rockets (1971-Present)
    San Diego Rockets (1967-71)

    The team's first decade was a miserable one, with just two playoff appearances, but the Rockets broke through behind forward Rudy Tomjanovich and a 21-year-old Malone to win the Central Division and reach the Eastern Conference finals in 1977. Four years later Malone would deliver them a playoff upset of the Lakers and a trip to the Finals after a 40-42 regular season, where they lost to Boston in a surprisingly tough six games.

    Moses left two years later, but his departure put Houston in position to draft Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson in consecutive years. That duo reached the 1986 Finals thanks to a miraculous spinning shot by Sampson that beat the Lakers in the conference finals before, again, Houston lost to Boston in six games.

    Despite seven straight nonlosing seasons with Olajuwon, the Rockets couldn't seem to get over the hump, winning between 41 and 52 games and losing in the first or second round every year. That changed in 1994, when Tomjanovich -- now coaching -- set a series of 3-point shooting role players around Olajuwon and relied on Hakeem's dominant low-post skills to do the rest. Houston became known as Clutch City after the Rockets won consecutive titles with this group, the second coming in 1995 as the conference's sixth seed following a midseason trade for Clyde Drexler.

    In those two seasons the Rockets went 8-0 in elimination games and twice came back from 2-0 deficits in the second round against Phoenix. And with three great centers, 26 playoff seasons, four trips to the Finals and nine 50-win seasons -- including four in the past six years -- they've given their fans plenty to cheer since coming from San Diego.
     
  2. Garner

    Garner Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    4,688
    Likes Received:
    1,846
    Here are the complete rankings:

    No. 1: Los Angeles Lakers
    No. 2: Boston Celtics
    No. 3: San Antonio Spurs
    No. 4: Chicago Bulls
    No. 5: Phoenix Suns
    No. 6: Philadelphia 76ers
    No. 7: Utah Jazz
    No. 8: Portland Trail Blazers
    No. 9: Orlando Magic
    No. 10: Houston Rockets
    No. 11: Indiana Pacers
    No. 12: Milwaukee Bucks
    No. 13: Oklahoma City Thunder
    No. 14: Miami Heat
    No. 15: Detroit Pistons
    No. 16: Dallas Mavericks
    No. 17: New York Knicks
    No. 18: Denver Nuggets
    No. 19: Cleveland Cavaliers
    No. 20: Golden State Warriors
    No. 21: Atlanta Hawks
    No. 22: New Jersey Nets
    No. 23: Washington Wizards
    No. 24: New Orleans Hornets
    No. 25: Sacramento Kings
    No. 26: Toronto Raptors
    No. 27: Minnesota Timberwolves
    No. 28: Charlotte Bobcats
    No. 29: Los Angeles Clippers
    No. 30: Memphis Grizzlies
     
  3. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    19,116
    Likes Received:
    20,867
    So how is this ranking calculated? Because two of the Top 10 teams (above the Rockets, mind you) don't even have hardware to matter while the team right behind the Rockets hasn't been relevent (i.e. a playoff team) for the right reasons in a long time.
     
  4. Garner

    Garner Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    4,688
    Likes Received:
    1,846
    My mistake, I'm sure you'd like that information as well-
    _____________________________________________________
    My team is better than your team.

    That simple argument is at the heart of sports. Fans can debate about players or strategies or countless other issues, but what tends to get hearts pounding the most is when fans start trading boasts about which side is better.

    Almost immediately, the barbs will begin about the various sides' accomplishments. Celtics fans will throw their 17 championships in the face of anyone who dares challenge them; Lakers fans might answer with their 30 conference titles; while Spurs supporters will point out that their past decade is arguably the best of anyone's. And so on down the line, until we get to a few scattered Grizzlies supporters waiting meekly in the corner for a Clippers fan to walk by.

    And that's where we step in. With six decades of history to fall back on, we can take a look in the rearview mirror and stack up each team's accomplishments from 1 to 30. Obviously we can't account for every single credit and debit over such a huge time frame, but it turns out that once we install some basic accounting principles, the list pretty much falls into place.

    To start with, we set this up to look at things from the perspective of fans, as opposed to coaches or owners or -- God forbid -- statistical analysts.

    Therefore, the rules are as follows:

    1. Winning matters.

    2. Winning in the playoffs matters more.

    3. Winning a championship is far and away the best thing that can happen.

    4. Watching superstars is amazing, even if the team around them isn't any good.

    5. Intangibles matter: Fans want to like and admire the team they're cheering.

    With those rules in mind, I set up a simple formula to award "points" for all the positives and rank the teams' accomplishments accordingly:

    Regular-season wins are worth one point. This is the source of 82 percent of the points in this system, but it matters much more for noncontending teams.

    Playoff wins are worth two points. You might argue that this tends to favor recent playoff teams since the current postseason is so much longer; on the other hand, it's a lot harder to accumulate these in a 30-team league than it was in an eight-team league.

    Playoff series wins are worth four points. There's a big difference between 3-4 and 4-3, and having an added category for series wins reflects this fact. During some seasons the league had staggered playoff systems in which teams advanced with a bye, and in those years teams were awarded "phantom" playoff series wins for earning a bye.

    Playoff losses don't matter. Nobody cares if they won 4-0 or 4-3. In fact, most fans end up with much fonder memories of a hard-fought 4-3 series than they do of a 4-0 rout.

    Championships are worth 30 points. I settled on this while trying to balance out the dilemma of "Would you rather win one championship and stink for the next four years, or be halfway decent five years in a row?" I think nearly every fan would take the former over the latter, and I'm guessing a lot of Heat fans are nodding in agreement right now. Putting such a premium on championships gives us the right balance between being great and merely being competitive.

    All-Star selections are worth two points each. Most fans would much rather watch superstar performers than ensemble casts, with the only exception being if it's a championship-caliber ensemble. For instance, ask a Hawks fan whether it was more fun to watch Dominique's teams in the '80s or Mookie Blaylock's in the '90s. The '90s teams were about as successful, but from a fan's perspective there's no comparison.

    Relocation is a 100-point penalty. Changing cities is the ultimate failure for a sports franchise, leaving the fans in the former city out in the cold and forcing the team to build a new history with unfamiliar faces in a different locale. In a couple of instances I penalized teams 50 points for "half-relocations" -- Baltimore to Washington for the Bullets, Long Island to New Jersey for the Nets -- when they stayed in the same general region but likely had to cultivate a new base of ticket holders.

    Intangibles matter too, and I created a separate category for special circumstances. For instance, the Blazers of the early part of this decade were perfectly respectable in terms of wins and losses, but few were eager to admit rooting for that team because of all the scoundrels littering the roster. This is the one part that's completely subjective, but for several teams I subtracted or added 50 to 150 points based on playing styles, player behavior, superstars and other major factors.

    ABA playoff results count half. The NBA likes to pretend the ABA never happened when it presents historical results, but by the early 1970s the two leagues were of similar quality, and the best player in basketball (Julius Erving) was in the ABA. Still, I had to count the results at half because the league was so small at times. It's pretty easy to make a deep playoff run in a six-team league.

    Once I summed up the total for each team, I divided by the number of seasons the team had played in the NBA; otherwise this system would be horribly unfair to expansion teams.

    The result is a number of points per season for each team, and conveniently the average is almost exactly 50: 50.17, to be exact. In the following pages we'll get into where every team ranks and why.
     
  5. steddinotayto

    steddinotayto Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Messages:
    19,116
    Likes Received:
    20,867
    :confused:

    Of the 10 championship teams in the past decade, only 2 ended the regular season with the best record in the league. So how can this be the majority source?


    If you're a higher seeded team and gets beaten by a lower seeded team, you should be penalized half a point for each of those 4 losses. You can't just throw losses under the rug and act like it doesn't matter.



    Because All-Star selections have been done in an informed and intelligent manner :rolleyes: I can't believe Hollinger factors this in when half of the All-Star Roster comprises of players that gets in on name recognition alone.

    I wonder if he docked OKC 100 points or 50 because they stayed in the same (west) region :rolleyes:


    I don't even know where to begin with this one...

    I'm just shocked that a guy that made up a pretty good (NOT PERFECT, but pretty good) calculation on a player's efficiency can come up with something ridiculous as this. Hollinger should ask Karl Malone and John Stockton if they rather have just one ring or to bask in the glow of how great their division champs banner hangs.
     
  6. ArtisGilmore

    ArtisGilmore Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    22
    Some of his criterion are questionable, but I agree with his decision to not ignore the ABA. There was plenty of talent in the ABA by the later years, I agree with his comment about talent parity in the later ABA and NBA, and there is definitely an argument that Erving in his ABA prime was even better than Kareem. Obviously half is kind of an arbitrary number, but it's better than zero.
     
  7. Steve_Francis_rules

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 1999
    Messages:
    8,467
    Likes Received:
    300
    Winning a championship is worth 30 points, so it more than makes up for not having the best regular season record.

    I agree that being upset in the playoffs should come with a penalty.

    You don't seem to understand why he's giving points for all-stars. It's precisely because of the fun that comes from watching a player with "name recognition." Most fans would rather watch a 50-win team with a couple of all-stars than a 50-win team with no all-stars.

    Are you really comparing the move from Baltimore to D.C. to Seattle to OKC? It makes sense to not dock as many points for a team moving close by, because they don't completely alienate the fan base, which is the reason for docking points to begin with.
     
  8. JayGoogle

    JayGoogle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    50,204
    Likes Received:
    40,912
    F This list.

    I love how the Jazz are ranked over us with their amazing amount of 0 championships.
     
  9. da_juice

    da_juice Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,315
    Likes Received:
    1,070
    I'm just surprised the T-Wolves aren't dead last.
     
  10. Sly Dogg

    Sly Dogg Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    1
    we comin for that 3 spot-sa watch yo asses
     
  11. meh

    meh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    15,368
    Likes Received:
    2,242
    Other than the fact that I think championships should be worth even more than 30 points, not too bad. I guess I'm just bitter that 0 championship teams like Orlando and Utah gets ahead of us. But I guess that's what you get for having so many crap seasons.
     
  12. lunaticrocket

    lunaticrocket Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    6
    OK, first time I read something stupid out of Hollinger. There is just no way Phoenix, Orlando or Utah should be above the Rockets. He needs to somehow recalibrate his formula to common sense. If one of them was above, you could argue, but all three...
     
  13. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    32,470
    Likes Received:
    7,648
    They should have been docked -100 for relocation... and -150 for general lack of intangibles and their overall level of suck.

    How did they place in front of us?

    We should have had +150 for being a scrappy team and beating teams that we weren't "supposed" to beat.

    Not to mention +60 for the championship titles... What the hell. This list is rigged.
     
  14. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    32,470
    Likes Received:
    7,648
    It's like he is favoring a team that is half-decent over a decade rather than teams that actually wins championship(s) in one decade...

    Orlando has only gone to the finals once. Yet they place in front of us.
     
  15. RedRedemption

    RedRedemption Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Messages:
    32,470
    Likes Received:
    7,648
    *I mean once recently. I'm talking about their recent team that hasn't been able to win a title, yet they make the players every year and somehow place in front of us.
     
  16. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2000
    Messages:
    21,622
    Likes Received:
    6,257
    The rockets have pretty much been irrelevant since 1997. Its kind of sad, but we have been a pretty mediocre franchise for a while.
     
  17. daywalker02

    daywalker02 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2006
    Messages:
    89,535
    Likes Received:
    43,122
    The guy seems to a homer...
     
  18. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    642
    Can someone please post what he had to say about the Clippers...
     
  19. Naija Texan

    Naija Texan Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,043
    Likes Received:
    55
    In a way that is true, we have still been as competitive as Chicago post Jordan and Orlando before Howard developed. The Jazz and maybe even the Suns, I can concede but Orlando?
     
  20. Clips/Roxfan

    Clips/Roxfan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2006
    Messages:
    1,718
    Likes Received:
    642
    on second thought, i'll ask on the NBA dish forum...
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now