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Top 10 Silliest Things that Sports Analysts Say Regarding the Playoffs

Posted on May 12, 2010 at 8:56 PM

When playoff-time comes, sports announcers seem to leave their wits behind with the regular season. The following lines sports analysts say frequently even though they are illogical.



10. "They have more playoff experience."


 A basketball game is a basketball game, was something along the lines of what Stan Van Gundy said when his Orlando Magic team played the experienced Lakers in the 2009 NBA Finals. The age of a team may matter because they'd have more experience playing basketball period, but does having played in the playoffs before really help a team be less nervous going into a playoff game? I agree with Stan Van here.




 9.  "Nobody has had a 25 point, 10 rebound, 5 block, 4 assist game in Lakers' franchise playoff history in six years."


 Okay, that's only 69 games, which is actually a pretty short amount of time considering that they didn't have a great center for four of those years. I hate when people use these specific statistics that are somewhat meaningless and are not quite as impressive as they seem.




 8. "They wanted it more."


 Both teams want to win. It's not like one team doesn't care about winning the NBA championship, they just didn't play as well.




 7. [After a bad first half]  "This team really needs to come out and play well in this third quarter."


 Halftime show analysts say this as if teams don't want to play well every quarter.




 6. "This game changes the whole complexion of the series."


 We already know that every game changes the series since every game counts to the final score of the series. To make this comment sound somewhat intellectual, people that say this add in a sophisticated word to make it sound as if they are actually making a smart point.




 5. [After an away team wins game 1 of a series] " I don’t think they can win again in game 2. They already won, so the chance that they can do it again is so slim."


 A basketball game is an independent event. The outcome of one basketball game has almost zero impact on the outcome of the next basketball game. If anything, the team that won the first game has a greater chance to win the next because they've shown that they are capable of winning as underdogs.




 4. [In the first quarter] "After a 5-0 run the Suns are back in the game."


 This is silly on many levels. First, a 5-0 run is nothing special. It's a score, a miss by the other team and a score. Secondly, In the first quarter, it's not really possible to be "out of the game." Thirdly, if it only took five points to get back in the game, they probably were never even out of it.




3. "Teams that lead 2-0 win the series 93% of the time."


Thanks for the insight. This tells us that teams that are winning by a large margin usually win. This also tells us that teams that have won 100% of games in the recent past are very likely to win 40% of games in the near future. Plus, teams that win the first two games probably are the better team.


2. "The Cavs lead 2-1, is this series over?"


 No, it's not. You need to win four games to win a series, and they only won two. Therefore, no, the series isn't over. All they did was win in their home court.




1. "The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, back in 1996, the Magic won."


 I don't really care about what happened to retired players. I want to know information that will actually give me some knowledge on the upcoming series.




Please comment and tell me if there are any lines that bug you.

Categories: Top 10

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Reply Jason Leib
11:48 PM on June 3, 2010 
you did a great job activating your words! Continue with that!
Reply [email protected]
12:47 PM on May 16, 2010 
1) great page.

2) Best are #4 and #1

3) small note: Mike Breen did the finals last year and maybe the year b4 too.
Reply Lev to Meg
9:58 AM on May 16, 2010 
No, Mike Breen is WAY above it! There's a reason they have him announcing the finals this year.

By the way, in a few weeks I will post my interview with Mike Breen on my "Quick Questions" page.
Reply [email protected]
8:00 AM on May 16, 2010 
Does Mike Breen ever say anything silly? Or, is he above that?
Reply Mike
2:25 PM on May 15, 2010 
Nice analysis! You're absolutely right that sports broadcasters and writers have some really dumb things to say, and you hit on a bunch of the classics.

But there's one element that I think you're overlooking: psychology. Different players react differently to pressure packed situations. For some guys, being down in a series (especially if his team was the favorite) can be demoralizing and discouraging. For others, it motivates them to up their play. For the rest, it has no effect.

Without a large sample size, there's not enough evidence to know how a particular player or group of players react to these situations on a consistent basis. Yet commentators seem make assertions that are not based on facts, and end up looking like fools half the time, and geniuses the other half of the time.
Reply Seth
11:49 PM on May 13, 2010 
I hope when you become a commentator, you'll keep your wits about you and refrain from this nonsense. What about coaches lame advice next: "Let's go out there and do some stuff, and then do some more stuff."