Saturday, December 15, 2007

A couple of basketball items:

Friday night, with 3:29 left in the games, the visiting Los Angeles Lakers led the Golden State Warriors, 102-94. Golden State then outscored the Lakers 14-2 over roughly the next three minutes, culminating with Baron Davis's three-pointer on a hastily released shot with 0:16 remaining. That shot put the Warriors up 108-104, and they ultimately prevailed, 108-106 (fourth quarter play-by-play).

As discussed in recent postings, team scoring runs such as that pulled off by Golden State do occur fairly frequently. However, I don't recall seeing many that turned a game upside down in the last few minutes, like the one Friday. The win also ended a Warriors' nine-game losing streak to the Lakers.

Switching to the college level, I have noted the Texas Tech men's tendencies this season to shoot well from behind the three-point arc and/or allow their opponents to do the same. Butler, for example, hit 16-24 (.667) against the Red Raiders in the final of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Well, Saturday afternoon, Texas Tech was torched again from three-point land, as New Mexico hit a mindboggling 9 of 11 (.818) treys in an 80-63 Lobo win. Quoting from New Mexico's press release prior to the Texas Tech game:

Before the 3-for-24 performance from long range against Southern Utah, the Lobos were among the nation’s early leaders in 3-point shooting. However, they still lead the league in 3s per game at 9.1 and in accuracy at 42.3%.

The 3s have dropped somewhat, though. Through the first six games, UNM was averaging 10.8 a game and shooting 47.8%, however, the past 4 contests, the Lobos are making an average of 6.5 treys and shooting 32.9% (26-79).

As I've discussed previously, a truly streaky team (or individual) will exhibit pronounced hot and cold spells over a season. It will be interesting to revisit this New Mexico squad at the end of the season to conduct systematic analyses from a larger sample of games.

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