Crazy Playing With The Law of Averages

With the 2010-2011 season hitting halftime, I can't help but observe how the law of averages has played a major role in affecting the outcome of almost every team in the league, with a couple of exceptions.

The Celtics of course are not immune, though if you ask me, they would fall in a different category ... not in the list of exceptions, but in that of the exaggerations.

If I place all my observations here, it would be the equivalent of writing a book. I hate making long posts. And we're only halfway to the season. So my thoughts still have a 50/50 shot of being refuted or confirmed. Hence, I'll save the rest of the "white space" for writing a book on the Celtics and in the meantime, speak the most prominent thoughts in my mind.

The Law of Averages is a lay term used to express a belief that outcomes of a random event will "even out" within a small sample. As invoked in everyday life, the law usually reflects bad statistics or wishful thinking rather than any mathematical principle.

Putting it another way, it's based on the idea that probability will influence all occurrences in the long term, that one will neither win nor lose all of the time.

Therefore the "law" technically isn't a law, as it's based on probabilities ... but surprisingly if you've ever lived long enough in this planet, you'll know that it manifests itself every now and then. The same goes with the hardwood floor and the last 39-41 games held thus far.

And if you are like me, you can't help but either laugh on the inside. Consider:

* It's a surprise what a healthy Chris Paul and New Orleans Hornets showed us at the start of the season ... It wasn't a surprise however to see them now at the lower end of the playoff bound pack in the west.

* From the get go, almost everyone was expecting the Miami Heat to win 80 games. Crazy. They "jump-start" the season at 9-8. But here it comes ... They win 21 of their next 22 ... Then you'd think they do have a legit shot at the Bulls record ... before Blake Griffin cools them off, followed by losses to the Nuggets and Bulls. With LeBron and LeBosh now hurting, I dare not make any more predictions for now and would rather let fate (and the Cs) decide.

* Many thought last year was the end of The Tim Duncan dynasty, when the San Antonio Spurs lost to the Mavericks in the first round. It was ugly. Since 2007, they have been a description of a team afloat ... just making it through ... either that, or a sinking ship ... then this season comes and you'd think these guys were made of titanium. Virtually injury-less, almost everybody accounted for, and they're more than a stone throw's away from the LA Lakers, record and match-up wise.

* Their Texan brothers from Dallas on the other hand, just proves what can happen when a streaking team suddenly loses its all star ... Their once 12 game winning streak is currently being cancelled out with a 5 game losing skid. And the once-invincible Mavericks now have to make ends meet without Dirk Nowitzki. Makes me remember Gregg Popovich's quotable when the two teams met last Friday, something like "I hate playing this team without Nowitzki. There's no point to it. If we win, we can't get much out of it. If you lose, you feel like a dog. It's a useless game. I'd rather be at dinner."

* The Orlando Magic at one point were thought to be out of the playoff race and into the "rat race" or any other that resembled scrambling for their lives. If you don't like them, you'd wish their losing ways would continue, but when you think insult was added to injury after their supposed to be "bad luck" trades... they hit a 9-ball out of nowhere and are back with the big dogs of the east.

* The LA Lakers were supposed to be in tip-top shape this season, if only for the sake of Kobe matching Michael Jordan's six-ringed legacy. Their rollercoaster ride of wins and losses however, courtesy of their emotional outbursts and the Black Mamba's two-faced personality as of late, has them at a precarious place of fighting for homecourt advantage through the second half of this season. Not to worry, said LA. We've now got a "healthy" Bynum. Congratulations. They're one of a few I believe, who are the exceptions to the law. We still want you in June and that's an order.

* As for the Boston Celtics ... we all knew this was coming. We just didn't think it would come this fast. Or did we? A starting five of current and former all-stars and everyone thought we'd be up on everyone's behinds.A bench mob that was the envy of everyone and yet if they only knew what we're trying to keep hushed about ... most of the recent success of the Cs has come out of winning close contests, scratching and clawing their way into games, and with a roster that is close to lacking roughly 34 feet (Perkins, The 2 O'Neals, Garnett, and West). Yes we jampacked the center and power forward slots, but isn't it ironic that we find Marquis Daniels now practicing the 4 and possibly 5 positions?

If what I see is correct, the main reason the Cs are on top of the standings right now is not that they're winning ... but that the other teams in the east elite are struggling or are in a losing skid. Still, I'll take it. 'Coz the law of averages is in effect. And right now, it's favoring us.

There's still 23 teams to go, but you do the math and you'll figure out one way or another who are the exceptions and who are the exaggerations. Halfway into the season and homecourt advantage is still up for grabs. The standings are way too close to predict who's the real beast in the east, and the best in the west. Anything can still happen (Hey, Cleveland's still got a shot if they go on a 50 game winning streak!) but thanks to the L of A, the top 8 in each bracket would most likely still be the top 8 in April.

Enough crazy play for now. Will let Bob Delaney do all the talking from here.