In an Insider article yesterday, Tom Haberstroh used advanced analytics to look at the best "Big Three" trios to play in the Finals. The trio of Stockton, Malone, and Hornacek was found to be 4th on the list, and the best to never win the Championship. Haberstroh says:
If this trio played at any point in NBA history other than Michael Jordan's era, they'd probably be known as the model for Duncan-Parker-Ginobili. But of course, the general public tends to be blinded by the shiny rings the Jazz trio unfortunately never received. Their cumulative WARP of 324.4 ranked third in modern history.
A former All-Star and one of the premier shooters of his time, Hornacek probably doesn't garner the recognition that he deserves. The guy was a beacon of efficiency and nearly joined the 50-40-90 club in field goal percentage, free throw percentage and 3-point percentage, respectively, during his entire run with the Jazz. Easily the best Big Three to never win the title.
I don't want to give away the rest of the list, but 2 of the top three are legendary and the other is in the making. Its comforting to know where that amazing team stands.
Not Jazz related, but I need to share this: After every Finals game the Grantland Staff does a "NBA Finals Shootaround" where they all contribute little tidbits from the game. They are nothing short of brilliant. I have read them all and enjoy them immensely. The best part is Shea Serrano's (@SheaSerrano) "Text Messages to Pop From a Spurs Fan". They are just hilarious. Here is last game's, and keep an eye out for the recap of last night's Game 6 (the best game of the season).
Also of interest at Grantland is their NBA Job Interview series. Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose (who are great together) sit down with the prospects and talk about their game, as well as look at some plays. Its great because Simmons and Rose are able to get the prospects to be somewhat genuine in a time during their careers in which their words are as scripted as a politician's during election season.
I watched CJ McCollum's and thought he was fantastic. Here are a couple of interest to Jazz fans:
The Jazz have another round of workouts today, featuring 6 prospects, mostly from Midwestern schools. The list can be found here. These guys mostly fall in the late 30's of Draft Express' Top 100 and in the 40's of Chad Ford's Top 100, so they are most likely being looked at as potential 2nd Round picks.
I believe this brings the tryout count to 72 (Amar?)
There are some (probably overblown) labels of last night's game as the best Finals game ever. It was probably one of the best I've ever watched. Did you watch the game? Where you would you rank it?
The problem with this series is it is almost impossible to get an unbiased opinion. There is too much disdain for the Heat for that; and if you started out neutral it likely is difficult to stay that way. The vitriol aimed at the Heat and especially at LeBron is enough to push some people to a place they never thought they'd end up. I found myself cheering loudly when LBJ made the three in the last minute of the 4th last night. Its odd how so much pushback on one side can cause people's opinion to migrate just to balance things out.
Having said that, there is one thing that anyone who is a fan of basketball should be able to agree on: Game 6 was a blast. I could feel the sense of urgency that both teams had, from my couch. It was scrappy, chaotic, hectic, tense, and absolutely glorious.