1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transact's

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1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transact's

Postby MCT » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:32 pm

This is the seventh of a planned series of threads analyzing games played, games started and transactions for the 1980-81 season. Before reading any further, see the introductory thread below:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4961

WASHINGTON BULLETS – PART I

SEASON OVERVIEW

The Bullets had a 39-43 record. They finished fourth out of five teams in the Atlantic Division, and seventh out of eleven teams in the Eastern Conference overall. The Bullets did not make the playoffs. They were the first team not to make the cut, five games behind the last playoff qualifier.

The Bullets used 18 different players for the season, seven above the minimum.

ROSTER AND TRANSACTIONS

OPENING NIGHT ROSTER

Greg Ballard
Bob Dandridge
Kevin Grevey
Elvin Hayes
Mitch Kupchak
Rick Mahorn
Wes Matthews
Kevin Porter
Carlos Terry
Wes Unseld
John Williamson

Notable unsigned Veteran Free Agent: Larry Wright.

IN-SEASON TRANSACTIONS

In the list below, anything which is underlined is the subject of discrepancies or guesswork, or is the result of further research beyond my usual sources.

11/6/80 – Traded future considerations to the Mavericks for Austin Carr; placed John Williamson on the injured list.

11/13/80 – Larry Wright, who had been an unsigned Veteran Free Agent, signed with the Pistons; received two draft picks (1981 3rd round and 1983 2nd round) from the Pistons as compensation for Wright.

12/3/80 – Waived John Williamson.

12/15/80 – Placed Bob Dandridge on the injured list; signed Dave Britton to a 10-day contract.

12/17/80 – Placed Carlos Terry on the injured list; signed Keith McCord to a 10-day contract.

12/27/80 – Signed Andre McCarter and Anthony Roberts to 10-day contracts.

1/6/81 – Signed Andre McCarter and Anthony Roberts to second 10-day contracts.

1/15/81 – Placed Rick Mahorn on the injured list; signed Lewis Brown to a 10-day contract.

1/17/81 – Traded Wes Matthews to the Hawks for Don Collins; signed Andre McCarter and Anthony Roberts to contracts for the remainder of the season.

1/25/81 – Activated Rick Mahorn from the injured list.

2/28/81 – Activated Bob Dandridge from the injured list; placed Austin Carr on the injured list.

3/28/81 – Activated Austin Carr from the injured list; placed Kevin Grevey on the injured list.

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

Injured list transactions:

The 11/6/80, 12/15/80, 12/17/80, 1/15/81 and 2/28/81 transactions involving players coming on and off the injured list were all reported in the Globe’s transactions column (i.e., in the following day’s edition of the paper). pst.com also has the 11/6/80 and 1/15/81 transactions. pst.com has 2/28/81 as well, but has the date shown as 1/28/81. Based on the box score appearances of the players involved, 2/28 seems to be correct; 1/28 must be a typo. The Globe is my only source for the 12/15/80 and 12/17/80 injured list transactions, although other sources show the Bullets signing players to 10-day contracts on those dates (consistent with someone being placed on the IL on those dates).

I don’t have any documentation of the 1/25/81 transaction, but Mahorn must have been activated on or about this date. He returned to action on 1/25, so he has to have been activated no later than that date. And he couldn’t have been activated much earlier, because the Bullets had replaced Mahorn on the active roster by signing Brown to a 10-day contract, and had to wait for Brown’s contract to expire before they had a roster spot available.

I don’t have any documentation of the 3/28/81 transaction, but this move must have happened on or shortly before that date. Carr, who had been on the injured list since 2/28/81, returned to action for the last two games of the season on 3/28 and 3/29. The only player who had been on the active roster who didn’t play in those two games was Grevey, so he must have been moved to the IL to make room. Grevey had played in the previous game on 3/27, so the swap has to have been made in between the game on 3/27 and the game on 3/28.

Three players on the IL:

By all appearances, the Bullets had three players on the injured list during the period when Mahorn was on the IL, starting on 1/15/81 (Dandridge and Terry were the others). I find that very interesting, because it’s the only instance I’ve come across of a team having three players on the injured list during the 1980-81 season. Aside from this instance, the limit in this era appears to have been two. I’m not sure what to make of this. It’s possible that three was allowed but just rarely used, especially given the fiscal realities of the NBA in this era. I’m not convinced of that, though; there are other cases where a team that suffered a player injury with two players already on the IL acted as if the limit was in fact two. In the introductory post to this series, I noted that there is an NBA rule today allowing teams to get a special exemption from the league to temporarily carry an extra player if they lose an excessive number of players to injuries or illness. It may be that this process existed back in 1980-81, and the Bullets were able to get an exemption under it. I haven’t found any contemporary source that provides an explanation one way or another.

The Bullets never had a game in this period when they used fewer than eight players, so they don’t appear to have had difficulty meeting the NBA minimum of eight players in uniform. Both of the games where they used the player they signed to a 10-day contract to replace Mahorn (Lewis Brown) featured nine players. What may have been a bigger issue than the number of players was the position they played. One of the players out was starting center Wes Unseld, who did not play in nine consecutive games starting on 1/8/81. When Unseld was unavailable, his preferred replacement at center seems to have been Rick Mahorn, and he was out, too. Mahorn did not play in eight consecutive games starting on 1/11/81. In this era of 11-man rosters, most NBA teams carried no more than two players whose primary position was center. That was true of the Bullets. They had a few PF-C types who could probably play some minutes at center, but they had no players left whose true primary position was center. While he wasn’t a center, Grevey also didn’t play on 1/15/81, leaving the Bullets with only eight available players for that game (before signing Brown). That was the only game Grevey missed during the period when Mahorn was on the IL, however.

Roberts and McCarter:

Both the Globe and pst.com report that when McCarter and Roberts initially signed with the Bullets on 12/27/80, it was to a 10-day contract. Both the Globe and pst.com then show the two players signing second 10-day contracts on 1/6/81. pst.com is my sole source for both players signing for the remainder of the season on 1/17/81; this never appeared in the Globe. It’s obvious something like this must have happened around that date, as both players continued with the Bullets through the end of the season. (pst.com’s ultimate source for all of the above is likely a newspaper other than the Globe.)

The 1981-82 NBA Register simply shows Roberts and McCarter signing with the Bullets on 12/27/80, with no mention of it being a 10-day deal or of any subsequent 10-day/remainder-of-season contracts. As we’ve discussed in previous installments in this series, the Register typically wrote things up that way whenever a player who initially joined a team on a 10-day deal stuck around for longer than that, and shouldn’t be read as inconsistent with what the Globe and pst.com show. b-r.com shows the same thing as the Register; it likely used the Register as its source.

Compensation for Wright:

Wright’s signing with the Pistons was reported in the transaction column in the 11/14/80 Globe, but it doesn’t mention compensation. Using the severely limited search functionality that is currently available for the Google News Archive, I was able to find an AP wire service story in the 11/14/80 edition of the Owosso (Mich.) Argus-Press confirming that compensation was announced at the same time as the signing.

Future considerations for Carr:

The Globe, 1981-82 NBA Register and pst.com all state that Carr was traded for “future considerations”. b-r.com indicates that Carr was “sold”, suggesting that what the Mavericks ultimately received for Carr was cash.

GAMES STARTED INFO

MEDIA GUIDE

As far as I can see, the 2009-10 Wizards Media Guide has no historical games started information whatsoever. So for the 1980-81 Bullets, we will need to rely solely on the TSN box scores. This is the first team we’ve encountered where we’ve had no ability to reconcile the numbers in the TSN boxes with stats from a media guide.

TSN BOX SCORES

All but one of the TSN box scores for the 1980-81 Bullets appears to list the players in “starters first” F-F-C-G-G order. The one exception was the game on 10/11/80, the second game of the season. In that box score, it appears that the names of the two starting guards (Grevey and Porter) were erroneously omitted. As a result, the first five players listed in the box score are the starters at F, F and C, followed by the first two reserves off the bench. The Bullets players’ totals in the box score don’t add up to the team totals for the game, and if Grevey and Porter didn’t play in this game, their games played totals for the season would be one game short. Either Dick Pfander or b-r.com must have noticed these discrepancies and tracked down another box score with the correct information, because b-r.com’s sortable box score appears to have the correct data, with both Grevey and Porter listed (though it has the players listed in descending order of points scored, not in the order they should have appeared in the hard copy box).

NOTES/DISCREPANCIES

From the TSN box scores, after making the above assumptions about the game on 10/11/80, I am getting the following games started totals for the season:

Hayes 81
Grevey 74
Ballard 71
Unseld 62
Porter 57
Matthews 25
Dandridge 11
Mahorn 11
Roberts 8
Collins 4
Terry 3
Carr 3

I’m pretty confident that these numbers are at least good estimates, but it would always be better to have a media guide to square up with. Without media guide numbers to compare to, it’s hard to hold my games started numbers out as exact.
Last edited by MCT on Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:39 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: 1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transa

Postby MCT » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:48 pm

WASHINGTON BULLETS – PART II

PLAYER INFORMATION

Players are listed based on a snapshot as of late February. This reflects the Bullets’ roster as it stood between late December and the end of February, assuming everyone was healthy aside from the two players who were on the injured list long-term (Dandridge and Terry).

ELVIN HAYES

History: 1st round pick of Rockets in 1968. Acquired in trade with Rockets, June 1972.

Games Played (Regular Season 81 G, 36.2 MPG): The only game in which Hayes did not appear was on 1/25/81.

Games Started (Regular Season: 81): Hayes started every game he played in. Hayes made the vast majority of his starts at forward – 73 out of 81 – but also started eight games at center. His eight starts at center were seven out of the eight games between 1/11/81 and 1/23/81, and one additional game on 3/4/81. All of these were games in which regular starting center Wes Unseld didn’t play, or in one case a game immediately following games in which Unseld didn’t play. Rick Mahorn, who the Bullets typically used as the fill-in at center when Unseld wasn’t available, also did not play in any of these games, except for the one on 3/4/81.

For most of the period between 1/11/81 and 1/23/81, Hayes shifted to center, and Anthony Roberts started at forward in place of Hayes. If the TSN boxes can be trusted, however, Roberts started at center on 1/15/81, with Hayes back in his usual forward spot (this was the only game in that stretch for which the TSN box scores don’t show Hayes in the starting center slot). Given that Roberts was only 6’5” and was a small forward (actually listed as a “Forward-Guard” in the old b-r.com header), I have to wonder if that’s really correct, or if perhaps Hayes and Roberts are just listed out of order in the box score. If Hayes did start that game at center, he would have 72 starts at forward and 9 at center, including every game from 1/11/81 through 1/23/81. Note that the game on 1/23/81 was the game immediately preceding the game in which Hayes did not play at all on 1/25/81.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons through 1971-72, PF for all seasons thereafter, including 1980-81.

KEVIN GREVEY

History: 1st round pick of Bullets in 1975.

Games Played (Regular Season 75 G, 34.9 MPG): The seven games in which Grevey did not appear were two consecutive games on 12/5/80 & 12/7/80, two consecutive games on 1/3/81 & 1/6/81, 1/15/81, and two consecutive games on 3/28/81 & 3/29/81 (the last two games of the season). As discussed earlier, Grevey appears to have been placed on the injured list for the last two games of the season.

Games Started (Regular Season: 74): The only game Grevey played in but did not start was on 12/9/80 (immediately following the two games he had not played in on 12/5 & 12/7). All of Grevey’s starts were at guard.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard-Forward. Primary position is shown as SF for first five seasons of career (through 1979-80), then switches back and forth between SG and SF over last five seasons; 1980-81 is shown as SG. (Note that even though Grevey’s position in the header is listed as “Guard-Forward”, his primary position for seven of his ten individual seasons is shown as SF.)

GREG BALLARD

History: 1st round pick of Bullets in 1977.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 31.8 MPG): Ballard appeared in every game the Bullets played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 71): Ballard came off the bench for the first 11 games of the season. He moved into the starting lineup for the 12th game, on 11/4/80, replacing the injured Bob Dandridge. Ballard started every game from that point on.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career.

WES UNSELD

History: 1st round pick of Bullets in 1968.

Games Played (Regular Season 63 G, 32.3 MPG): The 19 games in which Unseld did not play were on 10/24/80, 12/25/80, 1/3/81, nine consecutive games from 1/8/81 through 1/22/81, 3/4/81, 3/8/81, 3/15/81, and four consecutive games from 3/22/81 through 3/28/81 (the last game in this stretch was the second-to-last game of the season; Unseld returned for the final game of the season on 3/29/81). I would guess that Unseld must have been struggling with injuries, but the period in January was the only time he really missed an extended stretch of games, and at no time was he ever placed on the injured list.

Games Started (Regular Season: 62): The only game Unseld played in but did not start was on 1/23/81 (immediately following the nine-game stretch when he did not play).

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as C for all seasons of career.

KEVIN PORTER

History: 3rd round pick of Bullets in 1972. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, July 1979 (compensation owed to Pistons).

Games Played (Regular Season 81 G, 31.8 MPG): The only game in which Porter did not appear was on 10/22/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 57): Porter started the first five games of the season (through 10/18/80; this ended with the game he did not play in on 10/22), after which he came off the bench for the next 21 games while Matthews started; started five consecutive games from 12/5/80 through 12/12/80; started three of the next seven games (12/16/80, two consecutive games on 12/23/80 & 12/25/80) as there was seemingly some indecision over who to start; and started the last 44 games of the season, beginning with 1/2/81.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

MITCH KUPCHAK

History: 1st round pick of Bullets in 1976.

Games Played (Regular Season 82 G, 23.6 MPG): Kupchak appeared in every game the Bullets played.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Kupchak did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Center. Primary position is shown as PF for all seasons of career (including 1980-81) except his rookie year of 1976-77, which is shown as C.

DON COLLINS

History: 1st round pick of Hawks in 1980. Acquired in trade with Hawks, January 1981.

Collins started the season with the Hawks, but was traded to the Bullets on 1/17/81 for Wes Matthews.

Games Played (Regular Season 34 G, 19.4 MPG): Collins made his debut with the Bullets on 1/20/81, when there were 34 games left in the season, and played in every game from that point on. The Bullets had played a game on the day of the Matthews-Collins trade (1/17/81) in which neither player appeared, then a game the next day (1/18/81) in which Collins did not appear. Collins had played in 47 games for the Hawks prior to the trade, giving him a total of 81 games played for the year.

Games Started (Regular Season: 4): Collins started at forward on 1/25/81, when regular starter Elvin Hayes did not play; at forward on 3/4/81, when regular starting center Wes Unseld did not play, and Hayes was shifted to center to cover for Unseld; and two consecutive games at guard on 3/28/81 & 3/29/81 (last two games of the regular season), when regular starter Kevin Grevey did not play.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position switches back and forth between SF and SG. 1980-81 is shown as SF.

AUSTIN CARR

History: 1st round pick of Cavaliers in 1971. Acquired in trade with Mavericks, November 1980.

Carr started the season with the Mavericks, but was traded to the Bullets on 11/6/80 for future considerations.

Games Played (Regular Season 39 G, 14.9 MPG): Carr made his debut with the Bullets on 11/6/80, the same day he was acquired. At that point, there were 70 games left in the season, of which Carr played in 39. He played in nine consecutive games from 11/6/80 through 11/22/80, followed by a stretch of twelve games in which he did not play; played in eight consecutive games from 12/19/80 through 1/6/81, followed by a stretch of four games in which he did not play; played in 20 consecutive games from 1/15/81 through 2/22/81, followed by a stretch of 15 games in which he did not play; and played in two consecutive games on 3/28/81 & 3/29/81 (the last two games of the season). Given the above patterns, where all of the games he did not play in were part of larger blocks, injuries were likely a factor in most or all of the games that Carr missed. He was placed on the injured list once, during the 15-game stretch he missed in February and March, from 2/28/81 through the game on 3/27/81. Including the 8 games he had played for the Mavericks earlier in the season, Carr appeared in 47 NBA games this year.

Games Started (Regular Season: 3): The three games Carr started were two consecutive games on 1/3/81 & 1/6/81, and one additional game on 1/15/81. All of these were games in which regular starter Kevin Grevey did not play. Incidentally, Carr did not appear in any of the four games the Bullets played in between the game on 1/6/81 and the game on 1/15/81; Grevey played in and started all of those games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

ANDRE McCARTER

History: 6th round pick of Kings in 1976. Signed as a free agent (initially to a 10-day contract), December 1980.

McCarter did not start the season with the Bullets. He was signed to a 10-day contract on 12/27/80, filling the roster spot vacated by the injured Carlos Terry; then to a second 10-day contract on 1/6/81, then to a contract for the remainder of the season on 1/17/81. Before signing with the Bullets, McCarter had not been on an NBA regular-season roster since the Kings waived him a few games into the 1977-78 season.

Games Played (Regular Season 43 G, 10.4 MPG): McCarter made his Bullets debut on the same day he signed his first 10-day contract (12/27/80). At that point the Bullets had 46 games remaining. McCarter is credited with appearing in 43 games, but I only noted him in 42 TSN box scores. The box scores he is missing from are 2/6/81, 2/10/81, 2/25/81, and 3/5/81. b-r.com’s game log feature also shows McCarter in only 42 box scores. It is possible that McCarter was omitted from one box score in which he did not compile any stats that would have been shown in the box score. A good candidate would be the game on 2/25, whose TSN box score lists only seven players for the Bullets.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): McCarter did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

RICK MAHORN

History: 2nd round pick of Bullets in 1980.

Games Played (Regular Season 52 G, 13.4 MPG): I’m not going to list out exactly which games Mahorn appeared in and which he didn’t, but his appearances in the TSN box scores do add up to his official games played total. There isn’t much of a pattern to the games Mahorn did and did not play in. For most of the season, he could be described as playing on a regular but not necessarily everyday basis.

There were only two occasions when Mahorn was absent from the box scores for more than two consecutive games, and only once when he was absent for more than three. That was the stretch of eight consecutive games from 1/11/81 through 1/23/81. There were clearly injuries involved in that, as Mahorn was on the injured list from 1/15/81 through the end of that stretch. At the other end of the spectrum, there were only two occasions when Mahorn played in more than five games in a row. The first was from 12/23/80 through 1/10/81, when he played in nine consecutive games. The second was from 3/15/81 through the end of the season, when he played in eight consecutive games. These two stretches contain several games when Wes Unseld did not play, which may account for Mahorn’s increased usage. The stretch of games played from 12/23 to 1/10 immediately preceded the stretch of games missed from 1/11 to 1/23, so the injury that caused the latter seems to have also ended the former.

Games Started (Regular Season: 11): The eleven games Mahorn started were on 10/24/80, 12/25/80, 1/3/81, two consecutive games on 1/8/81 & 1/10/81, 3/8/81, 3/15/81, and four consecutive games from 3/22/81 through 3/28/81. All of these starts were at center, and all were games regular starting center Wes Unseld did not play in.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center-Forward. Primary position is shown as PF for 14 of 18 NBA seasons, with four seasons shown as C, all late in his career. (Note that even though Mahorn’s position in the header is listed as “Center-Forward”, his primary position for the vast majority of his individual seasons is shown as PF.) Even though b-r.com shows Mahorn’s primary position as PF, I suspect that this year he was used mainly, maybe even more-or-less exclusively, at C.

ANTHONY ROBERTS

History: 1st round pick of Nuggets in 1977. Signed as a free agent (initially to a 10-day contract), December 1980.

Roberts did not start the season with the Bullets. He was signed to a 10-day contract on 12/27/80, filling the roster spot vacated by the injured Bob Dandridge; then to a second 10-day contract on 1/6/81, then to a contract for the remainder of the season on 1/17/81. When Dandridge was activated late in the season, the Bullets kept Roberts, placing another player on the IL to make room for Dandridge on the active roster.

Games Played (Regular Season 26 G, 13.5 MPG): Roberts made his Bullets debut on the same day he signed his first 10-day contract (12/27/80). At that point the Bullets had 46 games remaining, of which Roberts appeared in 26. Roberts played in 16 of the first 17 games he was on the roster (through 1/27/81, the second-to-last game before the All-Star break), failing to appear only on 1/23/81. Of the 29 games after that point, he played in only 10 – 2/4/81, 2/17/81, 2/22/81, two consecutive games on 2/27/81 & 3/1/81, 3/17/81, three consecutive games from 3/22/81 through 3/27/81, and 3/29/81 (the last game of the season; Roberts played in four of the last five games, all but 3/28/81). The acquisition of Don Collins on 1/17 may have pushed Roberts further down on the depth chart.

Games Started (Regular Season: 8): The eight games Roberts started were eight consecutive games from 1/11/81 through 1/23/81. All of these were games in which regular starting center Wes Unseld didn’t play. In all but the game on 1/15/81, Elvin Hayes had been shifted to center to cover for Unseld, and Roberts was starting in Hayes’ place. If the TSN boxes can be trusted, however, Roberts started at center on 1/15/81, with Hayes in his usual forward spot. Given that Roberts was only 6’5” and was a small forward (actually listed as a “Forward-Guard” in the old b-r.com header), I have to wonder if that’s really correct, or if perhaps Hayes and Roberts are just listed out of order in the box score. If Hayes did start that game at center, then all of Roberts’ starts would be at forward.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career.

INJURED LIST:

BOB DANDRIDGE

History: 4th round pick of Bucks in 1969. Signed as Veteran Free Agent, August 1977 (compensation owed to Bucks).

Games Played (Regular Season 23 G, 23.7 MPG): Dandridge played in the first 11 games of the season (through 11/1/80), then apparently got injured, as he did not play again until four months later. Dandridge was formally placed on the injured list on 12/15/80. He was activated from the IL on 2/28/81, and returned to action in the Bullets’ next game on 3/1/81. At that point the Bullets had 15 games remaining in the season, and Dandridge played in 12 of them. The three games he did not play in were on 3/20/81 and two consecutive games on 3/25/81 & 3/27/81 (there was one game in between the game on 3/20 and the game on 3/25, in which Dandridge played).

Note that, when Dandridge apparently got injured, the team did not immediately place him on the injured list or sign a replacement, but played shorthanded for about six weeks before doing so. This was a common practice in this era. The Bullets may have wanted to wait until the contract-guarantee deadline, when they could begin signing players to 10-day contracts. That’s what ended up happening. Dandridge’s roster spot was first filled by Dave Britton, then by Anthony Roberts. When Dandridge was activated late in the season, the Bullets kept Roberts, placing another player on the IL to make room for Dandridge on the active roster.

Games Started (Regular Season: 11): Dandridge started the first 11 games of the season, before he got injured. When he returned later in the season, he was used strictly off the bench and did not start any further games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Forward-Guard. Primary position is shown as SF for all seasons of career.

CARLOS TERRY

History: 5th round pick of Lakers in 1978. Signed as a free agent, September 1980. (Note: Terry had no regular-season NBA experience prior to this season.)

Games Played (Regular Season 26 G, 19.4 MPG): Terry played in 26 of the Bullets’ first 32 games, then got injured. The Google News Archive has an extensive article about Terry from the 2/12/82 edition of the Lexington (N.C.) Dispatch – Lexington was Terry’s hometown – which indicates that he suffered a season-ending injury to the ligaments in his left knee in a game against the Pacers on 12/13/80. (The transaction column in the Globe, when Terry was placed on the IL, states that he had a torn ligament in his left knee.) Terry was placed on the injured list on 12/17/80 and stayed there for the remainder of the season. His roster spot was filled first by signing Keith McCord, then Andre McCarter. Terry had only appeared in one of the Bullets’ first six games (the only game he played in during that period was on 10/18/80, the fifth game of the season), but then appeared in 25 of the 26 games the Bullets played from 10/24/80 through 12/13/80 (the only game he didn’t play in during that period was on 10/31/80).

Games Started (Regular Season: 3): The three games Terry started were three consecutive games from 12/5/80 through 12/9/80, at guard. Regular starter Kevin Grevey did not play in the first two games, then returned but came off the bench in the third.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard-Forward. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

NO LONGER WITH TEAM:

WES MATTHEWS

History: 1st round pick of Bullets in 1980.

Matthews started the season with the Bullets, but was traded to the Hawks on 1/17/81 for Don Collins.

Games Played (Regular Season 45 G, 25.8 MPG): Matthews appeared in 45 of the first 46 games the Bullets played, a stretch running through 1/15/81. The only game he didn’t play in during that period was on 1/2/81. The Bullets’ next game was on the day of the Matthews-Collins trade (1/17/81); neither Matthews nor Collins appeared in that game. After the trade, Matthews played in an additional 34 games for the Hawks, giving him a total of 79 games played for the year.

Games Started (Regular Season: 25): The 25 games Matthews started were 21 consecutive games from 10/22/80 (the sixth game of the season) through 12/3/80, and four games in a six-game stretch from 12/13/80 through 12/30/80 (12/13/80, 12/19/80, two consecutive games on 12/27/80 & 12/30/80). The next game after 12/30 was the game Matthews did not play in on 1/2.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG for all seasons of career.

JOHN WILLIAMSON

History: Began pro career in ABA, 1973. Acquired in trade with Nets, February 1980.

Williamson started the season with the Bullets, but was waived on 12/3/80, his roster spot having effectively been taken by the recently acquired Austin Carr.

Games Played (Regular Season 9 G, 12.4 MPG): Williamson was on the Bullets’ active roster for the first 12 games of the season, a stretch running through 11/4/80, and appeared in 9 of them. The three games he did not play in were on 10/18/80, 10/26/80, and 11/4/80; his last appearance was on 11/1/80. Williamson was placed on the injured list when Austin Carr was acquired on 11/6/80 – Carr played in the game on 11/6/80, so it’s clear that the roster move was made before the game on that date – and was waived on 12/3/80 without having been activated from the IL or appearing in any further games.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Williamson did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG for all seasons of career.

DAVE BRITTON

History: 3rd round pick of Mavericks in 1980 (waived in training camp and did not start 1980-81 season on an NBA roster). Signed to a 10-day contract, December 1980.

Britton was with the Bullets on a 10-day contract signed on 12/15/80, when Bob Dandridge went on the injured list. He was not signed to a second 10-day contract, as the Bullets signed Anthony Roberts to a 10-day contract instead. The two games Britton appeared in were the only NBA games he would ever play in.

Games Played (Regular Season 2 G, 4.5 MPG): The Bullets played four games while Britton was on the roster (12/16/80, 12/19/80, 12/23/80, and 12/25/80). He appeared in two, which were the last two, consecutive games on 12/23/80 & 12/25/80. These were the same two games that Keith McCord played in.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Britton did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as PG; this is the only season that Britton played in the NBA.

KEITH McCORD

History: 10th round pick of 76ers in 1979, as a junior eligible; returned to college for 1979-80 season, but signed with 76ers in May 1980 rather than re-enter that year’s draft (waived in training camp and did not start 1980-81 season on an NBA roster). Signed to a 10-day contract, December 1980.

McCord was with the Bullets on a 10-day contract signed on 12/17/80, when Carlos Terry went on the injured list. He was not signed to a second 10-day contract, as the Bullets signed Andre McCarter to a 10-day contract instead. The two games McCord appeared in were the only NBA games he would ever play in.

Games Played (Regular Season 2 G, 4.5 MPG): The Bullets played three games while McCord was on the roster (12/19/80, 12/23/80, and 12/25/80). He appeared in two, which were the last two, consecutive games on 12/23/80 & 12/25/80. These were the same two games that Dave Britton played in.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): McCord did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Guard. Primary position is shown as SG; this is the only season that McCord played in the NBA.

LEWIS BROWN

History: 4th round pick of Bucks in 1977. Signed to a 10-day contract, January 1981. (Note: Brown had no regular-season NBA experience prior to the Bullets signing him.)

Brown was with the Bullets on a 10-day contract signed on 1/15/81, when Rick Mahorn went on the injured list. He was not signed to a second 10-day contract, as Mahorn was activated on 1/25/81. The two games Brown appeared in were the only NBA games he would ever play in.

Games Played (Regular Season 2 G, 2.5 MPG): The Bullets played six games while Brown was on the roster (1/15/80, 1/17/80, 1/18/80, 1/20/80, 1/22/80, and 1/23/80). He appeared in two, which were on 1/15/80 and 1/18/80.

Games Started (Regular Season: 0): Brown did not start any games.

b-r.com position info: Position in old b-r.com header is listed as Center. Primary position is shown as C; this is the only season that Brown played in the NBA.
Last edited by MCT on Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transa

Postby MCT » Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:54 pm

WASHINGTON BULLETS – PART III

PLAYERS BY POSITION

STARTERS

The Bullets’ usual starting lineup throughout most of the season was Unseld at center, Hayes and Ballard at forward, and Porter and Grevey at guard. Dandridge was the starter at one forward slot at the beginning of the season, but he apparently got injured 11 games in, and was replaced by Ballard. Porter spent some time on the bench in the first half of the season, displaced by Matthews, but eventually re-took the starter’s role (Matthews was subsequently traded). Unseld missed a significant amount of time, presumably due to injury. But both during our snapshot period and for the season as a whole, the five players listed above were the clear starters.

b-r.com lists Hayes as the PF, Ballard as the SF, Porter as the PG, and Grevey as the SG. I agree with all of these assessments.

All five of the Bullets’ starters averaged over 30 mpg – and that was with some not serving in a starting role for the entire season, as described above.

RESERVES

The most heavily used reserves were Kupchak and Collins, who averaged 23.6 and 19.4 mpg, respectively. Kupchak could be fairly labeled as the team’s sixth man. Kupchak’s primary position is listed as power forward, but he (and/or Hayes) must have played some minutes at center as well, because there were quite a few minutes at center not covered by the players who primarily played there. Call Kupchak the first big man off the bench. It’s interesting to note that, with the problems the Bullets were apparently having in January with injuries to their big men (Hayes shifted to C, a player on a 10-day contract starting at F, another player signed to a 10-day contract to add depth at C), they never used Kupchak as a starter. I would hazard a guess that the coaching staff liked his effectiveness in a sixth man-like role and didn’t want to lose that element.

With all of the roster changes the Bullets made, it’s hard to tell exactly how much everyone played where, but I think Collins probably saw action at both SF and SG – he started a few games at both positions – but played more heavily at SF. Call Collins the first wing player off the bench. (Before he got hurt, Terry may have played a similar role, although he appears more guard-slanted than Collins.)

The next group of reserves includes Austin Carr and Andre McCarter, at 14.9 and 10.4 mpg, respectively. Carr was an SG, McCarter a PG. There were quite a few games Carr didn’t play in, but as discussed earlier, it looks to me like this was due to injuries, not to not being in the everyday rotation. Carr’s absences may have opened up some playing time for Collins in the backcourt. McCarter didn’t play especially heavy minutes, but saw action in almost every game after the point when the Bullets signed him.

The two remaining players are Mahorn and Roberts. As noted earlier, it appears to me that Mahorn (13.4 mpg) played regularly but not on an everyday basis. Injuries may have played some role in this – he spent ten days on the IL in January – but it looks to me like he was simply on the margins of the rotation for most of the season. b-r.com shows Mahorn’s primary position as PF, but I think it was actually C. Someone had to be the backup center (no one on the team is shown with a primary position of C other than Unseld), Mahorn was the usual starter at C when Unseld wasn’t available, and I don’t see much room for Mahorn at PF. Roberts (13.5 mpg) was an SF. He played on an everyday basis for about a month after he was signed, but then seems to have fallen deeper onto the bench, possibly displaced by the acquisition of Collins.

POSITION NOTES

Center-Forwards

I’m finding that a lot of teams have players listed by b-r.com as playing both center and (power) forward, and it isn’t always obvious who played how many minutes where. For the Bullets, Unseld and Mahorn are listed as “Center-Forward” (though Mahorn’s primary position for the season is shown as PF), while Hayes and Kupchak are listed as “Forward-Center”. With four different players involved, it’s impossible to work out precisely who played how much where. With that caveat, this is my sense:

I think Unseld played exclusively (or nearly so) at center. He was the regular starter, his primary position is listed as C for every season of his career, and I don’t see why the Bullets would have had any need to play him at PF.

I think Mahorn played primarily (maybe even more-or-less exclusively) at center, even though b-r.com shows his primary position for this year as power forward. Someone had to be the backup center – aside from Unseld, no one who played more than two games for the Bullets this year is shown with a primary position of C – and I don’t see Hayes or Kupchak playing center as anything more than a secondary position. Mahorn was also the usual starter at C when Unseld wasn’t available. I just don’t see much room for Mahorn at PF anyway.

I think Hayes and Kupchak played primarily at power forward. Both of these guys seem to be slanted pretty heavily towards forward (forward is listed first in their position headers, primary position is shown as PF for this and all surrounding seasons) and Hayes was obviously starting at PF. One or both of them must have been seeing significant minutes at C, though, because Unseld and Mahorn don’t come close to covering all of the available minutes at C. Both appear to have missed time due to injury, and it doesn’t look like Mahorn played every night even when healthy. Assuming that Unseld and Mahorn played exclusively at C, there are still 1223 minutes (14.9 mpg) unaccounted for. These must have been covered by some combination of Hayes and Kupchak.

Hayes and Kupchak played a combined total of 4865 minutes. There were 3956 minutes available for each of the five positions on the floor, so they played 909 too many minutes for a single position. Those minutes were presumably spent shifting to C – but there were 1223 minutes available at C, leaving 314 minutes (3.8 mpg) unaccounted for. I don’t see any other forward who looks like a good candidate to have played at center, however, so I would think that the bulk of those 1223 minutes were in fact played by Hayes and/or Kupchak, meaning the shortage of 314 is actually at PF. But there was nobody else on the team whose primary position is listed as PF – so I guess those minutes were played by a lineup with two SFs on the floor, maybe during a time of injuries?

As always, I’d be interested in any information or insight anyone has into how these players were used at these positions, during this season or any other time in their careers.

Forward-Guards

The Bullets also have five players listed as playing both (small) forward and (shooting) guard, creating similar challenges in figuring out who played how much where. Collins, Roberts and Dandridge are listed as “Forward-Guard”, while Grevey and Terry are listed as “Guard-Forward”. Again, this is my sense:

I think Dandridge and Roberts played mostly (probably exclusively) at forward. Both are shown with a primary position of SF for every season of their careers, and I don’t see why the Bullets would have had any pressing need to play them at guard.

I think Grevey played mostly (maybe even more-or-less exclusively) at guard. Even though b-r.com shows his primary position as SF for other seasons of his career, he was starting at SG, and I don’t see players behind him with the available minutes to cover at SG while Grevey was shifted to SF. I suppose he could have been used interchangeably with an SF who swung to SG, but the two main candidates (Dandridge and Roberts) didn’t play a whole lot of minutes for the season. Grevey may have played a few minutes at SF, particularly during the period right after Dandridge got hurt when the Bullets were playing shorthanded, but I just don’t see a lot of time available for him there.

I think Terry played primarily at guard, but also likely saw significant time at forward, particularly during the period right after Dandridge got hurt when the Bullets were playing shorthanded. With Ballard promoted to starter, the team didn’t have a backup SF; note that the Bullets started putting people on IL and signing players to 10-day contracts not when Dandridge initially dropped out of the lineup, but only after Terry got hurt. Dandridge’s injury may have been what really gave Terry the opportunity to break into the rotation in the first place. Of course, Terry then got injured himself.

I think Collins played primarily at forward, but also likely saw significant time at guard. He started a few games at both positions, and his primary position switched back and forth between SF and SG throughout his NBA career, so he looks like a true swingman. Collins’ acquisition seems to have allowed the Bullets to plug the hole at SF opened up by Dandridge’s injury (to the extent Terry filled it, he had gotten injured himself; Roberts dropped out of the rotation right around the time Collins was acquired). At the same time, there would have been some minutes available for Collins at SG, especially with Carr missing a lot of time.

If we assume that Dandridge and Roberts played mostly at forward, and Grevey played mostly at guard, and add up the minutes for all of the Bullets’ frontcourt and backcourt players (leaving Collins and Terry out), we are left with 765 minutes at forward and 400 minutes at guard. If I’m correct about Dandridge, Roberts and Grevey, those 1165 minutes would represent approximately what Collins (661 minutes played with the Bullets) and Terry (504 minutes played) had to work with.

TRIVIA

Oldest Player: Elvin Hayes, born 11/17/45 (turned 35 early in the season).

Played in ABA: John Williamson. Williamson was waived early in the season after playing in just nine games; this is closest we’ve come so far to a team with no ABA vets.

Longest continuous service with team: Wes Unseld, with the Bullets since the 1968-69 season.

Highest original draft position*: #1 overall – Elvin Hayes and Austin Carr.

Lowest original draft position*: 10th round, #198 overall - Keith McCord.

Youngest Player: Wes Matthews, born 8/24/59 (age 21 throughout the season). Matthews was a first-year professional who had left college to turn pro after his junior year. After Matthews was traded, Don Collins (born 8/28/58, age 22) was the youngest player on the team.

*Which player was chosen with the highest/lowest selection, by round and/or overall pick, with no regard to whether any players may have been drafted under circumstances not reflecting their “true” value (e.g., player was a junior eligible who had not committed to turn pro right away; player was already under contract to ABA, or thought to be likely to sign with ABA).
Last edited by MCT on Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transa

Postby meej » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:11 am

I don't think it is too reliable, but I just watched the first 1981-82 Lakers season game, when Mitch Kupchak faced then-Rockets Elvin Hayes, and the announcers repeated several times that the previous season Kupchak had been the backup to Hayes. Also, Kupchak played starting PF and backup C to Kareem.

When the Dallas Mavericks traded Austin Carr away, they cut down their roster to the required limit of 11 players. Maybe they just gave him away to clear the extra spot.
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Re: 1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transa

Postby MCT » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:59 pm

Interesting that the game featured Hayes and Kupchak playing against each other, with neither still on the Bullets. The 1981 offseason was a time of major transition in Washington. Unseld retired; Hayes was traded; Kupchak became a free agent and went to L.A. in what we would today call a "sign-and-trade" (really a "match-and-trade" under the free agency rules of the time); Dandridge became a free agent and was essentially let go; after less than a full season in Washington, Carr was also let go, and never played in the NBA again. Ballard's role as a starting forward (after spending the first three-plus seasons of his career behind Hayes and Dandridge on the Bullets' depth chart) was cemented, and '80-'81 rookie Mahorn would be moved into a bigger role for the future. Frank Johnson was the Bullets' 1981 first-round pick, and they also signed 1980 second-round pick Jeff Ruland (who had played in Europe in 1980-81). Of lesser effect -- certainly shorter lasting -- the Bullets also brought in John Lucas and Spencer Haywood.

Looking at the Bullets' 1981-82 stats on b-r.com, but without going through the box scores, it appears to me that Mahorn (who played in 80 games, starting all of them) was the primary starting center. Ballard started 79 games and Haywood 63, so they look like the primary starting forwards. Ruland played all 82 games, led the team in rebounding, was second in scoring, and third in total minutes played -- but didn't start a single game; taking over Kupchak's 1980-81 role?
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Re: 1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transa

Postby meej » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:21 am

Jeff Ruland's 1980-81 season in Spain was quirky. He played for Barcelona, who had gone for a big name signing trying to break Real Madrid's lock on the league title.

However, he was a big disappointment. His play was irregular and his attitude was not the best. In December he suffered a broken toe, and his recovery took way longer than anticipated. The team accused him of not rehabilitating properly while the player countered that he had been forced to play through injury at least once.

Eventually, he was replaced in the league roster by Mike Phillips (Kentucky). At the time, Spanish teams could only use one foreign player in league games, but two in European competition. So Phillips would play both competitions while Ruland would only play in the Cup Winners' Cup. Barcelona would go on to win the league title but they would lose in the Cup Winners' Cup finals to Squib Cantu with Tom Boswell and Bruce Flowers. Ironically, Ruland played a good game but Barcelona was glad to let him go (not as much as the player was happy to leave, reportedly). Mike Phillips went on to have a great career in Spain, and Jeff Ruland became something of a mythical figure in Spain: the player who floundered in our league but then went on to become an All Star in the NBA.

According to several writers, any attempts to get him to talk on his experiences in Spain were rebuffed. He did not want to revisit those memories.
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Re: 1980-81 Washington Bullets Games Played/Started & Transa

Postby MCT » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:54 pm

A while back, Mike G. posted some material in the Spurs thread, with position information for 1980-81 sourced from Neft & Cohen’s NBA Encyclopedia. I recently posted about this in the introductory thread to this series, noting that I planned to post and comment on this data on a team-by-team basis. See the eighth post in the introductory thread for more information.

Here’s what Neft & Cohen have for the Bullets:

Mike Goodman wrote:
Code: Select all
tm     player         pos   Min   
Was   Elvin Hayes      F   2931         
Was   Kevin Grevey     G   2616         
Was   Greg Ballard     F   2610         
Was   Kevin Porter     G   2577         
Was   Wes Unseld       C   2032         
Was   Mitch Kupchak   cf   1934         
Was   Wes Matthews     g   1161         
Was   Rick Mahorn      c    696         
Was   Don Collins     gf    661         
Was   Austin Carr      f    580         
Was   Bob Dandridge    f    545         
Was   Carlos Terry    gf    504         
Was   Andre McCarter   g    448         
Was   Anthony Roberts  f    350         
Was   John Williamson  g    112         


MCT wrote: I’m finding that a lot of teams have players listed by b-r.com as playing both center and (power) forward, and it isn’t always obvious who played how many minutes where. For the Bullets, Unseld and Mahorn are listed as “Center-Forward” (though Mahorn’s primary position for the season is shown as PF), while Hayes and Kupchak are listed as “Forward-Center”. With four different players involved, it’s impossible to work out precisely who played how much where. With that caveat, this is my sense:

I think Unseld played exclusively (or nearly so) at center. He was the regular starter, his primary position is listed as C for every season of his career, and I don’t see why the Bullets would have had any need to play him at PF.

Neft & Cohen have Unseld as exclusively a center.

MCT wrote:I think Mahorn played primarily (maybe even more-or-less exclusively) at center, even though b-r.com shows his primary position for this year as power forward. Someone had to be the backup center – aside from Unseld, no one who played more than two games for the Bullets this year is shown with a primary position of C – and I don’t see Hayes or Kupchak playing center as anything more than a secondary position. Mahorn was also the usual starter at C when Unseld wasn’t available. I just don’t see much room for Mahorn at PF anyway.

Neft & Cohen seem to agree with my take on Mahorn. They have him as “c”. Note that this contradicts b-r.com’s identification of Mahorn’s primary position as PF (which I had disputed in my previous analysis).

MCT wrote:I think Hayes and Kupchak played primarily at power forward. Both of these guys seem to be slanted pretty heavily towards forward (forward is listed first in their position headers, primary position is shown as PF for this and all surrounding seasons) and Hayes was obviously starting at PF. One or both of them must have been seeing significant minutes at C, though, because Unseld and Mahorn don’t come close to covering all of the available minutes at C. Both appear to have missed time due to injury, and it doesn’t look like Mahorn played every night even when healthy. Assuming that Unseld and Mahorn played exclusively at C, there are still 1223 minutes (14.9 mpg) unaccounted for. These must have been covered by some combination of Hayes and Kupchak.

Between Hayes and Kupchak, Neft & Cohen think that Kupchak, and only Kupchak, was seeing significant playing time at center. They have Kupchak as “cf”, while they have Hayes as exclusively a forward.

Note that, contrary to my earlier analysis, Neft & Cohen think that center was actually Kupchak’s primary position, and forward a secondary one. This contradicts b-r.com, which has Kupchak’s primary position as PF this season (and almost every other season of his NBA career, for that matter). If Hayes didn’t see significant minutes at center, though, that makes sense. If the vast majority of the minutes at center not being played by Unseld or Mahorn were being covered by Kupchak, then Kupchak would have totalled significantly more minutes at center than at forward.

MCT wrote:The Bullets also have five players listed as playing both (small) forward and (shooting) guard, creating similar challenges in figuring out who played how much where. Collins, Roberts and Dandridge are listed as “Forward-Guard”, while Grevey and Terry are listed as “Guard-Forward”. Again, this is my sense:

I think Dandridge and Roberts played mostly (probably exclusively) at forward. Both are shown with a primary position of SF for every season of their careers, and I don’t see why the Bullets would have had any pressing need to play them at guard.

Neft & Cohen have Dandridge and Roberts as exclusively forwards.

MCT wrote:I think Grevey played mostly (maybe even more-or-less exclusively) at guard. Even though b-r.com shows his primary position as SF for other seasons of his career, he was starting at SG, and I don’t see players behind him with the available minutes to cover at SG while Grevey was shifted to SF. I suppose he could have been used interchangeably with an SF who swung to SG, but the two main candidates (Dandridge and Roberts) didn’t play a whole lot of minutes for the season. Grevey may have played a few minutes at SF, particularly during the period right after Dandridge got hurt when the Bullets were playing shorthanded, but I just don’t see a lot of time available for him there.

Neft & Cohen have Grevey as exclusively a guard.

MCT wrote:I think Terry played primarily at guard, but also likely saw significant time at forward, particularly during the period right after Dandridge got hurt when the Bullets were playing shorthanded. With Ballard promoted to starter, the team didn’t have a backup SF; note that the Bullets started putting people on IL and signing players to 10-day contracts not when Dandridge initially dropped out of the lineup, but only after Terry got hurt. Dandridge’s injury may have been what really gave Terry the opportunity to break into the rotation in the first place. Of course, Terry then got injured himself.

I think Collins played primarily at forward, but also likely saw significant time at guard. He started a few games at both positions, and his primary position switched back and forth between SF and SG throughout his NBA career, so he looks like a true swingman. Collins’ acquisition seems to have allowed the Bullets to plug the hole at SF opened up by Dandridge’s injury (to the extent Terry filled it, he had gotten injured himself; Roberts dropped out of the rotation right around the time Collins was acquired). At the same time, there would have been some minutes available for Collins at SG, especially with Carr missing a lot of time.

If we assume that Dandridge and Roberts played mostly at forward, and Grevey played mostly at guard, and add up the minutes for all of the Bullets’ frontcourt and backcourt players (leaving Collins and Terry out), we are left with 765 minutes at forward and 400 minutes at guard. If I’m correct about Dandridge, Roberts and Grevey, those 1165 minutes would represent approximately what Collins (661 minutes played with the Bullets) and Terry (504 minutes played) had to work with.

Neft & Cohen are in agreement that Terry and Collins saw significant playing time at both positions, but they have both players as “gf”. I thought Terry played more at guard than forward, but had Collins the other way around (forward first, guard second). Note that Neft & Cohen’s take on Collins contradicts b-r.com’s identification of Collins’ primary position as SF.

At first glance, I’m skeptical of Neft & Cohen’s conclusions that both Terry and Collins saw more playing time at guard than at forward. Based on my earlier analysis, about two-thirds of the minutes available for Terry and Collins to play were at forward. If that’s accurate, at least one of the two has to have played more at forward than at guard. It’s mathematically impossible for that not to be the case.

The only way Terry and Collins could have both played more at guard than at forward is if my underlying estimate of the available minutes is off. For that to be true, we would need to move some or all of another player’s minutes from the guard column to the forward column. In other words, someone who we have listed as a guard would have to have actually seen enough playing time at forward to tip the balance. The most likely candidate is Grevey, but both my original analysis and Neft & Cohen’s concluded that Grevey didn’t see significant playing time at forward.

One other thing about Neft & Cohen’s position designations catches my eye, and it may explain why they think there were enough minutes available at guard for both Terry and Collins to play more at guard than at forward. The other sources we’ve been working with show Austin Carr exclusively as a guard, and my earlier analysis assumed that he was a guard. But Neft & Cohen have him as exclusively a forward. I’d think this might be a transcription error, but Carr also played for another team in 1980-81, and he is shown as a forward under that team as well (Mavericks). Did Carr really play small forward this year? Moving most or all of Carr’s minutes to forward would certainly leave enough minutes in the backcourt for both Terry and Collins to have played more at guard than at forward.

Ultimately, I can’t definitively say that Neft & Cohen are right or wrong about Carr and Collins, but they have certainly added a different viewpoint to this part of the discussion.
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