For this exercise I defined recent as last 12 years. I might cut it shorter later. I wasn't interested in anything longer due the 3 point revolution and changes in defensive rules.
I defined contenders as a team with an SRS of at least 4.5. I wanted to get conference finalists and also got a few who were close to equal to those that got there.
2010-11 Mavs didn't qualify as a contender by this criteria. I have left them out for this exceptionalism and just being lazy.
So here is the brief summary so far:
Compared to all contenders (including them), the titlists were better on offensive and defensive efficiency. Not by much but severs times more so on defensive efficiency. They shoot more 3s and less ftas. They shoot better and have more assists. They offensive rebounded a bit less, defensive rebounded a bit more. Turned it over a bit more, fouled a bit less.
By regular season stats it has on average been a pretty fair fight. Regular season stats do not capture enough to clearly distinguish between contenders and titlists unless tiny differences are enough.
For the period the average offensive efficiency was about 111 for contenders and titlists. Defensive efficiency 103-4. The titlists played 1 possession faster than the contenders.
Try to model these groups or just do whatever you think best? A choice.
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