Normally, I would have made this a fanshot, but because this question is extremely relevant to our interets and merits much discussion I made it a fanpost.
The question is: Does previous playoff experience matter when it comes to winning games?
Bear with me here, it's an ESPN insider story: Coming of Age
For those of you without insider access or anyone too lazy to click the link, I will quote the important passages here.
"We calculated a "playoff score" which adds one point for each playoff win, subtracts one point for each playoff loss and awards four points for making the playoffs as well as for each subsequent series win. We also created a projected playoff score based on a team's regular-season record, point differential and seeding."
"Doing this shows a very, very slight value to postseason experience. For every 250 additional games of postseason experience, teams on average gain one playoff score point relative to their projection -- that is, about one extra win. The difference between the '96-97 Clippers and the most experienced team in the past 13 seasons (last year's Spurs) is about four playoff score points."
"If we look strictly at the least experienced playoff teams, it's hard to find much evidence that their youth worked against them. The 12 teams that entered the postseason with fewer than 100 games of playoff experience on their roster combined to post a playoff score of 4.1 despite an expected score of 2.9. In other words, they actually overachieved as a group."