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Blazers 2009-2010 Color Coded Season

One phrase I’d like to eliminate from the Blazer vocabulary "IF….........Greg Oden is healthy".
Wait….on 2nd thought, I don’t want to eliminate it, I want to obliterate it. I want to pour ten million gallons of rocket fuel on it and torch it with a heat seeking missile.

Or, as the 5-year-old kid down the street said when he answered the door to someone peddling a religion somewhat different than his own: "Mom said God is going to throw you people in the dump with the devil and fire it up." Yes, this year, can we pleeeeease throw "300+ games lost to injury" in the dump and FIRE IT UP. I need me some new religion.
Can I get a witness?

On the other hand, you can’t really evaluate this impressive 50-win 2009-2010 season without factoring in the injury bug. Hollywood could remake a classic horror movie from this hideous bug, "The Psycho Cockroach That Ate New York City" sounds like a possible tagline. 13 players missed a combined 311 games.

Batum missed 45 games.

Oden goes down in game 21 against Houston with a fractured left patella. Maybe I’m not medically inclined, but I didn’t know putting your knee in a super-sized walnut cracker was called a fracture.

Przybilla goes down at the 3:12 mark in game 30 with a ruptured patella tendon. 35 games later the evil Mr. Bubbles attacks him in the shower with yet another patella tendon injury. His and Oden’s replacement: The well-seasoned veteran (not), power forward Jeff Pendergraph, who hadn't played yet this season due to a hip injury suffered in the summer.

Roy missed 17 games last year. In game 40 against Milwaukee Roy has a problem with his hamstring and leaves with about 6 minutes left in the 4th, and then misses the next 14 of 15 games. After the first 2 missed games he tried to come back in the Philly game but left with 1:02 left in the 2nd quarter. To come out of this 15 game stretch with 7 wins and 8 losses is noteworthy.

"This was a sad game for Brandon," McMillan said. "The other guys stepped up and played well. What we have to do is keep our heads up and let each other play the game."

And keep their heads up they certainly did. But then of course, stifling any optimism we might have had during the playoffs, Roy misses the last 2 games due to a meniscus tear in his right knee which he suffered late in game 80 against the Lakers. Not counting Pendergraph, between Oden, Przy, Roy, and Batum, that's approximately 177 of the 311 games missed to injury last year.

Below the jump is this year’s color coded edition of the Blazers 2009-2010 season. Hopefully the above commentary will put some of it into context.

Due to size, some of the tables below are cut in half making two tables. I’ve squeezed them together as much as possible so they can still be viewed as one table.

Color Code Explanation:
I’ve settled on two tones, red tones for wins and blue tones for losses. As the colors get more intense (brighter/darker) the margin of victory/loss gets larger. This way instead of seeing one game at a time by looking at the score, you can easily see 7 to 15 to 25 games at one glance. And the data of course is still present in case you want to focus in on a paticular game.

Red tones = wins
Light Purple = wins by less than 10
Bright Purple = wins by 10 or more
Dark Red = wins by 20 or more

Blue tones = losses
Light Blue = losses by less than 10
Bright Blue = losses by 10 or more
Dark Blue = losses by 20 or more
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This year was about weathering the worst of all storms. If there’s a Perfect Storm in basketball terms, most of us feel as though we just went through it. Our mettle was tested as a team and as fans. And despite the lack of hope displayed by some, we’ve come out of it alright, and far better than almost anyone expected.

One thought that may have been lost on this season, before the Calvary came to the rescue we were still one of the youngest teams in the league.

Keep in mind as you view the tables, games 16 through 56 had key players missing. You’ll notice the impact in some of the tables.

Table 1 - The Season Thru Game 82: Record 50-32  (win% .610)
4990788115_4465fa6b50_b_medium
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Observations: We had 7 wins this year by 20 or more points. 4 of those wins were before Oden went down in game 21. We didn’t have another 20+ point victory until Roy came back in game 56, then we had 3 more.

When Roy came back: We racked up 19 wins and 8 losses achieving a win% of .704. Our win% for the year was .610
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Table 2 is a Legend of sorts describing the color that goes with each category, and also a table that records how many wins or losses is in each category. To the right are the previous 2 seasons for comparison.

Table 2
4991395226_2c26474c31_medium
100% of the games are within the 4 inner most categories.
i.e. games won or lost by 10 or more also includes games in the 20 or more category.


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Table 3 – The Season 2009-2010 Sorted  by opponents win % with lesser teams at the top.
Here we expect to see more red at the top and more blue at the bottom.
All of the following tables are sorted in this same way - by opp win%, lesser teams at the top.
All tables are 2009-2010 except one further below which is noted 2008-2009
4990788211_1cc68778c4_b_medium
4990788245_16ebf59f7b_b_medium
Observations: 1 win 9 losses against teams exactly at the .646 win level: Denver, Atlanta, and Utah.
All of our wins (7) by 20 points or more were against teams .500 or below. Last year 5 of the 13 games we won by 20 or more points were againsts teams with a record .500 or better.

Last year (2008-2009) we struggled against teams with a win% above .585, our wins dropped off significantly at this level.
We played 32 games against teams (2008-2009) with a mark of 585 or higher. We had 14 wins 18 losses against those teams, 40 & 10 against teams with less than a .585 win%.

This year we had 15 wins 18 losses against teams with a record .585 or above. 35 & 14 against teams with a win% less than .585%

So the years are similar in the win column. However, if you want to compare the colors to last year, it’s apparent the seasons are somewhat different; we struggled more this year to get the wins. See last year’s color coded edition.

Last Year's Color Coded Season


Eastern Conference Table............................................................17 wins 13 losses4990788303_30edcc5df8_b_medium
Observations: 1 win 7 losses against teams above the .573 win level.
But 4 of those losses came during games 16 through 56

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Western Conference Table............................................................33 wins 19 losses4990788365_568be6c747_b_medium
7 wins 3 losses against teams above the .650 mark – a bright spot for the season.

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Eastern Conference Road Games....................................................7 wins 8 losses4991493046_a8f458b55d_z_medium


Eastern Conference Home Games.................................................10 wins 5 losses4990886895_5805f730fb_z_medium


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Western Conference Road Games.................................................17 wins 9 losses
4990886951_db737ae19d_z_medium
West Road games could be the most significant feat of the year, 17 wins 9 losses - .654 win%
This table above (West Road Games) is a complete turnaround from last year.
Last year in Western Road games we had 2 wins and 15 losses against teams .300 or better. Ouch!!!


In fact, here's last year's table for West Road games (2008-2009).
You may want to sit down before you look at this.
West Road games 2008-2009



As you can see, any decent performance at all on the road in 2008-2009 and we would have been pushing 60 wins that year. 60 wins is not some magic number, but any team with those kind of numbers has every right to start thinking about the NBA finals.

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Last but not least
Western Conference Home Games.............................................16 wins 10 losses
4990886929_56a99efdaa_z_medium
Not as good as the 22 & 4 record from the previous year, but not shabby either.
On this table 6 of our 10 losses came during the stretch of game 16 through 56.

Summation:

One thing I like about the color coded season is how performance level jumps off the page when sorted by the opponents win%

If we were close last year (2008-2009) to feeling like we're almost ready for the big dance. This year puts us at the doorstep. Yes we had less wins, but that Western Road game record should be a telltale sign of good things to come. A .654 win% on the road in the West is stellar no matter how you shake it. And after Roy came back for the end of the year helping to give us  a .704 win% in those last 27 games, well, that has me cheering for the start of the new season.

There are 82 games in the year and only 5 players allowed on the court at any one time. Well, sometimes 6 if you’re very sneaky. 82 x 5 = 410 games worth of playing time in a year. We had 311 games missed due to injury. 
Heat seeking missile has now been launched.

My excitement for the coming year is off the charts…. the Blazers 2009-2010 Color Coded Season is yours. ********************************************************************************************************************

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