Saturday, November 3, 2012

Are wins really always more important than stats?

Early in the 3rd quarter of Friday night's home opener the Celtics trailed the Bucks by twenty, 55-35.  I pointed up at the Garden scoreboard and said "Rondo only has 3 assists.  His streak might end."  The Boston point guard has had 10 or more assists in 26 straight games (the 6th longest such streak in NBA history; here's the all-time list from my esteemed colleague @StatsAdam).  Shortly after that I got annoyed when Rondo took a jump shot, "You can't get assists by shooting!"  To this my buddy replied "You're too worried about stats.  All that matters is wins and a championship."

Despite the ugly loss, Rondo managed to top 10 assists.
Well, the C's lost, but Rondo ended up with 11 assists.  Obviously I wish Boston had won, but I was excited to see his streak continue (although a few of the assists in the 4th quarter were a bit questionable, and definitely the product of a home town scorekeeper aware of the situation).  And to be honest, if given the choice, I'm not sure I would have traded the streak ending for a victory.

I know that sounds ridiculous, and luckily I don't think Rajon or any of the other players would agree with me. But in the long run, I think whether or not the Celtics won last night will have zero effect on the final outcome of the season.  If they don't win the title, nobody's going to be blaming it on a loss in game #2.

But you can't have a championship every year, and the stats do matter.  Near record streaks are fun to watch, and part of the entertainment of sports.   Your team won't win all the time, so it makes for a better fan experience when there's other things besides victories that are important.

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