Pat Riley Says Lakers Win Comes With ‘Asterisk’

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Lakers made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. After taking on Miami Heat in the 2020 NBA Finals, they took the title after beating the team 4-2. However, Pat Riley believes that their win comes with an ‘asterisk.’

Winning the title

There’s no denying that the Los Angeles Lakers deserved every moment of their win, with their dominance before the break, and then again at the NBA playoffs at Disney World. This would be their 17th championship win, tying with the Boston Celtics for the most all-time. LeBron James would also be named Finals MVP for the fourth time in his career. It seemed like a good win all round for the Lakers, but Pat Riley isn’t so sure.

Not at 100%

During an interview with the Miami Herald, Pat Riley was asked what he thought about the six-game Finals loss. He believed the Lakers had beat his team “fairly and squarely” but that there was a caveat to that. He went on to explain that if he’d had Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic at 100 percent, then perhaps things would have panned out a little differently. In fact, he thinks he might have even gone to a seventh game if leading scorer Goran was fighting fit.

Injured Men

Both Adebayo and Dragic found themselves injured in Game 1 of the Finals, with a neck strain keeping Adebayo out until Game 4 and a torn plantar fascia keeping Dragic out until Game 6. Both players didn’t seem to be playing at 100 percent by the time they returned and it’s clear Pat Riley thinks that the outcome may have been pretty different if they had been.

Either way, Riley admits that the Lakers deserved their win. Perhaps Miami Heat can win it next year?

Playoff Projection in College Football: Two Teams Hold Top Two Spots

With the initial College Football Playoff Rankings for the 2021 season was recently set, people got a sense of how the College Football Playoff Selection Committee will rank the nation’s top 25 teams. This is a warm-up act for the main event, which is the release of all CFP Rankings prior to the final one following conference championship week.

Tavares Kelly Jr.

Lockdown Had Its Influence on American Football Last Season

Now that the lockdown has ceased to wreak havoc on schedules as it did last season, the committee can resume using its regular criteria. Apart from the overall record, these members consider the following factors when ranking teams:

  • Schedule strength Conference championships (when decided)
  • Results in Head-to-Head Matches Against Common Opponents
  • Results in comparison to ranked opponents

Using Game-Time Rankings Is Pointless

Fortunately, the committee’s definition of “ranked opponents” is not what you are accustomed to seeing. They are using the previous week’s CFP Rankings. They take into account neither the CFP nor the AP Top 25 rankings at the time the games were played. Using game-time rankings to determine “ranked opponents” is the most pointless method. Indeed, the committee expressly prohibits the use of any poll with a preseason start date.

Georgia football team 2021

Take note that the criteria do not include “game control.” It was never considered, despite the committee chairman’s occasional use of the term. People were able to specifically inquire about that during a mock CFP Selection Committee exercise in October but were met with blank stares as if they had never heard the term used. (The CFP does have a method for quantifying “game control” – people saw the data – but it is not discussed.)

Keeping this in mind, here is how the Football CFP Rankings would appear if they were released this week. These rankings are dominated by SEC and Big Ten teams simply because they have not yet weeded themselves out. Please note that this projection is made solely on the basis of current data. It is not indicative of the final playoff forecast.