It's not about winning close games

By Henry Abbott

A zillion people will tell you that winning in the NBA means having the guy who can carry you home in crunch time. As evidence, they'll point to, essentially, every buzzer-beater highlight ever.

Houston General Manager Daryl Morey says that's hogwash.

Jason Friedman of Rockets.com explains:

Good teams don’t win close games -- they avoid them.

That was the message from Rockets’ General Manager Daryl Morey after watching his club fall short on the road against Sacramento on November 13th. His point: since tight ball games tend to be 50-50 affairs, the best teams avoid those situations as much as possible, blowing out their opposition instead and subsequently leaving precious little to the unpredictable whimsy of chance.

That helps explain why point differential is such a powerful predictor of future success.

Yes, individual heroics win some games. Certainly. But while you're being hypnotized by those highlights, the really good teams are out there cruising to ten-point wins without much fuss.