A preview. Not that they deserve one.
Long before there was John Hollinger. Long before there was 82games.com. Long before we had pace factors and rebound rates. We had Statis Pro Basketball from Avalon Hill. Avalon Hill made table top strategy games way back in the day. Diplomacy, sports, they did it all. My buddy had the 1978 NBA version.
The setup was pretty straightforward. A player's stats for the year were translated to the special Statis-Pro numbering system -- basically base 8 -- and you used a huge stack of cards with random numbers and events on it to play a game. You were the coach.
There were only 3 numbers on a player card that REALLY mattered. FG%, Secondary FG%, Rebound. FG% was (is) a basic conversion. The player's rebound number was rebounds per 100 minutes. Or rebounds per minutes * 100. So, if you played 30 minutes a game and grabbed 10 rebounds, your rebound number was 33. The higher the better, obviously. It was the secondary FG% that made things interesting and that was somewhat arbitrary. The secondary FG% was determined by points per game. If you averaged over 15 points per game, then you didn't have a secondary FG%. They provided a table that translated any points per game below 15 to a %. If your secondary % was higher than your FG%, it got thrown out.
How was the secondary % used? Well, it determined when you could shoot. If the player was passed the ball by a teammate, then he shot at his FG%. If he was the initial player to have the ball on the possession, he had to shoot on his secondary. I guess you could think of it as his ability to create his own shot. The game was a lot more fun to play if you had a lot of guys without a secondary FG% or, at least, one very close to his FG%.
This system was as decent as any for creating a game. What really threw a kink into things were injuries and teams with balanced scoring. Why do I bring this up? The 2008-2009 Clippers are Statis Pro Kings.
They have 4 guys averaging over 15 points per game -- Randolph, Thornton, Davis, Gordon; and 2 guys just under -- Kaman and Mobley. They also have Camby and his great rebound rate. Kaman has a good rebound rate. Randolph isn't terrible. Just a quick eyeballing of the stats tells me that they have 5 guys that would shoot without a secondary and that Kaman's secondary would be as good or better than Baron's and Mobley's and thus worth shooting on. The 08-09 Clippers may be a lousy team, but they would be a fun one to play with.
We played a lot of 1978 Statis Pro Basketball. So much so that I could tell you where almost all those guys went to college for many years after. That's just the beginning of the story though. My geekdom knows almost no bounds...
Keys To The Game
Some other reading
Other Things of Possible Interest
Check this game thead at gametime for specific links to good quality feeds. If you arrive late in the game, the game feed links are usually among the first 50 posts of the thread.ATDHE.net
OneNation (This is an archive of NBA games, but it hasn't been updated lately.)
BitTorrent Davka (A torrent site where you will find most of the latest games in the league. Bookmark.)