Sunday, December 24, 2023

Deja Vu: Chamberlain Dominates But Russell Wins

The Kansas 1957 star Wilt Chamberlain dominated his rival Bill Russell and 1956 San Francisco, just like he did in most of 94 head-to-head match-ups in the NBA. But like those games, Russell's team dominated 85-64 to surge into the all-time Top 10 basketball teams in our Value Add Basketball Game.

Chamberlain's head-to-head dominance 

All 94 head-to-head matchups are available through Stathead, as Chamberlain more than doubled him 29.9 - 14.2 points head-to-head, 28 - 23 rebounds per game, and we estimate based on foul shots taken drawing more than twice as many fouls per game (8-3). His defense held Russell to only 37% shooting from the floor.

In our game today matching their college teams, the points were not quite as lopsided, but he had a 24 to 18 edge and would have been more lopsided except for an off night from the line, hitting only 8 of 15 free throws. He drew 10 fouls, and had four on Russell by early in the second half when we had to switch defense have Russell guard Ron Loneski the rest of the game, and play softer to try to avoid a foul.

In the game a player can still foul out when you are trying to avoid a foul, but it does not guaranty he will not foul out. The two ways this can be done are:

1. Changing who the player with four fouls is guarding. In this case Chamberlain gets the ball on rolls of 5, 7 and 8 and if he has the ball he draws a foul one-third of the time. A 1-3 is a basket plus foul, and an 8-12 is a foul drawn for two shots. However, Loweski only gets the ball on a roll of 4 - so one-third as often - even though he does draw a foul one-quarter of the time on his card (if there is not a turnover or blocked shot) on a 6-10 roll on the 20-sided dice.

2. The team can also declare the player is playing to avoid the foul which makes an adjustment on his card. The defensive numbers for fouling are 33-36, and if playing soft then all those rolls turn into a 2-point basket uncontested. Normally Russell fouls on a 35-36 but not on a 33-34, but all are changed to a basket when playing soft. We played this game as a neutral site, but if a team is at home they get to flip rolls of 36 and 66 to get an extra couple of calls again against the road team.

Russell's championship, win dominance 

And yes, Chamberlain got little help and despite his dominance, Russell's San Francisco Dons dominated the game 85-64.

While the two never played in college, Russell's teams dominated the NBA match-ups with a 57-37 game record and went 29-20 in playoff head-to-head matchups. This team was the second of back-to-back titles in college, and his Celtics teams then won 11 of 13 NBA titles for an incredible 13 of 15 titles. It was nice to have KC Jones at his side both in college and the pros, and Russell was hurt one season or it might have been 14 of 15.

In our Game Score Tracker and Ratings of the 200 All-Time great teams in our game, San Francisco improves to the 10th best team of all-time. It could certainly be argued this was the greatest team in college basketball history, at least outside of some UCLA teams.

The previous season they lost their second game of the season against UCLA and were not even ranked. They then won the last 25 games of the season to take the title. They returned for the 1956 season depicted by these cards and won every game, and only one team - Marquette which had made their first Elite 8 the year before - came within single digits.

Here is the new top 25, with three teams tied in 25th. San Francisco is 3-1, averaging a 73-63.5 win, with a ranking in our game of 9.1, meaning we calculate they would be expected to beat the average other all-time great team by 9.1 points.

All-TimeTop 25 of all-time great VABG teams         Pre RankWonLostScoreAllowSoSRating
1UCLA - 1972 - Bill Walton1607262.0-0.514.7
2Kansas - 1997 - Paul Pierce175076.862.4-1.013.0
3Duke - 2001 - Shane Battier43178.372.54.812.3
4Ohio St. - 1960 - Jerry Lucas6218476.34.711.8
5Indiana - 1976 - Scott May73171.359.8-0.811.1
6Houston - 1968 - Elvin Hayes14317363.81.310.1
7North Carolina - 1982 - Michael Jordan115168.8654.010.0
8Kansas - 2008 - Mario Chalmers475174.756.0-0.79.8
9Kentucky - 1996 - Antoine Walker5217269.33.39.7
10San Francisco - 1956 - Bill Russell25317363.51.09.1
11North Carolina - 2005 - Sean May153272.
12Arkansas - 1994 - Corliss Williamson201275.370.38.08.2
13Villanova - 2018 - Mikal Bridges217279.470.30.17.9
14Connecticut - 2023 - Adama Sanogo 12207739.0-19.07.8
15Connecticut - 2004 - Ben Gordon485274.766.00.77.5
16Virginia - 2019 - Kyle Guy274172.665.42.47.4
17Baylor - 2021 - Jared Butler49228678.54.87.4
18Louisville - 2013 - Russ Smith28217466.31.77.3
19Gonzaga - 2017 - Nigel Williams-Goss223369.863.03.06.8
20Kentucky - 2012 - Anthony Davis24272.265.7-4.76.6
21Duke - 1992 - Christian Laettner81273.770.31.06.5
22North Carolina St. - 1974 - David Thompson16217272.74.36.5
23Duke - 2010 - Jon Scheyer29527466.70.16.4
24DePaul - 1980 - Mark Aguirre1193176.868.83.56.4
25Michigan St. - 1979 - Magic Johnson232170.362.7-2.35.8
25Houston - 1983 - Hakeem Olajuwon242170.765.0-0.35.8
25Cincinnati - 1960 - Oscar Robertson91272.378.08.35.8

San Francisco is first of all WCC teams, with only a recent Gonzaga team close. We list the top three in the nine conferences with at least six all-time great teams in the game. We are combining the Mountain West and Pac-12 under the assumption that will be the setup next year. We extended the B12 to show that Kansas actually has four of the top 79 teams of all time.

The first number listed is where they rank of conference teams, and the second number where they rank of all teams.
ConfOverWCC All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
110San Francisco - 1956 - Bill Russell4.33173.063.559.1
218Gonzaga - 2017 - Nigel Williams-Goss6.83369.863.053.0
351Loyola Marymount - 1990 - Bo Kimble1.812112.3108.3-22.3
ConfOverB12 All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
12Kansas - 1997 - Paul Pierce13.05076.862.47-1.0
26Houston - 1968 - Elvin Hayes10.13173.063.881.3
38Kansas - 2008 - Mario Chalmers9.85174.756.02-0.7
416Baylor - 2021 - Jared Butler7.42286.078.524.8
525Houston - 1983 - Hakeem Olajuwon5.82170.765.05-0.3
626Cincinnati - 1960 - Oscar Robertson5.71272.378.0108.3
746Houston - 2021 - Quentin Grimes2.010102.050.00-16.0
1169Kansas - 2022 - Ochai Agbaji0.51087.081.00-7.9
1579Kansas - 1957 - Wilt Chamberlain2.73267.871.45-1.0
ConfOverA10 All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
137Massachusetts - 1996 - Marcus Camby3.0000.00.030.0
272Loyola-Chicago - 1963 - Jerry Harkness0.00162.068.04-2.0
3115Dayton - 2020 - Obi Toppin-3.81181.580.5-3-4.0
ConfOverACC All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
13Duke - 2001 - Shane Battier12.33178.372.5124.8
27North Carolina - 1982 - Michael Jordan10.05168.865.094.0
310North Carolina - 2005 - Sean May9.13272.264.482.0
ConfOverAmer All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
143Memphis - 2008 - Derrick Rose2.44268.765.83-0.3
273Temple - 1958 - Guy Rodgers0.0000.00.000.0
374Tulsa - 2000 - Eric Coley0.0000.00.000.0
ConfOverB10 All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
11UCLA - 1972 - Bill Walton14.76072.062.017-0.5
24Ohio St. - 1960 - Jerry Lucas11.82184.076.3104.7
35Indiana - 1976 - Scott May11.13171.359.810-0.8
ConfOverBE All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
112Villanova - 2018 - Mikal Bridges7.97279.470.350.1
213Connecticut - 2023 - Adama Sanogo7.82078.558.010-11.0
314Connecticut - 2004 - Ben Gordon7.55274.766.020.7

ConfOverP12/MWC All-Time Value Add BasketballRatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
140UNLV - 1991 - Larry Johnson2.81272.776.3100.7
247Oregon St. - 1982 - AC Green2.0000.00.020.0
3105San Diego St. - 2011 - Kawhi Leonard-2.92269.371.8-3-0.3
ConfOverSEC All-Time Value Add Basketball Game RatingWonLostPtsAllowPreSSOS
19Kentucky - 1996 - Antoine Walker9.72172.069.3123.3
211Arkansas - 1994 - Corliss Williamson8.21275.370.358.0
319Kentucky - 2012 - Anthony Davis6.64272.265.715-4.7

And here is the box score from today's Value Add Basketball Game.
Pos    Kansas 1957           Pts 3pt 2pt  FT Att RebStlBlkFl   Actual Season                  
1-PGJohn Parker7120021046'05.5 Pts, 2.0 Reb
2-SGMaurice King4020041026'29.7 Pts, 4.5 Reb-NBA
3-SFGene Elstun14070070036'311.3 Pts, 5.3 Reb
4-PFRon Loneski7120061126'49.6 Pts, 6.8 Reb
5-CWilt Chamberlain2408815100437'129.6 Pts, 18.9 Reb-NBA
1-PGJohn Cleland0000000016'32.0 Pts, 0.7 Reb
2-SGBob Billings0000000015'112.2 Pts, 0.9 Reb
3-SFLarry Kelley4020010016'02.0 Pts, 2.0 Reb
4-PFMonte Johnson4020030016'51.1 Pts, 1.5 Reb
5-CLew Johnson0000010016'63.0 Pts, 3.9 Reb
 Jayhawks Totals64225815343519 13 turnovers
PosSan Francisco 1956Pts3pt2ptFTAttRebStlBlkFlHtActual Season
1-PGHal Perry16064542015'109.1 Pts, 2.0 Reb
2-SGCarl Boldt9122271016'48.6 Pts, 5.0 Reb
3-SFK.C. Jones15063450026'19.8 Pts, 5.2 Reb-NBA
4-PFMike Farmer13061170056'78.4 Pts, 7.8 Reb-NBA
5-CBill Russell180824110646'920.6 Pts, 21.0 Reb-NBA
1-PGHarold Payne2010001015'111.0 Pts, 0.1 Reb
2-SGJohn Koljian0000020016'31.0 Pts, 1.0 Reb
3-SFMike Preaseau2010020016'54.1 Pts, 3.1 Reb
4-PFBill Mallen8040030016'44.2 Pts, 3.5 Reb
5-CGene Brown2010010126'37.1 Pts, 4.4 Reb
 Dons Totals851351216424719 10 turnovers

And here is the scoresheet to show the running score.

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