So I just had a pointed debate on whether basketball is a game of runs. It started because I said the Lakers terrible 3rd quarter almost set them up to fail and that offensively they weren't playing smart. He countered that I'm getting on them for one quarter out of a game, and then corrected it to a quarter and a half of a game. My point was that a run doesn't have to happen. Its not inevitable that a team is going to go on a run in any given game. The Lakers didn't have to play impatient poor offense to let the Celtics get that close. The Celtics defense made few adjustments, to my eyes that couldn't have been overcome by continuing to show patience instead of rushing shots and passes around the perimeter running out the shot clock.
So then we started arguing about the entire concept of the game of basketball as a game of runs. He says that its true for basketball more than any other sport that momentum can shift greater in bball than any other sport, citing football, fútbol, and baseball as his examples. Firstly, ignoring hockey which is a much faster game that has rules that actually help it more to create runs. Secondly, mentioning soccer when soccer games switch momentum on a dime and its not about the score, but the way the opportunities are created. Finally, the adjustments made in basketball create runs, but there is no inevitable force that creates these runs. Runs don't just occur because no matter how well you're playing its going to happen. Runs occur because you break down and start making mistakes, unless the team is better than you and they start playing exponentially better. I don't think anything that is sustained for more than a quarter is a run. If it sustains through a timeout, its not a run its sustainable play. I don't call it a run. I call it great play. Runs happen when teams make adjustments and come back at you and score on you without an answer even when your doing what has worked. These type of runs happen throughout the game, but they are not the defining part of games except for close ones. I didn't think yesterday's game could've been described as a game of runs. Too many quarters of sustained poor play from the Celtics and too much impatience from the Lakers to sustain any lead.
What do you all think?