Prebeaten Basketball

firebus's picture

In bowling, you can pre-beat your opponent. If you're leading by more than 30 pins in the 9th frame, there's no way you can lose in the 10th, etc.

Watching my one NBA game of the year tonight, I realized that the same is true for basketball.

Assuming perfect play by the losing team, and passive play by the leading team (letting the shot clock run out), the losers can only close the gap by 3 points every 24 seconds.

So if you're up by 22 points with 3:01 to go in the 4th quarter, like the Heat were tonight, the game is over. OKC needs at least 3:12 to make 8 3-pointers. Interestingly, it was right at this point that they took Lebron out and sent in the B-team.

Of course, it's always possible that the losing team could foul the leading team immediately at the start of possession. Assuming that the leading team misses their free throws, and the losers are still shooting perfect full-court 0-second 3-pointers each time the clock starts, any deficit can be erased. (Assuming you have unlimited perfect players to take over from the guys that foul out.)

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