Friday, April 17, 2009

Playoff Preview: Balkman vs. Bowen

With the better portion of a week standing in between the final games of the regular season and the opener of the Nuggets-Hornets series, there will be no shortage of articles and blogs breaking down the strengths and weaknesses of the teams. So instead of getting into all of the details and comparisons, I will be focusing on the match-up that I see as the most important to revealing the true strengths of the contending teams: Renaldo "Blankman" Balkman vs. Ryan "All-Intangible" Bowen. So without further ado, the breakdown playoff preview that you have all been waiting for.

Basic Stats:
  • Balkman - 6'8", 208 lbs., 53 games,14.7 minutes/pg, 5.0 points/pg, 3.8 boards/pg
  • Bowen - 6'9", 218 lbs., 21 games, 12.8 minutes/pg, 2.8 points/pg, 1.1 boards/pg
Despite the lack of size, the Blankman clearly outperforms Mr. Bowen in almost every other statistical category. This doesn't come as much of a surprise as Bowen does not excel in things such as "doing things on the court that are tracked statistically" and "getting into games." Regardless, I felt as though a statistical comparison was called for in this case.

Advantage: Balkman

  • Balkman - Do not underestimate the power of the hair. While it may seem like this category is pretty stacked in favor of Bowen, Balkman's hair is unquestionably intimidating for any opposing players. The main negative on this side is that Balkman could fall asleep at any moment on the court or on the bench. I'm pretty sure I've seen him doze off during post-game interviews with Julie Browman.
  • Bowen - I refer to Bowen as All-Intangible because he has absolutely no discernable skill set, and yet positive things seem to happen while he's on the court. The nature of this category provides little opportunity for me to express this phenomenon in statistics, so you'll just have to trust me if you've never had the opportunity to see him play as a part of your team. In addition, Bowen provides the rare opportunity for a professional basketball team to have the equivalent of the college, walk-on senior that the crowd always cheers for when he comes into the game during a blowout.
Advantage: Bowen

Actual Contributions to any Given Game:

  • Balkman - The Blankman is very inconsistent due in large part to George Karl's insistance that it's ok to yank his minutes around from game to game. When he gets consistent minutes, Blankman almost always contributes heavily on the defensive end, on the offensive boards and in the emphatic slam-dunk categories, the first two of which are arguably weaknesses of the Nuggets. Balkman has a realistic chance of helping the Nuggets take a game over in this series.
  • Bowen - If Ryan Bowen is in the game, it could potentially mean one of three things:
  1. One of the Hornets front-court is injured or in foul trouble, which could spell doom for the Hornets.
  2. The Hornets are hitting on all cylanders and are now convinced that the Nuggets have no shot at winning the game.
  3. The Nuggets are hitting on all cylanders and the Hornets are now convinced that they have no shot at winning the game.
Being that two of those options don't bode well for the Hornets, I think this decision is clear.

Advantage: Balkman

With all of this analysis in mind, the picture becomes a little more clear and helps me make my bold prediction that unfortunately falls in line with most of the "experts'" predictions:

Nuggets in 6


  1. Another Nuggets blog? Fuck and yes! I hope you stay active with this blog Johnny, I'm always looking for new and different perspectives on the Nuggets, and your posts have been good so far.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I definitely intend to keep up with the posts even though I'm pretty busy with my job this time of year. Glad you found me and I'll do my best to keep posting interesting content. Feedback is always appreciated!