schrodingers playoff team
A thought experiment for fans who haven't lost hope in their team

Schrodinger's playoff team (schruh'-deeng-uhz pla'-of teem) noun. Term describing a playoff team which exists in a state being simultaneously dead and alive.

Usage example #1: While the series was still anyone's to take, that Duncan three turned the Suns into a Schrodinger's playoff team.

Usage example #2: Game 1 against Cleveland confirmed Chicago's status as a Schrodinger's playoff team.

Word trivia: A higher-than-usual-brow hat-tip to the famous Schrodinger's cat thought experiment. For the NBA Playoffs, it would describe the state of a team being alive in the playoffs, yet simultaneously dead due to whatever reason. Thus by definition, a Game 7 or series ending game does not generate a Schrodinger's playoff team, as the state of said team would clearly be defined as dead, perhaps in a different form of denial such as a playoff apocalypse. Conversely, many Schrodinger's playoff teams are defined just before or after a Game 1 of a series, in high correlation with the series win percentage of the first game winner.

Fans of a Schrodinger's playoff team generate this quantum superposition by attempting to objectively reason how their team still has a chance to win the series, etc. In other words, they can figuratively not observe the contents of the "box" by denial or some other mechanism, thus creating the simultaneous states. As more losses accumulate and a hopeless enviroment begins to affect the system, a Schrodinger's playoff team shifts towards a more typical "dead man walking" team, a subtle yet distinct difference.

Further Usage: I suppose the term could be generalized and expanded, such as a Schrodinger's playoff franchise (e.g. Jazz, Phoenix), or even simply a Schrodinger's NBA team (e.g. Pacers post-2004), further investigations are suggested.

Additional Notes: No, I don't know where you can purchase a LeBron James geiger counter.

Additional Notes #2: Yes, the Duncan 3 still haunts my dreams. I'm not even going to post the YouTube of it because it makes me sadface.


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Blogger Brandon said...
As a Jazz fan, I agree completely, except that I've know this Jazz team couldn't win it all since they made it to the Western Conference Finals against San Antonio. The franchise has been treading water ever since, and it's getting old.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
The Duncan three and the Horry assassination rank as two of the worst moments of my 23 year physical existence.

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Brandon: I hereby appoint Jerry Sloan with the Schrodinger's Coach of the Year Award.

Anonymous: In tonight's Celtics-Heat fight, the announcers kept mentioning which bench players were where,and if it counted that the Heat bench players were involved despite being near their bench, etc., all before analyzing who actually hit who. Yea, thanks for that analysis Tommy 'n Hubie, may as well just defecate on the entire US Airways Center.

Blogger RuffnReady said...
"The Duncan three and the Horry assassination rank as two of the worst moments of my 23 year physical existence."

As a Spurs fan, they rate as two of the best in my 35 years! lmao

Since the state of a Schrodinger's team is only fixed by observation, if everyone ignores the Bulls completely, will they become NBA champions?

I nominate Derek Fisher as a special case of Schodinger, as he is both alive and dead, while being observed!

Blogger chris said...
Is Arco Arena then a "Schroedinger's Box?" :p

Blogger 49er16 said...
Robert Horry still haunts my dreams.

Anonymous MyArvydas said...
And for obviously deranged fans of players who were at the same time basketbally dead and biologically alive for their entire careers ("Career Schrödingers"?):

Blogger Ash said...
Kings fans and Suns fans are tormented by the ghost of Robert Horry.

Blogger Hajt said...
@Ash: Horry haunts Blazer fans as well. Oh, my childhood!

Blogger Ash said...
Is Horry the most hated player of the most teams? What single, non-superstar player has caused more franchises permanent damage? This needs to be investigated.

Blogger chris said...
Ash: You can argue a case for Jon Koncak. :D

chris: The Nightmare in Natomas is more along the line of the quantum suicide machine, except it assumes there is an alternate world where it is impossible for the Paupers to suck forever.

In the vast majority of the worlds in which an immortal observer might find himself, he will survive, but will be terribly maimed. - David Lewis,"How Many Lives Has Schrödinger's Cat?"

A fair summation of life in Sacto, yes?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
this is hockey related, but I figured you guys could use a laugh. San Jose Sharks just gave Colorado a 1-0 win in OT when a sharks player scored on his own team. ESPN even screwed up giving San Jose the win for some reason

Anonymous Sorbo said...
What a disappointment so far. I was secretly pulling for Nash. But if they get it done against the Frail Blazers, I now have ammunition for Hollinger, who predicted them in the finals.

Blogger Preveen said...
Interesting recap-

Apparently the Magic are playing the Charottle Hornets. First para. :)

Blogger chris said...
Anonymous: I was just about to post that. Being a Sharks fan and all. :(

I don't know what's worse, supporting a team that has choked for almost a decade and shows no sign of stopping, or supporting a team that may move out of Sacramento one day due to the extreme greed of its ownership base.

Yeah, can't win.

That's Not In The Book: In that alternate universe, Elk Grove wouldn't be the foreclosure capital of the region, would it?

I like "The Nightmare in Natomas" though, that would make a great DVD title for the post-Adelman lowlights.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Milllllllllllertime, biatches!
Nice final shot Nash, looked like a Kobe 911 shot vintage 2003

Blogger Hajt said...
Suggestion for a word of the day, from
"Full Hedo": A verb meaning to have a fluke good performance in the playoffs of the last year of your contract, and then cashing in on that performance by being payed much more than you should be (other examples include Trevor Ariza and Dahntay Jones). As PRS points out, this years leading contender is Amar''''''e.

Blogger Will said...
Hajt: that term already exists, it's called the Contract Year Phenomenon.

Anonymous Hellshocked said...
Turkoglou performance in last year's playoffs wasn't a fluke, despite what everyone keeps saying. Check out his Orlando stats, particularly his last two seasons there: 19-5.7-5 in 07-08 and 16-5.3-4.9 in 08-09, all while being their primary distributor and go-to guy in the clutch.

That doesn't excuse his pathetic, lazy performance in Toronto (already a horrible fit for him) and he is definitely over paid (especially considering his age) but he has been a solid forward, at worst, for the bulk of his career.

Dahntay Jones also put up far better numbers this season than he did during last year's playoffs, though that really isn't saying much.

Agreed on Amar''''e though. Whichever team gives him the max is going to regret it sooner rather than later.

Blogger Vasco said...
The illustration is awesome.

Poor Joakim Noah. He's dead and alive at the same time. And he looks so desperate everytime Shaq catches the ball in the paint it makes me sad. He is screaming inside: please please pass the ball outside, please for the love of god pass the ball!

Just end the experiment already. That's just cruel.

Blogger Wormboy said...
Lacktion comment: I know we ignore umlauts in Amerika, but in this case an essential one was missing. Dig deep and find us an umlaut for the O!

Anonymous Anonymous said...
That LeBron is backwards! I name him "Norbel."

Blogger AnacondaHL said...
Anon: haha, yea you got me. Lazy shoppin'. But the knickname Norbel is freaking fantastic.

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