statement game (stat'-muhnt gam) noun. A late-season game in which the outcome is thought to have either positive or negative implications (depending on whom you're rooting for) should the two teams meet in the playoffs.

Usage example: The Lakers had a statement game against the Suns yesterday. Their statement was "This team is going to beat us like a circus monkey in a gypsy camp if we meet in the first round of the playoffs."

Word Trivia: The Phoenix Suns took part in three statement games against probable playoff opponents last week, including a 126-104 win against the Dallas Mavericks, a 92-85 loss to the San Antonio Spurs, and a 115-107 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. If the so-called "statement game" is a legitimate indicator of playoff success and failure, then the Suns should beat the Lakers in the first round, lose to the Spurs in the conference semis, and then miraculously go on to defeat the Mavericks in the conference finals. Sorry Tim Duncan and Tony Parker; the statements have been made.

The Chicago Bulls also had some things to say last week, taking part in an unprecedented (I think) four statement games. Their first statement was "We can't win a crucial home game against a quality opponent" when they dropped a 112-108 overtime decision to the Cleveland Cavaliers. A few days later, they turned things around with a resounding "We can pound the sh*t out of the top team in the their house" by thumping the Pistons 106-88. Then, in a potential first-round playoff preview, their 105-74 win told the New Jersey Nets "Don't even bother to show up, chumps." This was followed by a 103-89 "I really hope we don't have to play these guys in the second round" loss to the Toronto Raptors.

In the end, the statement game is relatively meaningless in terms of predicting who will win or lose a playoff series. After all, the Spurs lost a late-season statement game to the Sacramento Kings and still whupped them in the first round. Dallas likewise lost a late-season statement game to the Suns and still managed to win that series. Some people will say that winning a statement game will give one team a psychological boost and make a playoff series more competitive, but come on...these guys are professionals. Once a series is underway, the regular season becomes a distant memory and the best team (usually) wins.

statement game 2
Smush Parker made a statement to Steve
Nash's face: "Not in my house, yo!"

Statement game
Shawn Marion then made a statement to
Parker's genitals: "Don't do that, yo."


Blogger Kram said...
Random Question: Why do the Pistons double and triple team Eddie Curry but not Shaq?