Basketball is a game of probabilities.
This guy is an 85 percent free-throw shooter, so we feel pretty good when he steps up to the line.
That team is 2-21 when trailing after three quarters, which explains the gloom that overtakes you when the fourth quarter begins.
We look at numbers to set our expectations, to help us figure out what we can reasonably expect from the players and teams we follow.
There's a reason we say, "The house always wins," it's because those numbers generally hold true.
Then there are nights when the house burns down.
The Los Angeles Clippers' 99-98 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the Western Conference first round on Sunday night defied all logic. It was the kind of game that prompts you to reassess how you watch basketball in the first place.