Algebra in the NBA Playoffs Part 2: Substitution and Combining Like Terms

This lesson, which picks up where part 1 left off, uses Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals to teach students some handy tricks for dealing with equations containing multiple variables.


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

***NOTE*** Like part 1, this lesson will make use of the Oklahoma City Thunder Game 2 box score. For teachers who may be unfamiliar with basketball scoring, the box score lists players and their respective stats from the game. The first five players listed on the team are separated from the others because they were the "starting five." Students should be able to view an enlarged box score at the front of the room or use individual copies of the box score, which can be distributed to each student. For larger versions of the box scores, right click on the embedded images in the Media section and select "View Image" or "Open Image in New Tab" (depending on your browser). For simplicity's sake, solutions to the the hypothetical scenario questions are left out of the "Lesson Main" and provided in the "Solutions" section below.

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Lesson tags: Eighth, Math, Ninth, Seventh, Sports

Louis Miller

Louis is an educator, test-prep specialist as well as an internationally known musician. Louis currently works at Harlem Village Academies, where he assists in developing guided reading curriculum for underprivileged middle-schoolers struggling to catch up to their grade level. After spending some time teaching S.A.T. classes in public high schools, he was invited to join the National Academic Support Team at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, where he provided personalized, online teaching to students across the country.A proud native of New York City, he began his career as a professional drummer at age 15 while attending Stuyvesant High School in downtown Manhattan. After earning a J.D. from Fordham Law School in 2011, Louis spent six months drumming with “Consider the Source,” a world-touring instrumental trio based out of Brooklyn.