Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs took their NBA Finals series to a Game Seven with the Heat winning their second straight title. Now the question is: Can (or will) the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins take their Stanley Cup series to a seventh and deciding game?
Here’s a trivia question for you: When was the last time the NBA and NHL saw their finals series both go to a deciding seventh game in the same season? Answer to follow…
For the record, this was the 18th Game Seven in NBA Finals history and the first since 2010 when the Lakers beat the Celtics in seven games. If you compare the three professional leagues that have a seven-game finals playoff (major league baseball, the NBA and the NHL), the NHL has had the fewest Game Sevens since 1947 (when all three leagues were in existence at the same time) with 14. Major League Baseball has had the most Game Sevens with 26 since ’47.
Only once since 1947 have all three sports had a Game Seven decide their champion. That happened in 1955. The Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees in seven games to win the ’55 World Series; Syracuse won the NBA title in 1955 winning the championship in a seventh game victory over Ft. Wayne; and Detroit won the ’55 Stanley Cup playoffs over Montreal by winning Game Seven.
Other than 1955, there have been a handful of times when two of the three sports saw their title series go the distance with seven games. Major League Baseball and the NBA have gone seven games in the finals in four seasons (1952, 1957, 1960 and 1962… note it hasn’t happened in over 50 years); the NHL and MLB have gone seven games in the finals in six season (1964, 1965, 1971, 1987, 2001 and 2011).
Trivia answer: The last time the NBA and NHL final series both went seven games in the same year was in 1994. The Houston Rockets won the NBA title with a Game Seven win over the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers won the NHL title in 1994 by defeating Vancouver four games to three. That’s the only other time other than 1955 that the NBA and NHL have seen their championship series decided in seven games in the same year.
One more stat: Although the NHL has had the fewest Game Seven final series since 1947, they have had the most since 2000. Since 2000 the NHL has had six finals series go the distance with seven games (it could be seven years if this year’s Chicago-Boston finals goes to a seventh game). Both the NBA and Major League Baseball have seen a seventh game finals series in three years.
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A sports first! Reigning champs Packers (NFL), Mavs (NBA), Bruins (NHL) lose in 2012 first-round playoffs
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
First, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers lost their first playoff game to the New York Giants. Then the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins lose their first-round series to the Washington Capitals four games to three. Finally, the defending NBA champs, the Dallas Mavericks, were swept in a four-game first-round series to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Put it all together and it was the first time in sports history that the defending NFL, NHL and NBA champions were all defeated the following year in the first-round of the playoffs. (If baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals make the 2012 MLB playoffs and are defeated in their first-round series, we’ll have a clean sweep of defending champs in the first round of the playoffs in 2012.)
Following is a look at each of the football, basketball and hockey champions since 1970 that were defeated in their first-round playoff the following season after their title (Year listed is the year they won the Super Bowl or the NBA, NHL championship, followed by their first-round loss in the playoffs the following season.)
National Football League (10)
2011-Green Bay Packers: Lost 37-20 to NY Giants in divisional playoff game
2010-New Orleans Saints: Lost 41-36 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game
2008-NY Giants: Lost 23-11 to Philadelphia in divisional playoff game
2007-Indianapolis: Lost 28-24 to San Diego in divisional playoff game
2000-St. Louis Rams: Lost 31-28 to New Orleans in Wild Card playoff game
1995-San Francisco: Lost 27-17 to Green Bay in divisional playoff game
1986-Chicago: Lost 27-13 to Washington in divisional playoff game
1985-San Francisco: Lost 17-3 to NY Giants in Wild Card playoff game
1984-LA Raiders: Lost 13-7 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game
1974-Miami: Lost 28-26 to Oakland in divisional playoff game
2011-Dallas: Lost 4-0 to Oklahoma City in Western Conference first-round series
2006-Miami: Lost 4-0 to Chicago in Eastern Conference first-round series
1999-San Antonio: Lost 3-1 to Phoenix in Western Conference first-round series
1983-Philadelphia: Lost 3-2 to NJ Nets in Eastern Conference first-round series
1980-LA Lakers: Lost 2-1 to Houston in Western Conference first-round series
1977-Portland: Lost 4-2 to Seattle in Western Conference semifinals (they had a bye in the first round)
2011-Boston: Lost 4-3 to Washington in the conference quarterfinals
2010-Chicago: Lost 4-3 to Vancouver in the conference quarterfinals
2007-Anaheim: Lost 4-2 to Dallas in the conference quarterfinals
2004-Tampa Bay: Lost 4-1 to Ottawa in the 2006 conference quarterfinals (no 2005 season due to season cancelled)
2003-NJ Devils: Lost 4-1 to Philadelphia in conference quarterfinals
2002-Detroit: Lost 4-0 to Mighty Ducks in conference quarterfinals
1993-Montreal: Lost 4-3 to Boston in conference quarterfinals
1973-Montreal: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals
1972-Boston: Lost 4-1 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals
1971-Montreal: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals
1970-Boston: Lost 4-3 to Montreal in quarterfinals
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
The Super Bowl victory of the New York Giants gave the state of New York their 21st professional sports title (Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL and NHL) since 1966. Those 21 titles, however, is second to the state of California, which has 29 titles.
Following are the states which have the most professional sports titles in the four major sports since 1966 (1966 was chosen due to the start of the Super Bowl).
BA=Baseball (MLB)…FB=Football (NFL)…BK=Basketball (NBA)…H=Hockey (NHL)
New York 9…….5…….2……5……..21
Also: Colorado (4), District of Columbia (4), Ohio (3), New Jersey (3), Minnesota (2), Arizona (1), Georgia (1), Indiana (1), Louisiana (1), North Carolina (1), Washington (1), Oregon (1).
Note: Canada has 20 professional sports titles… two World Series wins by the Toronto Blue Jays and 18 NHL titles.
Did you know? Looking at the most professional sports titles since the start of the 21st century, California still holds the lead with 8. Second place, however, goes to Massachusetts with seven.
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus posting “SIX STATS…” published every Friday.
A few weeks ago (specifically July 20) I posted an item that looked at the professional sports franchises that have the longest streaks of winning seasons. Today we look at the other end of the spectrum: those franchises that have the longest drought when it comes to playoff appearances.
Every city that has a professional sports franchise in the four major sports leagues each year looks for their team to perform well and hopefully bring home a championship. For many teams, failure to make a postseason appearance is a major disappointment.
Each season 52 teams (eight in major league baseball, 12 in the NFL, 16 in the NBA and 16 in the NHL) make the playoffs. There are several teams, however, that have not seen the playoffs in this century, and a couple of teams that have not made the postseason in over 20 years.
Following are the five teams in each of the four major professional sports leagues that have the most numbers of years since their last postseason appearance.
Major League Baseball Last postseason appearance
Washington Nationals (Montreal) 1981
Kansas City Royals 1985
Pittsburgh Pirates 1992
Toronto Blue Jays 1993
Baltimore Orioles 1997
(WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG FOR A TRIVIA QUESTION: What current American League manager was the skipper of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992, their last trip to the postseason? Answer at end of this posting.)
National Football League Last Postseason appearance
Buffalo Bills 1999
Detroit Lions 1999
Cleveland Browns 2002
San Francisco 49ers 2002
Houston Texans *****
(***** Have never been in the playoffs; came in to the league in 2002)
National Basketball Association Last postseason appearance
Minnestoa Timberwolves 2004
Los Angeles Clippers 2006
Sacramento Kings 2006
New Jersey Nets 2007
National Hockey League Last postseason appearance
Florida Panthers 2000
Toronto Maple Leafs 2004
Edmonton Oilers 2006
New York Islanders 2007
Winnipeg Jets 2007
* Did you know? Seventy of the 122 professional sports teams in the four major sports have made it to the playoffs in one or both of the last two seasons.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Current Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland was the manager of the 1992 Pirates.