Monthly Archives: May, 2012

NBA Conference Finals Playoffs: Celtics can’t hold halftime lead in Game 2

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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

It appeared that the Boston Celtics had the Miami Heat right where they wanted them in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals series… a 15-point lead in the second quarter, and a seven-point lead at halftime.

But the Heat overcame the largest deficit in their playoff history and took the Celtics into overtime to secure a victory in Game Two and take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference Finals series.

Since 2003, there have been 106 conference finals games played. In 76 of those games the team that won either led at halftime or was tied for the lead at half, a .717 winning percentage. In the last three postseasons (2010-2012), there have been 26 conference finals games (through games of May 30, 2012). The winning team has led at half or were tied for the lead in 20 of those 26 games, a .769 winning percentage.

Miami overcoming a seven-point deficit in yesterday’s game ranks as one of the best 11 halftime comebacks in the last 10 years in conference finals play. Topping the list are the Orlando Magic which overcame a 15-point halftime deficit in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Final series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Following are the teams that overcame the largest halftime deficits to win a Conference Final playoff game since 2003.

Halftime Deficit, Team, Playoff Year, Game, Opponent

15: Orlando, 2009, Game 1 vs. Cleveland

12: Detroit, 2007, Game 2 vs. Cleveland

12: Dallas, 2006, Game 6 vs. Phoenix

11: Dallas, 2003, Game 5 vs. San Antonio

9: Dallas, 2003, Game 1 vs. San Antonio

8: Orlando, 2009, Game 4 vs. Cleveland

8: L.A. Lakers, 2008, Game 1 vs. San Antonio

8: San Antonio, 2003, Game 3 vs. Dallas

7: Miami, 2011, Game 5 vs. Chicago

7: Phoenix, 2005, Game 4 vs. San Antonio

7: Miami, 2012, Game 2 vs. Boston

Note: Thirty teams have lost conference finals games since 2003 after leading at halftime. Of the teams that lost those halftime leads in the conference finals, the San Antonio Spurs lost six games when they were leading at halftime. Following are the teams that lost the most conference finals games since 2003 when they had the lead at halftime.

Games Lost When They Had Halftime Lead in Conference Finals (since 2003), Teams

6: San Antonio

5: Phoenix

4: Cleveland

3: Oklahoma City, Dallas

2: Chicago, Detroit, Indiana

1: Boston, L.A. Lakers, Denver

Did you know? In the 2010 conference finals (Boston vs. Orlando and the Lakers vs. Phoenix) the team that led at halftime won all six games in both series.

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NBA Playoffs: OKC Thunder 30-point teammates loss a rarity

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: James Harden, a player for the Oklaho...

James Harden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have a pair of teammates light up the scoreboard for 30-plus points and you’d expect a win from that team. Not last night!

The Oklahoma City Thunder had a pair of players score 30 points in last night’s loss to San Antonio. Kevin Durant led the way with 31 and reserve James Harden added 30. It was the third time in this season’s playoffs that teammates scored 30 points in a game.

In the last five postseasons, there have been 13 cases where teammates scored 30 or more points in the same game. Teams have won 10 and lost only three in those games.

In addition to the pair of 30-point scorers, the Thunder also had Russell Westbrook contribute 27 points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Durant, Harden and Westbrook became the first set of teammates all to score 25 or more points in a 48-minute playoff game since 1995. The last trio to accomplish this feat? Houston’s Kenny Smith (32), Clyde Drexler (30) and Hakeem Olajuwon (27) in the Rockets’ first-round win over the Utah Jazz.

Note: Last night’s game was not the first time Durant and Westbrook each scored 30 and the team lost. It also happened in last season’s playoffs in a loss to Denver.

The last playoff game in which the two teams facing each other each had a pair of teammates score 30 or more points was April 20, 2008 when the Lakers and Nuggets each had a pair of 30-point scorers in the game. The Lakers won that contest.

Following are the teammates that scored 30 or more points in a playoff game over the past five seasons.

Team, Date, 30-point teammates (points), Game Result

Oklahoma City Thunder, May 29, 2012: Kevin Durant (31), James Harden (30). Loss to San Antonio.

Miami Heat, May 20, 2012: LeBron James (40), Dwyane Wade (30). Win over Indiana.

Oklahoma City, May 19, 2012: Russell Westbrook (37), Durant (31). Win over L.A. Lakers

Miami, May 11, 2011: Wade (34), James (33). Win over Boston.

Oklahoma City, May 9, 2011: Westbrook (40), Durant (35). Win over Memphis.

Oklahoma City, April 25, 2011: Durant (31), Westbrook (30). Loss to Denver.

Boston Celtics, April 22, 2011: Paul Pierce (38), Ray Allen (32). Win over N.Y. Knicks.

Oklahoma Cty, April 17, 2011: Durant (41), Westbrook (31). Win over Denver.

Los Angeles Lakers, May 10, 2010: Pau Gasol (33), Kobe Bryant (32). Win over Utah.

Denver Nuggets, May 9, 2009: Chauncey Billups (32), Carmelo Anthony (31). Win over Dallas.

San Antonio Spurs, May 8, 2008: Manu Ginobili (31), Tony Parker (31). Win over New Orleans Hornets.

Denver, April 20, 2008: Anthony (30), Allen Iverson (30). Loss to L.A. Lakers.

L.A. Lakers, April 20, 2008: Gasol (36), Bryant (32). Win over Denver.

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Manu Ginobili’s ‘nasty’ game spurs San Antonio in Game One

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, during...

Manu Ginobili (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spurred (pun intended) by an impassioned plea from their coach for more “nastiness” in their effort, the San Antonio Spurs outscored the Oklahoma City Thunder 39-27 in the fourth quarter and went on to win Game One of their Western Conference Final series, 101-98.

During that same pre-fourth-quarter huddle when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said “I want some nasty” from his team, the 63-year-old and current NBA Coach of the Year also asked his players “Are we having fun yet?” It seems super sub Manu Ginobili decided to heed Popovich’s advice; he scored 11 points in the fourth quarter on his way to a 26-point performance off the Spurs bench.

This was the 10th playoff game in Ginobili’s career where he came off the bench to score 25 or more points in a postseason contest. Not surprisingly, the Spurs are 9-1 when Ginobili comes off the bench in a playoff game to score 25 or more points.

Following are the players (from 1986-2012) who scored 25 or more points in the most playoff games when they did not start.

Games w/25+ points, Player (Team’s record in those games)

10….. Manu Ginobili (9-1)

8….. Eddie Johnson (3-5)

5….. Thurl Bailey (2-3); Vinnie Johnson (2-3); Kevin McHale (1-4); Ricky Pierce (3-2); Nick Van Exel (3-2)

4….. Leandro Barbosa (3-1); Jason Terry (2-2)

3….. Mark Aguirre (2-1); Sam Cassell (2-1); Dan Majerle (3-0); Jerry Stackhouse (2-1)

This was the second game of these playoffs where a reserve came off the bench to score 25 or more points. OKC’s James Harden came off the bench to score 29 in the Thunder’s Game Four win over the Dallas Mavericks. This was Ginobili’s first 25-point performance off the bench in a playoff games since May 25, 2008.

Ginobili’s 26 points as a sub in a playoff game are far from the most scored by a reserve since 1986. Five different subs have scored 35 or more points in a playoff game since the 1986 playoffs. In fact, Nick Van Exel has three of the seven top performances off the bench in a playoff game since ’86; all three of his games happened in a seven-game series against Sacramento in 2003.

Points, Player, Team (Date)

40: Nick Van Exel, Dallas (May 10, 2003)

39: Thurl Bailey, Utah (May 4, 1988)

36: Nick Van Exel, Dallas (May 8, 2003)

35: Ricky Pierce, Milwaukee (May 2, 1989)

35: Juan Dixon, Washington (May 2, 20005)

35: Eddie Johnson, Phoenix (May 9, 1989)

35: Nick Van Exel, Dallas (May 15, 2003)

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NBA Playoffs: Analyzing the Tony Parker-Russell Westbrook matchup with 10 stats

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

עברית: טוני פארקר, שזכה בפרס בשנת 2007. Hrvats...

Tony Parker (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Spurs and Thunder begin play in their Western Conference Finals tonight in San Antonio. One of the key matchups is at point guard where San Antonio’s Tony Parker will take on OKC’s Russell Westbrook. The two teams played three times during the regular season with the Spurs winning two of three. Parker averaged 23.7 in the three games while Westbrook was close behind with a 22.3 PPG. Although Westbrook outscored Parker in two of the three games, Parker had 42 in the Spurs’ February 4 win.

Here’s a look at some more stats from Spurs-Thunder games (and Parker-Westbrook matchups) in the past four seasons.

1. Since Westbrook came into the league in 2008, the two teams have played 14 games. The Spurs have won 10; the Thunder has won four. The Spurs were 5-2 at home and 5-2 in OKC.

2. Parker has had much better shooting games when the two teams have played. Parker has a field goal percentage of .493 in 13 games against the Thunder (he missed a game between the two teams in 2010) while Westbrook’s shooting percentage in 14 games against the Spurs is .373. Parker, however, is shooting .516 in games they won over the Thunder and only .429 in games lost to the Thunder.

3. Westbrook has a slightly better assists-to-turnover ratio when they two teams have faced off. Westbrook has 89 assists and 35 turnovers (2.54 ratio) while Parker had 80 assists and 38 turnovers (2.11 ratio).

4. Parker has averaged 20.2 PPG in 13 games against the Thunder in the last four years. Westbrook is averaging 16.3 in 14 games against the Spurs.

5. In the 13 games where the two players have faced each other, Parker has outscored Westbrook in seven of those games. When Parker outscores Westbrook the Spurs are 6-1.

6. When Westbrook gets 13-16 shots in a game against the Spurs, the Thunder are 4-2. When he takes more than 20 shots in a game against the Spurs, the Thunder are 0-4.

7. When Parker scores 20 or more points against OKC, the Spurs are 6-1.

8. When Westbrook commits three or more turnovers in a game versus the Spurs, the Thunder have lost all six games. When Parker commits two or fewer turnovers in a games against the Thunder, San Antonio is 3-1.

9. When Westbrook has 10 or more assists in a game against the Spurs, OKC is 2-1. When Parker has nine or more assists against the Thunder, the Spurs are 4-0.

10. Parker has averaged 18.6 PPG in home games against the Thunder in the past four seasons, 22.0 in games at OKC. Westbrook has averaged 17.6 PPG in home games against the Spurs since he came into the league, 15.0 in games in San Antonio.

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Vinny Rottino: Former Brewer becomes 87th Wisconsin-born player to homer in MLB history

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Vinny Rottino

Vinny Rottino (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the first inning of today’s New York Mets-San Diego Padres game, Vinny Rottino hit his first career major league home run, a solo shot off Clayton Richard. In doing so, Rottino, who was born in Racine, WI, became the 87th Wisconsin-born major league player to hit a home run in the majors.

Rottino spent parts of three seasons with the parent Brewers club in 2006, ’07 and ’08 after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2003. He made his MLB debut on September 1, 2006 with the Brewers. In his three “cups of coffee” with the Brewers MLB team, he had five hits in 24 at-bats.

Last year he had an eight-game stint with the Florida Marlins. This is his second call-up with the Mets this season.

Hall of Famer Al Simmons leads all Wisconsin-born players in home runs. Simmons had 307 career four-baggers playing for seven teams in a 20-year MLB career.

Here’s a look at the players born in Wisconsin who have hit the most home runs in the majors.

Home Runs, Player (last year in majors)

307 Al Simmons (1944)

213 Andy Pafko (1959)

163 Ken Keltner (1950)

135 Eric Hinske (active)

123 Joe Randa (2006)

117 Chet Laabs (1947)

116 Rich Reichardt (1974)

90 Mark Grudzielanek (2010)

87 Harvey Kuenn (1966)

87 Damian Miller (2007)

84 Fred Luderus (1920)

80 Joe Hauser (1929)

74 Ed Konetchy (1921)

63 Scott Servais (2001)

61 Fred Merkle (1926)

Note: Rottino is one of four Wisconsin-born players currently playing in the majors. Jason Berken is a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles; Eric Hinske is a utility player with the Atlanta Braves; and, Jordan Zimmerman is a pitcher with the Washington Nationals.


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