Monthly Archives: February, 2013

LeBron James looks to join another record-setting group

English: LeBron James in New York City to disc...

LeBron James (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Going into last night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, LeBron James had an NBA-record six consecutive games with at least 30 points while shooting 60% of better from the field. In last night’s game, James streak ended when he scored 39 points, but shot “only” 58% on his field goal attempts.

Fifty games into the 2012-13 NBA season, James is averging 27.6 points per game and shooting 56.6 percent from the field, which would be the highest FG percentage of his career. With these numbers, James is approaching a rare group in NBA history.

If the season ended today, James would become the 14th player in NBA history to finish the season with an average of 25-plus points per game and a shooting percentage of 55% or higher. The last player to reach these two numbers in a season was Amare Stoudemire in 2007-08 when he shot 59% while averaging 25.2 points per game with the Phoenix Suns.

First, here’s a look at the players who have in a season shot 58% or higher while averaging 25 or more points per game. Could James join this group this season?

Player, season, team, FG pct/pts per game

Kevin McHale, 1986-87, Boston, 60.4/26.1
Charles Barkley, 1989-90, Philadelphia, 60.0/25.2
Shaquille O’Neal, 1993-94, Orlando, 59.9/29.3
Amare Stoudemire, 2007-08, Phoenix, 59.0/25.2
Charles Barkley, 1987-88, Philadelphia, 58.7/28.3
Shaquille O’Neal, 1997-98, LA Lakers, 58.4/28.3
Shaquille O’Neal, , 1994-95, Orlando, 58.3/29.3
Adrian Dantley, 1982-82, Utah, 58.0/30.7

Let’s go back to the numbers I first mentioned, 25 points per game and 55% shooting. Those numbers have been reached 37 times by 13 different players in NBA history. Here are the players who accomplished those numbers in multiple seasons.

Seasons with 25-plus points per game and 55-plus percent shooting

10: Shaquille O’Neal
6: Adrian Dantley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
4: Charles Barkley
2: Amare Stoudemire, Karl Malone

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No place to go but up in 2013 for the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers

English: Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin

Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last season the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen won 28 games and saved 44. The 28 wins ranked fourth in the National League; the 44 saves ranked sixth. That was the good news.

The Brewers’ bullpen in 2012 had a Major League worst ERA of 4.66. They blew 29 save opportunities, tied for most in the majors, and the bullpen pitchers suffered the loss in 33 games, most in the majors. That was the bad news.

General Manager Doug Melvin has taken steps to upgrade the bullpen by adding three pitchers: Burke Badenhop, Tom Gorzelanny and Michael Gonzalez. This comes on the heels of four pitchers from last year’s bullpen no longer on the Brewers’ roster: Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Veras, Kameron Loe and Manny Parra. With pitchers and catchers now in Arizona (and Florida) as spring training gets underway, it should be a very interesting spring as Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke look to tighten up the back half of the pitching staff.

Let’s go back to some of the numbers I mentioned above. If we add the losses by Brewers relief pitchers (33) and the blown saves (29), we get a bullpen minus total of 62 (bullpen losses + blown saves). That 62 topped the majors last season.

Here’s a look at how each of the 30 MLB teams’ bullpens performed based on bullpen losses and blown saves last season.

Team, bullpen losses + blown saves, total
Milwaukee: 33+29   62

Colorado: 30+29   59
Houston: 31+20   51

St. Louis: 27+22   49
New York Mets: 29+19   48
Chicago Cubs: 25+21   46
Chicago White Sox: 25+21   46
Philadelphia: 27+19   46
Seattle: 25+19   44
Boston: 21+22   43
Los Angeles Angels: 20+22   42
Miami: 20+22   42
Kansas City: 21+20   41
Arizona: 20+20   40
Cincinnati: 22+18   40
Detroit: 23+17   40

Los Angeles Dodgers: 20+19   39
San Diego: 21+17   38
Washington: 19+17   36
Minnesota: 21+14   35
Toronto: 20+15   35
Pittsburgh: 19+14   33
San Francisco: 19+14   33
Cleveland: 18+13   31
New York Yankees: 17+14   31
Oakland: 14+17   31

Baltimore:11+18   29
Tampa Bay: 21+8   29
Atlanta: 14+13   27
Texas: 14+9   23

Note: Of the nine teams that had a minus bullpen number of under 35, six of them (San Francisco, N.Y. Yankees, Oakland, Baltimore, Atlanta and Texas) made the playoffs last season. The ten playoff teams from 2012 averaged 33.9 in the bullpen minus number; the 20 teams that did not make the playoffs averaged 42.5.

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What was the score in the NFL in the 2012 regular season?

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

Here’s a quick item as a review of the 2012 NFL regular season.

How many points did an NFL team need to score to win in 2012? Looking at the 256 regular season games from last season, here’s a breakdown of win-loss records when teams scored a certain number of points in a game.

Points, Record when teams scored that number of points

0-9 points: 3-44 .064

10-19 points: 32-115 .218

20-29 points: 106-78-2 .575

30-39 points: 84-17 .832

40-49 points: 22-1 .957

50 points or more: 8-0 1.000

Here are a few additional stats:

* The most frequent scores were 13 points (teams scored 13 points in 37 games) and 24 points (teams scored 24 points in 37 games) Next was 23 points, which was scored by 34 teams last year.

* Teams that scored 25 or more points in a game were 161-35, an .821 winning percentage.

* Teams that scored under 25 points usually had a losing record, but teams had winning records in three point totals less than 25 points… teams were 7-6 when scoring 19 points; 20-14 when scoring 23 points; and 21-14-2 when scoring 24 points.

* Most points scored to lose a game last year was 41. Fewest points to win a game was seven.

* Teams were 35-194 (.180) when they scored under 20 points.

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Green Bay’s Randall Cobb looks to define the NFL’s ‘four-tool’ player

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

English: Green Bay Packers rookie wide receive...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does the NFL have its version of a “five-tool” player?

If you are a baseball fan, you know about the five-tool player. It’s that player who can hit for average, hit for power, has outstanding fielding skills, a great arm and fantastic speed.

Maybe the NFL doesn’t have its own version of the five-tool player, but the league may want to figure out what to call a player like Randall Cobb.

Cobb last season achieved something that had never been done before in league history: Cobb in 2012 had 10 rushing attempts, caught 80 passes, returned 31 punts and returned 38 kickoffs. No one had those number of touches in each of those four stat categories in the history of the NFL. It’s not uncommon to have heard announcers, Packers coaches, and his teammates refer to Cobb as a player that “needs to have the ball in his hands.”

To get a look at other players who may have approached what Cobb did last season, I dropped the number requirements down a bit to see how many players would fit in the category of 10 rushing attempts, 50 receptions, 20 punt returns and 20 kickoff returns. What I discovered was that Cobb was the ninth player to reach these numbers. Here’s a look at the players who fit those stats:

Player with 10 rushing attempts, 50 receptions, 20 punt returns, 20 kickoff returns in a season, years
Terry Metcalf, St. Louis, 1974
Bruce Harper, New York Jets, 1980, 1981
Lionel James, San Diego, 1985
Vance Johnson, Denver, 1985
Gary Anderson, San Diego, 1986
Dave Meggett, N.Y. Giants, New England, 1991, 1995
Glyn Milburn, Denver, 1994
Darren Sproles, San Diego, New Orleans, 2010, 2011
Randall Cobb, Green Bay, 2012

Cobb in 2012 amassed 132 yards rushing, 954 receiving yards, 292 punt return yards and 964 kickoff return yards. With his 2,342 yards via rushing, receiving and kick returns, Cobb became the 34th player in NFL history to have over 2,300 all-purpose yards in a season.

In addition, Cobb became the seventh player in NFL history to have over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and over 1,000 yards in kick return yardage in the same season. Those players:

1000-plus yards from scrimmage and 1000-plus yards in kick returns in same season
2012: Randall Cobb, Green Bay (1086 yards from scrimmage, 1256 kick return yards)
2011: Darren Sproles, N.O. (1313 yards from scrimmage, 1383 kick return yards)
2011: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh (1149 yards from scrimmage, 1062 kick return yards)
2009: Fred Jackson, Buffalo (1433 yards from scrimmage, 1083 kick return yards)
1975: Terry Metcalf, St. Louis (1194 yards from scrimmage, 1245 kick return yards)
1974: Mack Herron, N.E. (1298 yards from scrimmage, 1146 kick return yards)
1963: Timmy Brown, Philadelphia (1328 yards from scrimmage, 1197 kick return yards)

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Donald Driver: Stats you may not know about his career

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

Donald Driver and Aaron Rodgers

Donald Driver and Aaron Rodgers (Photo credit: elviskennedy)

Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver officially announced his retirement yesterday in a ceremony at Lambeau Field. The 14-year veteran ends his career with 743 catches and 62 touchdowns, all with the green and gold. Following are a few stats you may not know about Driver’s career.

* Driver was a seventh round selection in the 1999 draft. Thirty different receivers were chosen in that draft; Driver was the 25th receiver chosen. Torry Holt was the first receiver selected in the first round (6th pick overall) by the Rams. Holt is the only receiver in that class to catch more career passes than Driver.

* Of all the players chosen in that ’99 draft, Driver ranks second in NFL games played with 205. The only player drafted in the 1999 draft to have more career NFL games than Driver is Champ Bailey with 210.

* Driver scored at least one TD in each of his 14 seasons in the league.

* Driver is one of 39 players to have 700 or more career catches in the NFL. Of those 39, Driver was drafted the lowest (two players with 700-plus receptions, Wes Welker and Rod Smith, were not drafted).

* He is one of 281 players to play 200 or more games in the NFL.

* Of his 61 TD receptions, Driver caught 36 of them from Brett Favre and 22 from Aaron Rodgers. Can you name the three players (other than Favre and Rodgers) who threw TD passes to Driver? Answer at end of blog.

* Driver had 62 TDs in his career, 61 of them on pass receptions. He had a rushing TD in 2001 against the Minnesota Vikings on a 31-yard run. His longest career run was 45 yards.

* Driver did not have a career touchdown against five teams: Arizona, New England, Oakland, Pittsburgh and Washington. He scored his most TDs against the Detroit Lions (10).

* Twenty-seven of Driver’s 62 TDs either tied the score or put the Packers ahead in the game.

* Driver scored two touchdowns in four games. The Pack was 3-1 in those games. The Packers were 36-21 in games when Driver scored a touchdown.

* Driver caught three or more passes in 131 of the 190 regular-season games he played in with the Packers. He caught three of more passes in nine of the 15 playoff games he played in.

* He had 10-plus catches in seven games with the Packers. The team was 6-1 in those games. Driver’s game-high in receptions was 11.

* Driver had 100 or more yards receiving in 22 games in his career. The Packers were 15-7 in those games. Of those 22 games, 13 were on the road, nine were home games. Six of those 100-yard games came against the Detroit Lions.

Trivia answer: In addition to Favre and Rodgers, Driver caught TD passes from Matt Flynn, Ahman Green and Bubba Franks.

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