Monthly Archives: June, 2015

SIX STATS you might not know about… Players who scored forty or more points in an NBA Final loss

LeBron

LeBron James scored 44 points in Game One of the NBA Finals last Thursday in his team’s 108-100 loss to Golden State. Here’s six stats you may not know about players who scored 40 or more points in an NBA Finals game that their team lost.

1. James’ 44 points were the second most for a player in the NBA Finals in a game his team lost. Jerry West twice had 45 points in an NBA Finals game that his Lakers lost. He did it April 19, 1965 in a loss to the Celtics; he also did it one year later on April 22, 1966 in a title series game loss to those same Celtics.

2. The last player to score 40-plus points in an NBA Finals game loss was on June 19, 2012 when Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 43 against Miami in a thunder defeat.

3. A player from the losing team in an NBA Finals game has scored 40-plus points 16 times since 1964 (records from basketball-reference.com). Three players did it multiple times: Jerry West did it four times; Rick Barry and Michael Jordan each did it twice. These three players each did it twice in the same series; Barry in 1967, West in 1969 and Jordan in 1993.

4. Youngest player to accomplish this feat was Barry (23 years and 23 days)… oldest was West (30 years and 342 days).

5. Of the 16 times a player scored 40+points in an NBA Finals game loss, nine happened at home, seven in an away game.

6. The Boston Celtics were the opponent that won in four of these 16 games; Philadelphia was the opponent three times.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Former MLB players make up 80% of today’s MLB managers

Counsell

When Craig Counsell became the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers in late April, he became the fifth former Brewers player to currently manage a team in the majors. Counsell joined Terry Francona (Cleveland), Mike Matheny (St. Louis), Paul Molitor (Minnesota) and Ned Yost (Kansas City).

Of the current crop of 30 major league managers, 24 (80 percent) played in the majors. The current six managers who were not MLB players are Terry Collins (New York Mets), Fredi Gonzalez (Atlanta), Dan Jennings (Miami), Joe Madden (Chicago Cubs), Bryan Price (Cincinnati) and Buck Showalter (Baltimore).

Milwaukee is tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees for the most former players currently managing a team in the majors with five. Former Dodgers players are Brad Ausmus (Detroit), Counsell (Milwaukee), Chip Hale (Arizona), Mike Scioscia (Los Angeles Angels) and Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox). The five former Yankees now managing an MLB team are Kevin Cash (Tampa Bay), Joe Girardi (New York Yankees), Don Mattingly (Los Angeles Dodgers), Bob Melvin (Oakland) and Ventura (White Sox).

Here’s a look at each MLB franchise and how many of their former players are currently managing a major league team.

5: Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee, New York Yankees

4: Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, New York Mets, San Francisco, Toronto

3: Cincinnati, Colorado, Houston, St. Louis

2: Arizona, Boston, Chicago White Sox, Miami, Minnesota, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Washington

1: Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Texas

Of the 24 current managers that played in the majors, 10 are managing a team they played for: Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox), Terry Francona (Cleveland), Brad Ausmus (Detroit), Paul Molitor (Minnesota), Kevin Cash (Tampa Bay), Walt Weiss (Colorad0), Craig Counsell (Milwaukee), Ryne Sandberg (Philadelphia), Mike Matheny (St. Louis), Bruce Bochy (San Francisco).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Two more NBA coaches become victims of ‘What have you done for me lately?’

Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks

Tom Thibodeau, Scott Brooks

A pair of successful college basketball coaches will be pacing the NBA sidelines next season as the Oklahoma City Thunder have hired Billy Donovan away from Florida and the Chicago Bulls have recently handed the reigns of their team to Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg.

With Donovan and Hoiberg’s hirings, however, it means that two successful NBA coaches find themselves out of work in the latest episode of “What have you done for me lately?” Donovan takes over for Scott Brooks and Hoiberg replaces Tom Thibodeau.

Brooks replaced P.J. Carlesimo as the Thunder’s coach during the 2008-09 season. He was selected as the league’s Coach of the Year the following season and made the playoffs in five of his six seasons. He coached the Thunder to the NBA Finals in 2012.

Thibodeau coached the Bulls for five seasons, making the playoffs in each year. He was the NBA’s Coach of the Year in 2010-11 and led the Bulls to 45 or more wins each year, topping out at 62 wins.

Brooks and Thibodeau will likely find jobs as head coaches in the near future, but what makes the firings of these two coaches interesting is that both rank in the Top 10 of the best regular season NBA coaches (based on winning percentage). Thibodeau ranks 6th while Brooks ranks ninth.

Here’s a look at the NBA coaches with the best regular season winning percentages (minimum of 300 NBA games coached to qualify for this list).

1. Phil Jackson .704
2. Billy Cunningham .698
3. Gregg Popovich .685
4. K.C. Jones .674
5. Red Auerbach .662
6. Tom Thibodeau .647
7. Pat Riley .636
8. Erik Spoelstra .629
9 (tie). Scott Brooks .620
9 (tie). Les Harrison .620
11. Tom Heinsohn .619
12. Mike Brown .616
13. Stan Van Gundy .610
14. Jerry Sloan .603

It’s also interesting to note that of the 14 men listed above, nine have won at least one NBA title. The coaches on this list that have not are Thibodeau and Brooks, Brown, Van Gundy and Sloan. This is just another example of while it is important to win games during the regular season, it’s really all about the rings.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

NHL’s ‘Original 6’ and the Stanley Cup Finals

Original-6-NHL-

The 2015 NHL Stanley Cup will begin Wednesday with the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Chicago will be making their third finals appearance in the last six years, while the Lightning will be making their first appearance in the final since 2004.

Most die-hard NHL fans know that the six original NHL teams were the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. With Chicago’s spot in the finals this year, it marks the third straight year that one of the “Original 6” will play for the Cup, and the seventh time in the last eight years.

In 1967-68, the NHL expanded to 12 teams with the addition of the L.A. Kings, Minnesota North Stars, Oakland Seals, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues. Since that season, covering 46 Stanley Cup Finals (there was no Stanley Cup in 2005 due to a lockout), one of the “Original 6” has won 20 titles. Since 2000, the “Original 6” have won five of the 14 titles.

Here’s a few more stats about the Stanley Cup Finals and the “Original 6” teams:

* The last time two “Original 6” teams played in the finals was 2013 when the Blackhawks and Bruins faced off (Chicago won the series). Prior to that, the last time was in 1979 when Montreal and the New York Rangers played for the championship.

* The last time no “Original 6” were in the finals was in 2012 when the L.A. Kings and New Jersey Devils played for the Cup. It has happened 17 times since 1968.

* Since 2000, eight times at least one of the “Original 6” played for the title (including the two teams in 2013). The other seven times since 2000 none of the “Original 6” made the finals.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp