Sixteen games does not a season make, but if the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo continues with his play that has highlighted the start of the 2016-17 season, he could be well on his way to getting people to forget he’s that player with the difficult name and instead, he’ll be known as one of the young superstars in the NBA.
“The Greek Freak” on Tuesday, Nov. 29 played 34 minutes and scored 34 points with 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocked shots against the World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers in the Bucks 118-101 win. While many NBA fans and pundits are drooling over the outlandish numbers Russell Westbrook has been putting up for the Oklahoma City Thunder (30.9 points per game, 10.3 rebounds per game, and 11.3 assists per game), Antetokounmpo has been not-so-quietly putting up numbers that are pretty rare in NBA circles. In fact, if he stays on pace, he could produce one of the most incredible statistical seasons in league history.
After 16 games this season, G.A. is averaging 22.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 2.1 steals and 2.1 blocked shots per game. He is one of only three players who currently are averaging 22 points, eight rebounds and five assists per game (the others are the aforementioned Westbrook and LeBron James). There have been 36 times in league history that a player went 22-8-5 in those categories.
While that stat is impressive, if you add in two defensive stats to the three offensive stats we noted (points, rebounds and assists) you’ll see G.A. is taking his game to another level.
Consider this: There have been only three players in NBA history to average 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals per game in a season… Scottie Pippen (1993-94), Michael Jordan (1988-89) and Larry Bird (1985-86). G.A. would become the fourth member of this group if he maintains his stats.
But wait, there’s more. Add in two blocked shots per game. No player has ever averaged 22 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocked shots in an NBA season. Those are numbers that G.A. is carrying 16 games into this season.
Can “The Greek Freak” maintain these numbers? That’s the key question. If he does, he is setting himself up for a season that will go unmatched in league history.
To say that the three-point shot has become an important part of the NBA would be a severe understatement. The Houston Rockets recently took it to the next level in their November 25 win over Sacramento.
In that game, the Rockets launched (pun intended) 50 three-point shots, a new NBA record for most three-point shot attempts in a game. In fact, the Rockets were 21-for-50 from beyond the three-point line and were 19-for-35 from inside the three-point line in the contest.
It was the second time in less than two weeks that the Rockets as a team had attempted 45 or more threes in a game (they also did it on November 12, attempting 47 threes) in a loss to San Antonio.
Since the three-pointer became a staple in the NBA, there have now been 19 times when a team attempted 45 or more threes in a game. It’s interesting to note that two teams have each done it five times and account for half of the 19 games; the Rockets and Golden State Warriors have each had five games where they attempted 45 or more threes in a game.
The first such game was in the 1995-96 season when the Dallas Mavericks attempted 49 threes in a game. The Mavs are the only other team that has attempted 45 or more threes in a game multiple times (they have done it twice). Seven teams have done it once in their history: Boston, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, New York Knicks, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Utah. The Mavs have also found themselves on the other end of this stat… teams have attempted 45 or more threes against them three times, tied with the Memphis Grizzlies for most.
Here’s a look at a few more stats on teams that have attempted 45 or more threes in an NBA game:
- Teams that attempted 45 or more threes in a game have won only six and lost 13.
- The 45 or more three-point attempts have happened in four overtime games of the 19.
- Nine of the 19 were by home teams, 10 by the road team.
- Best three-point percentage of the 19 teams that attempted 45-plus was .467 by the Warriors on March 25, 2016; worst three-point percentage of the 19 teams was .2000 by the Rockets on February 11, 2015.
One final note: Since the Rockets and Warriors are two of the teams that seem to be leading this three-point frenzy, you would think their games would feature a boatload of threes. Last season in three games the two teams combined for 49, 53 and 67 threes. That last contest on February 9, 2016, saw Golden State attempt 34 threes and the Rockets try 33. The two teams face off for the first time this season this coming Thursday, December 1. Be sure to check the box scores the next morning.
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Here are some of the numbers that helped define the Packers 27-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on November 28.
- The Packers have had a losing record on Monday nights during the Mike McCarthy era. Even with yesterday’s win, the Pack is 7-8 on Mondays since 2006, although they have now won three straight on Monday.
- Davante Adams had a pair of TD receptions in the game, the second time in his career. Green Bay is 18-2 in the last 20 games when a receiver gets two or more TD receptions in a contest.
- The Packers have won six of the last seven games on the road when they score first. Since 2006, the Pack is 25-15 when they score first in an away game.
- Green Bay had a 14-10 lead at halftime. Since 2010, the Packers are 22-6 when they have the lead at halftime in a game on the road. They have won 12 of their last 13 road games when they have the lead at half.
- Green Bay held a 17-13 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Packers have now won 11 straight when they have a lead of three points or more in a road game going into the fourth quarter.
- The Packers scored points in all four quarters in the game. They have now won 15 straight when they score in all four quarters; they are 85-15 in their last 100 games (dating back to 1995) when they score points in each of the four quarters.
- Adams had five receptions for 113 yards. It was his fourth career 100-yard receiving game… the Pack is 3-1 in those games.
- The Packers offensive line did not allow a sack in the contest. Since 2010, the team is 7-2 when the QB is not sacked in a game. Since 2000, the Packers are 31-10 when they do not allow a sack in a contest.
- Aaron Rodgers completed 30 of 39 passes (a completion percentage of 76.9). In the 25 starts when Rodgers completed 75% or more of his passes, the Packers are 24-1. The only loss was in 2010 to the Chicago Bears.
- The Pack did not have a turnover in the game and is 16-3 in their last 19 games when they do not turn over the ball. Since 2000, Green Bay is 61-9-1 when they have zero turnovers in a game.
When the Chicago Cubs acquired Aroldis Chapman from the Yankees in late July this past baseball season, experts saw that move as the last acquisition that would make the Cubs the prohibitive favorite as the 2016 season was pushing to a close. Pundits saw Chapman as the shutdown closer the Cubs needed and a pitcher who could give the Cubs a save whenever they would need one for the rest of the season, and more importantly, saves in the post-season.
For the most part, Chapman fulfilled that promise. However, with a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning in the seventh game of the World Series, the unexpected happened: Chapman blew the save. Fortunately for the Cubs, they were able to regroup and win Game 7 and the World Series in extra innings. The line score for that game, however, showed Chapman as the winning pitcher and Mike Montgomery with the save for the Cubs.
Let’s look at some of the interesting stats/numbers from that Game 7 save:
- Montgomery’s save for the Cubs in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series was only the 14th Game 7 of the World Series save in history. It was also the only Game 7 of the World Series save to happen in extra innings.
- Montgomery only faced one batter for his save. It was the third time in Game 7 of the World Series that a save occurred with a pitcher facing only one batter. The other times: Darold Knowles in 1973 for the Oakland A’s and Bill Hallahan in 1931 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
- The save for Montgomery was the first of his career, post-season or regular season. Knowles had 143 career regular season saves and had two save sin the ’73 World Series. The 1973 World Series was his only World Series. Hallahan had seven career saves; he made four World Series appearances… the ’31 save in Game 7 was his only World Series save.
- Of the 14 Game 7 of the World Series saves, three were less than an inning, five were one inning, 1 1/3 inning or 1 2/3 innings, six were saves of two innings or more.
- Montgomery became one of 16 pitchers to get a one-batter save in any World Series game. His was the first since Mark Buehrle did it in the 2005 World Series for the Chicago White Sox in Game 3 versus the Houston Astros.
- In addition to Montgomery’s Game 7 save, Chapman had a save for the Cubs in Game 5. Two different pitchers for the same team with a save in a World Series this year was the first since the White Sox did it in 2005 with Buehrle and Bobby Jenks.
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With their loss to the Washington Redskins last Sunday, 42-24, the Green Bay Packers have now lost four games in a row this season, the first time that has happened since they lost five straight in 2008.
The New England Patriots have the longest time since a four-game losing streak in the NFL. The last time the Pats lost four straight was in 2002, almost 14 seasons ago. The second longest stretch now belongs to the Seattle Seahawks. They last lost four straight in 2009 when they ended the season with four consecutive defeats.
Here’s a look at the last season each NFL team lost four straight in a season.
2002: New England
2011: Buffalo, Indianapolis
2012: Arizona, Cincinnati, Philadelphia
2013: Houston, Miami
2014: Chicago, N.Y. Giants, Oakland, Washington
2015: Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City, New Orleans, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Tennessee
2016: Baltimore, Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, Jacksonville, L.A. Rams, Minnesota, N.Y. Jets, Pittsburgh, San Francisco
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