The second round of the NBA playoffs will get started this week. Of the four teams that made it to the conference finals last year (Cleveland, Golden State, Oklahoma City and Toronto), it looks like only two might return this year… OKC was eliminated in the first round this year by Houston, and Cleveland and Toronto will face each other in the second round this season, with one of them advancing to the conference finals again. Golden State would be the second team if they can advance past the winner of the Utah-L.A. Clippers series winner.
Of the 30 NBA franchises, 14 have played in a conference finals at least once this decade (2010-16). Three current franchises have never played in an NBA conference finals: Charlotte, the L.A. Clippers and New Orleans. Of the teams that have at least one conference finals in their history, the longest wait is from the Washington Bullets. The last time they appeared in a conference finals was in 1979. They could erase that mark this season if they can beat the Boston Celtics in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs and advance to the conference finals.
Here’s a look at the 30 NBA franchises and the last year they appeared in a conference finals series. (Current franchise city is listed.)
Never: Charlotte, L.A. Clippers, New Orleans
2000: New York Knicks, Portland
2001: Milwaukee, Philadelphia
2010: L.A. Lakers, Orlando, Phoenix
2011: Chicago, Dallas
2014: Indiana, Miami, San Antonio
2015: Atlanta, Houston
2016: Cleveland, Golden State, Oklahoma City, Toronto
This year’s NFL Draft begins on Thursday. Every team will be looking to fill some spots on their roster with young players… either potential starters or players who can add depth to their team.
Does your team need a playmaker? A defensive specialist? The first round in the draft is always an interesting time when teams try to fill their most immediate need. Some teams, however, seem to have a pattern in how they select that first-round player. Case in point: Since 2007, the New York Jets have made 12 first-round selections, 10 defensive players and only two offensive players. That +8 is the biggest discrepancy of any of the 32 NFL teams.
Let’s look at the last 10 years and see which side of the ball each team has focused on in the first round. There have been 318 players chosen in the first round over the last 10 drafts. A total of 163 of those players (51%) were defensive players while 155 (49%) were offensive players. During that 10-year period, 14 NFL teams have chosen more defensive players than offensive, while there were 12 teams that have chosen more offensive players in the first round than defensive players. Six teams chose the same number of offensive players and defensive players in the first round over the past 10 NFL drafts.
Here’s the breakdown of each team over the last 10 drafts when they have made their first-round selection.
More offensive players than defensive players
Baltimore +2 (5 offensive, 3 defensive)
Chicago +2 (5 and 3)
Cincinnati +1 (6 and 5)
Cleveland +3 (8 and 5)
Dallas +2 (6 and 4)
Detroit +6 (9 and 3)
Indianapolis +4 (6 and 2)
Miami +4 (7 and 3)
Minnesota +2 (7 and 5)
Philadelphia +2 (5 and 3)
Tennessee +6 (8 and 2)
Washington +1 (4 and 3)
More defensive players than offensive players
Atlanta +2 (6 defensive players, 4 offensive players)
Carolina +1 (5 and 4)
Denver +1 (6 and 5)
Green Bay +6 (8 and 2)
Houston +4 (7 and 3)
Kansas City +2 (6 and 4)
New England +6 (7 and 1)
New Orleans +3 (7 and 4)
New York Jets +8 (10 and 2)
Pittsburgh +4 (7 and 3)
San Diego +2 (6 and 4)
San Francisco +1 (7 and 6)
Seattle +1 (4 and 3)
Tampa Bay +2 (6 and 4)
Same number of offensive players and defensive players
Arizona (5 offensive players, 5 defensive players)
Buffalo (5 and 5)
Jacksonville (5 and 5)
Los Angeles Rams (6 and 6)
New York Giants (5 and 5)
Oakland (4 and 4)
When the Brewers allowed Chris Carter, last year’s HR king, to leave the team after one season for free agency, many questioned that move. Then when they signed Eric Thames, a virtual unknown who did light up the Korean League, to replace Carter, again, a lot of people were shaking their heads.
Now 20 games into the 2017 season, Thames is making a name for himself by leading the league in home runs and topping the Brewers in several hitting categories including HRs, runs scored and hits.
With eight homers, 21 runs scored and 23 hits, Thames may threaten a few Brewers records for April. With six games remaining, Thames is…
… two HRs short of the team record for HRs in April. Ryan Braun and Carlos Lee each slugged 10; Braun in 2011, Lee in 2006…
… three runs short of the club record of 24 runs scored in April held by Braun (24 in 2011) and Rickie Weeks (24 in 2008)…
… a healthy 13 hits short of the team record for hits in April. Braun had 36 in 2011 and Fernando Vina had 36 in 1998.
The Brewers as a team top the majors with 34 home runs in 20 games, an average of 1.7 per game. That pace would give them 275 for the season. That would top the MLB record of 264 hit by the Seattle Mariners in 1997. The Brewers team record for HRs in a season is 231 in 2007.
With six games remaining in April, the Brewers team could threaten the team mark for April HRs which is 39 (done in 2001). They would need to hit six in the next six games to top that mark.
New third baseman Travis Shaw is also making a fast impression on his new team and fans. Shaw tops the club with eight doubles and 18 RBI. With six games remaining in April, he could realistically set new marks in both those categories for the month. His eight doubles is just one short of the team record for April, nine, held by Cecil Cooper (in 1979) and Alex Sanchez (2003). His 18 RBI is just two short of the team record held by six different players. Braun was the last Brewers player to collect 20 RBI in April (he did it in 2010).
The Golden State Warriors this season won 67 games, the third straight season with 60 or more wins. They became the sixth team to win 60 or more games in three consecutive seasons and the first since the Chicago Bulls did it in 1996, 1997 and 1998. For the record the teams that have won 60 in three consecutive years were:
Milwaukee Bucks: 1971, 1972, 1973 Boston Celtics: 1980, 1981, 1982 Boston Celtics: 1984, 1985, 1986 Los Angeles Lakers: 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988 Chicago Bulls: 1996, 1997, 1998 Golden State: 2015, 2016, 2017
The Warriors were not the only team to win 60 or more games in the 2016-17 season; the San Antonio Spurs for the second straight year reached the 60-win mark with their 61 wins this season. The Warriors and Spurs also each won 60+ games in the 2015-16 season. With another 60-win season next year, the Spurs could join the above list, while another 60-win season next year for Golden State would make them only the second team in NBA history to win 60 or more games in four consecutive seasons.
Two teams winning 60 or more games in an NBA season has now been accomplished 22 times in league history. Here’s a few interesting stats regarding multiple teams winning 60 or more in a season:
- In 14 of those 22 seasons, the team that won the championship that year was a team that won 60 or more games.
- There have been three NBA Finals where both teams won 60 or more games in the regular season: 1985 (Lakers and Celtics), 1996 (Bulls and Sonics) and 1997 (Bulls and Jazz).
- In nine of those 22 season, a team that won 60 games in the regular season lost in the NBA Finals.
- In three of those 22 seasons, none of the multiple teams that won 60 or more games made it to the NBA Finals… 1995, 207 and 2011.
Earlier this week Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets slugged three home runs in a game versus the Phillies. He became the first player with three long balls in a game this season, and he became the first Mets player in history to have two or more games with three (or more) homers in a career.
Since 1913 there have been 103 players who have hit three or more home runs in a game multiple times. Topping this list are Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize who each did it six times, and a quintet of players (Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Dave Kingman, Carlos Delgado and Joe Carter) who did it in five games.
As mentioned above, Cespedes became the first Mets player to have three or more HRs in multiple games. There are now three teams (Braves, Marlins and Twins) who have never had a player hit three or more HRs in multiple games. The Chicago Cubs lead the majors with six different players who have slugged three or more homers in multiple contests; the six: Sammy Sosa (six times), Ernie Banks (four times), Aramis Ramirez and Dave Kingman (each three times) and Alfonso Soriano and Hank Sauer (each twice).
Here’s a look at the number of players for each of the current 30 MLB franchises that hit three or more home runs in a game two or more times in their career with that franchise.
5: Brewers, Giants, Indians, Red Sox, Reds, Yankees
4: A’s, Cardinals, Orioles, Pirates, Tigers
3: Dodgers, Rockies
2: Astros, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Mariners, Phillies, Rangers, Royals
1: Angels, Mets, Nationals/Expos*, Padres, Rays, White Sox
0: Braves, Marlins, Twins
- Nationals have zero; the Expos had one player.
A Brewers’ player has hit three or more home runs in a game 20 times in franchise history. It was accomplished by 14 different players. The last Brewers’ player to hit three home runs in a game was Aaron Hill last season on May 16 against the Cincinnati Reds, a 13-7 win for the Crew. The five Brewers’ players with multiple games with three or more HRs are Ben Oglivie (he did it three times with Milwaukee), and Geoff Jenkins, Jeromy Burnitz, Richie Sexson and Ryan Braun, who each did it twice in a Brewers’ uniform.
The 2001 Brewers are one of three teams in MLB history that had four games in a season where one of their players had three HRs or more. Burnitz did it twice in 2001; Sexson and Jenkins did it once that season. The other teams to have four games where one of their players hit three or more HRs were the 1956 Reds and the 1950 Brooklyn Dodgers.