Monthly Archives: June, 2018

Today’s Sports Stat: June 9, 2018

With their third championship in four years, basketball fans are looking at the Golden State Warriors as one of the game’s dynasties. But Cleveland Cavs, with their third loss in the title series in the last four years, had a performance that puts them among the most dubious in all of sports.

The Cavs became the first pro sports team this century (of the four major sports, NFL, MLB, NHL and NBA) to lose the championship three times over the course of four years. The last pro team to lose a title three times in four years was the Buffalo Bills who lost in the Super Bowl in four straight years, 1991-94. The Cavs also became the first NBA team to lose the Finals series three times in the span of four years since the Los Angeles Lakers lost in the NBA Finals three consecutive years, 1968, 1969 and 1970.

Here are the teams in the four major pro sports leagues that lost in the championship series/game three times over the course of four years.

MLB
Detroit Tigers, 1907, 1908, 1909
New York Giants, 1911, 1912, 1913

NFL
Cleveland Browns, 1951, 1952, 1953
New York Giants, 1958, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963
Minnesota Vikings, 1974, 1975, 1977
Denver Broncos, 1987, 1988, 1990
Buffalo Bills, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994

NBA
New York Knicks, 1951, 1952, 1953
Los Angeles Lakers, 1962, 1963, 195, 1966
Los Angeles Lakers, 1968, 1969, 1970
Cleveland Cavs, 2015, 2017, 2018

NHL
Toronto Maple Leafs, 1933, 1935, 1936
Toronto Maple Leafs, 1938, 1939, 1940
Montreal Canadians, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955
Detroit Red Wings, 1961, 1963, 1964
St. Louis Blues, 1968, 1969, 1970

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: June 4, 2018

For only the 13th time in NBA history, the Finals series does not feature a team that was ranked/seeded #1 when the playoffs began. The Cavs were the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, while the Warriors were the #2 seed in the Western Conference.

The last time a #1 seed did not appear in the NBA Finals was 2012 when the second-seeded Miami Heat faced off against the second-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder. The last time two #1 seeds squared off in the finals was in 2016 when the Cavs and Warriors played for the title, the second of their four match-ups.

Here’s a look at the 13 times when no #1 seed played in the NBA Finals.

2018: Golden State (#2) vs. Cleveland (#4)
2012: Miami (#2) vs. Oklahoma City (#2)
2011: Dallas (#3) vs. Miami (#2)
2007: San Antonio (#3) vs. Cleveland (#2)
2006: Miami (#2) vs. Dallas (#4)
2005: Sam Antonio (#2) vs. Detroit (#2)
2004: Detroit (#3) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (#2)
1994: Houston (#2) vs. New York Knicks (#2)
1978: Washington (#3) vs. Seattle (#4)
1973: New York Knicks (#2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (#2)
1968: Boston (#2) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (#2)
1952: Minneapolis Lakers (#2) vs. New York Knicks (#3)
1951: Rochester (#2) vs. New York Knicks (#3)

This is the fourth straight year that Cleveland and Golden State have faced each other in the NBA Finals. Based on that, you would think that the Cavs and Warriors would have the two best regular season records in the NBA in the last four years. WRONG! The Warriors have the best regular season record in the league in the past four seasons, 265-63 (.808). But the Cavs have the fifth-best regular season record in the league since the 2014-15 season, 211-117 (.643). Do you know which three teams have a better regular season record than the Cavs over the past four seasons?

Following are the five teams with the best regular season win-loss records in the past four seasons.

Golden State          265-63   .808
San Antonio           230-98   .701
Houston                  217-111 .662
Toronto                   215-113 .655
Cleveland               211-117 .643

The Los Angeles Clippers are the only other team to have a winning percentage over .600 in the past four seasons, 202-126 (.616). The worst record in the NBA over the past four years? The Lakers… 99-229 (.302).

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Today’s Sports Stat: June 3, 2018

With 19 wins in May, the Brewers finished the first two months of the 2018 season with a 34-20 record, a .632 winning percentage, and a four-game lead in the National League Central. Let’s take a look at three specific stats from the Brewers season through May 31… the 19 wins in May, the .632 winning percentage through May 31, and the four-game lead in the division.

19 wins in May: The Brewers set a franchise record with 19 wins in May. Their previous high in May victories was 18 in 2009 and 18 in 1981. The Brew Crew was 19-8 in May, a .704 winning percentage, the first time in team history they were over .700 in the month of May; the previous best winning percentage in May was in 2009 when the team went 18-10 (.643). It’s interesting to note that in the four seasons when the Brewers went to the post-season (1981, 1982, 2008 and 2011), they had a winning record in May in only two of those years… they went 18-12 in 1981, 17-12 in 2011, 13-16 in 1982 (the year they went to the World Series) and 13-16 in 2008. The Brewers and Washington Nationals were the only teams to win 19 or more games in May, 2018 (the Nats also won 19). The MLB record for most wins in May is 243, held by the 1928 and 1939 New York Yankees.

Above .500 on May 31: Since 2000, the Brewers have been above .500 on May 31 in only eight of those 19 seasons (including 2018). In a bit of “bad” news, of the seven previous seasons since 2000 where the Brewers were above .500 on May 31, in only one of those seasons, 2011, did the team end the season with a higher winning percentage than what they had on May 31 (not that anyone is expecting the Brewers to finish the 2018 campaign with a winning percentage above .632). In ’11, a playoff season for the club, the Brewers had a winning percentage of .545 on May 31 that year and ended the season with a .593 winning percentage. The only other year since 2000 that the Brewers had a winning percentage of .600 or better was in 2009; the team’s winning percentage on May 31, 2009 was exactly .600.

A four-game divisional lead on May 31: The Brew Crew this year had a four-game lead over the Cubs in the N.L. Central when the calendar turned to June. In the last 10 seasons (2008-17), 15 different teams have had a division lead of four games or more at the end of the day on May 31. Of those 15 teams, 11 made the playoffs that season. Three of those 15 teams since 2008 not only made the playoffs but went on to win the World Series that season (San Francisco-2014, the Cubs-2016, and Houston-2017). In 2018, the Brewers, with a four-game lead in the N.L. Central, and the Cleveland Indians, with a 4.5 game lead in the A.L. Central, were the only two teams with a divisional lead of four games or more on the morning of June 1.

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: June 2, 2018

LeBron James put on another historic performance in Game One of the NBA Finals, but not all the news was positive.

First, James became the sixth player in NBA history to score 50 or more points in a playoff game yet his team lost that game. The others: Michael Jordan (it happened to him twice), Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Billy Cunningham and Russell Westbrook.

LeBron’s 51 points now ties him for second (with Allen and Westbrook) on the list for most points scored in a playoff game by a player whose team lost. Jordan tops that list with a 63-point performance in a 1986 playoff game against Boston that the Celtics won.

James became the first player in NBA Finals history to score 50 or more points in a Finals series game that his team lost. Teams that had a player score 50 or more points in a Finals game had gone 3-0 before James’ 2018 Finals Game One; teams are now 27-19 in playoff games when they have a player who scored 40 or more points.

If we combine both regular season and playoff contests, James became the ninth player in NBA history to have scored 50 or more points in three or more games that his team lost. As you might expect, Jordan tops this list with 10 such games.

Here are the players who have the most games with 50 or more points (regular season and playoff) where their team was defeated in that contest.

10: Michael Jordan

8: Kobe Bryant

7: Wilt Chamberlain

5: Allen Iverson

4: Bernard King

3: LeBron James, Bob McAdoo, Russell Westbrook, Dominique Wilkins

 

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