Scorers make up the bulk of All-Star Game selections
If you need any proof that players who score a lot of points find a way onto an NBA All-Star Game roster, consider this: Of the 31 players who are currently (through games of February 8) averaging 20 or more points per game this season, 20 of them are on one of the two NBA All-Star Game rosters.
Of the 11 players who are averaging 20+ points per game that did not make the All-Star Game rosters this season, Devin Booker leads the way with a 24.9 points per game average this season. He is tied for 12th in the league’s scoring race.
There are six players who made this year’s All-Star Game who have a scoring average less than 20 points per game: Dwyane Wade (14.0) and Ben Simmons (17.0) from Team LeBron; and Kyle Lowry (14.2), Khris Middleton (17.3), Dirk Nowitzki (4.4) and D’Angelo Russell (19.8) from Team Giannis. For the record, Wade and Nowitzki were added to this year’s roster by Commissioner Adam Silver as special roster additions.
There have been 15 players who played in an NBA All-Star Game who ended the season with a scoring average of 10 points or less. The last player in this category was back in the 2005-06 season when Ben Wallace played in the All-Star Game that year and ended the season with a 7.3 per game scoring average. Wallace made an NBA All-Star Game roster four straight seasons (2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06) with a season-ending points per game average under 10 points per game. (Of course, savvy NBA fans will know that Wallace’s main contribution during his career was rebounding and defense.)
Here are the players who made an All-Star Game roster in a season when their season-ending scoring average was 10 points or less that year.
7 seasons: Dick McGuire
4 seasons: Ben Wallace
2 seasons: Slater Martin, Dennis Rodman
1 season: Don Buse, James Donaldson, Mark Eaton, Bill Gabor, Tom Gola, Bob Harrison, Dikembe Mutumbo, Andy Phillip, Richie Regan, Bill Russell, Wes Unseld.
There have been seven players who ended an NBA season with a per-game scoring average above 27 points per game who did not make the All-Star Game that season. They are:
Adrian Dantley, 1982-83, 30.7 points per game
Bob Rule, 1970-71, 29.8
World B. Free, 1978-79, 28.8
Tiny Archibald, 1971-72, 28.2
Purvis Short, 1984-85, 28.0
Dominique Wilkins, 1984-85, 27.4
Wilt Chamberlain, 1969-70, 27.3
There have also been 25 players who averaged 25 or more points per game in a season that did not make an NBA All-Star Game roster that season. Three players, Damian Lillard, Michael Redd and Purvis Short have had it happen to them twice in their careers.
Here’s one more stat: Noted above is that 20 of the 31 players averaging 20 or more points per game this season made an All-Star Game squad (64.5%). Of the 17 players averaging 10 or more rebounds per game this season, seven (41%) made the All-Star game; of the 14 players averaging seven or more assists per game, seven (50%) made the All-Star Game; of the 15 players averaging 1.6 or more steals per game, six (40%) made the All-Star Game; and, of the 14 players who are averaging 1.5 or more blocks per game, only three (21%) made an All-Star game roster.
Yes, the numbers show us… putting the ball in the basket is the key for finding a way onto an NBA All-Star Game roster.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Bucks’ 50-game stats put them in exclusive company
When the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Toronto Raptors on January 30 in Game #50 of the season, it upped their record to 37-13 (a .740 winning percentage). That win also helped the team reach a sort of milestone in league history: The Bucks became the 100th team in league history to reach 37 or more wins in their first 50 games of a season.
The .740 winning percentage at the 50-game mark is now tied for the fourth highest in team history, and this year’s team became the seventh team in franchise history to have a .700 or better winning percentage 50 games into the season. Here are those seven Bucks’ teams.
1970-71, 41-9 (.820)
1971-72, 39-11 (.780)
1973-74, 39-11 (.780)
1980-81, 37-13 (.740)
2018-19, 37-13 (.740)
1972-73, 36-14 (.720)
1981-82, 36-14 (.720)
Of the seven Bucks teams that were at a .700 or better winning percentage at the 50-game mark, the 70-71 team won the NBA title that year, while the 73-74 squad lost in the NBA Finals that season. The 71-72 team lost in the Western Conference Finals that year; the remaining three teams above each lost in a conference semi-finals that season.
This year’s team scored 5,849 points through the first 50 games, the second-most in team history (the 1970-71 team had 5,969 points through their first 50 games). In addition, this year’s team allowed 5,363 points through their first 50 games, sixth fewest in team history.
But here’s an amazing stat to consider when you put the points scored and points allowed through 50 games together as a stat: This year’s Bucks became only the sixth team in NBA history to score more than 5,800 points and allow less than 5,400 points in their first 50 games of the season.
Following are the six teams who reached this rare stat through the first 50 games of a season:
1966-67, Boston, 5808 points scored, 5380 points allowed
1970-71, Milwaukee, 5969 points scored, 5320 points allowed
1986-87, L.A. Lakers, 5865 points scored, 5384 points allowed
1990-91, Portland, 5836 points scored, 5314 points allowed
2016-17, Golden State, 5921 points scored, 5263, points allowed
2018-19, Milwaukee, 5849 points scored, 5363 points allowed.
Of the five teams who reached this stat prior to the Bucks this season, three won the NBA Finals that season (1970-71 Bucks, 1986-87 Lakers and 2016-17 Warriors), while the 1966-67 Celtics and 1990-91 Trailblazers each lost in a conference finals matchup.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp