Monthly Archives: August, 2022

Twelve stats you need to know about… Bill Russell

The NBA lost one of its most iconic legends when Bill Russell passed away on July 31 at the age of 88. Russell was a 12-time All-Star, won 11 World Championships with the Boston Celtics, and was the league MVP five times.

Here are 12 stats you need to know about the legacy of Bill Russell:

  1. Russell made his NBA debut on December 22, 1956 in the Celtics 95-93 win over the St. Louis Hawks. He had a less-than-Hall-of-Fame-worthy game in his debut. He played 21 minutes, shot three-for-11 from the field, and missed all four of his free throws. He finished with six points. He did, however, grab 16 rebounds. At that time, it was the second most rebounds by a rookie in his first NBA game.
  2. He had more rebounds than shots taken at the end of every season of his career.
  3. He played 70 or more games in 11 straight seasons (1958-59 to 1968-69)
  4. Russell averaged 42.3 minutes per game in his career. His lowest per game minutes played was his rookie season when he averaged 35.3 minutes played per game.
  5. He had 10 straight seasons where he averaged 20.0 or more rebounds per game.
  6. Russell’s career free throw percentage was .561. Of all the players in the Basketball Hall of Fame, that mark is fourth worst; worst is Ben Wallace (.414) followed by Wilt Chamberlain (.511) and Shaquille O’Neal (.527).
  7. Bill was one of 124 NBA players who was born in Louisiana. He is number one on that list of Louisiana-born players in career rebounds, fifth in assists, and 10th in points. He was one of nine players born in Monroe, Louisiana.
  8. He is one of 25 players who went to college at San Francisco who played in the NBA. He ranks first in points, rebounds, and assists of those players.
  9. Bill Russell was the second overall pick in the 1956 draft by the St. Louis Hawks. On that same day he was traded to the Celtics for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley. The overall number one selection in that draft was guard Si Green from Duquesne who was drafted by the Rochester Royals. Green had a nine-year career in the NBA averaging 9.2 points per game.
  10. Russell played in 29 different playoff series in his career. He came out on the losing end in only two of those series: 1958 in the NBA Finals to St. Louis; and 1967 in the Eastern Division Finals to the Philadelphia 76ers.
  11. Russell was born on February 12, one of 12 NBA/ABA players born on that date. He ranks second on the list for most points scored by a player on February 12 behind Larry Nance.
  12. Russell in his career averaged 15.1 points, 22.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists. Add those numbers together and you get 41.9. There are only six other retired players whose points/rebounds/assists per game totals are 40 or more: Larry Bird (40.9), Oscar Robertson (42.7), Bob Pettit (45.6), Elgin Baylor (45.2), Wilt Chamberlain (57.4), and Michael Jordan (41.6).

Brewers, Hunter Renfroe off to fast start after All-Star break

Through games of July 31, the Brewers maintain a three-game lead in the National League Central over the St. Louis Cardinals. The Crew has won seven of their first nine games after the All-Star break and one reason is the power supply offered by right-fielder Hunter Renfroe. He has slugged six long balls in those nine games.

To get near the Brewers record for most home runs by a player in the second half of the season, Renfroe would have to continue his power hitting in the remainder of the season. The record for second half HRs is 27 held by Richie Sexson in 2001. That means that Renfroe would have to hit 22 home runs in the last 60 games of the year.

There have been 12 Brewers players who have hit 20 or more home runs in the second half (after the All-Star break) of a season. They are:

Richie Sexson, 27, 2001
Christian Yelich, 25, 2018
Prince Fielder, 24, 2009
Ryan Braun, 23, 2007
Gorman Thomas, 22, 1979
Khris Davis, 21, 2015
Prince Fielder, 21, 2007
Gorman Thomas, 21, 1980
Richie Sexson, 20, 2003
Geoff Jenkins, 20, 2000
Ben Oglivie, 20, 1980
George Scott, 20, 1975

  • As mentioned above, the Brewers are 7-2 since the All-Star break, a winning percentage of .778. Chances are they will not continue that pace (they would have to go 47-13 in their last 60 games to finish the second half with a winning percentage of .783). The Brewers best second half winning percentage was in 2011 when they went 47-23 (.671). To break the team record for the second half of the season, the Brew Crew will need to win 40 of their last 60 games. There have been five Brewers teams that had a winning percentage of .600 or higher in the second half of the season: 2011 (47-23, .671), 1987 (49-28, .636), 2018 (41-24, .631), 1992 (47-29, .618), 2021 (42-28, .600).
  • If you have watched any Brewers games on TV, you have likely heard the announcers mention that the team needs to score four or more runs to win a game. Through games of July 31, the team is 47-15 (.758 winning percentage) in games where they score four or more runs. That means the team is horrible 10-30 (.250) when they score less than four runs in a game. In addition, the Brewers are 32-9 when they hit two or more home runs in a game, a .780 winning percentage; and they are 20-8 (.714) when they get 10 or more hits in a contest.