Author Archive: Jerry Tapp

Today’s Sportstat: April 15, 2019

The Greek Freak, The Brodie and The Joker join exclusive clubs

In addition to sharing some interesting, colorful nicknames, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook and Nikola Jokic each put up some impressive numbers in the 2018-19 NBA season. So impressive, that their stats from this past season have rarely been seen in league history.

Let’s start with Giannis, The Greek Freak. He became the ninth player in NBA history to finish a season averaging 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. His season totals were 27.7 points per game, 12.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per contest.

Here are the nine players with 25-10-5 seasons in league history.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Mil., 2018-19… 27.7, 12.5, 5.9

DeMarcus Cousins, N.O., 2017-18… 25.2, 12.9, 5.4

Russell Westbrook, OKC, 2017-18… 25.4, 10.1, 10.3
Russell Westbrook, OKC, 2016-17… 31.6, 10.7, 10.4

Charles Barkley, Phoe., 1992-93… 25.6, 12.2, 5.1

Larry Bird, Bost., 1984-85… 28.7, 10.5, 6.6

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, L.A. Lakers, 1975-76… 27.7, 16.9, 5.0

Wilt Chamberlain, Phil., 1965-66… 33.5, 24.6, 5.2
Wilt Chamberlain, S.F., 1963-64… 36.9, 22.3, 5.0

Oscar Robertson, Cin., 1962-63… 28.3, 10.4, 9.5
Oscar Robertson, Cin., 1961-62… 30.8, 12.5, 11.4
Oscar Robertson, Cin., 1960-61… 30.5, 10.1, 9.7

Elgin Baylor, L.A. Lakers, 1960-61… 34.8, 19.8, 5.1

It’s interesting to note that six of the nine players on this list are currently in the Hall of Fame, while the other three, Giannis, Cousins and Westbrook are still active.

Speaking of Westbrook, The Brodie, he had his third straight season with a triple-double in scoring, rebounds and assists. He finished the 2018-19 campaign averaging 22.9 points per games, 11.1 rebounds per game, and 10.7 assists per game. He is now tied with Oscar Robertson with the most triple-double seasons with three.

If we drop the numbers just a bit, The Joker, Denver’s Nikola Jokic, had a historic season. He finished this past season with 20.1 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per contest, and 7.3 assists per game. He became only the fourth NBA player in history to end the season with a 20-10-7 stat line. The others: Westbrook with three 20-10-7 seasons, Oscar Robertson also with three such seasons, and Wilt Chamberlain with two 20-10-7 seasons.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sportstat: April 11, 2019

Losing seasons in baseball since 2000

Sometimes losing can become a habit. Case in point: The team with the worst record in baseball through games of April 10 is the Kansas City Royals. They have a 2-9 record, a .182 winning percentage. Since 2000, the Royals have had 14 losing seasons (below .500 winning percentage); that is tied (with the Baltimore Orioles) for the most in the American League. That’s 14 losing seasons over the past 19 years… not a very impressive run, is it?

Over in the National League, we have a similar story. Miami and Colorado are both 3-9, a .250 winning percentage, tied for worst record in the National League in 2019. Over the past 19 seasons (since 2000), the Rockies have had 13 losing seasons; the Marlins have had 14 losing seasons in the last 19 years.

Leading the N.L. with the most losing seasons since 2000 are the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. They each have had 15 losing seasons since 2000, not only most in the National League, but tied for the most in the majors since the start of the century.

The Reds’ record through games of April 10 this season? They are 3-8, a .273 winning percentage… one of seven MLB teams that have a winning percentage under .300 to this point in the season. The Pirates are off to a good start this season with a 6-4 record.

Here’s a look at the number of losing seasons (under .500) that each MLB team has had since 2000.

15-Cincinnati
15-Pittsburgh

14-Baltimore
14-Kansas City
14-Miami
14-San Diego

13-Colorado

12-Tampa Bay

11-Milwaukee

11-New York Mets
11-Texas

10-Detroit
10-Seattle

9-Chicago Cubs
9-Chicago White Sox
9-Toronto
9-Washington

8-Arizona
8-Cleveland
8-Houston
8-Minnesota
8-Philadelphia

7-Los Angeles Angels
7-Oakland
7-San Francisco

6-Atlanta

3-Boston

2-Los Angeles Dodgers

1-St.Louis

0-New York Yankees

As you notice above, the Yankees have not had a losing record in any season this century. The last losing season they had was in 1992 when they went 76-86; that was the last year of four straight seasons with a losing record before their current streak of 26 winning seasons.

The Cards only losing season since 2000 was in 2007.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: April 1, 2019

Does Michigan State become a three-time champ or will it be a first-timer this year?

This year’s Final Four is set with Auburn, Michigan State, Texas Tech and Virginia vying for this year’s title.

Michigan State is the only one of the four schools that has won a title; they won in 1979 and 2000. Auburn, Texas Tech and Virginia have never won a championship.

Michigan State is also one of 35 different schools that won a men’s basketball title since 1939. They are one of 15 schools that won the tournament multiple times (20 schools have won only one title).

Of the 35 schools that have won the men’s basketball championship, Oregon has the longest drought… they won one title, that being in 1939. They have now gone 80 years since that first title.

There have been 11 different schools that have won the championship this century. The 11: Connecticut, Duke, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse, Villanova. UConn, Duke and North Carolina have each won the championship three times this century, Florida has won it twice, the last school to win back-to-back titles.

Here is a look at the last time each of the 35 schools/champs won the title.

1939-Oregon

1941-Wisconsin, 1942-Stanford, 1943-Wyoming, 1944-Utah, 1946-Oklahoma State, 1947-Holy Cross

1950-CCNY, 1954-LaSalle, 1956-San Francisco, 1959-California

1960-Ohio State, 1962-Cincinnati, 1963-Loyola-Chicago, 1966-UTEP

1977-Marquette

1983-North Carolina State, 1984-Georgetown, 1987-Indiana, 1989-Michigan

1990-UNLV, 1994-Arkansas, 1995-UCLA, 1997-Arizona

2000-Michigan State, 2002-Maryland, 2003-Syracuse, 2007-Florida, 2008-Kansas, 2012-Kentucky, 2013-Louisville, 2014-Connecticut, 2015-Duke, 2017-North Carolina, 2018-Villanova

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: March 28, 2019

Will having the best record in the NBA help the Greek Freak’s MVP chances?

My esteemed colleague Gery Woelfel recently penned an article where he opined that Houston Rockets guard James Harden would be selected as the 2018-19 NBA MVP at the end of the season. Gery made several solid points in his argument for Harden’s MVP candidacy including his outrageous league-leading points per game average (over 36 points per game) and his improved defensive stats. He admitted that the MVP Award race was basically a two-player race with Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In discussing his article with him, I told Gery that my only pushback on his opinion was that league MVP voters seem to have a history of voting for a player from the team that ends the season with the most wins/best record. Gery concurred and added that it would be nice if we could find out just how often that has happened in past seasons.

“If only we knew someone who could do the research and run the numbers to see how many MVPs came from teams that had the most wins in a season.”

Well, I just happen to know someone who can get us that info…

Over the past 20 NBA seasons, 12 of those 20 MVPs selected came from a team that had the most (or tied for the most) wins in that season. Ten of the 12 had the best record outright, while two MVPs played for teams that tied for the most wins that season.

Ironically, Harden was a benefactor just last season; he was voted the league MVP for 2017-18 and his Houston Rockets had the most wins last season. Here are the 12 MVPs since the 1998-99 season that played for a team that had the most wins.

2018-James Harden, Houston
2016-Steph Curry, Golden State
2015-Steph Curry, Golden State
2013-LeBron James, Miami
2011-Derrick Rose, Chicago
2010-LeBron James, Cleveland
2009-LeBron James, Cleveland
2007-Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas
2005-Steve Nash, Phoenix
2003-Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2000-Shaquille O’Neal, Los Angeles Lakers
1999-Karl Malone, Utah

Duncan in 2003 and Malone in 1999 played for teams that tied for the most wins in the league that season.

Of the eight MVPs who did not play for the team that won the most games that season, half of them (four players) played for a team that finished with the second most (or tied for the second most wins) in the league that year. Those eight:

2017-Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City (10th most wins in the NBA that season

2014-Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City (2nd most wins in the NBA that season)

2012-LeBron James, Miami (4th most wins in the NBA that season)

2008-Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (3rd most wins in the NBA that season)

2006-Steve Nash, Phoenix (4th most wins in the NBA that season)

2004-Kevin Garnett, Minnesota (2nd most wins in the NBA that season)

2002-Tim Duncan, San Antonio (tied for the 2nd most wins in the NBA that season)

2001-Allen Iverson, Philadelphia (tied for the 2nd most wins in the NBA that season)

So, who will the voters choose? If the Bucks end the season with the most wins in the league, is that enough to propel Giannis to the MVP?

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstats: March 25, 2019

Brewers Opening Day line-up and Opening Day pitchers

The Brewers 2019 season beings this Thursday March 28 with a home contest against division rivals the St. Louis Cardinals. Here are two stats you might find interesting about the Brewers Opening Day line-ups from the past.

Opening Day starters-by position: Did you know that Robin Yount has the most Opening Day starts for the Brewers at two different positions? Yount started at shortstop on Opening Day for the Brewers 10 times and started as the Opening Day center fielder eight times, both tops for the team. Care to take a guess at which players rank second to Yount for most Opening Day starts at shortstop and center field for the Brewers in their history? The answer is at the end of this article.

Here is a look at the players who have made the most Opening Days starts at each position for the Brewers in their 50-year history.

Catcher: Jonathan Lucroy and B.J. Surhoff, both with 5

First Baseman: Cecil Cooper, 9

Second Baseman: Jim Gantner, 11

Third baseman: Don Money, 7

Shortstop: Robin Yount, 10

Left Fielder: Ryan Braun, 8

Center Fielder: Robin Yount, 8

Right Fielder: Sixton Lezcano and Jeromy Burnitz, both 5

Designated Hitter: Paul Molitor, 4

Pitcher: Ben Sheets, 6

Opening Day starting pitcher: Brewers manager Craig Counsell about two weeks ago announced that Jhoulys Chacin would be the team’s Opening Day starting pitcher on March 28 versus the Cards. While Chacin, who will be the sixth different Opening Day starter for the Brew Crew in the last six seasons, said he was honored with the assignment, being the Brewers Opening Day starting pitcher has not been a good omen over the past few years for the Brewers.

Consider this:

  • Of the last five pitchers to be the Opening Day starter for the Brewers, none finished the season with 10 or more wins. The 2018 starter, Chase Anderson finished last season 9-8; the 2017 starter, Junior Guerra ended that year 1-4; the 2016 Opening Day starter Wily Peralta ended the ’16 campaign with a 7-11 record; the 2015 starter Kyle Lohse ended that year 5-13; and 2014 starter Yovani Gallardo ended that season 8-11. That’s a collective 22-36 record, a pathetic .379 winning percentage.
  • Of the Brewers last 20 Opening Day starting pitchers, only eight ended that year with a winning record.
  • Of the Brewers last 20 Opening Day starting pitchers, only twice did that pitcher end the year with 15 or more wins (Yovani Gallardo in 2011, 17 wins, and Gallardo again in 2012, 16 wins).
  • The combined season record of the Brewers last 20 Opening Day starting pitchers was 189-197, a .490 winning percentage.

Answer to the question: The Brewers shortstop with the second-most Opening Day starts for the team is J.J. Hardy with five; the Brewers center fielder with the second-most Opening Day starts for the team is Carlos Gomez with five.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp