Author Archive: Jerry Tapp

Today’s Sportstat: March 9, 2020

The last 20 games of the NBA season: Which team is the best over the past three years?

The NBA’s best team (record-wise), the Milwaukee Bucks, was 53-9 on Friday, March 6 before they played the Los Angeles Lakers. They were starting their last 20-game stretch in this season.

A loss to the Lakers that night and another loss to the Phoenix Suns two days later meant the Bucks had started the final 20-game stretch with a 0-2 season.

Fortunately, the Bucks have already secured a playoff spot for this season. For other teams, however, the final 20-game stretch is where they will make a push for not only a spot in the playoffs, but a high seed to gain home court advantage.

Over the past previous three NBA seasons (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19), there were three teams that won 70% or higher of their last 20 games in each of those three seasons… 60 games in total over three campaigns.

Topping the list were the Houston Rockets who went 44-16 (.733) in the last 20 games of the season in the last three years. Two fellow Western Conference teams followed the Rockets: Utah at 43-17 (.717) and Portland at 42-18 (.700).

Here’s a look at how many games each NBA team won in the past three seasons in the last 20 games of the campaign… 60 games total.

44: Houston
43: Utah
42: Portland
41: Toronto
40: Golden State
38: San Antonio
37: Boston
36: Denver, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City
34: Philadelphia
31: Indiana
28: New Orleans
27: Brooklyn, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit
26: Orlando
25: Washington
24: Minnesota
23: Sacramento
22: Atlanta
21: Chicago, L.A. Lakers
20: Memphis
18: Dallas
15: New York
14: Phoenix

Only one team, the 1996-97 Utah Jazz, won 19 of their last 20 games of a season. Seven teams won 18 of their last 20, the most recent of those teams being the 2017-18 Philadelphia 76ers. Last season the Rockets won 16 of their last 20 games, the most of any team in the NBA. Portland and San Antonio were next with 15 wins in their last 20 games last season.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: March 5, 2020

Franchise with the best winning percentage in baseball history

Which baseball franchise is the most successful in history?

It doesn’t take an expert to guess that team is the New York Yankees… and you’d be right. The Yankees have won 40 pennants and 27 World Series.

Based on wins and losses, the Yankees have an overall record of 10,378-7,840 (a .570 winning percentage), which includes games when the franchise was known as the New York Highlanders (from 1903-12).

But here’s a little tougher question. Which franchise is second to the Yankees with the highest winning percentage?

If you guessed the San Francisco Giants franchise, which includes stints as the New York Gothams and New York Giants, you would be correct. The Giants franchise has a .535 winning percentage, good enough for second place on the list.

The worst? The San Diego Padres have the lowest winning percentage of the MLB franchises at .461.

Of the current 30 MLB franchises, 12 have an all-time winning percentage above .500 while the other 18 franchises are below .500.

Here’s a look at the winning percentage of the current 30 MLB franchises.

New York Yankees, .570
San Francisco Giants, .535
Los Angeles Dodgers, .528
St. Louis Cardinals, .520
Boston red Sox, .519
Chicago Cubs, .514
Cleveland Indians, .512
Cincinnati Reds, .505
Detroit Tigers, .504
Pittsburgh Pirates, .503
Chicago White Sox, .502
Atlanta Braves, .501
Los Angeles Angels, .499
Houston Astros, .496
Arizona Diamondbacks, .495
Toronto Blue Jays, .495
Washington Nationals, .489
Oakland A’s, .489
Milwaukee Brewers, .481
Minnesota Twins, .481
New York Mets, .481
Kansas City Royals, .480
Texas Rangers, .478
Baltimore Orioles, .474
Tampa Bay Rays, .473
Philadelphia Phillies, .472
Colorado Rockies, .471
Seattle Mariners, .471
Miami Marlins, .462
San Diego Padres, .461

(Stats cultivated from baseball-reference.com)

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: February 29, 2020

Last time each NFL team drafted a QB in the first round

Even though it’s the “off-season,” the NFL is in the news with the NFL Combine being held in Indianapolis.

One thing that usually goes along with the Combine is the plethora of mock drafts which circulate in the media. Every NFL expert (and even some who are not experts) have an opinion about who and how each of the NFL’s 32 teams will draft in April.

One such mock draft I read had the Packers choosing a QB in the first round. The logic was that the team needed to prepare for the inevitable time when Aaron Rodgers would not be an elite QB and the team needed to start putting a succession plan in place. Should the Pack select a QB in the first round of this year’s draft? Let the debate start.

It got me thinking about QBs selected in the first round over the past several years. Specifically, I looked at the QBs who were chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2000, a total of 20 drafts this century.

A total of 56 QBs were chosen in the first round of the draft from 2000-2019, an average of just under three per year. Four teams, however, have not drafted a QB in the first round this century: Dallas, New England, New Orleans and Seattle. In fact, the team that has the longest stretch where they have not drafted a QB in the first round are the New Orleans Saints. The last QB they drafted in the first round was in 1971 when they tabbed Archie Manning, Peyton and Eli’s father, in the first round of that draft.

Here’s a look at the last year each NFL franchise chose a QB in the first round of the NFL Draft (the current city for each franchise is listed).

1971: New Orleans (Archie Manning)
1989: Dallas (Troy Aikman)
1993: New England (Drew Bledsoe), Seattle (Rick Mirer)

2003: Cincinnati
2004: L.A. Chargers, Pittsburgh
2005: Green Bay, San Francisco
2007: Oakland
2008: Atlanta
2009: Detroit
2011: Carolina
2012: Indianapolis, Miami
2014: Jacksonville, Minnesota
2015: Tampa Bay, Tennessee
2016: Denver, L.A. Rams, Philadelphia
2017: Chicago, Houston, Kansas City
2018: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, N.Y. Jets
2019: Arizona, N.Y. Giants, Washington

  • Nine franchises have drafted three or more QBs in the first round this century; the Redskins and Browns have each drafted four different QBs in the first round since 2000. The seven teams that have drafted three QBs in the first round since 2000: Arizona, Baltimore, Buffalo, Denver, Jacksonville, N.Y. Jets, Tennessee.
  • There have been four colleges that have had three or more of their QBs taken in the first round since 2000… USC has seen four of its QBs taken in the first round since 2000 to top the list; California, Florida State and Oklahoma have had three of their QBs taken in the first round since 2000.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: February 27, 2020

NBA Buzzer-Beaters: Who is the king of the last-second shot?

 

Ever wonder who the greatest clutch shooter is in NBA history? Is it Michael Jordan? Kobe Bryant? Someone else?

One of my favorite websites is sports-reference.com and their affiliate sites for specific sports like football, basketball and baseball. I use these websites quite often as I research sports stats.

Recently, sports-reference.com noted that they had researched every “buzzer-beater” in NBA history and it was now posted on the basketball-reference.com website. They came up with a comprehensive list of every “buzzer-beater” in NBA history, 772 shots to be exact. They defined a “buzzer-beater” as “successful shots taken with the shooter’s team tied or trailing which left no time on the clock after going through the net.”

The chart lists the player who made the shot, the date, opponent, type of shot (free throw, two-point shot, three-pointer), who assisted on the shot, and the distance of the shot. This is an impressive undertaking.

My curiosity was piqued about which player was listed most often on the list of 772 buzzer-beaters. Here’s the list of 22 players who had four or more career buzzer-beaters in their NBA career.

9-Michael Jordan

8-Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson

7-Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce

5-Andre Iguodola, Dwyane Wade

4-Greg Ballard, Larry Bird, Carl Braun, Monte Ellis, World B. Free, Rudy Gay, Bill Laimbeer, Chuck Person, Jerry Stackhouse, John Stockton, Jerry West, Moe Williams

Any surprises?

For Milwaukee Bucks fans, the team had 33 buzzer-beaters (and was the victim of a buzzer-beater 26 times). Six players had two or more buzzer-beaters… leading the way was Sidney Moncrief who had three buzzer-beaters with the Bucks. He was followed by five players each who had two buzzer-beaters in a Bucks uniform: Andrew Bogut, Marques Johnson, Khris Middleton, Brian Winters and Mo Williams.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: February 22, 2020

Complete Games not a common theme during Counsell’s tenure

If you follow baseball, you know that relief pitching and managing the bullpen are key factors in today’s game, and that starting pitching, and specifically, complete games, is a quickly dying occurrence.

The Milwaukee Brewers are a prime example of this trend. Manager Craig Counsel begins his sixth season with the team and the way he handles the pitching staff is either the reason for the most recent success Counsell and the Brewers have had, or it is a cause for frustration for Brewers fans (and maybe the team’s starting pitching staff).

Debate about why this has happened within the Brewers pitching staff can shift from a strong bullpen to a weak starting staff. Most everyone has an opinion. But the numbers don’t lie… complete games are on the decline for every team and the game has changed, especially when it comes to how pitching staffs are handled.

The complete game stats are pretty significant when you look at the past five seasons with Counsell in charge. From 2015-19, the Brewers had only two complete games (Taylor Jungmann on July 11, 2015 and Jimmy Nelson on June 18, 2017). That is tied for the fewest complete games in the majors over the past five years with the Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff.

If we look at the past two seasons, the Brew Crew had zero complete games, one of four teams that did not have a complete game over the past two seasons. The others were the Rays, Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres.

Here is a look at the number of complete games each MLB pitching staff had in the past five seasons (2015-19).

34: Cleveland
22: San Francisco
20: Boston, Chicago White Sox
15: Chicago Cubs, Minnesota, Seattle
14: L.A. Dodgers
13: Houston, Texas
12: Detroit
11: Oakland, Pittsburgh, Washington
10: N.Y. Mets, Toronto
9: Kansas City, Philadelphia
8: Colorado, L.A. Angels, N.Y. Yankees, St. Louis
7: Arizona, Atlanta, Cincinnati
4: Baltimore, Florida, San Diego
2: Milwaukee, Tampa Bay

In addition:

  • The Brewers have had zero complete games in three (2016, 2018, 2019) of Counsell’s five seasons. The only other season where the Brew Crew had zero complete games was in 2012.
  • The last season where the Brewers had double-digits in complete games was in 2008 when they had 12.
  • Most complete games in a season for the Brewers pitching staff? In 1978 they had 62 complete games; the following year they had 61.
  • In the first 26 years of the Brewers franchise (1969-94) the team had a total of 836 complete games; in the last 25 years (1995-2019) the team had 89 complete games.

You get the point!

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp