Category Archives: Basketball

Today’s Sportstat: February 17, 2019

Bucks teams with five or more players averaging 12.0 or more points per game

One of the reasons the Milwaukee Bucks went into the All-Star Game with the league’s best record was the play of their starting five: Giannis Antekounmpo, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon.

This quintet has been the same starting unit for most of the Bucks games this season and they are collectively averaging 88 points out of the team’s 116.9 that they are averaging to this point in the season. Led by Giannis’ 27.2 points per game, the Bucks have five players who are averaging 12 or more points per game: Middleton (17.1), Bledsoe (15.8), Brogdon (15.8) and Lopez (12.1).

Having five players average 12 or more points per game in a season has been a rare occurrence for the Bucks. In fact, three Bucks’ teams had six players average 12 or more per game, but none with five players reaching that points per game milestone.

The last time the Bucks had five or more players average 12 or more points per game in a season was in 1989 when six players reached those numbers. The team also had six players reach 12 or more points per game in 1981 and 1982.

Here is a look at the three Bucks teams that had six players average 12 or more points per game for a season.

1989: Jack Sikma (13.4), Paul Pressey (12.1), Ricky Pierce (17.6), Sidney Moncrief (12.1), Larry Krystkowiak (12.7) and Terry Cummings (22.9).

1982: Brian Winters (15.9), Sidney Moncrief (19.8), Bob Lanier (13.5), Mickey Johnson (12.9), Marques Johnson (16.5) and Quinn Buckner (12.9).

1981: Sidney Moncrief (14.0), Bob Lanier (14.3), Mickey Johnson (12.5), Marques Johnson (20.3), Quinn Buckner (13.3) and Junior Bridgeman (16.8).

In the 50 NBA season prior to this campaign, the Bucks have had four or more players end the season averaging 12.0 or more points per game in 23 of those 50 seasons.

 

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Today’s Sports Stat: February 9, 2019

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

Today’s Sportstat: February 3, 2019

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.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: January 14, 2019

Luka Doncic: Have we seen him before?

Back in 1986, there was a very popular song by Suzanne Vega titled “Luka.” The first few lines of the song went like this: “My name is Luka. I live on the second floor. I live upstairs from you. Yes I think you’ve seen me before.”

I mention this because one of the compelling stories from this NBA season has been the play of Dallas Mavericks rookie “wunderkid,” Luka Doncic. The 19-year-old (he won’t turn 20 until February 28) from Slovania, was the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Through the first half of this season, Doncic has been putting up some really impressive numbers for a rookie and seems to be the front-runner for this year’s Rookie of the Year Award. With his impressive skill set and overall game, in some circles, it might be said (unlike the song, “Luka,”) that we have not seen someone like him before.

Doncic leads the Mavs (through games of January 13) in points per game (20.2), and is second on the team in minutes played, rebounds per game (6.7) and assists per game (5.0). What makes these numbers all the more impressive is that if Doncic should finish the season with 20 points per game and five rebounds and five assists per game, he would join a very short list of rookies that have achieved these numbers.

Here’s a look at the four rookies in NBA history who averaged 20 points per game and had five rebounds and five assist per game in their rookie campaigns in the league:

Oscar Robertson, 1961, Cincinnati (30.5 points per game, 10.1 rebounds per game, 9.7 assists per game)

Michael Jordan, 1985, Chicago (28.2 points per game, 6.5 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game)

LeBron James, 2004, Cleveland (20.9 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game, 5.9 assists per game)

Tyreke Evans, 2010, Sacramento (20.1 points per game, 5.3 rebounds per game, 5.8 assists per game)

Robertson and Jordan are already in the Hall of Fame and James will certainly join them when he hangs up his sneakers. Evans? His name on the list might have surprised more than a few NBA fans.

In addition, Doncic is on pace to total more than 1,600 points in his rookie season. That has happened 39 times in league history. Since 2000, we have seen the following rookies top the 1,600-point mark in their first season: Elton Brand (Chicago-2010), LeBron James (Cleveland-2004), Carmelo Anthony (Denver-2004), Kevin Durant (Seattle-2008), Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers-2011) and Donovan Mitchell (Utah-2018). Of the 39 rookies who had 1,600 or more points in their rookie campaigns, 21 are currently in the Hall of Fame, with others like James, Anthony, Griffin, Durant and Tim Duncan likely joining that group in the future.

Wilt Chamberlain tops the list of most points scored in a rookie season with 2,707. He is followed by Walt Bellamy (2,495). The Dallas Mavs team record for most points by a rookie is 1,732 held by Jay Vincent in 1982.

It’s still early in Luka Doncic’s career, but he appears headed to that upper echelon of NBA players

 

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Today’s Sportstat: January 12, 2019

The Milwaukee Brewers in 2018 had three relief pitchers with 12 or more saves: Corey Knebel (16), Jeremy Jeffress (15) and Josh Hader (12). The 2018 Houston Astros also had three relievers with 12 or more saves, the second time they have achieved this milestone in the last three seasons.

The Brewers and Astros became the sixth and seventh teams in MLB history to have three relief pitchers with 12 or more saves in the same season. Here is a look at those seven teams.

1992 White Sox (Hernandez, Radinsky, Thigpen)

2000 Braves (Ligtenberg, Remlinger, Rocker)

2005 Diamondbacks (Bruney, Lyon, Valverde)

2015 Mariners (Rodney, Smith, Wilhelmsen)

2016 Astros (Giles, Gregerson, Harris)

2018 Astros (Giles, Osuna, Rondon)

2018 Brewers (Knebel, Jeffress, Hader)

For the Brewers, it was the eighth time in their history that they had two or more relievers finish the season with 12 or more saves in the same season. Following are those eight seasons.

1972: Frank Linzy (12), Ken Sanders (17)

1986: Mark Clear (16), Dan Plesac (14)

1987: Dan Plesac (23), Chuck Crim (12)

1998: Bob Wickman (25), Doug Jones (12)

2000: Bob Wickman (16), Curtis Leskanic (12)

2003: Mike DeJean (18), Dan Kolb (21)

2006: Derrick Turnbow (24), Francisco Cordero (16)

2016: Jeremy Jeffress (27), Tyler Thornburg (13)

2018: Corey Knebel (16), Jeremy Jeffress (15), Josh Hader (12)

 

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