If you were an NBA fan back in the 70s (like I was) you certainly remember Jo Jo White. He was a mainstay of those Celtics teams in the 70s, providing steady guard play for a couple of championship Boston teams. White died on Tuesday at the age of 71.
White was a Hall of Famer, member of the USA gold medal winning hoops team in 1968, and an NBA Finals MVP in 1976.
Here are a handful of stats/facts you may not know about Jo Jo White.
- White still holds the Celtics team record for most consecutive games played, 488.
- Not only was he drafted by the Celtics in the NBA, but White was also drafted in two other sports: the NFL by the Dallas Cowboys, and MLB by the Cincinnati Reds. If you add in that he was also drafted into the U.S. military, that’s four very high-profile organizations that drafted White. How many athletes can say that?
- White is one of 79 players in league history to play in all 82 games in a season five times. In fact, White played in 82 games each season in five straight years.
- He averaged 35.8 minutes played per game in his career. That ranks 49th all-time in the league (according to Pro Basketball Reference.com, Wilt Chamberlain tops this category averaging 45.8 minutes per game for a career). White is one of 80 players in NBA history to average 35 or more minutes per game for a career.
- White played collegiately at the University of Kansas. He ranks third on the list for most points scored in the NBA by a player who played at the University of Kansas. Chamberlain is number one on the list followed by another UK alum who played for the Celtics, Paul Pierce.
- White played in seven straight NBA All-Star Games from 1971-77.
- White was a first team All-NBA Rookie selection in 1969-70. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a unanimous choice as Rookie of the Year that season.
- White was very consistent in his scoring throughout his career… he averaged 17.3 points for his career, 17.0 in home games, 17.5 in road games, and 17.8 at neutral site games.
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The Boston Celtics go for their 15th straight win tonight in Atlanta versus the Hawks. The Celtics are looking to become the 42nd team in NBA history to have a streak of 15 or more consecutive regular season wins.
This year’s team is also hoping to become the sixth Celtics team to win 15 straight. The 2008-09 Celtics won a team record 19 straight. They also won 15 or more regular season contests in 1981-82 (18), 1964-65 (16), 1959-60 (17), and won 15 straight over two seasons in 1956-57 and 1957-58. It’s interesting to note that the ’09 and ’82 teams did not make the finals that season. The 1960 and 1965 teams won the title that year; the ’57 team won the title and the ’58 team lost in the finals.
If the Celts can win 15 straight for the sixth time in their history, they would tie the Lakers for most streaks of 15 or more wins by an NBA franchise with six. Following are the NBA franchises that have had regular season winning streaks of 15 or more games two or more times.
6 (winning streaks of 15 or more): L.A. Lakers
3: Houston, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Washington
2: Golden State, New York Knicks, Phoenix, Portland, Utah.
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TODAYSPORTSTAT-July 5, 2017
The big news in the NBA yesterday was the free agent signing of Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics. Hayward, a 6-foot-8 small forward from Butler University who spent his first seven seasons in the league with the Utah Jazz, is reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens, head coach of the Celtics.
Hayward provides the Celts with another serious scoring threat as they look to take the next step in trying to reach the NBA Finals via the Eastern Conference. Hayward has increased his points per game average each year since he came in the league in 2011… from 5.4, 11.8, 14.1, 16.2, 19.3, 19.7, and 21.9 last season.
According to Basketball-Reference.com, last season Hayward was one of 22 players who had a True Shooting Percentage (TSP) of .595 or above (Note: TSP combines a player’s shooting percentage for two-point, three-point and free throw attempts). The only team to have three players on the list was the champion Golden state Warriors with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant. The Celtics had two players on the list (Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder) and now add another top shooter to their team with Hayward.
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
What stats could play a major role in tonight’s game? Over the past 25 NBA seasons there have been 12 Game Sevens in the conference finals. Following is a look at 10 stats that shaped the past conference finals Game 7s since 1987.
(Conference Finals Game 7= CFG7)
2. The team that won Game 6 in the series: The team that won Game 6 in the series went on to win Game 7 in only three of the 12 CFG7s since 1987.
3. Score: The average margin of victory has been just under 10 points in the last 12 CFG7s. In seven of the 12 games the margin of victory was six points or less. In the other five games, the teams won by 13 or more points. Five of the last six CFG7 games have been decided by six points or less.
4. Halftime Lead: The team that won Game 7 was leading at half in eight of the 12 games.
5. Lead going into the 4th quarter: The team that won Game 7 was leading going into the fourth quarter in eight of the 12 games.
6. Bench Scoring: Not a factor in Game 7s. Only two of the 12 teams that won Game 7 saw their bench outscore their opponents reserves in the game. What was significant was that the team whose starting five outscored the other team’s starting five won 11 of the 12 games.
7. Rebounding: The team that won Game 7 out-rebounded their opponents in 10 of the 12 games and tied for rebound totals in one game.
8. Turnovers: The winning team had fewer turnovers in six of the 12 games; in two games the two teams had the same number of turnovers.
9. Assists: The winning team had more assists in seven of the 12 games; in one game the two teams had the same number of assists. While the turnover and assist totals didn’t seem to make a significant difference, if you figure out the assist-to-turnover ratio, an interesting stat develops. The team that had a higher assist-to-turnover ratio in the 12 CFG7 games won 10 and lost only two.
10. Three-point field goals made: The team that made more three-point shots in the game won six times; the two teams had the same number of three-point shots made in three games.
Did you know? Five teams that won Game 7 of the Conference Final since 1987 won the NBA title that season. Seven of the teams that won Game 7 of the Conference Finals lost the NBA Finals that year.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Just like the Oklahoma City Thunder who did it the night before, the Boston Celtics last night became the first road team to win in their series against the Miami Heat, defeating the Heat 94-90 in Miami. The home teams are now 8-2 in Conference Finals games this postseason.
But what about Game 6? Can the home teams (in this case OKC and the Celtics) both win Game 6 and win their respective series? Or will the Heat and Spurs steal a game on the road as their opponents did the last two nights?
In the past five playoff seasons (2008-2012) Game 6 has not been a sure thing for home teams. There have been 39 Game Sixes in the playoffs since 2008, with the home team winning 23 and losing 16, a .590 winning percentage. This would indicate that there’s a good chance that one of the road teams will force a Game 7 in their series. Will it be the Heat or the Spurs?
Home teams have won a little over two-thirds of playoff games this postseason. Here’s a snapshot of how well the home team has done in each round of the playoffs this year.
2012 NBA Playoffs
Conference Finals: 8-2 .800
Conference Semifinals: 14-8 .636
Conference First Round: 29-15 .659
2012 Playoffs: 51-25 .671
For comparison, here’s a look at the home record in the last four playoff seasons.
2011: 53-28 .654
2010: 55-27 .670
2009: 57-28 .671
2008: 64-22 .744
Over the past five years (2008-2012), there have been 74 playoffs series and 410 games. The home teams has won 280 of those games, a .683 winning percentage. Here’s a look at how the home-court advantage played out in each stage of the playoffs (conference first round, conference semifinals, conference finals and NBA finals) over those 410 games.
Playoff Round, Home Team win-loss record & percentage
Western Conference First Round, 76-34 .691
Eastern Conference First Round, 78-33 .703
Conference First Round total, 154-67 .697
Western Conference Semifinals, 37-16 .698
Eastern Conference Semifinals, 37-20 .649
Conference Semifinals total 74-36 .673
Western Conference Finals, 18-9 .667
Eastern Conference Finals, 18-9, 667
Conference Finals totals, 36-19 .655
NBA Finals, 16-8 .667
Note: If you’re looking ahead to a potential Game 7 in either series, the home team has won 10 and lost three (.769 winning percentage) in Game Sevens the past five years.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp