Tag Archives: Dallas Mavericks

NBA Playoffs: Don’t shoot the ball!

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Nick Collison of the Oklahoma City Th...

Nick Collison (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Imagine playing a pickup basketball game with your buddies at the local gym or playground. What would you say if you played for 15 minutes and never got a chance to shoot the ball? You might be a little upset, right?

In the NBA, there are a handful of players who seem to spend quite a few minutes on the floor but never shoot the ball. Whether it’s their own choosing (or instructions from the bench), these players have logged minutes without a FGA (field goals attempted) next to their names in the  box score.

In Thursday’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Oklahoma City’s Nick Collison became the 11th player since 1985 to play 15 or more minutes in an NBA Finals game without taking a shot. Collison did collect three rebounds in the contest.

The Miami Heat also have a player who seems to fit this bill: Joel Anthony. Although he did not play in Thursday’s Game 2, Anthony did log a couple of minutes of court time in Game 1 without taking a shot. It was in last year’s NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, however, that Anthony played 27 minutes in Game 2 and did not take a shot. His 27 minutes played without taking a shot tops that list since 1985 in the NBA Finals.

Here’s a look at the players who logged 15 or more minutes in an NBA Finals game since 1985 without taking a shot.

Date, Player, Team, Minutes Played

June 14, 2012: Nick Collison, Oklahoma City, 15

June 2, 2011: Joel Anthony, Miami, 27

June 7, 2009: Luke Walton, L.A. Lakers, 15

June 12, 2007: Eric Snow, Cleveland, 17

June 11, 2006: Adrian Griffin, Dallas, 18

June 8, 2006: DeSagana Diop, Dallas, 16

June 25, 1999: Chris Dudley, N.Y. Knicks, 15

June 14, 1998: Steve Kerr, Chicago, 24

June 1, 1997: Bison Dele, Chicago, 15

June 12, 1996: Frank Brickowski, Seattle, 16

June 9, 1995: Charles Jones, Orlando, 15*

* Jones did score two points in the game when he made a pair of free throws. The others on the list did not score.

Collison is one of six players in this year’s playoffs who has logged 15 or more minutes without taking a shot. Thursday’s game was his second such game this playoffs. The others who had a “0” next to their name in FGA in the box score in these playoffs: Jordan Hill (L.A. Lakers, May 18, 19 minutes), Reggie Evans (L.A. Clippers, May 13, 19 minutes; May 2, 16 minutes), DeAndre Jordan (L.A. Clippers, May 9, 19 minutes; May 5, 18 minutes), Joel Anthony (Miami, April 30, 18 minutes; April 28, 18 minutes), Chris Duhon (Orlando, May 2, 16 minutes), Nick Collison (OKC, April 28, 15 minutes; June 15, 15 minutes).

According to Basketball-Reference.com, three players since 1985 have played over 40 minutes in an NBA game and never shot the ball. Ben Wallace accomplished this rare feat on March 31, 2007 when he played 48 minutes without a FGA for the Chicago Bulls against the Cleveland Cavaliers (he did score two points on a pair of free throws and collect 12 rebounds). The aforementioned Joel Anthony logged 43 minutes in a January 18, 2011 game for the Heat against Atlanta without a FGA (he did, however, have 16 rebounds in the game), and Sacramento’s Michael Smith on January 14, 1997 made four free throws for his only points in a game against Indiana when he played 43 minutes without taking a shot from the field. He also grabbed nine boards in that game.

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NBA Finals: Winning the game by winning the quarters

English: Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals at the ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were down 54-47 at halftime of Game 1 of the NBA Finals after losing the first quarter 29-22 and tying the Heat in the second quarter, 25-25. The Thunder won the game by winning the third quarter 27-19 and winning the fourth quarter 31-21.

So here’s a few questions to ponder: How important is it to win multiple quarters in the NBA Finals? Is it more important to win one particular quarter of the game? Can you win an NBA Finals game by outscoring your opponents in only one quarter and having them outscore your team in the other three quarters?

Looking at the quarter-by-quarter scores of the NBA Finals games since 2000 (68 games), it appears that the winning teams have had the most success in winning individual quarters two and three. Of the 272 quarters played in the 68 finals games since 2000, the winning team has won 167 quarters, lost 89 and tied in 16.

Following are the number of times the winning team won each of the four quarters in the NBA Finals since 2000.

First quarter: Won 35, Lost 26, Tied 7

Second quarter: Won 45. Lost 18, Tied 5

Third quarter: Won 45, Lost 20, Tied 3

Fourth quarter: Won 42, Lost 25, Tied 1

The Thunder were only the seventh team in the last 68 games to win a finals game without winning either of the first two quarters. The Dallas Mavericks accomplished this three times last year on their way to winning the 2011 NBA title over the Miami Heat. Could this be a trend for the Heat?

Since 2000, only four teams have won a finals game by outscoring their opponents in all four quarters. The four:

2008, Game 6:  Boston over L.A. Lakers 131-92

2006, Game 4: Miami over Dallas, 98-74

2005, Game 4: Detroit over San Antonio, 102-71

2003, Game 5: San Antonio over N.J. Nets, 93-83

On the flip side, there have been only four teams that have won a finals game since 2000 by winning only one quarter and being outscored by their opponents in the other three quarters. They were:

2011, Game 3: Miami over Dallas, 88-86 (they outscored the Mavs in the first quarter only)

2002, Game 1: L.A. Lakers over N.J. Nets, 99-94 (they outscored the Nets in the first quarter only)

2001, Game 1: Philadelphia over L.A. Lakers, 107-101 (they outscored the Lakers in the second quarter only)

2000, Game 6: L.A. Lakers over Indiana, 116-111 (they outscored the Pacers in the fourth quarter only)

Did you know? The winning team has won 43 of the 68 finals games where they were outscored by their opponents in only one of the four quarters.

Did you know, Part 2? Teams that outscored their opponents in two or more quarters won the series 61 times and lost 26 times since 2000 (a .701 winning percentage).

The moral of the story (stat): Outscore your opponent in at least two quarters and you’ll have a 70% chance of winning the game!

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Manu Ginobili’s ‘nasty’ game spurs San Antonio in Game One

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, during...

Manu Ginobili (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spurred (pun intended) by an impassioned plea from their coach for more “nastiness” in their effort, the San Antonio Spurs outscored the Oklahoma City Thunder 39-27 in the fourth quarter and went on to win Game One of their Western Conference Final series, 101-98.

During that same pre-fourth-quarter huddle when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said “I want some nasty” from his team, the 63-year-old and current NBA Coach of the Year also asked his players “Are we having fun yet?” It seems super sub Manu Ginobili decided to heed Popovich’s advice; he scored 11 points in the fourth quarter on his way to a 26-point performance off the Spurs bench.

This was the 10th playoff game in Ginobili’s career where he came off the bench to score 25 or more points in a postseason contest. Not surprisingly, the Spurs are 9-1 when Ginobili comes off the bench in a playoff game to score 25 or more points.

Following are the players (from 1986-2012) who scored 25 or more points in the most playoff games when they did not start.

Games w/25+ points, Player (Team’s record in those games)

10….. Manu Ginobili (9-1)

8….. Eddie Johnson (3-5)

5….. Thurl Bailey (2-3); Vinnie Johnson (2-3); Kevin McHale (1-4); Ricky Pierce (3-2); Nick Van Exel (3-2)

4….. Leandro Barbosa (3-1); Jason Terry (2-2)

3….. Mark Aguirre (2-1); Sam Cassell (2-1); Dan Majerle (3-0); Jerry Stackhouse (2-1)

This was the second game of these playoffs where a reserve came off the bench to score 25 or more points. OKC’s James Harden came off the bench to score 29 in the Thunder’s Game Four win over the Dallas Mavericks. This was Ginobili’s first 25-point performance off the bench in a playoff games since May 25, 2008.

Ginobili’s 26 points as a sub in a playoff game are far from the most scored by a reserve since 1986. Five different subs have scored 35 or more points in a playoff game since the 1986 playoffs. In fact, Nick Van Exel has three of the seven top performances off the bench in a playoff game since ’86; all three of his games happened in a seven-game series against Sacramento in 2003.

Points, Player, Team (Date)

40: Nick Van Exel, Dallas (May 10, 2003)

39: Thurl Bailey, Utah (May 4, 1988)

36: Nick Van Exel, Dallas (May 8, 2003)

35: Ricky Pierce, Milwaukee (May 2, 1989)

35: Juan Dixon, Washington (May 2, 20005)

35: Eddie Johnson, Phoenix (May 9, 1989)

35: Nick Van Exel, Dallas (May 15, 2003)

Research Source: www.basketball-reference.com

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A sports first! Reigning champs Packers (NFL), Mavs (NBA), Bruins (NHL) lose in 2012 first-round playoffs

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

English: Rick Carlisle with the Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers lost their first playoff game to the New York Giants. Then the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins lose their first-round series to the Washington Capitals four games to three. Finally, the defending NBA champs, the Dallas Mavericks, were swept in a four-game first-round series to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Put it all together and it was the first time in sports history that the defending NFL, NHL and NBA champions were all defeated the following year in the first-round of the playoffs. (If baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals make the 2012 MLB playoffs and are defeated in their first-round series, we’ll have a clean sweep of defending champs in the first round of the playoffs in 2012.)

Following is a look at each of the football, basketball and hockey champions since 1970 that were defeated in their first-round playoff the following season after their title (Year listed is the year they won the Super Bowl or the NBA, NHL championship, followed by their first-round loss in the playoffs the following season.)

National Football League (10)

2011-Green Bay Packers: Lost 37-20 to NY Giants in divisional playoff game

2010-New Orleans Saints: Lost 41-36 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game

2008-NY Giants: Lost 23-11 to Philadelphia in divisional playoff game

2007-Indianapolis: Lost 28-24 to San Diego in divisional playoff game

2000-St. Louis Rams: Lost 31-28 to New Orleans in Wild Card playoff game

1995-San Francisco: Lost 27-17 to Green Bay in divisional playoff game

1986-Chicago: Lost 27-13 to Washington in divisional playoff game

1985-San Francisco: Lost 17-3 to NY Giants in Wild Card playoff game

1984-LA Raiders: Lost 13-7 to Seattle in Wild Card playoff game

1974-Miami: Lost 28-26 to Oakland in divisional playoff game

National Basketball Association (6)

2011-Dallas: Lost 4-0 to Oklahoma City in Western Conference first-round series

2006-Miami: Lost 4-0 to Chicago in Eastern Conference first-round series

1999-San Antonio: Lost 3-1 to Phoenix in Western Conference first-round series

1983-Philadelphia: Lost 3-2 to NJ Nets in Eastern Conference first-round series

1980-LA Lakers: Lost 2-1 to Houston in Western Conference first-round series

1977-Portland: Lost 4-2 to Seattle in Western Conference semifinals (they had a bye in the first round)

National Hockey League (12)

2011-Boston: Lost 4-3 to Washington in the conference quarterfinals

2010-Chicago: Lost 4-3 to Vancouver in the conference quarterfinals

2007-Anaheim: Lost 4-2 to Dallas in the conference quarterfinals

2004-Tampa Bay: Lost 4-1 to Ottawa in the 2006 conference quarterfinals (no 2005 season due to season cancelled)

2003-NJ Devils: Lost 4-1 to Philadelphia in conference quarterfinals

2002-Detroit: Lost 4-0 to Mighty Ducks in conference quarterfinals

1993-Montreal: Lost 4-3 to Boston in conference quarterfinals

1973-Montreal: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals

1972-Boston: Lost 4-1 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals

1971-Montreal: Lost 4-2 to NY Rangers in quarterfinals

1970-Boston: Lost 4-3 to Montreal in quarterfinals

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2012 NBA playoffs: First-round records from 2003-11

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Photo of action during a San Antonio Spurs (in...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs tip-off with four games today and four tomorrow. The San Antonio Spurs will be playing in their 15th consecutive NBA playoffs, the longest active streak in the league. Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks hold the second spot in that category; they are playing in their 12th straight playoffs.

Starting with the 2003 playoffs, the NBA went to a seven-games series in the first round instead of the previous five-game first round series. As you might expect, the Spurs have won the most first round games since 2003 with 31. They are followed by the Los Angeles Lakers with 28 and the Mavs with 26.

Since 2003, the Spurs have won seven of the nine first round series they have played. The Lakers have won six of the eight first round series they have played. One of the surprises is that the Detroit Pistons have won six of the seven first round series they have played in since 2003.

Two teams, the New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats, have not won a first round game since 2003. In fact, the Bobcats have never won a playoff game since they came into the league in 2004-05. The Knicks has not won a playoff game since 2001; they lost three games to two in the first round of the ’01 playoffs to the Toronto Raptors. (Note the Cleveland Cavaliers have the best first round winning percentage since 2003 with a 20-5 record, a .800 winning percentage.)

Here’s a look at how well each team has done in the first round of the NBA playoffs since 2003.

Team, First Round Games W/L Record (2003-11), Winning Pct.

San Antonio 31-17 .646

Los Angeles Lakers 28-16 .636

Dallas 26-25 .510

Detroit 24-12 .667

Boston 23-17 .575

Cleveland 20-5 .800

Miami 20-18 .526

Phoenix 19-14 .576

Orlando 17-15 .531

New Jersey 16-10 .615

Chicago 16-17 .485

Atlanta 15-12 .556

Utah 14-15 .483

Indiana 13-15 .464

Houston 13-18 .419

New Orleans Hornets 12-17 .414

Sacramento 11-10 .524

Denver 11-29 .275

Oklahoma City 10-6 .625

Philadelphia 10-18 .357

Portland 9-16 .360

Washington 8-14 .364

Milwaukee 7-16 .304

Minnesota 6-5 .545

Los Angeles Clippers 4-1 .800

Golden State 4-2 .667

Memphis 4-14 .222

Toronto 3-8 .273

New York 0-8 .000

Charlotte 0-4 .000

Did you know? The Boston Celtics and the Lakers are the only teams to have won a first round series in each of the past four seasons. The Atlanta Hawks have won a first round series in each of the last three playoffs.