Tag Archives: Dwyane Wade

NBA Finals: LeBron, four score 20 and kudos to Mike Miller

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

Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy

NBA Trophy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2011-2012 NBA season came to a close last night with the Miami Heat winning the title with a 121-106 win over the Thunder. Here’s a look at a few interesting stats from yesterday’s game.

LeBron gets 26: LeBron led the Heat last night with 26 points. It’s not uncommon for one or more players to have a big scoring night when a team clinches their NBA title. Lat year, Dallas’ Jason Terry led the Mavs with 27 points in their title-clinching game against the Heat. Miami had great balance in their scoring last night (more on that in a moment), and James’ 26 was the 55th time in the NBA Finals that a player scored 25 or more points in a title-clinching game. There have, however, been 26 players who scored 30 or more points in the game when a team won their NBA title. That group is led by Bob Pettit, who had 50 points in 1958 when the St. Louis Hawks won their NBA crown. Following are the players who scored the most points in a title-clinching game:

50: Bob Pettit, St. Louis (1958)

45: Michael Jordan, Chicago (1998)

42: Magic Johnson, L.A. Lakers (1980)

41: Shaquille O’Neal, L.A. Lakers (2000)

40: John Havlicek, Boston (1968)

40: George Mikan, Minneapolis (1950)

Four score 20: The Heat had four players score 20 or more points in last night’s game… James with 26; Chris Bosh, 24; Mike Miller 23; and Dwyane Wade 20. It was the fourth time since 1985 that a team had four or more players score 20+ points in an NBA Finals game. The other three:

Boston Celtics, June 11, 1987 (vs. the L.A. Lakers): Dennis Johnson, 25; Larry Bird, 23; Kevin McHale, 22; Danny Ainge, 21 and Robert Parrish, 21.

L.A. Lakers, June 4, 1987 (vs. the Boston Celtics): Byron Scott, 24; James Worthy, 23; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 23; Magic Johnson, 22 and Michael Cooper, 21.

Boston Celtics, June 7, 19985 (vs. L.A. Lakers): Robert Parrish, 26; Kevin McHale, 24; Dennis Johnson 22 and Larry Bird, 20.

Kudos to Mike Miller: Miller became the fifth player in NBA Finals history to make seven three-point shots in a game. He fell one short of the record of eight held by Ray Allen, who had eight in 2010. The others with seven three-pointers in an NBA Finals game: Allen in 2008; Scottie Pippen in 1997 and Kenny Smith in 1995.

Not many sports personalities come from South Dakota, where Miller is from. I have always had an interest in following Miller’s career since Miller was born in Mitchell and went to high school in Mitchell… and Mitchell, South Dakota is where I was born and lived for a year (before our family moved to Wisconsin). My father is from Mitchell and I remember back in the mid-1990s when my dad would still get the Mitchell paper sent to our house in Wisconsin that he would take about some high school kid named Miller who was going to be a big star in college and hopefully the pros.

So… congratulations Mike Miller, fellow Mitchell, South Dakotan! I’m sure the Corn Palace is rockin’ today.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp


NBA Finals: Russell Westbrook, Mario Chalmers and the 2-3-2 series format

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

English: Mario Chalmers playing with the Miami...

Mario Chalmers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Miami Heat have taken a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals with a 104-98 win over Oklahoma City last night. They can wrap up the series at home on Thursday.

Miami got a 25-point effort from guard Mario Chalmers that helped offset the 43-point performance from Thunder guard Russell Westbrook. Here’s a few notes looking to Thursday’s Game 5 and a glance back at Westbrook and Chalmer’s big games last night.

The 2-3-2 format. The NBA went to the 2-3-2 format for the Finals series starting with the 1985 postseason. In the past 27 years of the NBA Finals, the team that hosts the middle three games has won the series only seven times; the Heat are looking to become the eighth. Dallas won last year’s title as the home team in Games 3, 4, 5 defeating Miami in six games. Here’s a few more stats looking back at the finals series since 1985 when the 2-3-2 format was instituted:

* The team that won both Games 3 and 4 has won 10 of 12 titles.

* Losing Game 5 would not be a good omen for the Heat. Since 1985, if the team hosting the middle three games of the series lost one (or more) of those three games, they won the series only four times. The last team to split the first two games on the road and then sweep the next three games at home were the 2004 Detroit Pistons.

* There have been three times when the team hosting Games 6 and 7 won both of those contests to win the title: 1988 (L.A. Lakers), 1994 (Houston) and 2010 (L.A. Lakers).

* If the series goes to a seventh game, the home team has won four and lost none since 1985.

* Of the seven times when the team that hosted the middle three games won the series, in five of those series the champion won Game 6 on the road.

Westbrook’s 43-point performance. Westbrook became the seventh player since 1988 to score 40 or more points in a finals game in a losing cause. The other six: Shaquille O’Neal, 44 (June 6, 2001); Michael Jordan, 44 (June 13, 1993); Isiah Thomas, 43 (June 19, 1988); Charles Barkley, 42 (June 11, 1993); Michael Jordan, 41 (June 18, 1993); James Worthy, 40 (June 13, 1989).

Mario Chalmers scores 25 points. A couple interesting stats about Chalmer’s 25-point game: In the short two-year LeBron James era in Miami, the Heat have now played in 10 NBA Finals games. Dwyane Wade has score 20 or more points in eight of those 10 finals games; James has scored 20+ in seven of those contests; the other member of the Big Three, Chris Bosh, has scored 20+ in one game. With his 25 points last night, Chalmers, became the first Heat player not named James, Wade or Bosh to score 20 or more points in a finals game. In fact, only two players not named James, Wade or Bosh have scored 15 or more points in an NBA Finals game for the Heat: Chalmers has now done it three times, Shane Battier did it twice this series.

In addition, the Heat have played 43 playoff games in the LeBron James era. Only two players other than the Big Three scored 20 or more points in one or more of those 43 playoff games: Chalmers has now done it four times (three times in the 2012 playoffs) and James Jones had 25 in a games last year against Boston.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

NBA Finals: Shane Battier supports Miami’s Big Three with big threes

Basketball player Shane Battier.

Shane Battier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

A lot of experts figured that the NBA Finals would come down to a battle between the Big Three for each team, Miami’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh vs. the Thunder’s Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden. In the first three games, each of these players has had their moments.

But one of the biggest surprises of the series has been the play (or should I say, the shooting) of the Heat’s Shane Battier. Through the first three games, Battier is averaging 14.3 PPG and has made 11 of 15 three-point shots. It’s the three-point shooting that has elevated Battier’s game in this series.

For the 2011-12 season, Battier made 62 three-pointers in 65 contests. In the ’12 playoffs, however, Battier has made 38 threes in 21 games, almost doubling his output in that category in the playoffs.

In Sunday’s game, Battier became the 32nd player in NBA history to make 11 or more three-pointers in an NBA Finals series. And with at least two more games on the docket for this series (and maybe more if the Thunder have anything to say about it), Battier could make a run at the NBA record for most threes in a finals series.

Boston’s Ray Allen holds the record with 22 three-pointers made in the 2008 NBA Finals series when his Celtics defeated the L.A. Lakers for the title. The players with the most three-pointers in a finals series:

Three-point shots made in an NBA Finals, Player, Year

22: Ray Allen, 2008

17: Derek Harper, 1994; Dan Majerle, 1993

16: John Starks, 1994; Rashard Lewis, 2009

15: Kobe Bryant, 2010; Reggie Miller, 2000; Robert Horry, 2005; Bryon Russell, 1997

14: Michael Cooper, 1987; Mario Chalmers, 2011

Battier has not only has made 11 threes in this series, but his accuracy has been at an all-time high, for him and in the history of the finals. Battier is 11-for-15 from beyond the three-point, a .733 percentage. Battier currently has the best three-point shooting percentage of any player in the NBA Finals in NBA history (minimum of 11 three-point shots made to qualify for the list). Whether or not he can keep his percentage over .700 for the series will obviously play out over the next few games.

Here are the players with the best three-point shooting percentage in a finals series (minimum of 11 three-point shots made to qualify)

3-point pct, Player, Year

.733 Shane Battier, 2012

.688 Isiah Thomas, 1990

.632 Glen Rice, 2000

.609 Michael Cooper, 1987

.565 DeShawn Stevenson, 2011

.524 Ray Allen, 2008

.500 James Posey, 2008

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Can a team win an NBA title without a 20-point scorer?

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

English: Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs,...

Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Which team would you guess has won the most NBA championships: A team that had no player average 20 points or more during the regular season, or a team that had two players average 20 or more points per game (ppg) in the regular season?

Before we answer that question, let’s look at the six remaining teams in this year’s playoffs. The Thunder are in the Western Conference Final and will face the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder feature the high-scoring twosome of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant led the league with 28 points per game while Westbrook was at 23.6 ppg. The Spurs, on the other hand, did not have a player with a 20 ppg for the season; Tony Parker led them in scoring with a 18.3 ppg.

Of the four teams fighting for the two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference Final, Miami is the only team with two players who averaged 20+ ppg in the regular season, LeBron James (27.1) and Dwyane Wade (22.1). The other three teams did not have a single player with a 20 ppg for the season. Paul Pierce led Boston with 19.4 ppg; Danny Granger led Indiana with 18.7 ppg; and Lou Williams led eighth-seeded Philadelphia with 14.9 ppg.

In the past 65 years of NBA playoffs, a team with no player who averaged 20 or more points during the regular season won 13 titles. Teams that had two players who averaged 20 or more points per game in the regular season won 18 titles.

Here’s a look at the 13 teams that won titles with no player who averaged 20 ppg in the regular season.

Year, Team, Player who led team in scoring (ppg)

2008 Boston, Paul Pierce (19.6)

2004 Detroit, Richard Hamilton (17.6)

1990 Detroit, Isiah Thomas (18.4)

1989 Detroit, Adrian Dantley (18.4)

1979 Seattle, Gus Williams (19.2)

1978 Washington, Elvin Hayes (19.7)

1976 Boston, Dave Cowens (19.0)

1964 Boston, John Havlicek (19.9)

1963 Boston, Sam Jones (19.7)

1955 Syracuse, Dolph Schayes (18.5)

1954 Minneapolis, George Mikan (18.1)

1951 Rochester, Arnie Risen (16.3)

1948 Baltimore, Kleggie Hermsen (12.0)

Here’s a few more interesting stats:

* Miami was the last team to play in the NBA Finals with two players who averaged 20+ ppg in the regular season: That was last season with Wade (26.7) and James (25.5).

* The 2006 Miami Heat were the last team to win an NBA title with two players who averaged 20+ ppg in the regular season. Wade averaged 27.2 ppg and Shaquille O’Neal averaged 20.0 that season.

* The last time two teams that had two players average 20+ ppg in the regular season faced off in the NBA Finals was in 1995 when Houston with Hakeem Olajuwon (27.8) and Clyde Drexler (21.4) defeated the Orlando Magic with Shaq (29.3) and Penny Hardaway (20.9).

* The last time the NBA Finals featured two teams that did not have a 20+ ppg scorer was in 1978 when Washington defeated Seattle for the title. Leading scorers for the teams were Washington’s Hayes (19.7) and Seattle’s Gus Williams (18.1).

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Durant, Westbrook look to join high-scoring teammates elite

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog that is published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.

English: Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thu...

Kevin Durant... Image via Wikipedia

Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to score 57 points in the most recent NBA All-Star Game. That was the second-most points in an NBA All-Star Game history by teammates; the Miami duo of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined to score 60 points in that same game and now hold the record for most combined points by teammates in an NBA All-Star Game. The two pairs became the sixth and seventh teammates to score 50 or more points in an all-star game (see my blog of February 24, 2012 for more on this stat).

Durant and Westbrook are looking to join James and Wade in another elite group. As of games through March 5, Durant is averaging 28.1 points per game and ranks second in scoring in the league. Westbrook is averaging 23.7 points per games and ranks fifth in the league. If Westbrook can bring his average up and over the 25 points per game mark by the end of the season, they would join 15 other sets of teammates to both average 25 or more points per game in a season.

Following are the teammates who both averaged 25 or more points per games in an NBA season.

Year, Team, Teammates (Scoring Average)

2010-11   Miami Heat, LeBron James (26.7) and Dwyane Wade (25.5)

2007-08   Denver Nuggets, Allen Iverson (26.4) and Carmelo Anthony (25.7)

2002-03   Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant (30.0) and Shaquille O’Neal (27.5)

2001-02   Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal (27.2) and Kobe Bryant (25.2)

2000-01   Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal (28.7) and Kobe Bryant (28.5)

1986-87   Boston Celtics, Larry Bird (28.1) and Kevin McHale (26.1)

1983-84   Denver Nuggets, Kiki Vandeweghe (29.4) and Alex English (26.4)

1982-82   Denver Nuggets, Alex English (28.4) and Kiki Vandeweghe (26.7)

1972-73   Atlanta Hawks, Lou Hudson (27.1) Pete Maravich (26.1)

1971-71   Los Angeles Lakers, Gail Goodrich (25.9) and Jerry West (25.8)

1966-67   Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West (28.7) and Elgin Baylor (26.6)

1964-65   Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West (31.0) and Elgin Baylor (27.1)

1963-64   Los Angeles Lakers, Jerry West (28.7) and Elgin Baylor (25.4)

1961-62   New York Knicks, Richie Guerin (29.5) and Willie Naulls (25.0)

1960-61   Cincinnati Royals, Oscar Robertson (30.5) and Jack Twyman (25.3)

Note #1: Of the 15 pairs listed, three played on title teams (Lakers 1971-72, 2000-01 and 2001-02). Three lost in the NBA finals… Lakers 1964-65; Celtics 1986-87; Heat 2010-11. Only two of the 15 did not make the playoffs that season… Royals 1960-61; Knicks 1961-62.

Note #2: Of the 15 pairs listed, 11 played on teams that had a regular season record better than .500.