Here’s a quick trivia question for you…
The last time the Milwaukee Bucks had three players score 25 or more points in the same game was on March 9, 2012. Can you name those three players? Answer at the end of this column.
When the Bucks earlier this season acquired Eric Bledsoe from Phoenix, the hope was that he would give the Bucks a formidable “Big Three” when the Bucks were on offense. As of today, the jury is still out on whether or not that has been accomplished, but the “Big Three” is each averaging over 17 points per game: Giannis Antetokounmpo is at 27.2 points per game; Khris Middleton is averaging 19.7 per game; and Bledsoe is scoring at a 17.6 points per game clip.
Four times in Bucks history the team has had three players average 18 or more points per game (minimum of 40 games played to qualify for the list) in a season. The four times:
2001-02: Ray Allen (21.8), Sam Cassell (19.7), Glenn Robinson (20.7)
2000-01: Ray Allen (22.0), Sam Cassell (18.2), Glenn Robinson (22.0)
1999-2000: Ray Allen (22.1), Sam Cassell (18.6), Glenn Robinson (20.9)
1970-71: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (31.7), Bob Dandridge (18.40, Oscar Robertson (19.4)
Answer to the trivia question: The last three Bucks players to score 25 or more points in the same game were Mike Dunleavy (25), Ersan Ilyasova (26) and Brandon Jennings (25) on March 19, 2012.
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With 28 points in the Bucks’ loss to the Chicago Bulls on December 26, Giannis Antetokunmpo has now scored 20 or more points in 22 straight games. This is the sixth longest streak in team history. Not only does Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hold the franchise record with 20 or more points in 71 consecutive games, but he also holds the top five spots in this stat. He had streaks of 71, 70, 39, 29 and 27 straight games with 20 or more points during his career with Milwaukee.
Giannis is one of only three players to have a streak of 20-plus games in a row with 20 or more points; in addition to Jabbar, Terry Cummings had a streak of 20 games in his career with the Bucks.
Nine different Bucks players had streaks of 10 or more games with 20 or more points. Jabbar had 14 such streaks in his time with the Bucks to top the list. Here are the Bucks players who had consecutive game streaks of 10 games or more with 20+ points. (The number of times in their career that they had such streaks in noted in parenthesis.)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 14 times
Marques Johnson, 5
Glenn Robinson, 5
Giannis Antetokounmpo, 2
Terry Cummings, 2
Michael Redd, 2
Sidney Moncrief, 1
Ricky Pierce, 1
Flynn Robinson, 1
Stats on Tapp
Now that Giannis has reached his 23rd birthday, we can take a look back at how his NBA career looks prior to turning 23… and how it compares to other NBA players who had success in the league prior to turning 23.
- … 5,364 points, ninth most career points by an NBA player before his 23rd birthday. LeBron James tops the list with 9,188 points before his 23rd birthday.
- … 2,407 rebounds, eighth most among players before the age of 23. Dwight Howard tops the list with 4,303 rebounds.
- … 1,230 assists, 15th in that stat category before turning 23. James tops this list with 2,231 assists.
- … 394 steals, ninth most before turning 23. James tops this list with 603 steals.
- … 445 blocked shots, tenth most before age 23. Josh Smith tops the list with 797.
- … 10,886 minutes played, fifth most played before his 23rd birthday. James tops the list with 14,067.
Antetokounmpo is one of only 14 NBA players with 300 or more career games played prior to turning 23. He also ranks tied for fourth on the list of most triple-doubles by a player prior to his 23rd birthday with eight. Magic Johnson had 19, followed by LeBron with 14, Giannis’ coach, Jason Kidd, with 11, and Alvan Adams also with eight.
It’s interesting to note that Giannis is one of only three NBA players to have scored 5,000 points, grabbed 2,000 rebounds and hand-out 1,000 assists before turning 23. The others: LeBron and Tracy McGrady. If we add steals and blocked shots to the above three stats, Giannis is one of only two players in history (the other is McGrady) to have 5,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, 1,000 assists, 300 steals and 300 blocked shots before turning 23.
Giannis is certainly making a case as one of the top players in the NBA, but based on his stats above, we can confidently say today, the day after his 23rd birthday, that he has been one of the greatest players in the league prior to blowing out 23 candles on his birthday cake. It’s not too far-fetched to say that no one other than LeBron has had an impact on the NBA prior to turning 23 like Giannis.
Stats on Tapp
For the 10th time in his very young NBA career, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 or more points and four or more blocks in a game. He had 28 points and four blocked shots in the Bucks’ win over the San Antonio Spurs last night.
Giannis became the 36th player since 1983-84 to have 10 or more career games with 25 points and four blocks. Hakeem Olajuwon tops this stat with 223 games with 25+ points and four or more blocks in a contest since 1983-84. Shaquille O’Nela (154 games), Patrick Ewing (151 games) and David Robinson (150 games) follow Olajuwon on this list. No one else has 100 or more games.
If we look at players who have reached these 25-4 numbers in a game before their 23rd birthday, Giannis has jumped into a tie for the fifth spot with his 10 games. Shaq had 43 such games before he turned 23, followed by Anthony Davis (26), Olajuwon (17), Tim Duncan (12), and Giannis and Dwight Howard, each with 10 games.
Milwaukee Bucks fans will see something they haven’t seen in more than a decade on February 19: They will see a player from their team playing in the NBA All-Star Game. Giannis Antetokounmpo will be a starter for the East squad in the game, making him the first Bucks player to play in the NBA All-Star Game since Michael Redd in 2004.
In that 2004 game, Redd tallied 13 points. Since that game in ’04, Bucks players have not scored a point in the All-Star Game. During that same timeframe, two teams, Miami and Oklahoma City, had players who scored over 300 points in the game. The Heat led the way with 368 points, while OKC/Seattle franchise players during that time had 337 points.
Following are the number of points scored by players from each NBA franchise in the NBA All-Star Game from 2005 to 2016 (current franchise city is listed).
Oklahoma City: 337
L.A. Lakers: 218
L.A. Clippers: 168
New York Knicks: 142
San Antonio: 142
New Orleans: 86
Golden State: 79
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