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
The 2016-17 NBA season ended Monday night with the Golden State Warriors winning their second title in three years. Let’s close the book on this season with a few stats from the finals.
- The Warriors became the 14th team in league history to lose an NBA Finals one season and then win the title the following year, the fifth time it has happened in the last nine years. Here’s a look at the 14 teams:
Team (Year lost title/Year won title)
St. Louis Hawks 1957/1958
New York Knicks 1972/1973
L.A. Lakers 1984/1985
L.A. Lakers 2008/2009
San Antonio 2013/2014
Golden State 2016/2017
Of the 13 teams that did this prior to Golden State this year, six made it back to the NBA Finals the next year with four winning the title again and two losing in the finals. Seven of the 13 did not make the NBA Finals the following season.
- LeBron James had 44 points in the Game Five loss on June 12. It was the third time James scored 40 or more points in an NBA Finals where his team lost. Jerry West holds the record with four games of 40+ points in the NBA Finals in a defeat. Here are the 11 players who have scored 40 or more points in an NBA Finals in a loss:
4: Jerry West
3: LeBron James
2: Rick Barry, Michael Jordan
1: Charles Barkley, Julius Erving, John Havlicek, Shaquille O’Neal, Isiah Thomas, Russell Westbrook, James Worthy
If we drop the points down to 30 in an NBA Finals game, West still leads this category with 12 games. James is now in sole possession of second place on this list with seven games in the NBA Finals where he scored 30 or more points in a loss. Jordan and O’Neal follow with six games each.
Six players have scored 30 or more points in an NBA Finals game (win or loss), led by West with 24. He is followed by Jordan with 23, LeBron with 18, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaq with 16, and Kobe Bryant with 13. Of these six players, James has the worst record in games where he scored 30 or more points in an NBA Finals… his teams are 11-7 (.611 winning percentage) when he scores 30 or more in a finals contest.
- Golden State rookie Patrick MaCaw did not see a lot of playing time in the NBA Finals this year, but he did score six points in Game Five. By doing so, he became the 13th player under the age of 22 to score six or more points in an NBA Finals game in NBA history. The last player under the age of 22 to score six or more points in an NBA Finals game was San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard in 2013. He had five such games in the 2013 NBA Finals. Here’s the 13 players under the age of 22 who have scored six or more points in an NBA Finals game:
Alvan Adams, Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, Darryl Dawkins, Johnny Davis, Jordan Farmar, Daniel Gibson, Richard Jefferson, Magic Johnson, Cory Joseph, Kawhi Leonard, Patrcik MaCaw and Tony Parker
Last season there were three NBA players who averaged 25 or more points per game (minimum of 50 games played to qualify): LeBron James (Cleveland Cavs), James Harden (Houston Rockets) and Russell Westbrook (Oklahoma City Thunder). Only three players averaging 25 points-plus in a season was the fewest number of players since 2004 when only one player averaged 25 points in a season. Since 2000, there have been 95 players who have averaged 25 or more points in a season, an average of just under six per year.
For the Cavs, it was the first time since 2009-10 that a player averaged 25; ironically, it was James who did it that season in his previous stint with the club. For the Rockets, last year was Harden’s third consecutive season averaging 25 points or more. For the Thunder, they have now had a player average 25 points in a season in seven straight years; last year was Westbrook, the previous six seasons was Kevin Durant.
Two franchises, New Orleans and Memphis, have never had a player average 25 points a game in a season. In addition, there are three franchises that have not had one of their players reach the 25.0/points per game mark this century.
Here’s a look at the last time each NBA franchise had a player average 25 or more points per game in a season (the year listed is the when that season ended; 1998 means the 1997-98 NBA season).
Never: Memphis, New Orleans
1980: L.A. Clippers (World B. Free)
1982 Portland (Clyde Drexler)
1997: Charlotte (Glen Rice)
2000: Utah (Karl Malone)
2001: Detroit (Jerry Stackhouse), Sacramento (Chris Webber), Toronto (Vince Carter)
2002: San Antonio (Tim Duncan)
2004: Orlando (Tracy McGrady)
2006: Boston (Paul Pierce), Philadelphia (Allen Iverson)
2007: Atlanta (Joe Johnson), Brooklyn (Vince Carter), Milwaukee (Michael Redd), Washington (Gilbert Arenas)
2008: Phoenix (Amar’e Stoudemire)
2009: Indiana (Danny Granger)
2010: Dallas (Dirk Nowitzki), Golden State (Monta Ellis)
2011: Chicago (Derrick Rose), Denver (Carmelo Anthony)
2013: L.A. Lakers (Kobe Bryant)
2014: Miami (LeBron James), Minnesota (Kevin Love), N.Y. Knicks (Carmelo Anthony)
2015: Cleveland (LeBron James), Houston (James Harden), Oklahoma City (Russell Westbrook)
Last season four players fell just a couple of points short of averaging 25 points per game. The four players that averaged 23 points per game but fell short of the 25-point mark were: Anthony Davis (24.4, New Orleans), DeMarcus Cousins (24.1, Sacramento), Stephen Curry (23.8, Golden State) and LaMarcus Aldridge (23.4, Portland).
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
LeBron James scored 44 points in Game One of the NBA Finals last Thursday in his team’s 108-100 loss to Golden State. Here’s six stats you may not know about players who scored 40 or more points in an NBA Finals game that their team lost.
1. James’ 44 points were the second most for a player in the NBA Finals in a game his team lost. Jerry West twice had 45 points in an NBA Finals game that his Lakers lost. He did it April 19, 1965 in a loss to the Celtics; he also did it one year later on April 22, 1966 in a title series game loss to those same Celtics.
2. The last player to score 40-plus points in an NBA Finals game loss was on June 19, 2012 when Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 43 against Miami in a thunder defeat.
3. A player from the losing team in an NBA Finals game has scored 40-plus points 16 times since 1964 (records from basketball-reference.com). Three players did it multiple times: Jerry West did it four times; Rick Barry and Michael Jordan each did it twice. These three players each did it twice in the same series; Barry in 1967, West in 1969 and Jordan in 1993.
4. Youngest player to accomplish this feat was Barry (23 years and 23 days)… oldest was West (30 years and 342 days).
5. Of the 16 times a player scored 40+points in an NBA Finals game loss, nine happened at home, seven in an away game.
6. The Boston Celtics were the opponent that won in four of these 16 games; Philadelphia was the opponent three times.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
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:
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