Tag Archives: Miami Heat

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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NBA Finals: Thunder’s Durant, Westbrook join legendary duos with Game 1 scoring outburst

Oklahoma City Thunder logo

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook not only outscored the whole Miami Heat team by themselves in the second half of Tuesday’s Game 1 win, but the high-scoring duo from Oklahoma City also joined an elite group of teammates that have scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game.

Durant had 36 points and Westbrook had 27 making them the first teammates in eight years to both score 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game. The last duo to accomplish this feat were the Lakers Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal on June 8, 2004.

Miami’s LeBron James had 30 points in last night’s game, making it the first NBA Finals game since the June 8, 2004 game mentioned above that three players scored 27 or more points. (Detroit’s Chauncey Billups had 27 points in the Pistons loss to the Lakers in that game.) Three players scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game eight times since 1986.

Going back to 1986, there have been 17 sets of teammates that scored 27 or more points in a NBA Finals game. The last set of teammates to score 27+ in a finals game and their team lose was in 1998 when the Bulls Toni Kukoc (30) and Michael Jordan (28) lost to Utah.

Following are the teammates that scored 27 or more points in an NBA Finals game since 1986.

Date, Team, teammates with 27+ points

June 12, 2012: Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant (36), Russell Westbrook (27)

June 8, 2004: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (33), Shaquille O’Neal (29)

June 9, 2002: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (36), Shaquille O’Neal (35)

June 10, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (32), Shaquille O’Neal (30)

June 8, 2001: L.A. Lakers, Kobe Bryant (31), Shaquille O’Neal (28)

June 14, 2000: L.A. Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal 36, Kobe Bryant (28)

June 12, 1998: Chicago, Toni Kukoc (30), Michael Jordan (28)

June 10, 1998: Chicago, Michael Jordan (34), Scottie Pippen (28)

June 1, 1997: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)

June 9, 1995: Orlando, Shaquille O’Neal (33), Penny Hardaway (32)

June 9, 1995: Houston, Hakeem Olajuwon (34), Sam Cassell (31)

June 9, 1993: Chicago, Michael Jordan (31), Scottie Pippen (27)

June 12, 1991: Chicago, Scottie Pippen (32), Michael Jordan (30)

June 12, 1990: Portland, Clyde Drexler (34), Jerome Kersey (33)

June 7, 1987: L.A. Lakers, Magic Johnson (32), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (27)

June 2, 1987: L.A. Lakers, James Worthy (33), Magic Johnson (29)

June 8, 1986: Boston, Larry Bird (29), Kevin McHale (29)

Did you know? The last time two sets of teammates scored 27+ in an NBA Finals game was June 9, 1995 when Orlando’s O’Neal (33) and Hardaway (32) lost to the Rockets Olajuwon (34) and Cassell (31).

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Conference Finals Game 7: 10 stats you need to know!

Logo of the NBA Finals.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

Miami vs. Boston in Miami… Game 7! A trip to the NBA Finals is the reward for the winner.

Tonight is the first Conference Finals Game 7 since 2005 when the Detroit Pistons defeated the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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)

1. Home Team: The home team has won 10 of the last 12 CFG7. In the last two CFG7s (2005, Detroit-Miami and 2002, L.A. Lakers-Sacramento) the away team has won Game Seven.

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.

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NBA Playoffs: Will home-court advantage regain its ‘mojo’ for Game 6?

Wizards v/s Thunder 03/14/11

OKC’s Russell Westbrook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.


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