Tag Archives: Milwaukee Bucks

Today’s Sportstat: May 16, 2019

Home Court Advantage is working in this year’s NBA playoffs

With wins in Game 1 of their respective conference finals, the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks, both #1 seeds, took advantage of the home court to start with a 1-0 lead in their series against conference opponents the Portland Trailblazers and Toronto Raptors.

It’s pretty common to hear broadcasters and analysts discuss Home Court Advantage (HCA) in the playoffs. So let’s ask the question: How important is the Home Court Advantage in the NBA playoffs?

Consider this: Of the 12 playoff series that have been held so far, 11 of the 12 (91.7%) were won by the team that had the HCA in the series. (As a matter of reference, the team with the HCA won 10 of the 15 playoff series in 2018… 66.7%).

The only team without the HCA to win a playoff series this year were the 3rd seeded Portland Trailblazers when they defeated the #2 seeded Denver Nuggets. (By the way, if the HCA continues to be a factor in the conference finals series, that’s good news for the Warriors and the Bucks advancing to the NBA Finals this year.)

But that’s this year. Let’s expand the search and see how the HCA numbers have played out in the past 10 NBA playoffs. From 2009-18, there were 150 playoff series in the NBA. The team with the HCA won 110 of those series (73.3%). Let’s break it down by each round of the playoffs…

  • Teams with the HCA in the first round of the NBA playoffs from 2009-18 won the series in 60 of the 80 series (75%).
  • Teams with the HCA in the second round (Conference Semi-finals) of the NBA playoffs from 2009-18 won the series in 32 of the 40 series (80%).
  • Teams with the HCA in the third round (Eastern Conference and Western Conference finals) from 2009-18 won the series in 11 of the 20 series (55%).
  • Teams with the HCA in the NBA Finals from 2009-18 won the series seven of the 10 series (70%).

Based on the above stats from the past 10 years, the HCA numbers were definitely higher this year in 2019 than the cumulative stats from the last 10 years. It also should give cause for keeping a close eye on the conference finals this season since about half of the conference finals in the last 10 years has seen a team with the HCA lose in the conference finals. If that is the case, will it be the Bucks or the Warriors?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sportstat: May 9, 2019

Giannis doing all this before the age of 25!

In a superlative-filled season, Giannis Antetokounmpo continues leading the Bucks closer to a chance to win an NBA title. The Bucks will be making their first appearance in a conference final since 2001 and hope to get their first finals appearance since losing to the Boston Celtics in 1974.

One thing we might forget about Giannis is that even though he is playing in his sixth NBA season, he is still not yet 25 years of age. He will not turn 25 until December of this year.

With that in mind, it’s interesting to note that Giannis earlier in the playoffs became the third Bucks player under the age of 25 to score 40 or more points in a playoff game. He scored 41 in a first round game against the Detroit Pistons on April 22. The other Bucks to accomplish this feat: Kareem Abdul-Jabber did it twice in his career with Milwaukee (he had 46 in a playoff game in 1970 at the age of 22 years-352 days and did it again two years later with 40 points in a 1972 playoff contest at age 24-362) and Terry Cummings who had 41 points in a 1985 playoff game at the age of 24 years-46 days.

So far in his career, Giannis has had three playoff games where he scored 35 or more points. That makes him one of only 30 NBA players in history to score 35 or more points in three or more playoff games before the age of 25. (He will certainly have a chance to add to that total as the Bucks play in the Eastern Conference Final and beyond this year.)

LeBron James has the most career NBA playoff games with 35+ points before the age of 25 with 15. He is followed by Kevin Durant with 12, Kobe Bryant with 11 and Bob McAdoo with 10. Giannis is one of nine players tied with three games each.

Giannis three 35-point playoff games before the age of 25 ranks second on the Bucks all-time list. Jabbar had six with the Bucks. Cummings had two such games and Marques Johnson and Gary Brokaw each had one game each where they tallied 35 or more points in a playoff game before the age of 25. For the record, Johnson is the youngest Bucks player to have 35 or more points in a playoff game; he had 35 in a 1978 playoff game at the age of 22-74.

Michael Jordan tops the league with the most points scored in a playoff game before the age of 25 with 63. He is followed by Rick Barry (55), Wilt Chamberlain (53), and Vince Carter, Chamberlain, Bob Cousy and Bob McAdoo with 50 points each.

The youngest player to score 35 or more points in a playoff game is Derrick Rose. He was 20 years-196 days when he in 2009 scored 36 in an Eastern Conference first round contest. Magic Johnson is second on this list; he was 20 years-276 days when he scored 42 in Game Six of the 1980 NBA Finals against Philadelphia.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: May 2, 2019

The Bucks take their playoff show against the Celtics on the road

With two games in Milwaukee resulting in a split for the Bucks and Boston Celtics, the two teams head to Boston for the next two games. The Bucks will need to do what the Celtics did in their two games in Milwaukee… take a least one of the two games on the road, to regain home court advantage.

Winning on the road is not always an easy path to navigate. From the start of the NBA in 1946-47 through the first two games of this year’s second round playoff contests, road teams are a combined 1,368-2,615, a winning percentage of .343, meaning road teams have won about one-third of the playoff games in league history.

Here are some interesting stats concerning playoff road games and how well the Bucks have performed on the road in the post-season and against the Celtics in Boston.

  • Over the past 19 playoff seasons (2000-18), road teams are 550-1009, a .353 winning percentage, just a tad higher than the career .343 winning percentage of road teams in the playoffs noted above.
  • Since 2000, the Cleveland Cavs have the best road playoff winning percentage at .526. They are followed by the Golden State Warriors at .519. Only five other teams have a winning percentage of .400 or better in road playoff games since 2000: San Antonio, the Lakers, Brooklyn, Miami and Phoenix. The Bucks rank 23rd on the list with a road playoff record of 9-28 (.243) since 2000.
  • The Bucks all-time road playoff record is 43-81 (.347).
  • Since 2015, the Bucks are 4-8 in road playoff games; that includes the two road playoff wins against the Detroit Pistons this season.
  • Milwaukee is only 5-15 (.250) in their last 20 road playoff games.
  • The longest road playoff winning streak for the Bucks is six games… the Bucks accomplished that in 1971-72.
  • The Bucks have lost 12 of the last 13 road games in Boston against the Celtics.
  • The last road playoff win for the Bucks versus the Celtics was on May 13, 1987, a 129-124 victory in the Boston Garden.
  • Milwaukee is 5-13 all-time versus the Celtics in playoff games played in Boston.
  • The Bucks won one road playoff game against the Celts in 1987, two in 1983 and two in 1974.
  • The Bucks have won eight of the last 20 regular season games against the Celtics in Boston. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, the Bucks are 7-6 versus the Celtics in away games played in Boston.

What does all this mean? If the series goes to seven games, the Bucks will have to win at least one game of the three remaining in Boston and win both remaining games in Milwaukee to win the series. A win for the Bucks in Boston in either game Three or Game Four is crucial. A pair of losses in Boston would force the Bucks to win the final three games of the series, a formidable task.

 

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Today’s Sportstat: March 18, 2019

Is the ‘Greek Freak’ getting ready to hoist an MVP Award?

Milwaukee Bucks megastar Giannis Antetokounmpo this season has been at or near the top of the lists bantered about for the NBA MVP Award. With the Bucks having the best record in the league, Giannis has been considered a leading candidate for the honor. He will likely have to fend off James Harden, Paul George, and others, to win the trophy.

Giannis received enough votes in the past two seasons to finish in the MVP Award Top 10 in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 campaigns. He finished tied for seventh in 2017 and was sixth in the voting last season. It is likely that he will surpass those finishes, and barring a total collapse, should finish in the Top 3 for the honor.

If Giannis was to win this year’s award, he would become only the second Bucks player to win an NBA MVP Award. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won three MVP honors with the Bucks… in 1971, 1972 and 1974.

In the Bucks history, there have been only five players who have finished in the Top 10 of the league’s MVP voting in a season. Jabbar finished in the Top 10 six times, winning three times, finishing second once, third once, and fifth one year. Sidney Moncrief finished in the Top 10 five times, followed by Marques Johnson and Giannis (both twice a Top 10 finalist for the MVP Award) and Terry Cummings who finished in the Top 10 for the award one season.

Here is a look at the 15 times that the Bucks had a player finish in the top 10 of the MVP Award balloting.

1970: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 3rd

1971: Jabbar, 1st

1972: Jabbar, 1st

1973: Jabbar, 2nd

1974: Jabbar, 1st

1975: Jabbar, 5th

1978: Marques Johnson, tied for 10th

1981: Johnson, 6th

1982: Sidney Moncrief, 7th

1983: Moncrief, 4th

1984: Moncrief, 8th

1985: Terry Cummings, 5th… Moncrief, 8th

1986: Moncrief, 7th

2017: Giannis Antetokounmpo, tied for 7th

2018: Antetokounmpo, 6th

A couple of things jump off the page when I looked at the above list:

  • Did not know Sidney Moncrief had that many Top 10 finishes for the MVP Award. That should certainly bode well for him as he is one of the finalists for this year’s Hall of Fame class.
  • The more than 30 years (1986 to 2017) that the Bucks went without having any of their players in the Top 10 for the MVP.
  • That Jabbar, Moncrief and Cummings are the only Bucks players to finish in the Top 5 for the voting. That list will likely add Giannis this season.

Where will Giannis finish in this year’s voting?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: February 28, 2019

Bucks and Budenholzer have a 60-win season in their sights

With a league-best 47-14 record and 21 games left to play in the regular season, the Milwaukee Bucks have a legitimate chance to win 60 games in a season for only the fifth time in franchise history. The Bucks won 60 or more in 1970-71 (66 wins), 1971-72 (63 wins), 1972-73 (60 wins) and in 1980-81 (60 wins). To reach the 60-win milestone this season, the Bucks would have to win at least 13 of their remaining 21 games.

Getting 60 wins this season would also be a big deal for Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer. Back in 2014-15, Coach Bud won 60 games in his second season at the helm of the Atlanta Hawks. A 60-win season with the Bucks would make Budenholzer only the seventh coach in NBA history to win 60 or more games in a season with two or more different franchises.

Hall of Famer coach Pat Riley holds the league record with 60-win seasons with three different franchises. He won 60 with the Lakers, Miami and the Knicks.

Here is a look at the six coaches who have won 60 or more games in a season with two or more franchises.

K.C. Jones: Boston (1984, 1985, 1986)… Washington (1975)

Phil Jackson: Chicago (1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998)… L.A. Lakers (2000, 2009)

Don Nelson: Dallas (2003)… Milwaukee (1981)

Mike D’Antoni: Houston (2018), Phoenix (2005, 2007)

Pat Riley: (L.A. Lakers (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1990)… Miami (1997)… N.Y. Knicks (1993)

Rick Adelman: Portland (1991)… Sacramento (2002)

A total of 32 NBA coaches have won 60 or more games in a season with at least one team. If Budenholzer can add a second 60-win season with the Bucks to his resume, it would make him the 21st coach in NBA history to have multiple 60-win seasons in a career.

The 20 NBA coaches who have won 60 or more games in two or more seasons are: Rick Adelman, Red Auerbach, Mike Brown, Larry Costello, Billy Cunningham, Mike D’Antoni, Bill Fitch, Alex Hannum, Tom Heinsohn, Phil Jackson, Avery Johnson, K.C. Jones, George Karl, Steve Kerr, Don Nelson, Greg Popovich, Pat Riley, Doc Rivers, Bill Sharman, Jerry Sloan.

For the record, there have four head coaches who have won 60 or more games in four different seasons; Phil Jackson and Pat Riley did it seven times, Greg Popovich has done is six times, and K.C. Jones did it four times.

 

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