(A weekly look at several sports stats you may not know)
- On June 29, four Brewers pitchers (Brandon Woodruff, David Phelps, Devin Williams and Josh Hader) combined on a one-hit shutout in the team’s 3-0 win over the Pirates. It was the first one-hit shutout by the Brew Crew pitching staff since May 7, 2011 when Yovani Gallardo and John Axford combined on a one-hit shutout of the Cardinals in a Brewers’ 4-0 victory. The last one-hit, complete game shutout by one pitcher for the Brewers was August 31, 2008 when CC Sabathia did it against the Pirates in a 7-0 Brewers win.
- In that same June 29th game, the Brewers pitching staff had 14 strikeouts. It was the 92nd game in team history where the pitching staff had 14 or more strikeouts. The Brewers are 62-30 in those games.
- Through the first six games of the 2020 season, Christian Yelich was one-for-27, a .037 batting average. In his previous two seasons in Milwaukee, Yelich was 9-for-22 (in 2019) and 10-for-26 (in 2018) in his first six games of those two seasons, a combined average of .396. In his career prior to this season, Yelich was 51-for-170 in the first six games of a season, a .300 average.
- From 2010-19, the New England Patriots were 24-0 in games where one of their players amassed 100 or more yards rushing, the only undefeated team in that timeframe. The league as a whole was 761-284-7 (a .727 winning percentage) when teams had one player gain at least 100 yards rushing in a contest. The Packers were 20-5-1 (.788) from 2010-19 in games where they had a running back gain 100 or more yards in a game.
- Former MLB manager John McNamara died on July 28, 2020 at the age of 88. He was the skipper for six different MLB teams in his career (Oakland, San Diego, Cincinnati, California, Boston and Cleveland) and won 1160 games in his managerial career. He is one of 64 managers in league history to win 1,000 or more games as a manager. He managed in one World Series… with the Boston Red Sox in 1986.
- On one baseball broadcast I watched, there was discussion about how many home runs would lead the majors in the game-shortened season (60 games). The announcers opined that they thought 20 might lead the league this year. For the record, the most home runs in the first 60 games of a season is 32 by Barry Bonds in 2001. He is followed by Mark McGwire with 28 in the first 60 games of the 1998 seasons; Mickey Mantle with 27 HRs in the first 60 games of the 1956 campaign; and Babe Ruth with 27 long balls in the first 60 games of the 1928 season. The most home runs by a Brewers player in the first 60 games of a season happened last year when Christian Yelich had 22 in the first 60 games. Prince Fielder held the record with 21 HRs after the first 60 games of the 2007 season. Carlos Lee (2006) and Richie Sexson (2003) each hit 19 homers in the first 60 games of a season with the Brewers.
- Prior to the start of the eight-game bubble season for the NBA, the Bucks had two players averaging over 20 points per game for the 2019-20 season: Giannis at 29.6 and Khris Middleton at 21.1. If they both finish the season over 20 points per game, it would be the third time in four years that the Bucks had two players average 20.0-plus points per game in a season. In 2017-18, Giannis and Middleton averaged 26.9 and 20.1 respectively; in 2016-17, Jabari Parker averaged 20.1 and Giannis averaged 22.9 per game. In three straight years starting with the 1999-2000 season, Ray Allen and Glenn Robinson each averaged over 20 points per game in a season for the Bucks, the only time in team history that the same two players averaged 20 or more points per game in three consecutive seasons.
- Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones tied with Christian McCaffrey for the most TDs in the NFL last season with 19. Jones was 12th in the league with 1,084 rushing yards. Tennessee’s Derrick Henry led the league in rushing with 1,540 yards. The Packers have had a player lead the league in rushing only once in team history: Jim Taylor led the NFL in rushing in 1962 with 1,474 yards.
- The shortened MLB season will likely prevent a few players from reaching important milestones in their careers. The Cubs’ Jon Lester started the season with 190 career wins and appeared a sure bet to reach 200 this season; he had won at least 10 games in 11 of his 15 seasons. Now reaching 200 this year could be a tough road for him. On the batters’ side, Yadier Molina and Ryan Braun were two players who looked like they would pass the 2,000-hit mark this season. Molina started the year with 1,963 career hits; Braun had 1,933.
- Speaking of 2,000 hits, Ian Kinsler, who played for the San Diego Padres last season, announced his retirement in December, 2019. Kinsler had 1,999 career hits in a 14-year career and it looks like he will end his career one hit short of 2,000. One other MLB player ended his career with 1,999 hits: Jimmy Collins, who played from 1895-1908.
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With the NBA looking to conclude their interrupted 2019-20 season with 22 of the 30 teams finishing the season in games only in Orlando, teams that depend on home court advantage will be without benefit of a home crowd as the season plays out. And one team that may not like this fact is the Milwaukee Bucks.
Based on home court records starting with the 2018-19 season and ending with the delay instituted earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bucks had a league-leading .847 winning percentage in home games over that period… 61 wins and 11 losses on their home court. Eleven NBA teams since the start of the 2018-19 season have won 2/3 or more of their home games.
With no crowds and no home court advantage, will this be a negative for some teams? We’ll have to see how this plays out since we don’t have any history of such a large sample of neutral court games in league history. But this we know for sure: None of the 22 teams finishing out this season will benefit from a home crowd. Will this make for a more level playing field (court) as the season winds down and eventually crowns a champion in 2020? Stay tuned.
Here is the winning percentage of each of the 30 NBA teams in home games since the beginning of the 2018-19 season through contests played in 2019-20.
Milwaukee, .847… Philadelphia, .833
Denver, .797… Toronto, .753… Houston, .726
Boston, .699… L.A. Clippers,.699… Utah, .694… Indiana, .685… Portland, .685… San Antonio, .676… Oklahoma City, .635… Miami, .630… L.A. Lakers, .625
Dallas, .573… Orlando, .569… Brooklyn, .562… Sacramento, .528… Memphis, .527… Washington, .521… Golden State, .507… Detroit, .500
Charlotte, .486… Minnesota, .452… New Orleans, .438… Atlanta, .413
Phoenix, .329… Cleveland, .312… Chicago, .307
New York, .270
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Who’s the best one-season player in Bucks history?
In college basketball circles, it’s called “one-and-done.” In professional sports, there doesn’t seem to be a catchy term, but the concept is still the same… a player spends one year with a team before he moves on to the next team.
In the 50-year history of the Milwaukee Bucks, they have had their share of players who have spent just one year with the team and then moved on to the next stop. But have there been any players who had exceptional years in their one-year stop in Milwaukee?
To answer that question, let’s first start with some numbers. Here is a look at the players who had the most points, rebounds and assists in only one season with the Bucks. For example, Richard Jefferson played only one year in Milwaukee and scored 1,607 points. That’s the most points by a player who had just a one-year career in Milwaukee.
Points-800 or more (only one season with Bucks)
1,607-Richard Jefferson, 2009
1,194-Ruben Patterson, 2007
1,023-Wayne Embry, 1969
979-Ken Norman, 1994
938-Swen Nater, 1977
843-Fred Hetzel, 1969
825-Lindsey Hunter, 2001
805-Corey Maggette, 2001
Rebounds-400 or more (only one season with Bucks)
865-Swen Nater, 1977
778-Jamaal Magloire, 2006
672-Wayne Embry, 1969
500-Ken Norman, 1994
473-Fred Hetzel, 1969
440-Ruben Patterson, 2007
436-Benoit Benjamin, 1996
435-Bob Boozer, 1971
410-John Block, 1972
Assists-200 or more (only one season with Bucks)
252-Phil Ford, 1983
243-Keyon Dooling, 2011
232-Ruben Patterson, 2007
225-Freddie Crawford, 1970
225-George Thompson, 1975
222-Lindsey Hunter, 2001
222-Ken Norman, 1994
206-Gary Payton, 2003
So, based on these numbers who would you choose as the best one-season player in Bucks history? To help you make a selection, here’s my choices for eight players who should be considered for this honor. There’s a short narrative about each of these players and their time in Milwaukee. I am listing them in alphabetical order. (Listed in parenthesis is the only year they played in Milwaukee.)
(PPG-Points per Game, RPG-Rebounds per Game, APG-Assists per Game)
Wayne Embry, 1968-69: This season was Embry’s last in the NBA as a player. He came to the Bucks in the 1968 expansion draft from the Cincinnati Royals. He averaged 13.1PPG and 8.6RPG. He averaged over 30 minutes per game in 78 contests for the Bucks. He was the last center for the Bucks before Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. A 1999 inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Embry was the first African-American GM and team President.
Fred Hetzel, 1968-69: Another expansion draft player that played on the original Bucks team. The all-purpose forward averaged 15.9PPG that was third best on the team (it was the second-highest in his six-year NBA career) and grabbed 8.9 RPG that was third best on the team and the highest of his career. He was traded to the Cincinnati Royals after only 53 games with the Bucks that season.
Lindsey Hunter, 2000-01: A three-point specialist, Hunter teamed with Ray Allen that year with the Bucks to give them a potent 1-2 punch from beyond the three-point line. He averaged 10.1PPG that year and was a top reserve for the team. He came to the Bucks from the Detroit Pistons in a trade and was then traded by the Bucks to the L.A. Lakers after that season for Greg Foster. Hunter won an NBA title with the Lakers that season.
Richard Jefferson, 2008-09: He started all 82 games for the Bucks that season. Ended the year averaging 19.6PPG, 4.6RPG and 2.4APG. He was second to Michael Redd in scoring that season. He led the Bucks in three-pointers and three-point attempts that year and was third on the team in rebounds. He was traded to the Bucks from the New Jersey Nets and then almost a year to the date was traded by the Bucks to the San Antonio Spurs. Played 17 years in the NBA.
Jamaal Magloire, 2005-06: A rebounding machine, Magloire led the Bucks in rebounding that year with 9.5RPG (second highest of his career) and also tallied 9.2PPG. He was the Bucks starting center that season starting all 82 of the team’s games. He came to the Bucks in a trade with the Hornets and then was traded to Portland by the Bucks in the off-season for three players. He had a career-high 22 rebounds in a game with the Bucks.
Swen Nater, 1976-77: He was originally drafted by the Bucks in 1973, but decided instead to take his talents to the ABA. He played in the ABA until 1976 and then came to the Bucks in 1976. He led the team in rebounding that season with 12RPG and averaged 13 PPG. At the end of the season he was traded to the Buffalo Braves for a first round draft choice that later became Marques Johnson.
Ken Norman, 1993-94: His numbers that season were 11.9PPG, 6.1RPC and 2.7APG. He was second on the team that year in minutes played. The University of Illinois standout played six seasons with the Clippers and then signed with the Bucks as a free agent. He was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Roy Hinson in the off-season after his year in Milwaukee. He started 75 of the 82 games that season for Milwaukee.
Ruben Patterson, 2006-07: He started 53 of 81 games for the Bucks that season. He had his best year as an NBA player with the Bucks averaging 14.7PPG, 5.4RPG and 2.9APG. His 31 minutes played per game that year was the high of his career as was his 55% field goal percentage. He left the Bucks after the season for the L.A. Clippers, but played only 20 games and was then waived. He never played again in the league.
So, who is your choice? Or is there someone not mentioned that should be considered? Let us know your opinion.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
The last 20 games of the NBA season: Which team is the best over the past three years?
The NBA’s best team (record-wise), the Milwaukee Bucks, was 53-9 on Friday, March 6 before they played the Los Angeles Lakers. They were starting their last 20-game stretch in this season.
A loss to the Lakers that night and another loss to the Phoenix Suns two days later meant the Bucks had started the final 20-game stretch with a 0-2 season.
Fortunately, the Bucks have already secured a playoff spot for this season. For other teams, however, the final 20-game stretch is where they will make a push for not only a spot in the playoffs, but a high seed to gain home court advantage.
Over the past previous three NBA seasons (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19), there were three teams that won 70% or higher of their last 20 games in each of those three seasons… 60 games in total over three campaigns.
Topping the list were the Houston Rockets who went 44-16 (.733) in the last 20 games of the season in the last three years. Two fellow Western Conference teams followed the Rockets: Utah at 43-17 (.717) and Portland at 42-18 (.700).
Here’s a look at how many games each NBA team won in the past three seasons in the last 20 games of the campaign… 60 games total.
40: Golden State
38: San Antonio
36: Denver, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City
28: New Orleans
27: Brooklyn, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit
21: Chicago, L.A. Lakers
15: New York
Only one team, the 1996-97 Utah Jazz, won 19 of their last 20 games of a season. Seven teams won 18 of their last 20, the most recent of those teams being the 2017-18 Philadelphia 76ers. Last season the Rockets won 16 of their last 20 games, the most of any team in the NBA. Portland and San Antonio were next with 15 wins in their last 20 games last season.
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NBA Buzzer-Beaters: Who is the king of the last-second shot?
Ever wonder who the greatest clutch shooter is in NBA history? Is it Michael Jordan? Kobe Bryant? Someone else?
One of my favorite websites is sports-reference.com and their affiliate sites for specific sports like football, basketball and baseball. I use these websites quite often as I research sports stats.
Recently, sports-reference.com noted that they had researched every “buzzer-beater” in NBA history and it was now posted on the basketball-reference.com website. They came up with a comprehensive list of every “buzzer-beater” in NBA history, 772 shots to be exact. They defined a “buzzer-beater” as “successful shots taken with the shooter’s team tied or trailing which left no time on the clock after going through the net.”
The chart lists the player who made the shot, the date, opponent, type of shot (free throw, two-point shot, three-pointer), who assisted on the shot, and the distance of the shot. This is an impressive undertaking.
My curiosity was piqued about which player was listed most often on the list of 772 buzzer-beaters. Here’s the list of 22 players who had four or more career buzzer-beaters in their NBA career.
8-Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson
7-Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce
5-Andre Iguodola, Dwyane Wade
4-Greg Ballard, Larry Bird, Carl Braun, Monte Ellis, World B. Free, Rudy Gay, Bill Laimbeer, Chuck Person, Jerry Stackhouse, John Stockton, Jerry West, Moe Williams
For Milwaukee Bucks fans, the team had 33 buzzer-beaters (and was the victim of a buzzer-beater 26 times). Six players had two or more buzzer-beaters… leading the way was Sidney Moncrief who had three buzzer-beaters with the Bucks. He was followed by five players each who had two buzzer-beaters in a Bucks uniform: Andrew Bogut, Marques Johnson, Khris Middleton, Brian Winters and Mo Williams.
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