Tag Archives: Milwaukee Bucks

Today’s Sportstat: July 22, 2019

Bucks off-season moves reveal more three-point bombs coming next season

Based on the moves the Milwaukee Bucks have made this off-season, it appears that not reaching the NBA Finals last season won’t stop them from staying the course with their style of play. Anyone thinking that missing out on an NBA title would force the team to adjust their offensive strategy can forget that thought.

Although the team lost a couple of three-point weapons in Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell, the signing of Wes Matthews Jr. and Kyle Korver shows the team is committed to having three-point shooters in the starting line-up and coming off the bench.

Last season the Bucks set a team record with five different players making 75 or more three-pointers during the season (Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brodgon and Tony Snell). That broke the record of four players with 75+ made three-pointers in a season (it happened four seasons, 2016-17, 2012-13, 2010-11 and 2002-03). In addition, the team last year had eight players who attempted 150 or more shots from beyond the arc, again a team record. The eight: Lopez, Middleton, Bledsoe, Brogdon, Snell, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton and Ersan Ilyasova. Seven players attempted 150 or more three-pointers in 2016-17, the previous mark: Giannis, Brodgon, Snell, Matthew Delavedova, Jabari Parker, Mirza Teletovic and Jason terry.

Replacing Brogdon and Snell will be the aforementioned Matthews and Korver. Here is what they bring to the team from three-point range:

  • Matthews was 150-for-403 (37.2%) from beyond the arc last season. In his 10-year NBA career, Matthews has made 75 or more threes in nine of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in all 10 of his seasons. He has played 60 or more games in each of his 10 campaigns and he is a career .382 three-point shooter.
  • Korver is recognized as one of the league’s top long-distance shooters. He was 113-for-294 (38.4%) on threes last season. In his 16-year NBA career he has made 75 or more threes in 15 of those seasons and he has attempted 150 or more threes in 15 of his 16 campaigns. A durable competitor, Korver has played 65 or more games in all but one of his 16 NBA campaigns. He is a career .429 three-point shooter. An added benefit is that Korver played under current Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta; not only that, but in four NBA seasons Korver led the league with the highest three-point shooting percentage… three of those four seasons were in Atlanta playing for Budenholzer.

One downside of the Matthews and Korver signings is that both players are in their 30’s; Korver will be 38 next season and Matthews will be 33. Brogdon is still relatively young in NBA years and will be 26 when the next season begins.

Here’s another interesting stat about Matthews and Korver: Of all NBA players who have attempted 1,000 or more threes in a career, Korver ranks sixth all-time with his three-point career shooting percentage of .429. The five players ahead of Korver are Steve Kerr, Hubert Davis, Stephen Curry, Jason Kapono and Steve Novak. Matthews is in the Top 100 in this list tied for 88th. The only current Bucks player on the list is Khris Middleton who’s .388 career three-point shooting percentage is tied for 62nd on the list.

Bottom line… the Bucks have filled their roster with more three-point shooters for next season. Now imagine what will happen if Brook Lopez can teach his brother, Robin, a new Bucks signee, to step back and launch some threes.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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Today’s Sportstat: June 27, 2019

Giannis and Coach Bud lift NBA hardware

For the 14th time in NBA history, the NBA MVP and the Coach of the Year were from the same team. Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo and Mike Budenholzer were recently selected as the league’s best player and coach.

Unfortunately for the Bucks, success in the form of a championship did not materialize. In fact, of the now 14 times that a player and coach from the same team won POY and Coach honors in a season, only four times has that player and coach hoisted a championship trophy at the end of the season.

The last time it happened was in 2003 when Tim Duncan won the league MVP and his coach, Gregg Popovich, was selected as the Coach of the Year. Their team, the San Antonio Spurs, also won the title that season.

Here’s a look at the 14 times when a team had the league MVP and Coach of the Year (also noted is how well the team did in the playoffs that season).

1965: Boston, MVP-Bill Russell, Coach-Red Auerbach (won NBA title)

1966: Philadelphia, MVP-Wilt Chamberlain, Coach-Dolph Schayes (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

1969: Baltimore, MVP-Wes Unseld, Coach-Gene Shue (lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals)

1970: New York Knicks, MVP-Willis Reed, Coach-Red Holzman (won NBA title)

1973: Boston, MVP-Dave Cowens, Coach-Tom Heinsohn (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

1990: Los Angeles Lakers, MVP-Magic Johnson, Coach-Pat Riley (lost in the Western Conference Semifinals)

1996: Chicago, MVP-Michael Jordan, Coach-Phil Jackson (won NBA title)

2001: Philadelphia, MVP-Allen Iverson, Coach-Larry Brown (lost in the NBA Finals)

2003: San Antonio, MVP-Tim Duncan, Coach-Gregg Popovich (won NBA title)

2005: Phoenix, MVP-Steve Nash, Coach-Mike D’Antoni (lost in the Western Conference Finals)

2009: Cleveland, MVP-LeBron James, Coach-Mike Brown (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

2011: Chicago, MVP-Derrick Rose, Coach-Tom Thibodeau (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

2016: Golden State, MVP-Steph Curry, Coach-Steve Kerr (lost in the NBA Finals)

2019: Milwaukee, MVP-Giannis Antetokounmpo, Coach-Mike Budenholzer (lost in the Eastern Conference Finals)

 

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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?

 

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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.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp