Tag Archives: National Basketball Association

Lighting up the scoreboard in an NBA debut

Photo of NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier.

NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s start this blog with a quiz…

Of the 10 NBA Hall of Fame players listed below, who scored less than 10 points in his NBA debut and who scored more than 20 points in their first game in the NBA? Here’s a hint: Four of the players listed scored less than 10 points; three of those listed scored 20 or more.

The list: Dave Bing, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan, Bob Lanier, Karl Malone, Pete Maravich, Bob McAdoo, Bill Walton, Dominique Wilkins.

The answer is at the end of this column.

This blog is about NBA debuts. The NBA season got started earlier this week and a couple of rookies got their careers off to a great start. Michael Carter-Williams, the 11th pick of the Philadelphia 76ers (from Syracuse) had a big game in the 76ers upset of the Miami Heat. Carter-Williams had 22 points in his NBA debut. Two other first-year players tallied 10 or more points in their first games. Vitor Faverani, the 25-year-old Brazilian who played professionally in Spain from 2005-13, had 13 points in his NBA debut with the Boston Celtics. Victor Oladipo, the second pick of the 2013 draft (Indiana University) by the Orlando Magic had 12 points in his first game in the league.

Based on research on basketball-reference.com dating back to the 1963-64 NBA season, 21 different players scored 25 or more points in their NBA debut. Topping the list is John Drew who scored 32 points for the Atlanta Hawks on October 18, 1974 against the Chicago Bulls. Here’s a look at the players who scored 25 or more points in their NBA debut since 1963-64.

Points in NBA debut, players

32: John Drew
31: Isiah Thomas
30: Willie Anderson, Allen Iverson, Lamar Odom
29: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gordon Giricek
27: Ron Anderson, Bobby Jackson, Jerry Stackhouse
26: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Darrell Griffith, Magic Johnson, Donyell Marshall, Mitchell Wiggins
25: Willie Burton, Ron Harper, Elvin Hayes, Grant Hill, LeBron James, Rudy Macklin

Trivia answer: The four players who scored less than 10 points in their NBA debut were Dave Bing (0), Clyde Drexler (2), Karl Malone (8) and Pete Maravich (7). The three Hall of Famers who scored 20 or more in their first NBA game were Bob Lanier (22), Bob McAdoo (20) and Dominique Wilkins (23). The other three players on the list were Larry Bird (14), Michael Jordan (16) and Bill Walton (18).

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Hello NBA 2013: Which teams are on the rise?

New York Knicks vs Oklahoma City Thunder

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The 2013-14 NBA season begins tonight as the Miami Heat will try to become the first team to three-peat in the league since the Lakers did it in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

There’s a good chance the Heat will be one of the teams at the end of the season challenging for the title, but what about a team or two to keep an eye on for this season? Here’s a look at the teams that made the biggest improvement in winning percentage last season (and those who dropped the most).

Biggest gainers last year
1. Brookyn Nets +.265 (from .333 in 2011-12 to .598 last season)
2. Golden State Warriors +. 225 (from .348 in 2011-12 to .573 last season)
3. Charlotte Bobcats +.150 (from .106 in 2011-12 to .256 last season)
4. Denver Nuggets +. 119 (from .576 in 2011-12 to .695 last season)
3. New York Knicks + .114 (from 545 in 2011-12 to .659 last season)

Biggest drops in winning percentage
1. Orlando Magic -.317 (from .561 in 2011-12 to .244 last season)
2. Chicago Bulls -.209 (from ,758 in 2011-12 to .549 last season)
3. Phoenix Suns -.195 (from .500 in 2011-12 to .305 last season)
4. Philadelphia -.115 (from .530 in 2011-12 to .415 last season)
5. Boston Celtics -.085 (from .591 in 2011-12 to .506 last season)

While the Nets had the biggest gain in winning percentage last season, two teams increased their winning percentage for the fifth straight season last year. The Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder each increased their winning percentage again last year over 2011-12, giving them five straight seasons of an improved winning percentage. For the Grizzlies, they have gone from a .286 winning percentage in 2007-08 to .293, .488, .561, .621 and .683 last season. The Thunder have gone from .244 in 2007-08 to .280, .610, .671, .712 and .732 last season. The Los Angeles Clippers improved their winning percentage last year for the fourth straight season, while the Nets and Knicks last year improved their winning percentage for a third straight year.

Last season the Dallas Mavericks were the only NBA team to finish the season at .500 (they were 41-41). Sixteen teams were above .500 and 13 teams were below the .500 mark for the season. For the San Antonio Spurs, their winning percentage of .707 last year gave them 16 consecutive years with a record above .500, longest streak in the NBA. They are followed by Denver (10 straight seasons above .500), Los Angeles Lakers (8), Houston (7), Boston (6) and Atlanta and Miami with five.

In the sub.500 category, the Minnesota Timberwolves were only 31-51 last season (a winning percentage of .378) It was the eighth straight year under .500 for the ‘Wolves, longest current streak in the league. They are followed by Sacramento (7) and Detroit, Toronto and Washington each with five straight sub .500 seasons.

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Game Sevens: Will the NHL finals series match the NBA and go 7 games?

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

English: Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals at the ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs took their NBA Finals series to a Game Seven with the Heat winning their second straight title. Now the question is: Can (or will) the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins take their Stanley Cup series to a seventh and deciding game?

Here’s a trivia question for you: When was the last time the NBA and NHL saw their finals series both go to a deciding seventh game in the same season? Answer to follow…

For the record, this was the 18th Game Seven in NBA Finals history and the first since 2010 when the Lakers beat the Celtics in seven games. If you compare the three professional leagues that have a seven-game finals playoff (major league baseball, the NBA and the NHL), the NHL has had the fewest Game Sevens since 1947 (when all three leagues were in existence at the same time) with 14. Major League Baseball has had the most Game Sevens with 26 since ’47.

Only once since 1947 have all three sports had a Game Seven decide their champion. That happened in 1955. The Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees in seven games to win the ’55 World Series; Syracuse won the NBA title in 1955 winning the championship in a seventh game victory over Ft. Wayne; and Detroit won the ’55 Stanley Cup playoffs over Montreal by winning Game Seven.

Other than 1955, there have been a handful of times when two of the three sports saw their title series go the distance with seven games. Major League Baseball and the NBA have gone seven games in the finals in four seasons (1952, 1957, 1960 and 1962… note it hasn’t happened in over 50 years); the NHL and MLB have gone seven games in the finals in six season (1964, 1965, 1971, 1987, 2001 and 2011).

Trivia answer: The last time the NBA and NHL final series both went seven games in the same year was in 1994. The Houston Rockets won the NBA title with a Game Seven win over the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers won the NHL title in 1994 by defeating Vancouver four games to three. That’s the only other time other than 1955 that the NBA and NHL have seen their championship series decided in seven games in the same year.

One more stat: Although the NHL has had the fewest Game Seven final series since 1947, they have had the most since 2000. Since 2000 the NHL has had six finals series go the distance with seven games (it could be seven years if this year’s Chicago-Boston finals goes to a seventh game). Both the NBA and Major League Baseball have seen a seventh game finals series in three years.

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Milwaukee Bucks: Can second round pick Doron Lamb follow in Michael Redd’s footsteps?

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

English: Michael Redd playing with the Milwauk...

Michael Redd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With their second round pick in the draft, the Bucks selected University of Kentucky shooting guard Doron Lamb. The Bucks have generally received favorable marks for their selection of the 6-foot-4 Lamb. In reading some of the comments about the pick, statements like “terrific outside shooter” and “serious scoring threat” have been used to describe Lamb.

For the Bucks, the question is, can Lamb become a solid contributor for the team in his rookie season? The team would most definitely like to see Lamb have the success that another second round shooting guard had with the Bucks in recent history… Michael Redd.

Redd was the 43rd overall pick (14th pick in the second round) in the 2000 draft who went on to score 11,554 in a Bucks uniform (fourth on the all-time scoring list). Of all the players drafted by the Bucks in the second round since 1989 (when the NBA went to a two-round draft), Redd has played the most games for the Bucks.

In addition to Redd, the Bucks have also gotten solid contributions from another pair of second-round draft choices, Ersan Ilyasova and Luc Mbah a Moute.

Following are the Bucks second-round draft picks since 1989 who played the most games in a Bucks uniform in their career.

Player, Draft Year, Games with Bucks (Career NBA games)

Michael Redd, 2000, 578 games (629)

Dan Gadzuric, 2002, 483 games (527)

Luc Mbah a Moute, 2008, 277 games (277)

Ersan Ilyasova, 2005, 267 games (267)

Steve Henson, 1990, 118 games (238)

Rafer Alston, 1998, 114 games (671)

Ramon Sessions, 2007, 96 games (323)

Frank Kornet, 1989, 89 games (89)

David Noel, 2006, 68 games (68)

Jon Leuer, 2011, 46 games (46)

Jodie Meeks, 2009, 41 games (200)

Jerald Honeycutt, 1997, 41 games (54)

In looking at all of the second round selections since 1989, there have been several players who have had solid careers in the NBA. Here’s a rundown of the second round players from each of the last 23 drafts (1989-2011) that have played in the most NBA games to date. (Noted is the year they were drafted in the second round, the team that drafted them, and NBA games played.)

1989: Clifford Robinson, 1,380

1990: Antonio Davis, Indiana, 903

1991: Randy Brown, Sacramento, 655

1992: P.J. Brown, New Jersey Nets, 1,089

1993: Nick Van Exel, Los Angeles Lakers, 880

1994: Howard Eisley, Minnesota, 786

1995: Eric Snow, Milwaukee, 846

1996: Malik Rose, Charlotte, 813

1997: Stephen Jackson, Phoenix, 794

1998: Rashard Lewis, Seattle, 934

1999: Manu Ginobli, San Antonio, 667

2000: Eddie House, Miami, 717

2001: Earl Watson, Seattle, 806

2002: Rasual Butler, Miami, 638

2003: Kyle Korver, New Jersey Nets, 664

2004: Chris Duhon, Chicago, 560

2005: Ryan Gomes, Boston, 482

2006: Paul Millsap, Utah, 462

2007: Glen Davis, Seattle, 338

2008: Mario Chalmers, Minnesota, 289

2009: DeJuan Blair, San Antonio, 227

2010: Landry Fields, New York Knicks, 148

2011: Shelvin Mack, Washington, 64

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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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