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.
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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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24 stats you may not know about Kobe Bryant
The sports world was stunned by the news that Kobe Bryant died along with eight other people (including his 13-year-old daughter) yesterday in a helicopter accident.
Bryant was a legend in the game of basketball and his stats like his 20 years with the Los Angeles Lakers, five NBA titles, 18 NBA All-Star Game selections, and the fourth leading scorer in league history are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the influence he had on the game.
In honor of Kobe’s number 24 that he wore (he also wore number 8 in his career), here are 24 stats you may not know about Kobe.
- Kobe entered the league in 1996 as a teenager. He tallied 1,759 points in the league as a teenager. That is second most all-time in the league behind LeBron James who scored 2,362 points as a teenager. Kobe also scored 1,943 points in the regular season at age 36 and beyond, 28th most in the league. He is the only player in the league to tally 1,500 points as a teenager and score 1,500 points at age 36 and older.
- He ended his career with 33,643 points, 7,047 rebounds and 6,306 assists. He is one of only four players in NBA history to have 25,000 points, 7,000 rebounds and 6,000 assists in an NBA career. The others: Oscar Robertson, LeBron James and John Havlicek.
- Kobe averaged under 20.0 points per game in a season in only five of his 20 seasons.
- He had 12 seasons where he averaged 25.0 or more points per game. That ties him for second on the all-time list with Michael Jordan and Karl Malone. Leading the way with 16 seasons with 25.0 points per game in a season is LeBron James.
- Bryant had 290 points, 75 rebounds and 70 assists in his career in the NBA All-Star Game. Only two other players have scored 100 points and had 70 rebounds and 70 assists in a career in the All-Star Game: LeBron James and Bob Cousy.
- His 290 All-Star Game points is second all-time behind James who has 362.
- Kobe had 5,640 playoff points, good enough for fourth all-time behind LeBron, Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
- Only seven players have 1,000 or more rebounds and 1,000 or more assists in their NBA playoff careers: Kobe, Magic Johnson, LeBron, Jason Kidd, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen and Jordan.
- Bryant ranks third all-time on the list for most playoff minutes with 8,643. LeBron James tops the list with 10,050 and Tim Duncan is second with 9,364.
- Bryant never had a regular season in the NBA where he shot 50% or higher. In fact, his highest field goal percentage was .469 in 2001-02.
- He started only seven games in the first 150 he played in the league.
- Kobe as drafted 13th in the 1996 NBA Draft. The number one pick that year was Allen Iverson. Of all the players selected in that draft, Kobe tops the list with 1,346 games played in the league and his 33,643 points is the most by any player taken in that draft. He is the only player drafted in the ’96 NBA Draft who played 20 or more seasons in the league.
- Basketball-reference.com on his profile page lists his yearly salary while he played in the league. He ended his career with salaries totaling $328,238,062.
- He made his NBA debut on November 3, 1996. He played 6:22 and had one field goal attempt, one rebound, one block and one turnover.
- His last game was played on April 13, 2016. In 42:09 minutes played, Kobe scored 60 points on 22-for-50 from the field, including 6-for-21 from beyond the three-point arc.
- Born in Philadelphia, PA, Bryant’s 33,643 career points is the most by any NBA player born in Pennsylvania. Second on the list is Wilt Chamberlain with 31,419.
- During his career, Kobe averaged 27.3 points per game in the regular season versus the Portland Trailblazers, highest against any team in the league. His lowest points per game in his career were against the Detroit Pistons, 22.2.
- Kobe made the NBA All-Defensive team 12 times. Tim Duncan tops the list making that All-NBA Defensive team 15 times.
- Kobe made the first team All-Defensive team nine times, tied for most all-time with Kevin Garnett, Gary Payton and Michael Jordan.
- Bryant had five seasons in his career where he averaged 40 or more minutes played per game. He is one of 16 players in league history to do so. Wilt Chamberlain had 14 seasons where he averaged 40 or more minutes played for the campaign.
- Kobe is one of only three players to attempt 25,000 or more shots in NBA regular season games in a career. He attempted 26,200. Karl Malone had 26,210 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 28,307.
- Kobe Bryant was a second team All-Rookie selection in his first season. The first team that year was Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Marcus Camby, Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury and Antoine Walker. Also on the second team with Kobe were Ray Allen, Kerry Kittles, Travis Knight and Matt Malone.
- After being drafted by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th pick of the 1996 NBA Draft, Kobe was traded to the Lakers for Vlade Divac in a draft day swap. Divac eventually came back to the Lakers in 2004-05 and played 15 games for the team with Kobe. Divac retired after that season.
- Kobe and Bob Petti are the only players to win four NBA All-Star Game MVPs. LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson and Shaquille O’Neal each won three All-Star Game MVP awards.
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NBA rookies who average 15 or more points in a season
When NBA teams add rookies to their roster, they are hopeful these first-year players can make a contribution. A small number of rookies become starters in their first year, while others spend a great deal of time on the bench. Teams are pleasantly surprised when these rookies can contribute major minutes and points to the team.
Let’s set 15 points per game as a standard… last season the NBA saw four players average 15 or more points in their rookie season in the league: Lukas Doncic, Dallas (21.2 points per game), Trae Young, Atlanta (19.1), Collin Sexton, Cleveland (16.7) and Deandre Ayton, Phoenix (16.3).
This season, through games of November 29, there are five players who are averaging 15 or more points per game (PPG) in their first season in the league. Leading the way is Ja Morant of Memphis who is averaging 18.6 PPG for the Grizzlies. He is followed by Eric Paschall, Golden State (17.0), Kendrick Nunn, Miami (16.4), R.J. Barrett, New York Knicks (15.3) and Tyler Herro, Miami (15.1).
If the Knicks’ Barrett should end his first season with a PPG of 15 or more, it would be noteworthy… the Knicks have not had a rookie average 15 of more PPG since Patrick Ewing average 20.0 PPG for the Knicks in 1986, a run of more than 30 years since a rookie has tallied 15 or more PPG for the team.
Here is a look at the last time each NBA had a rookie average 15 or more points per game in a season (minimum of 40 games played to qualify). Note: The last rookie to average 15 or more PPG for a team prior to 2000 is listed in parenthesis.
1986: New York Knicks (Patrick Ewing)
1987: Indiana (Chuck Person)
1994: Orlando (Anfernee Hardaway)
1995: Detroit (Grant Hill)
1998: Brooklyn (Keith Van Horn); San Antonio (Tim Duncan)
1999: Boston (Paul Pierce); Toronto (Vince Carter)
2004: Denver, Miami
2006: New Orleans
2009: Memphis, Oklahoma City
2010: Golden State, Milwaukee, Sacramento
2011: Los Angeles Clippers, Washington
2018: Chicago, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia, Utah
2019: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Phoenix
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