Tag Archives: NBA

Today’s Sportstat: March 9, 2020

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.

44: Houston
43: Utah
42: Portland
41: Toronto
40: Golden State
38: San Antonio
37: Boston
36: Denver, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City
34: Philadelphia
31: Indiana
28: New Orleans
27: Brooklyn, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit
26: Orlando
25: Washington
24: Minnesota
23: Sacramento
22: Atlanta
21: Chicago, L.A. Lakers
20: Memphis
18: Dallas
15: New York
14: Phoenix

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.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: January 27, 2020

 

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Kobe averaged under 20.0 points per game in a season in only five of his 20 seasons.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. His 290 All-Star Game points is second all-time behind James who has 362.
  7. Kobe had 5,640 playoff points, good enough for fourth all-time behind LeBron, Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. He started only seven games in the first 150 he played in the league.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Kobe made the NBA All-Defensive team 12 times. Tim Duncan tops the list making that All-NBA Defensive team 15 times.
  19. Kobe made the first team All-Defensive team nine times, tied for most all-time with Kevin Garnett, Gary Payton and Michael Jordan.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: November 30, 2019

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)
2000: Houston
2004: Denver, Miami
2005: Charlotte
2006: New Orleans
2009: Memphis, Oklahoma City
2010: Golden State, Milwaukee, Sacramento
2011: Los Angeles Clippers, Washington
2013: Portland
2016: Minnesota
2018: Chicago, Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia, Utah
2019: Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Phoenix

 

 

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

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)

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sports Stat: June 20, 2019

TODAY’s SPORTSTAT-June 20, 2019

Overall #1 draft picks in NBA usually don’t stay with team that drafts them

The 2019 NBA draft is tonight (Thursday, June 20), so here’s a tidbit that you may find interesting…

I’m not ready to pin the tag of “Nostradamus” on myself or give myself a new nickname… “Tappradamus,” but here’s something I came across recently. It was written in one of my “Stats on Tapp” blogs almost seven years ago, dated June 28, 2012:

“It appears that Kentucky’s Anthony Davis will be the first overall pick in tonight’s NBA draft, taken by the New Orleans Hornets. Before Hornets fans get too excited and think that they will have a front-row seat to watching Davis develop into an NBA star and then retire as a Hornet, the reality is that not all number one overall picks stay with the team that drafted them.”

I wasn’t going out on a limb, per se, especially considering that many overall #1 draft choices in the NBA tend to leave the team that drafted them, but there are a handful of number ones who stayed with their draft team their entire careers. With his impending trade to the Lakers from the Pelicans, it appears that Anthony Davis will fulfill my prophesy and will not stay his entire career with the New Orleans franchise.

From 1950 to 2009, there were 60 NBA drafts and 60 different overall first picks in the draft. Of those 60, only nine players (15%) who were the number one pick in the draft stayed with that team that drafted them their entire career. Even if you look at the nine number one selections from 2010-18, three of the nine have already moved on to a different team than the one that drafted them, and one player, Andrew Wiggins, was drafted by the Cleveland Cavs in 2014 and was traded two months later to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a swap that brought Kevin Love to the Cavs.

Here is a look at the nine overall #1 draft picks in the NBA Draft from 1950-2009 who played their entire careers with the team that drafted them.

1958: Elgin Baylor, Minnesota/L.A. Lakers
1972: LaRue Martin, Portland
1973: Doug Collins, Philadelphia
1979: Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers
1982: James Worthy, Los Angeles Lakers
1986: Brad Daugherty, Cleveland
1987: David Robinson, San Antonio
1997: Tim Duncan, San Antonio
2002: Yao Ming, Houston

For the record, John Wall was the number one selection in the NBA draft in 2010 by the Washington Bullets and he is still a member of that team. The last four number one overall choices in the draft are all still with the team (as of the 2018-19 season) that drafted them… 2015-Karl-Anthony Towns, 2016-Ben Simmons, 2017-Markelle Fultz, 2018-Deandre Ayton.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp