Tag Archives: NBA

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

Today’s Sportstat: June 17, 2019

Six Stats you may not know about… Anthony Davis

The big news in sports this past week was the impending trade of Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers. The trade has made the Lakers the betting favorite in Las Vegas to win the NBA championship in 2020.

Davis, who spent one year at the University of Kentucky before jumping to the NBA, is a six-time All-Star in his seven seasons in the league. He is also a three-time all-NBA selection, but he has seen post-season action with the Pelicans in only two of his seven campaigns.

Here are six stats you may not know about Davis.

  1. Davis’ up-to-date career numbers include 23.7 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 2.4 blocks per contest. He is currently one of only four players to have career stats of 23 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. The others: Shaquille O’Neal, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Joel Embiid.
  2. Davis holds the NBA All-Star Game record with 52 points. He did it in the 2017 All-Star Game. He has 103 career All-Star Game points and only one assist to go with those 103 career points. Of the 48 players who have 100 or more career All-Star Game points, he has the fewest assists with one. Paul Arizin is next with six assists.
  3. Davis had 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks in six of his seven NBA seasons. That ties him for 19th in that category. Tim Duncan tops the list with 17 seasons with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 100 blocks.
  4. In four of his seven seasons Davis had 75 steals and 150 blocks. That ties him for eighth most in league history. Hakeem Olajuwon tops the list with 13 such seasons. Davis is one of only 13 in league history to have 100 steals and 200 blocked shots in a season. He did it in 2015. Olajuwon tops this list with 13 seasons with 100 steals and 200 blocks.
  5. In his 13 career playoff games, Davis is averaging 30.5 points per game, 12.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per contest. He is the only 30 points-10 rebounds -2 blocked shots (minimum of 10 playoff games played) player in playoff history.
  6. Davis was the #1 selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. He is, however, second on the list of most career points for players chosen in that draft (Damian Lillard has 12,909 career points to Davis’ 11,059, although Davis 23.7 points per game average ranks ahead of Lillard’s 23.5 for the 2012 draft class) and he is second on the list for most rebounds from that class (fellow 2012 draftee Andre Drummond has 7,424 career rebounds to Davis’ 4,906).

 

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Today’s Sportstat: June 13, 2019

The first to four wins gets the crown

Let’s start with a quick quiz…

How many teams in NBA history have won the first game in an NBA Finals series, was the first team to win two games in that series, was the first team to win three games in that series, but failed to win the fourth game and thus lost in that NBA Finals? One, two, four or six? (Answer towards the end of this article.)

After the Golden State Warriors lost Game One to the Toronto Raptors in this year’s NBA Finals, Warriors guard Klay Thompson made the following statement answering those critics who thought the team was already in trouble after that first loss:

“It’s first team to four (wins), not the first to one (win).”

He’s absolutely right, but does being the team to win Game One in an NBA Finals series matter? Does being the first team to get that second win in an NBA Finals a good thing? Does being the first team to three victories in an NBA Finals the “golden ticket” to a championship?

Let’s try to answer these questions based on the 72-year history of the NBA Finals…

  • Teams that won Game One in an NBA Finals series went on to win that series 51 of 72 times (70.8%).
  • Teams that were the first to win two games in an NBA Finals series went on to win that series 61 of 72 times (84.7%). For the record, in four of the last eight NBA Finals, the team that was the first to win two games in an NBA Finals did not win the title (Miami in 2011, San Antonio in 2013, Cleveland in 2015 and Golden State in 2016).
  • Teams that were the first to win three games in an NBA Finals series went on to win that series 63 of the 72 times (87.5%). Here are the nine times in the NBA Finals when a team was the first to win three games in that series but could not win that fourth game and the championship:

1955: Fort Wayne (first to win three games), Syracuse won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

1962: L.A. Lakers (first to win three games), Boston won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

1969: L.A. Lakers (first to win three games), Boston won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

1978: Seattle (first team to win three games), Washington won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

1988: Detroit (first team to win three games), L.A. Lakers won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

1994: New York Knicks (first team to win three games), Houston won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

2010: Boston (first team to win three games), L.A. Lakers won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

2013: San Antonio (first team to win three games), Miami won Games 6 and 7 and the title.

2016: Golden State (first team to win three games), Cleveland won Games 5, 6 and 7 and the title.

All of the above stats are good news for the Toronto Raptors; they won Game One of this series, they were the first team to win two games and the first team to win three games in their NBA Finals series against Golden State.

There is, however, a precedence that bodes well for the Warriors if they win Game 6. There have been four times in NBA Finals history where a team lost Game One of the NBA Finals series, and their opponent in that series was the first to get two wins and the first to get three wins in the series, but those four teams won the title. The four times this has happened: L.A. Lakers in 1969, Washington in 1978, Miami in 2013 and Cleveland in 2016.

So, the answer to the above trivia question is four teams… the 1969 Lakers, 1978 Sonics, 2013 Spurs and 2016 Warriors each lost the NBA Finals that year after winning Game One, and being the first team in the series to win two games and three games; they, however, could not get that fourth win in that NBA Finals series to capture the championship.

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

Today’s Sportstat: June 3, 2019

Can Toronto become first NBA team to win their NBA Finals debut since 2006?

The Toronto Raptors are the fifth NBA team since 2000 to make their NBA Finals debut; the Indiana Pacers played in the NBA Finals for the first time in 2000, the New Jersey Nets were a first-time NBA Finals team in 2002, the Miami Heat made their NBA Finals debut in 2006 and the Cleveland Cavs made their first appearance in the NBA Finals in 2007.

Of the four teams that made their debuts in the NBA Finals since 2000, only the Miami Heat in 2006 won the title that year.

Going back to the NBA first championship in 1947, there have been 26 teams that have played in the NBA Finals. Of those 26, only 10 won the title in their debut in the Finals. Of those 26, three of those franchises eventually folded: the Chicago Stags, Baltimore Bullets and Washington Capitals. Of the 30 current NBA franchises, 24 franchises (including this year’s first-timer Toronto) have played in the NBA Finals. The six franchises that have not played in the NBA Finals are: the L.A. Clippers, Charlotte, Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans and Memphis.

Following are the 10 NBA franchises that won the championship in their NBA Finals debut… will Toronto become the 11th to do so?

Philadelphia Warriors-1947 (Currently the Golden State Warriors)
Baltimore Bullets-1948 (franchise no longer in existence)
Minneapolis Lakers-1949 (currently the L.A. Lakers)
Rochester Royals-1951 (currently the Sacramento Kings)
Boston-1957
Milwaukee-1971
Portland-1977
Chicago-1991
San Antonio-1999
Miami-2006

 

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Today’s Sportstat: May 23, 2019

Does sweeping an NBA conference final equal an NBA title?

While the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors will determine the Eastern Conference champs by playing at least a six-game series (and maybe a seven-game series), the Golden State Warriors will have 10 days of rest before their first game in the NBA Finals because they swept the Portland Trailblazers in four games in the Western Conference Finals.

One benefit for the Warriors, as mentioned above, is a full 10 days rest before Game One of the NBA Finals. That will help Golden State as they hope that extended period will allow Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins to get healthy and be able to play in the title series. But with their four-game sweep in the conference finals, the obvious questions is… historically speaking, is sweeping a conference finals series a good omen for the finals?

First, the Warriors became the 18th team in NBA history to sweep a conference finals series 4-0 since the format was changed to a best-of-seven series in 1958. Of the previous 17 times when a team won a conference series 4-0, they went on to win the NBA Finals nine times (and lost in the NBA Finals eight times). Of the 18 times that a team has swept an opponent in the conference finals, 13 times it happened in the Western Conference, five times in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It’s interesting to note that of the 17 times that a team advanced to the NBA Finals after a four-game sweep in the conference finals, not once has that team also swept their opponent in four games straight in the NBA Finals. In 1989, however, the Los Angeles Lakers won the Western Conference Finals in a four-game sweep of Phoenix and then were the victims of a sweep in four games by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals.

Here’s a quick look at the nine teams that won an NBA championship after a four-game sweep in the conference finals, and the eight teams that after a four-game sweep in the conference finals then lost the next series in the NBA Finals.

Won NBA title after a four-game sweep in the conference finals: 1977-Portland, 1982-L.A. Lakers, 1986-Boston, 1987-L.A. Lakers, 1991-Chicago, 1996-Chicago, 1999-San Antonio, 2001-L.A. Lakers, 2017-Golden State.

Lost in the NBA Finals after a four-game sweep in the conference finals: 1968-L.A. Lakers, 1970-L.A. Lakers, 1974-L.A. Lakers, 1989-L.A. Lakers, 1998-Utah, 2003-N.J. Nets, 2013-San Antonio, 2015-Cleveland.

Will the 2019 Golden State Warriors repeat what they did in 2017 with an NBA Finals series win after sweeping in the conference finals? Could they become the first team to win an NBA title by sweeping their opponents in the conference finals and the NBA Finals?

 

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp