Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
The first round of the 2012 NBA playoffs tip-off with four games today and four tomorrow. The San Antonio Spurs will be playing in their 15th consecutive NBA playoffs, the longest active streak in the league. Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks hold the second spot in that category; they are playing in their 12th straight playoffs.
Starting with the 2003 playoffs, the NBA went to a seven-games series in the first round instead of the previous five-game first round series. As you might expect, the Spurs have won the most first round games since 2003 with 31. They are followed by the Los Angeles Lakers with 28 and the Mavs with 26.
Since 2003, the Spurs have won seven of the nine first round series they have played. The Lakers have won six of the eight first round series they have played. One of the surprises is that the Detroit Pistons have won six of the seven first round series they have played in since 2003.
Two teams, the New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats, have not won a first round game since 2003. In fact, the Bobcats have never won a playoff game since they came into the league in 2004-05. The Knicks has not won a playoff game since 2001; they lost three games to two in the first round of the ’01 playoffs to the Toronto Raptors. (Note the Cleveland Cavaliers have the best first round winning percentage since 2003 with a 20-5 record, a .800 winning percentage.)
Here’s a look at how well each team has done in the first round of the NBA playoffs since 2003.
Team, First Round Games W/L Record (2003-11), Winning Pct.
San Antonio 31-17 .646
Los Angeles Lakers 28-16 .636
Dallas 26-25 .510
Detroit 24-12 .667
Boston 23-17 .575
Cleveland 20-5 .800
Miami 20-18 .526
Phoenix 19-14 .576
Orlando 17-15 .531
New Jersey 16-10 .615
Chicago 16-17 .485
Atlanta 15-12 .556
Utah 14-15 .483
Indiana 13-15 .464
Houston 13-18 .419
New Orleans Hornets 12-17 .414
Sacramento 11-10 .524
Denver 11-29 .275
Oklahoma City 10-6 .625
Philadelphia 10-18 .357
Portland 9-16 .360
Washington 8-14 .364
Milwaukee 7-16 .304
Minnesota 6-5 .545
Los Angeles Clippers 4-1 .800
Golden State 4-2 .667
Memphis 4-14 .222
Toronto 3-8 .273
New York 0-8 .000
Charlotte 0-4 .000
Did you know? The Boston Celtics and the Lakers are the only teams to have won a first round series in each of the past four seasons. The Atlanta Hawks have won a first round series in each of the last three playoffs.
“SIX STATS…” is a bonus feature of Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ and is published every Friday.
In the “Lin-sanity” that is Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks recent resurgence, lost to some has been the play of another bench player, Steve Novak. The Milwaukee native and Marquette grad has provided much-needed offense off the bench for the Knicks, especially from three-point range. Here’s a few stats on Novak’s play in the past few weeks. (Stats are through games of February 29.)
2. For his NBA career, Novak has attempted 863 shots, 626 of them from three-point range. (72.5% of his shot attempts). This season, Novak has taken 107 shots, 86 of them from behind the arc (over 80% of his shots).
3. Novak has played in 24 of the Knicks 36 games this season. In the first 12 games Novak played, the Knicks were 4-8. In the past 12 games he played, the Knicks are 9-3. In those first 12 games, he did not score in double figure in any game. In the past 12 contests, he has scored in double figures in eight of the 12 games. In his previous 12 games he scored a total of 41 points, shooting 44.4% from the arc. In his last 12 games, Novak is averaging 12.7 points per game and is shooting just under 47% from three-point range.
4. In the first 12 games he played in the 2011-12 season, Novak’s longest playing time in a game was just over 19 minutes. In the last 12 games, Novak has played more than 16 minutes in each game, with a high of 29 1/2 minutes in one contest.
5. In his NBA career, Novak has a shooting percentage of .472 from three-point range in games his teams won. In games his teams lost, Novak has a shooting percentage of .396.
6. His NBA career stats show that Novak really starts to find his range from three-point land the longer he plays in a game. If he plays 0-9 minutes, his three-point pct is .356; if he plays 10-19 minutes in a game, his three-point pct is .415; if he plays 20-29 minutes, his three-point pct is .470; and if he plays 30-39 minutes, his three-point pct is .500.
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
The Miami Heat went into the All-Star break with an eight-game winning streak. That streak, however, was also colored with eight victories that were each won by 10 points or more. The eight straight wins by 10 points or more by the Heat made them the 14th team in NBA history to accomplish this feat.
So the question becomes, can LeBron, Dwyane and the Miami gang break the record for most consecutive wins by 10 points or more… 10 straight games? To do it, they will have to win three straight games by double-figures on the road. After the break they face Portland on March 1, travel the next night to take on the Utah Jazz, and, if they win both of those games by 10 points or more, go for the record against the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Following are the teams which have won the most consecutive games by 10 points or more. In addition, I’ve also listed those teams which have won the most consecutive games by 15 or more points, 20 or more points, and 25 or more points.
Consecutive wins by 10+ points, Teams, Year
10: Washington, 1946… New Jersey, 2004… Houston, 2008.
9: Boston, 2007… Cleveland, 2008… Miami, 2010
Consecutive wins by 15+ points, Teams, Year
8: Detroit, 2004
6: Cleveland, 1989…. Phoenix, 1990
Consecutive wins by 20+ points, Teams, Year
5: Milwaukee, 1970… Portland, 1978
Consecutive wins by 25+ points, Teams, Year
4: Houston, 1993
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’s a biweekly blog published every Wednesday and Sunday with a bonus “SIX STATS…” posting every Friday.
Last season Oklahoma City faced off against Dallas in one conference finals and the Miami Heat played the Chicago Bulls in the other conference championship series. In the 2010 NBA playoffs, four different teams played in the conference championship series… Boston, the Lakers, Orlando and Phoenix.
Following are the longest droughts for NBA teams playing in a conference final series.
Last time in conference finals… team
Never (franchise began 1970-71)… L.A. Clippers
1976… Golden State
Never (franchise began in 1988-89)… New Orleans Hornets
Never (franchise began in 1995-96)… Memphis and Toronto
2000… New York Knicks and Portland
2001… Milwaukee and Philadelphia
2003… New Jersey Nets
2004… Indiana and Minnesota
Never (franchise began in 2004-05)… Charlotte
2008… Detroit and San Antonio
2009… Cleveland and Denver
2010… Boston, L.A. Lakers, Orlando and Phoenix
2011… Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Oklahoma City