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.
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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NBA teams last appearance in conference finals
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