You Are Here > Basketball-Reference.com > BBR Blog > NBA and College Basketball Analysis

SITE NEWS: We are moving all of our site and company news into a single blog for Sports-Reference.com. We'll tag all Basketball-Reference content, so you can quickly and easily find the content you want.

Also, our existing Basketball-Reference blog rss feed will be redirected to the new site's feed.

Basketball-Reference.com // Sports Reference

For more from Neil, check out his new work at BasketballProspectus.com.

Archive for the 'Trivia' Category

Mailbag: Highest Percentage of Games Started by Rookies

16th August 2011

Nathan emailed us this question today:

"I stumbled across the 97-98 Cavaliers page for some reason and noticed that during that season they started Wesley Person, Shawn Kemp, Cedric Henderson, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Brevin Knight, with Derek Anderson starting 13 games. So that's 8th-year player Kemp, 3rd-year player Person, and 4 rookies in the top 6 in terms of starts! And they made the playoffs!

That has to be the highest percentage of games started by rookies right (discounting the first few seasons of the NBA)?"

Unfortunately our complete start data only goes back to 1983, so I can't speak to teams from early in the NBA's existence (except to say that, obviously, everyone would be a rookie in 1949-50). Since 1983, though, here are the teams that gave the most starts to 1st-year players:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Trivia | 15 Comments »

Mini-Mini-Mailbag: Percentage of League Games That Were Back-to-Backs

22nd July 2011

Quick mailbag for Nick, who asked how many games in each season (since 1999) featured at least 1 team playing its second game in two nights:

1999: 392 of  725 (54.1%)
2000: 494 of 1189 (41.5%)
2001: 481 of 1189 (40.5%)
2002: 504 of 1189 (42.4%)
2003: 487 of 1189 (41.0%)
2004: 475 of 1189 (39.9%)
2005: 500 of 1230 (40.7%)
2006: 474 of 1230 (38.5%)
2007: 486 of 1230 (39.5%)
2008: 483 of 1230 (39.3%)
2009: 471 of 1230 (38.3%)
2010: 490 of 1230 (39.8%)
2011: 497 of 1230 (40.4%)

Hopefully the 2011-12 lockout will resolve quickly, so we don't have to have back-to-backs in 54% of games like in 1999 (and the 102.2 league offensive rating that came with it).

Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Trivia | 10 Comments »

Players & Coaches Who Won Championships With Multiple Teams

27th June 2011

BBR user Kenneth asked:

"I have a question regarding players and coaches with NBA titles--which player(s) and coach(es) have won NBA titles with the most teams? As for players, I suspect Robert Horry, who won titles with the Houston Rockets (2), Los Angeles Lakers (3), and San Antonio Spurs (2), unless another player has won titles with four teams."

Right you are, Kenneth (although, like many people, you forgot about John Salley). Here are all the players and coaches who won championships in the same role with multiple teams:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BBR Mailbag, History, Playoffs, Trivia | 32 Comments »

LeBron James’ Lowest-Usage Playoff Games

8th June 2011

Last night was the lowest-usage game of LeBron James' playoff career, according to the BBR Glossary definition of Usage%:

Date Tm Opp Mp Fg 3p Ft Or-Tr As St Bk To Pf Pts Usg%
6/7/2011 MIA DAL 45.7 3-11 0-3 2-4 3-9 7 2 0 4 4 8 17.9
5/21/2007 CLE DET 45.4 5-15 0-0 0-0 1-10 9 4 1 2 1 10 17.9
5/31/2011 MIA DAL 45.3 9-16 4-5 2-2 0-9 5 1 0 1 4 24 18.7
5/22/2011 MIA CHI 43.9 6-13 1-2 9-9 1-6 10 2 2 0 4 22 20.7
4/27/2011 MIA PHI 41.7 5-13 2-5 4-5 3-10 8 1 0 3 2 16 20.8
4/21/2011 MIA PHI 44.3 8-15 1-4 7-10 1-15 6 1 0 1 1 24 21.2
6/2/2007 CLE DET 46.2 3-11 0-2 14-19 2-14 8 2 2 3 1 20 21.3
4/22/2007 CLE WAS 44.3 7-14 0-2 9-11 2-9 7 2 0 1 1 23 21.5
6/5/2011 MIA DAL 45.3 6-14 1-4 4-4 0-3 9 2 0 4 3 17 22.2
4/27/2010 CLE CHI 43.2 5-12 1-2 8-14 3-10 9 0 2 3 1 19 23.9

It also tied for the fewest shots he ever took in a playoff game, and represented the fewest points he ever scored in a playoff game.

Posted in Playoffs, Statgeekery, Trivia | 50 Comments »

Layups: Top Dunkers of the 2010-11 NBA Season

7th June 2011

Top Dunkers of the 2010-11 NBA Season: At BBR reader Imadogg's blog, he posted dunk leaderboards for the 2011 season, including most total dunks, most dunks per game, and most dunks per minute.

Posted in Layups, Trivia | Comments Off

A 19-Bullet Salute to Shaq

3rd June 2011

As you no doubt know, Shaquille O'Neal, one of the NBA's greatest centers, announced his retirement earlier this week. In honor of Shaq, here are 19 bullet points, one for each season of his illustrious career:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Just For Fun, Trivia | 63 Comments »

Mailbag: NBA MVPs and Their Rings

2nd June 2011

BBR reader Jamey wrote in with this question:

"I'm watching the NBA Finals, and one of the hosts of the pre-game show said that there are 7 players who have won the MVP award that have not won an NBA championship ring. Can you tell me who they are?"

Sure can. In fact, in order to answer this question, I had to create a query that counted rings for all MVPs. Here is that list (I only counted a player as having won a ring if he played in the postseason with an NBA or BAA championship team):

Player Rings MVPs
Bill Russell 11 1958, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1965
Bob Cousy 6 1957
Michael Jordan 6 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 6 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1980
Kobe Bryant 5 2008
Magic Johnson 5 1987, 1989, 1990
Shaquille O'Neal 4 2000
Tim Duncan 4 2002, 2003
Larry Bird 3 1984, 1985, 1986
Willis Reed 2 1970
Dave Cowens 2 1973
Bob McAdoo 2 1975
Bill Walton 2 1978
Hakeem Olajuwon 2 1994
David Robinson 2 1995
Wilt Chamberlain 2 1960, 1966, 1967, 1968
Oscar Robertson 1 1964
Wes Unseld 1 1969
Julius Erving 1 1981
Kevin Garnett 1 2004
Bob Pettit 1 1956, 1959
Moses Malone 1 1979, 1982, 1983
Charles Barkley 0 1993
Allen Iverson 0 2001
Dirk Nowitzki 0 2007
Derrick Rose 0 2011
Karl Malone 0 1997, 1999
Steve Nash 0 2005, 2006
LeBron James 0 2010, 2009

The 7 MVPs who never won a ring are, of course, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, & Derrick Rose. And no matter what happens in the 2011 Finals, either Dirk or LeBron will be able to remove himself from that list.

Posted in Awards, BBR Mailbag, History, Trivia | 9 Comments »

Miami-Dallas: The Strangest Finals Rematch Ever

28th May 2011

Finals rematches usually involve a familiar cast of characters with a great deal of bad blood built up over past battles, right? Repeat clashes where any roster change is minimal, and the two teams can draw on that shared experience to develop strategies going forward... Like the 1985 Finals, where the two teams' playoff rosters had 21 common players from the year before.

That's the mental picture we get when we think of a championship rematch, at least. But not this year. There are only four common players between the 2006 and 2011 Finalists' playoff rosters:

Udonis Haslem
Dirk Nowitzki
Jason Terry
Dwyane Wade

Among Finals rematches that took place within 6 seasons of the initial matchup, that's the fewest common players in league history:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in History, Playoffs, Trivia | 16 Comments »

The Dissolution of the NBA Playoffs’ Ruling Class

9th May 2011

From 2008 to 2010, the NBA playoffs clearly had a "ruling class" that consisted of Boston, Orlando, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Combined, those three teams played 26 playoff series, and just once did one of them lose to a team outside of their own small clique:

Year Round Rd# Team Opp W L Winner
2008 EC1 1 BOS ATL 4 3 BOS
2008 WC1 1 LAL DEN 4 0 LAL
2008 EC1 1 ORL TOR 4 1 ORL
2008 ECS 2 BOS CLE 4 3 BOS
2008 WCS 2 LAL UTA 4 2 LAL
2008 ECS 2 ORL DET 1 4 DET
2008 ECF 3 BOS DET 4 2 BOS
2008 WCF 3 LAL SAS 4 1 LAL
2008 FIN 4 BOS LAL 4 2 BOS
2009 EC1 1 BOS CHI 4 3 BOS
2009 WC1 1 LAL UTA 4 1 LAL
2009 EC1 1 ORL PHI 4 2 ORL
2009 WCS 2 LAL HOU 4 3 LAL
2009 ECS 2 ORL BOS 4 3 ORL
2009 WCF 3 LAL DEN 4 2 LAL
2009 ECF 3 ORL CLE 4 2 ORL
2009 FIN 4 LAL ORL 4 1 LAL
2010 EC1 1 BOS MIA 4 1 BOS
2010 WC1 1 LAL OKC 4 2 LAL
2010 EC1 1 ORL CHA 4 0 ORL
2010 ECS 2 BOS CLE 4 2 BOS
2010 WCS 2 LAL UTA 4 0 LAL
2010 ECS 2 ORL ATL 4 0 ORL
2010 ECF 3 BOS ORL 4 2 BOS
2010 WCF 3 LAL PHO 4 2 LAL
2010 FIN 4 LAL BOS 4 3 LAL

Over that 3-year span, the Lakers-Celtics-Magic triad went 20-1 in series against non-ruling class teams, and as a result the road to the NBA title always went through one of the three teams. The rest of the league was largely irrelevant when it came to determining the championship.

Until this year, that is. For the first time since 2007, a ruling-class team failed to register at least 1 series win in a playoff season, as the Magic fell to the Atlanta Hawks in a 1st-round upset. Yesterday, the Lakers saw their season end against a non-ruling class team for the first time since 2007, losing in embarrassing fashion against the Dallas Mavericks. And the Celtics, for all of Kevin Garnett & Rajon Rondo's heroics in Game 3, still trail Miami's superteam 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

It's tough to make any sweeping statements on the basis of a few week's worth of games, but the 2011 playoffs seem to indicate a major changing of the NBA guard. After having their way with the league's proletariat for three seasons, the once-mighty ruling class now finds itself on the wrong end of a radical upheaval.

Posted in Analysis, History, Playoffs, Trivia | 30 Comments »

Most All-Stars in a Playoff Series (1991-2011)

4th May 2011

This Heat-Celtics series is nothing if not a star-studded affair. A total of seven current All-Stars (Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, & Rajon Rondo) and 2 more former All-Stars (Jermaine O'Neal & Zydrunas Ilgauskas) have drawn minutes in the series so far. But how do those totals stack up to other playoff series since 1991?

First, let's look at the series that featured the most current All-Stars:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in All-Star Game, Analysis, History, Playoffs, Trivia | 6 Comments »