Friday, March 25, 2016

2015 NBA PLAYOFFS: MOST IMPRESSIVE STATISTICS.


MOST IMPRESSIVE STATISTICS IN THE PLAYOFFS (ATTACK / EFFICIENCY / DEFENSE).

Here we are in April 2016, few weeks from the beginning of another playoffs run.
And, what an incredible NBA season with the last two NBA champions trying to beat the best ever team in the regular season: the Chicago Bulls of Michael Jordan in 1995-1996. 
Before, it’s time to look back at the 2015 NBA playoffs with the most impressive statistics in the “first / second round / the conference Finals / the Finals” on ATTACK / EFFICIENCY and DEFENSE.



A. ATTACK/EFFICIENCY.
To begin, congratulations to the Warriors that won the 2015 NBA title (link to the full details of the finals' statistic). As the Spurs did the previous year, the best defending team won. So, within Golden State, the best defender had a defensive rating of 94 while the worst reached 103 (for players playing the full 6 games). For Cleveland, the best defender (according to the defensive rating), Lebron James, had a rating of only 104.
First, a special mention must be made to TIM DUNCAN who produced another round of unbelievable statistics in the first round at age 39.
Thus, he is the only player in the history of playoffs (since 1985) to ever recorded a game with at least 22 Pts, 14 Rbs, 3 Ast and 3 blocks at age 39. Any age, he is easily the leader of this statistic ahead of the best power forward/center to ever play in the NBA (a). Furthermore, only 22 players have been able to play such a game in the playoffs since 1985 (beginning of the statistics).

a. From 1985 to 2015, in the playoffs, requiring Points >= 22 and Total Rebounds >= 14 and Assists >= 3 and Blocks >= 3, sorted by most games matching criteria.
Rk
Player
From
To
Count
1
1998
2015
2
1994
2004
3
1986
1995
4
1993
2000
7
5
1992
1995
6
6
Kevin Garnett
2002
2008
4
7
Pau Gasol
2008
2012
4
8
Dwight Howard
2009
2015
2
9
1993
1997
2
10
Ralph Sampson
1986
1986
2
11
1985
1985
1
12
1986
1986
1
13
Elton Brand
2006
2006
1
14
Anthony Davis
2015
2015
1
15
1994
1994
1
16
Kevin McHale
1986
1986
1
17
Larry Nance
1992
1992
1
18
Lamar Odom
2009
2009
1
19
Paul Pierce
2002
2002
1
20
1996
1996
1
21
2002
2002
1
22
David West
2008
2008
1

Secondly, in the second round, Lebron James was the only player to reach the following statistics: at least 30 Pts, 10 Rbs, 5 Ast and a field goal % above 50%. While doing it for the first time in the 2015 playoffs, he is now tied for the second place in the list of players reaching this statistic in the history of NBA playoffs (link to the full data).
Furthermore, he is only one of the four players to ever play such a game in playoffs with 38 Pts, 12 Rbs, 6 Ast and 3 blocks (b).

b. From 1985 to 2015, in the playoffs, requiring Points >= 38 and Total Rebounds >= 12 and Assists >= 6 and Blocks >= 3, sorted by most games matching criteria.
Player
Year
Count
1990
1
1994
1
2006
1
2015
1

Thirdly, in the conference Finals, Stephen Curry became only one of the 15 players to ever shot over 77% 3-Pt Field Goal Pct while attempting at least nine 3-Pt in a game during the playoffs since 1985 (the statistic).
Finally, in the Finals, Lebron James was only the third player in the Finals (since 1985) to ever play a game with at least 35 points, 13 rebounds 8 assists and 1 steals (he did it twice). However, the caveat is that he played both games with a poor field goal Pct (31% and 44%) while Michael Jordan (55%) and James Worthy (68%) were easily more efficient, respectively in the Finals in 1997 and 1988.



B. DEFENSE.
On defense, as usual, I focused on 2 different sets of data. The first one (a) looks at player impact on opponents points (a global view of the impact of the defense), defensive player impact on opponents’ offensive rebounds (the fewer offensive rebounds, the less second chance points by opponents) and opponents' field goal % (a good defense imply a lower field goal %). Finally, I screened (b) individual statistics specific to defense (defensive rebounds, steals and blocks).
In the first round, I found again the amazing TIM DUNCAN (the best defender of his generation according to statistics; see my article coming soon on the best “defender ever”). Otherwise, we can also see the name of some of the best defenders of the year with Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan.

a. In 2014-15, in the playoffs, requiring Opponent Offensive Rebounds <= 10 and Opponent Field Goal Pct <= 0.35 and Opponent Points <= 80 and Minutes Played >= 24, sorted by most games in season matching criteria.
Rk
Player
Count
1
6
2
3
3
3
4
2
5
2
6
2
7
2
8
1
9
1
10
1
11
1
12
1
13
1
14
1
15
1
16
1
17
1
18
1
19
1
20
1
21
1
22
1
23
1
24
1
25
1
26
1
27
1
28
1
29
1
30
1
31
1
32
1
33
1

b. In multiple seasons, in 2015, in the playoffs, requiring Defensive Rebounds >= 6 and Blocks >= 1 and Steals >= 1, sorted by most games matching criteria. RESULTS for at least 2. 
Rk
Player
Count
Games Played
% of games
1
5
7
71%
2
17
71%
3
21
62%
4
8
14
57%
5
20
50%
6
2
4
50%
7
6
14
43%
8
4
11
36%
9
4
12
33%
21
2
6
33%
10
5
16
31%
11
3
10
30%
12
3
10
30%
13
4
16
25%
14
3
14
21%
15
4
19
21%
16
2
10
20%
17
3
16
19%
18
3
17
18%
19
3
18
17%
20
2
12
17%
22
2
12
17%
23
2
20
10%
24
2
20
10%



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