Friday, February 28, 2014

STATISTICS ABOUT BASKETBALL GOAT. PART 2.

What do the statistics say about who should be the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T)? PART 2.


A. INTRODUCTION.
We are now moving to the 70's decade, one of transition between the 60's and the 80's. The former was dominated by one team - the Boston Celtics - and the game of some amazing players, Mister 100 points, Mister 11 championships and Mister triple double. The latter was the decade of the "show time" between the Lakers & the Celtics, and the arrival of another 3 amazing players, Larry Bird  (link to his statistics), Magic Johnson (link to his statistics) and Michael Jordan (link to his statistics).
In summary, the 70's was dominated by two players usually in the G.O.A.T discussion (Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and the fusion of the NBA & the ABA.

Just to remind you, I put the introduction of my part 1 and the link to the article (if you want to access the statistics that I use to elect the G.O.A.T of every decade).   

What I wanted to look at for a long time was: What do the statistics say about who should be the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T)? Effectively, outside of statistics, we all have a point of view about who is/was/should be considered the G.O.AT. Just to name a few that are widely considered as a reference over the decades:
·         Bill Russell with his eleven titles,
·         Wilt Chamberlain with the most impressive statistics ever for a player, 
·         Kareem Abdul Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer,
·        Larry Bird & Magic Johnson, the 2 "show time" leaders of the 80's,  
·        Michael Jordan, a guy called "God" by mister Bird,
·    And Shaquille O'Neal (link to his statistics) & Tim Duncan, the two most dominant winners/players since Jordan's departure.


B. RESULTS.
Here is the result for players reaching my benchmark of 5 variables/statistics in at least 2 years of playoffs (you can click on any player in the table below to reach his complete statistics; season and playoffs. Otherwise, if you click on any player in the text about his statistic, you will attain its bio, if there is one on nba.com): 

G.O.A.T RANK
Player
From
To
TOTAL G.O.A.T SCORE (years my benchmark have been reached by the player)
In % of years played in playoffs
1
1972
1984
11
68,8%
2
1970
1984
9
50,0%
3
1972
1975
4
50,0%
3
1972
1975
4
36,4%
3
1974
1980
4
44,4%
6
1970
1972
3
30,0%
6
1970
1972
3
37,5%
6
1970
1973
3
37,5%
6
1976
1983
3
23,1%
6
1977
1983
3
23,1%
6
1971
1973
3
50,0%
12
1976
1979
2
25,0%
12
1972
1974
2
15,4%
12
1976
1981
2
40,0%

a. The top 3 of the 70's decade? 
  1. Julius Erving is the G.O.A.T of the 70's with a total of 11 years (which is currently the record, tacking in account all players and decades). Over his 16 years career (he played every year in playoffs), The Doctor won 3 championships (2 in ABA and 1 in NBA) and had impressive statistics: 24.2 Pts, 8.5 TRB, 4.4 AST & 55.3 TS% per game. [For the record, with his 11 years, Julius Erving is ahead of Tim Duncan (10 years) and Michael Jordan/Kareem Abdul Jabbar (9 years). As we will see in our final part 6 on this subject (the current decade), there are 2 players (widely recognized as the 2 best in the game today) that are chasing this record: Lebron James (already 7 years at age 29) and Kevin Durant (already 3 years at age 25)].
  2. Kareem Abdul Jabbar, second for the 70's decade, went 18 years in playoffs and reached 9 times my statistical benchmark. He won 6 NBA championships and 6 regular season MVP trophies (a record). He also had impressive statistics over his 18 years with 24.3 Pts, 10.5 TRB, 3.2 AST & 57.1% TS%. Cap missed my benchmark mainly due to his True Shooting Percentage (5 times).
  3. In third place, we have a tie with Walt Frazier, Artis Gilmore and Bob Lanier (4 years each). The first won 2 NBA titles with New York while making 8 trips in playoffs with solid statistics: 20.7 Pts, 7.2 TRB, 6.4 AST & 55.7% TS% per game. The second won 1 championship in ABA and made 11 playoffs while producing big statistics: 17.7 Pts, 12.7 TRB, 2.3 AST & 60.2 TS% per game. Finally, the third went 9 years in playoffs with strong statistics: 18.6 Pts, 9.6 TRB, 3.5 AST & 57.3 TS% per game.
 b. The followers and the biggest surprise/miss? 
  1. There are 6 players that reached my statistical benchmark 3 years. Within this group, Roger Brown won 3 championships (ABA titles). In term of points, the leader is Rick Barry with 27.3 Pts per game ahead of George Gervin (26.5 Pts per game). The leader in rebounds is Billy Cunningham (9.5 TRB) followed by Dan Issel (9.4 TRB). In assists, Rick Barry leads the group with 4.3 AST ahead of Roger Brown (3.7 AST). Finally, in TS%, George Gervin (56%) is first and Roger Brown second (55.80%).
  2. To finish, 3 players reached my statistical benchmark for at least 2 years. John Havlicek won 8 championships with Boston (he was the Finals MVP in 1974) ahead of Bob Dandridge (2 titles). John Havlicek leads this group in points (22 Pts per game in playoffs) and assists (4.8 AST per game). Bob Dandridge is the leader in rebounds (7.7 TRB) while Billy Knight is first in TS% (59.40%).
  3. The most surprising statistic of the 70's is probably the fact that Kareem Abdul Jabbar reached my benchmark only 9 times over his illustrious career, 50% of the years he went in playoffs (Julius Erving is the leader on this statistic with 68.8%).  
Source: www.basketball-reference.com and www.nba.com. 

NEXT ARTICLE IN THE SERIE: STATISTICS ABOUT BASKETBALL GOAT. PART 3.

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