Tuesday, July 01, 2014

2014 NBA PLAYOFFS: MOST IMPRESSIVE STATISTICS IN THE NBA FINALS.

Most impressive "ATTACK / EFFICIENCY / DEFENSE" players’ statistics in the 2014 NBA PLAYOFFS: The Finals.


A. ATTACK/EFFICIENCY.
First, congratulations to the San Antonio SPURS that won the NBA Finals.
To summarize, the best defensive team won with all SPURS’ players reaching a defensive rating below or equal to 111 while the best player within the HEAT was only at 115 (link to the data).
The most exciting part of the year in “planet basket” ended with the finals’ NBA. Over the last month, we looked at the most impressive statistics in the first round (link to the article), the second round (link to the article) and the conference finals (link to the article). Today, we screened data for the last time for the 2014 NBA season with the most impressive statistics in the finals.
As usual, I began with my benchmark of "all around/versatile player" (a similar benchmark to the one used to determine my G.O.A.T/per decade, while less focused on defense and efficiency; see my article: What do the statistics say about who should be the Greatest Of All Time(G.O.A.T)? PART 1.).
A special mention must be made to 2 players in these finals.
Firstly, Kawhi Leonard became only one of the eleven players in history of NBA playoffs (since 1985) to play a game (a) with at least 20 Pts, 14 Rbds, 3 blocks and 3 steals.

a. From 1985 to 2014, in the playoffs, requiring Points >= 20 and Total Rebounds >= 14 and Blocks >= 3 and Steals >= 3, sorted by most games matching criteria.
Rk
Player
From
To
Count
1
1986
1993
6
2
2004
2012
3
3
1995
2000
3
4
2003
2008
2
5
1993
1995
2
6
1985
1985
1
7
1994
1994
1
8
1990
1990
1
9
2014
2014
1
10
1990
1990
1
11
2003
2003
1

Secondly, Tim Duncan, as usual, continued to amass records while going older. Thus, he is now only one of the 3 players in history of playoffs (since 1985) to play a game with at least 21 Pts, 10 Rbs, 3 Ast and a field goal % of 90% (b).

b. From 1985 to 2014, in the playoffs, requiring Points >= 21 and Total Rebounds >= 10 and Assists >= 3 and Field Goal Pct >= 0.90, sorted by most games matching criteria.
Rk
Player
From 
To
Count
1
Tim Duncan
2014
2014
1
1
1989
1989
1
1
1986
1986
1

Furthermore, he is only one of the 2 players to reach (c) 18 Pts, 15 Rbs, 1 Ast and 1 Block during a game in playoffs (age above 38). With this performance, he also tied the first place (all age) with Shaquille O’Neal as the leader of this statistic in the history of NBA playoffs (link to the full data).

c. From 1985 to 2014, age 38 or older, in the playoffs, requiring Points >= 18 and Total Rebounds >= 15 and Assists >= 1 and Blocks >= 1, sorted by most games matching criteria.
Rk
Player
From 
To
Count
1
Tim Duncan
2014
2014
2
2
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1985
1985
2

Also worth to remember is that Lebron James was the only player to reach the following statistics during a game of the finals: at least 30 Pts, 10 Rbs, 5 Ast but with a field goal % below 50%. If he had played this game with a field goal % above 50%, he would have tied the first place for the record in the history of NBA playoffs (link to the full data).
I then screened (d) the most efficient shooters in the finals (see my article on the best efficient shooters ever in NBA history in the regular season). 

d. In 2014, in the playoffs, round is Finals, requiring 2-PT Field Goal Pct >= 0.5 and 3-Pt Field Goal Pct >= 0.4 and Free Throw Pct >= 0.9 and Minutes Played >= 24, sorted by most games matching criteria.
Rk
Player
Count
1
1
1
1
1
1




B. DEFENSE.
On defense, 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 finals, I found only 2 players from the San Antonio Spurs: Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan who are both known for their excellent defense.

a. Per 48 minutes, in 2013-14, in the playoffs, round is Finals, requiring Opponent Offensive Rebounds <= 10 and Opponent Field Goal Pct <= 0.35 and Opponent Points <= 80 and Minutes Played >= 30, sorted by most games in season matching criteria.
No players.

b. In 2014, in the playoffs, round is Finals, requiring Defensive Rebounds >= 6 and Blocks >= 1 and Steals >= 1, sorted by most games matching criteria.
Rk
Player
Count
1
2
2
1


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