Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ask Sports Sturm: NBA Playoff Wins



I heard a statistic the other day that I could not believe.  And, if you are wired as I am wired, you have to know more.  It went something like this:
Tim Duncan has more playoff wins than 20 other NBA franchises.
Wow.  That is enough information to read, re-read, ponder, and repeat.

Of course, I am not made to simply read something and move on.  I want to know the answers to a number of questions.  The fact that you read my blogs might indicate you would be interested in these questions, too.

So let's do it.

1) - How many Playoff Wins does he have?

He has 130 wins as of right this moment.  This number could change as early as this evening, but through 1 win in the 2013 NBA Finals, he has broken the 130 barrier - something that has been done (by my calculations) only 7 times in NBA History.

2) - And 130 playoff wins is more than 20 of the 30 NBA Franchises have won?

Exactly.  The Charlotte Bobcats have 0 and a few other teams have fewer than 20 (all expansion teams) Minnesota (17), Toronto (11), and Memphis (18).  Several other teams come in under 60 playoff wins - like the Hornets, Clippers, Magic, and Nets.  The 60-80 all-time playoff win club includes: the Nuggets (61), Cavaliers (70), Washington (77), and Kings (80).  Then, a trio fall under 100 in a group that includes Indiana (99), Portland (97), and your Dallas Mavericks who have registered 86 all-time playoff wins.

The Miami Heat won their 100th playoff game on Sunday night in Game 2 of the Finals, Then, Milwaukee has 104, Golden State 110, Utah 114, and Houston 118.  And that rounds up the 20 franchises that have fewer playoff wins than Tim Duncan himself.

3) - So who is he still chasing?  Who are the Top 10 and can he catch any of them?

Perhaps a few more.  He could tie the Phoenix Suns (133) in these finals.  Oklahoma City/Seattle is at 136, and Atlanta (believe it or not) holds at 140.  Those are the few in range.  The Top 7 would seem highly unlikely.  Chicago is at 177.  He will never catch San Antonio (for obvious reasons) at 183.  The Knicks (186) and Detroit (189) are in the Top 5.  And then the 3 that are above all others and a large distance from the field and each other:  #3 all-time is Philadelphia (217), #2 all-time is Boston (344) and the #1 all-time franchise for playoff victories are those Los Angeles Lakers with an absurd 440 playoff wins.

4) - He surely is #1 for playoff wins as a player, right?

Negative.  Not even as an active player.  Most might guess that Kobe Bryant is above him - and he is at 135.  But, not even Kobe is #1.  That total would actually go to Derek Fisher with 151 career playoff wins.  He was next to Kobe Bryant for all those Lakers wins and then he added on an additional bunch in the last 2 years with the Thunder to put up a total that Duncan will have a hard time reaching.

Those 2, Duncan, and Tony Parker (104) are the only active players over 100, but Manu Ginobili can get there tonight as he sits at 99.  LeBron is at 85, with Ray Allen at 84, and Dwyane Wade at 79 - tied with Chauncey Billups and Jason Kidd.  In case you wonder, Dirk Nowitzki sits at 64, which is actually fewer playoff wins than Kendrick Perkins (64) and 2 more than Lamar Odom (62).

5) - What about all-time?

This is a difficult statistic to pin down, as the NBA records are still not where they need to be.  It takes hours to comb through box scores and somehow the basketball world treats things that are pre-1980 as more cumbersome than baseball handles pre World War 1 records.  So, what you are about to see is what I could do in 1 morning with a legal pad and coffee.  Also, we should let the young ones know that while it takes 16 wins to win the NBA title, it was 15 in the 1980s, 12 in the 1970s, and 8 in the 1960s.  Therefore, Bill Russell - with all 11 of his NBA titles - has only 108 playoff wins.  11 titles now days would require 176 playoff wins alone.

But, with the playoff format as it is, the #1 playoff victory man by my calculations is Robert Horry with 155.  Then, Kareem Abdul Jabbar at 154.  Interestingly enough, he would have had 155 if he did not miss the final game of the 1980 Finals (the game where a rookie Magic Johnson played center in his place).  Then Fisher, Scott Pippen 137, Kobe, Magic Johnson at 131, Duncan, Shaquille O'Neal, Danny Ainge 126, and Michael Jordan at 119 round out the top 10.  At least according to my morning legal pad.

So, Duncan is 7th, and could tie Magic Johnson for 6th tonight.

There.  One simple stat and the next thing you know, you know more than you wanted to know about it, right?


1 comment:

Sam Konolige said...

Awesome statistics good for Duncan. I've been writing about the playoffs too at http://samssportsmania.blogspot.com/ if you're interested.