Category Archives: NBA Basketball

NBA Playoffs: Golden State Warriors and Teams with 3-1 Comebacks

Stephen Curry and the 2016 Golden State Warriors are the First to Come Back From 3-1 Down in the Western Conference Finals

Stephen Curry and the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors are the First Ever to Come Back From 3-1 Down in the Western Conference Finals

It’s been a while since Sports List of the Day has hit the presses but the 2016 Golden State Warriors and Western Conference Finals have re-inspired some old writing and statistical passions.

How?

Well, the Warriors just became only the 10th team in NBA postseason history to come back from a 3-1 deficit (and the first ever in the Western Conference Finals, in fact – now how about that). It has happened three times in the Eastern Conference Finals, but still never in the NBA Finals.

And just to note, no NBA team has ever come back from three down (3-0) to win four straight. It’s happened in other sports, though.

Back in 2013, when Sports List of the Day first took a look at 3-1 NBA postseason comebacks, only eight teams had achieved the feat. Since then, the 2015 Houston Rockets and this season’s Warriors have joined the list.

Let’s take another look at all 10 comebacks, and add a dose of statistical fruit to feed your head…

WINNER (SEED) LOSER (SEED) YEAR ROUND GAME 7 SCORE
10. Golden State Warriors (1) Oklahoma City Thunder (3) 2016 Western Finals
96-88
9. Houston Rockets (2) Los Angeles Clippers (3) 2006 Western Semis
113-100
8. Phoenix Suns (2) Los Angeles Lakers (7) 2006 Eastern Round 1 121-90
7. Detroit Pistons (1) Orlando Magic (8) 2003 Eastern Round 1 108-93
6. Miami Heat (2) New York Knicks (3) 1997 Eastern Semis 101-90
5. Houston Rockets (6) Phoenix Suns (3) 1995 Western Semis 115-114*
4. Boston Celtics (1) Philadelphia 76ers (2) 1981 Eastern Finals 91-90
3. Washington Bullets (1) San Antonio Spurs (2) 1979 Eastern Finals 107-105
2. Los Angeles Lakers (2) Phoenix Suns (3) 1970 Western Semis 129-94
1. Boston Celtics (2) Philadelphia 76ers (1) 1968 Eastern Finals 100-96*

* Underdog (by seeding) and so won Game 7 on the road: the 1968 Boston Celtics and 1995 Houston Rockets

There have now been

Photos: Ezra Shaw, Getty Images, oregonlive.com

NBA Draft 2015: ESPN, CBS, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports Mock Drafts

TEAM ESPN CBS BLEACHER REPORT FOX SPORTS
1. Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky
2. Los Angeles Lakers Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke Karl-Anthony Towns, PF, Kentucky Justise Winslow, SF, Duke
3. Philadelphia 76ers Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia D’Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China Jahlil Okafor, C, Duke
4. New York Knicks D’Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State Justise Winslow, SF, Duke D’Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State D’Angelo Russell, SG, Ohio State
5. Orlando Magic Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia Justise Winslow, SF, Duke Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia
6. Sacramento Kings Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky Emmanuel Mudiay, PG, China
7. Denver Nuggets Justise Winslow, SF, Duke Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia
8. Detroit Pistons Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona Kristaps Porzingis, PF, Latvia Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky
9. Charlotte Hornets Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona
10. Miami Heat Stanley Johnson, SF, Arizona Myles Turner, C, Texas Mario Hezonja, SG, Croatia Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin
11. Indiana Pacers Willie Cauley-Stein, C, Kentucky Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin Myles Turner, C, Texas
12. Utah Jazz Myles Turner, C, Texas Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky
13. Phoenix Suns Frank Kaminsky, C, Wisconsin Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas Myles Turner, C, Texas Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas
14. Oklahoma City Thunder Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas Cameron Payne, PG, Murray State
15. Atlanta Hawks Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas Kevon Looney, F UCLA Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
16. Boston Celtics Kelly Oubre Jr., SF, Kansas Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky
17. Milwaukee Bucks Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky Trey Lyles, PF, Kentucky Montrezl Harrell, PF, Louisville Kevon Looney, F UCLA
18. Houston Rockets Tyus Jones, PG, Duke Tyus Jones, PG, Duke Devin Booker, SG, Kentucky R.J. Hunter, SG, Georgia State
19. Washington Wizards Rashad Vaughn, SG, UNLV Kevon Looney, F UCLA Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas Justin Anderson, SF, Virginia
20. Toronto Raptors Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Arizona Bobby Portis, PF, Arkansas

The NBA’s Most Improved Players Award Winners by Team

Jimmy Butler Is The Chicago Bulls' First Most Improved Player Award Winner

Jimmy Butler Is The Chicago Bulls’ First Most Improved Player Award Winner

Where do NBA players improve? In Orlando, Indiana, Phoenix and Washington D.C., apparently.

The Magic (five), Pacers (four), Suns (three) and Wizards (three as the Bullets) have won half of the NBA’s Most Improved Player Awards, 15 of the 30 issued since the first in 1985-86.

Check out all the MIP winners in today’s list, sorted by team. Included are each player’s (points / assists / rebounds) stats year-over-year. Those numbers don’t tell the whole story – for example, Alvin Robertson improved to lead the league in steals his winning year – but most of it.

TEAM MIP WINNERS MOST IMPROVED PLAYER POS. SEASON
1. Orlando Magic 5 Scott Skiles

(17.2 / 8.4 / 3.4 vs. 7.7 / 4.8 / 2.3)

PG 1990-91
Darrell Armstrong

(13.8 / 6.7 / 3.6 vs. 9.2 / 4.9 / 3.3)

PG 1998-99
Tracy McGrady

(26.8 / 4.6 / 7.5 vs. 15.4 / 3.3 / 6.3)

SG 2000-01
Hedo Turkoglu

(19.5 / 5.0 / 5.7 vs. 13.3 / 3.2 / 4.0)

SF 2007-08
Ryan Anderson

(16.1 / 0.9 / 7.7 vs. 10.6 / 0.8 / 5.5)

PF 2011-12
2. Indiana Pacers 4 Jalen Rose

(18.2 / 4.0 / 4.8 vs. 11.1 / 1.9 / 3.1)

SF 1999-00
Jermaine O’Neal

(19.0 / 1.6 / 10.5 vs. 12.9 / 1.2 / 9.8)

PF 2001-02
Danny Granger

(25.8 / 2.7 / 5.1 vs. 19.6 / 2.1 / 6.1)

SF 2008-09
Paul George

(16.7 / 4.0 / 7.3 vs. 14.7 / 2.9 / 6.8)

SF 2012-13
3. Phoenix Suns 3 Kevin Johnson

(20.4 / 12.2 / 4.2 vs. 9.2 / 5.5 / 2.4)

PG 1988-89
Boris Diaw

(13.3 / 6.2 / 6.9 vs. 4.8 / 2.3 / 2.6)

PF 2005-06
Goran Dragic

(20.3 / 5.9 / 3.2 vs. 14.7 / 7.4 / 3.1)

SG 2013-14
3. Washington Bullets (Wizards)
3 Pervis Ellison

(20.0 / 2.9 / 11.2 vs. 10.4 / 1.3 / 7.7)

C 1991-92
Don MacLean

(18.2 / 2.1 / 6.2 vs. 6.6 / 0.6 / 2.0)

SF 1993-94
Gheorghe Muresan

(14.5 / 0.7 / 9.6 vs. 10.0 / 0.5 / 6.7)

C 1995-96
5. Golden State Warriors 2 Gilbert Arenas

(18.3 / 6.3 / 4.7 vs. 10.9 / 3.7 2.8)

PG 2002-03
Monta Ellis

(16.5 / 4.1 / 3.2 vs. 6.8 / 1.6 / 2.1)

SG 2006-07
5. Miami Heat 2 Rony Seikaly

(16.6 / 1.1 / 10.4 vs. 10.9 / 0.7 / 7.0)

C 1989-90
Isaac Austin

(9.7 / 1.2 / 5.8 vs. 5.1 / 1.2 / 4.9)

C 1996-97
5. Portland Trail Blazers 2 Kevin Duckworth

(15.8 / 0.8 / 7.4 vs. 5.4 / 0.4 / 3.4)

C 1987-88
Zach Randolph

(20.1 / 2.0 / 10.5 vs. 8.4 / 0.5 / 4.5)

PF 2003-04
8. Atlanta Hawks 1 Alan Henderson

(14.3 / 1.1 / 6.4 vs. 6.6 / 0.8 / 3.9)

PF 1997-98
8. Chicago Bulls 1 Jimmy Butler

(20.0 / 1.8 / 5.8 vs. 13.1 / 2.6 / 4.9)

SG 2014-15
8. Denver Nuggets 1 Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

(19.2 / 4.2 / 2.8 vs. 10.3 / 2.4 / 1.4)

PG 1992-93
8. Houston Rockets 1 Aaron Brooks

(19.6 / 5.3 / 2.6 vs. 11.2 / 3.0 / 2.0)

PG 2009-10
8. Los Angeles Clippers 1 Bobby Simmons

(16.4 / 2.7 / 5.9 vs. 7.8 / 1.7 / 4.7)

SF 2004-05
8. Minnesota Timberwolves 1 Kevin Love

(20.2 / 2.5 / 15.2 vs. 14.0 / 2.3 / 11.0)

PF 2010-11
8. Philadelphia 76ers 1 Dana Barros

(20.6 / 7.5 / 3.3 vs. 13.3 / 5.2 / 2.4)

PG 1994-95
8. San Antonio Spurs 1 Alvin Robertson

(17.0 / 5.5 / 6.3 vs. 9.2 / 3.5 / 3.4)

SG 1985-86
8. Seattle SuperSonics 1 Dale Ellis

(24.9 / 2.9 / 5.5 vs. 7.1 / 0.5 / 2.3)

SG 1986-87

Photo: nba.com

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