Category Archives: 1980s NBA

James Johnson’s Throwback Dunk

My love of James Johnson highlights has not been a secret.  After filling up the video tape reel (and the box score) in Memphis last year he has brought his talents to Toronto.

In the Raptors win over the Pistons last night Johnson threw one down on Andre Drummond.  I couldn’t resist adding this to JJ’s budding archive resembling David Thompson & Dominique Wilkins.

 

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NBA History: Worthy to Faried

Through three NBA season Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried has posted a 56% effective field goal rate.  The former late first round draft pick has averaged double-digit points while shooting over 55% eFG each of his pro-seasons.

How many guys in NBA history can boast 10 points/game and 55% eFG each of their first three years?  Only four.

Faried, Shaquille O’Neal, Jeff Ruland and James Worthy.

Some very interesting comps to the “Manimal” in there.  Could he peak as a Big Game James type star?

NBA History: The Next Great Center

Thirty years ago this week Houston Rockets rookie Ralph Sampson was fulfilling his promise as the NBA’s next great center.  On his way to winning rookie-of-the-year the Virginia product scored a season high 41 points in Philadelphia on February 8, 1984.  In addition to leading the Rockets in scoring Sampson pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked 4 shots.

Unfortunately for Houston the 76ers had “Dr. J”.  Julius Erving scored one more point than Ralph on Philly’s way to one of their 52 wins that year under coach Billy Cunningham.

Blake Griffin as the Classic Power Forward

Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin has posted classic front-court hall-of-fame numbers.  Blake is the first NBA player since Tim Duncan to average 20 points and 10 rebounds/game in their first four seasons.

In the entire second half of NBA history only nine players have averaged 20 & 10 in their first four seasons combined.  Take a look at this impressive list including the high flying Clipper:

Totals

Per Game

Player

From ▴

To

Tm

G

PTS

TRB

Larry Bird*

1980

1983

BOS

320

22.2

10.8

Charles Barkley*

1985

1988

PHI

310

21.2

11.9

Hakeem Olajuwon*

1985

1988

HOU

304

22.5

11.8

Karl Malone*

1986

1989

UTA

325

23.3

10.5

David Robinson*

1990

1993

SAS

314

24.2

12.2

Alonzo Mourning

1993

1996

TOT

285

21.7

10.2

Shaquille O’Neal

1993

1996

ORL

295

27.2

12.5

Tim Duncan

1998

2001

SAS

288

22.1

12.0

Blake Griffin

2011

2014

LAC

250

20.4

10.4

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/11/2013.

The Two-Way Threat of Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis had a crazy awesome game Saturday night. Isolating only his offensive performance proves he had a great night.  Davis scored 25 points on 13 shot attempts during the Pelicans blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats.

As good as he was shooting, the number one pick in the 2012 NBA draft was even better on defense.  In 37 minutes Davis compiled 6 steals and 6 blocks.  As you can guess this is a very rare feat.  The Basketball-Reference.com database includes all NBA games since Karl Malone entered The Association.  It claims this was only the fourth time any player went for six steals and six blocks.

Davis being a few months shy of his twenty-first birthday is by far the youngest player to go 6/6.  The second youngest is Hakeem Olajuwon who was 24 back in March of 1987.  Hakeem went for an outrageous 38 points, 17 rebounds, 12 blocks and 7 steals in a Rockets loss to the Tom Chambers led SuperSonics that night.

Besides Anthony Davis and Olajuwon the only other two guys to go 6/6 are David Robinson and Andrei Kirilenko.  All four players accomplished the feat just one time.  What are the odds Davis goes crazy on defense again before his career is through?

The Craig Hodges Game

Twenty-seven years ago today the Milwaukee Bucks handed the New Jersey Nets a game one defeat in the opening playoff round.  The Bucks sharpshooter Craig Hodges was “enfuego”*.

In just 30 minutes of floor time Hodges scored 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting.  Don Nelson‘s Bucks went on to win the series and their next before losing to the 1986 world champs Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference finals.

Though don’t feel bad for Craig, he would get two championship rings with the Chicago Bulls and this….

*courtesy Dan Patrick

The ‘Pre-Triangle’ Bill Cartwright

One of Tyson Chandler‘s most similar players include former Knickerbocker Bill Cartwright (according to Basketball-Reference).  Chandler is a very good rebounder, super efficient scorer and good shot blocker.  These are the three essential skills of a true center.

Many young folks may not be aware of the three-time NBA champion center Bill Cartwright.  Perhaps he is remembered best for being the starting big man on the Chicago Bulls first three title teams but he did have a terrific career before being traded to the Bulls for Charles Oakley.

Cartwright’s first 7 seasons with the Knicks saw him average 17 points/game.  Not only was he the team’s leading scorer his first two seasons as a pro but he posted a 62% True Shooting over these 7 years.  His TS% ranked in the top-10 in the NBA each of his first 7 seasons.  In comparison Chandler is a career 62% True Shooter while averaging just 9 points/game.

Cartwright essentially had two careers, one as a key offensive component to perennial playoff teams and a second as a lane clogging center for a three-peat NBA champion.