The players who have been swept the most times in NBA playoffs history

HoopsHype shows the 11 players who have been swept the most times in NBA playoff history.

Making it to the NBA playoffs is not easy. And winning games once there is even more difficult. Just ask the players on the list below made up of the men who have been swept the most times in NBA playoff history.

Shockingly enough, there are some legends on this list, including one from Spain and one who is considered one of the most dominant centers of all time.

Pau Gasol is one of two players to have been swept six times in their career. Gasol got swept as a member of three different teams, with the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs. Same with Shaquille O’Neal, who was swept as a member of the Lakers, Orlando Magic and Miami Heat.

Gasol was swept out of the first round of the playoffs four times while O’Neal in the first round just twice.

Al Horford could join the Six Sweeps club this season if the Boston Celtics get swept this year, as it has happened to him in the playoffs five times already. Three of them came at the hands of LeBron James, who terrorized the Atlanta Hawks like no other.

Check out the list below.

The worst losing streaks of NBA legends

HoopsHype ranks the 45 worst losing streaks by NBA legends in the history of the Association.

Even the best players can be dragged down by their teams (or age) in the NBA, as we are about to establish on the list below.

Sometimes, these losing streaks happened either very late or very early in these legends’ careers, when their legs were either too heavy or not strong enough to carry such a load.

Other times, poorly-run organizations were the root of legends losing a lot in their primes.

Still, seeing NBA legends lose this many games in a row is rare, which is why we thought it would be interesting and fun to put this ranking with the members of the NBA75 list who lost at least eight consecutive times.

Research: This postseason has had historically low All-Star power

You’ve probably noticed that the 2021 NBA playoffs have lacked much of the star power that is typically associated with postseason play.

You’ve probably noticed that the 2021 NBA playoffs have lacked much of the star power that is typically associated with postseason play.

Due to injuries and the early elimination of several big-name players around the league, the playoffs have felt very different than usual. Last month, four-time MVP LeBron James took to Twitter to apologize to fans who have not been able to watch their favorite players in action.

NBA All-Stars including Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jaylen Brown, Mike Conle, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, Donovan Mitchell and Chris Paul all spent time watching their team from the sideline during the playoffs.

James believes it was due to the shortened offseason but regardless of the reason, his assessment wasn’t unfair. To help quantify his point, we looked up the number of games played by All-Stars each postseason since the NBA’s first All-Star Game during the 1950-51 campaign.

According to our research department, on average, we have had 2.52 All-Stars hitting the court per game so far during the 2020-21 NBA postseason. That is the lowest mark since 2002-03 and the fourth-lowest overall in league history.

If you take away Devin Booker, who did not actually play in the All-Star game and was replaced by Utah Jazz guard Mike Conley, that figure drops down to 2.38. That number would be the second-lowest in league history.

Compare that to the playoffs as recently as in 2017-18, when the Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers, and that figure was as high as 3.12 All-Stars appearing per game in the postseason.

While we may not have a definitive answer as to whether or not the short offseason contributed to the influx of injuries, we can say with confidence that the typical star power was a bit more absent than usual this postseason.

HoopsHype’s Alberto de Roa contributed research to this report

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Ranking NBA teams in terms of their lottery luck

HoopsHype looks at the numbers historically to rank NBA teams in based of who has been the luckiest and unluckiest in the Draft Lottery.

In Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery, the Detroit Pistons came out as the big winners, taking home the No. 1 pick, their first top pick in the draft since 1970, making them the likely landing spot for top prospect, Cade Cunningham.

The other big winner of the evening was the Toronto Raptors, who moved up three spots based on lottery odds and will now choose fourth in the 2021 draft, placing the franchise in a prime spot considering how much talent they already have on their roster.

Among the teams staying in the same position based on the lottery odds are the San Antonio Spurs, which, historically has been rare for them. We say that because although the Spurs have only been in the lottery four times in their franchise history, they moved up three of those times and stayed at the same spot the other time, making them the luckiest franchise in the lottery in league history on average.

Trailing the Spurs as the second-luckiest franchise in the lottery historically? The Los Angeles Lakers, which will do nothing to appease those who believe the NBA rigs things for its biggest franchise. The Lakers have had seven lottery picks in their history and moved up three times, stayed at the same spot three times and moved down just once.

In third as far as great lottery luck are the Philadelphia 76ers, who have had way more good fortune than San Antonio and Los Angeles based on their 20 times participating in the lottery. The far larger sample size gave the 76ers more opportunities to move down in the lottery, but that didn’t happen to them.

Out of those 20 lottery attempts, the Sixers moved up eight times, stayed in the same spot 11 times and moved down just once.

Among those with no luck, the Miami Heat had the worst lottery fortune in NBA history.

Out of their nine times in the lottery, the Heat have never moved up, stayed at the same spot five times and moved down four times. The most notorious of those occasions for Heat fans came in 2008, a rare year where Miami under Pat Riley tanked a campaign for better draft positioning after Dwyane Wade got injured and Shaquille O’Neal was traded.

Despite having a 25.0 percent chance of taking home the first overall pick and receiving a shot to draft Derrick Rose, the Heat fell to second that year because, of all teams, the Chicago Bulls, who had a 1.7 percent chance of winning the lottery that year, won the No. 1 pick instead.

It was the second-biggest lottery upset in NBA history.

After Miami, the Dallas Mavericks have had the second-worst lottery luck ever, staying in the same spot eight times, moving down six times and never winning a higher pick than their lottery odds indicated.

And with the third-highest lottery misfortune in NBA history, the New York Knicks, which kind of hurts the case of conspiracy theorists who believe the Association rigs certain things for their biggest franchises. Out of 13 times in the lottery, the Knicks have moved up just once, stayed at the same spot six times and moved down six times.

The most recent of those moves downward came in 2019, when the Knicks, along with Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, were tied for best odds at the No. 1 pick at 14.0 percent. Instead, the New Orleans Pelicans won the lottery despite having a 6.0 percent chance to do so while New York fell to third and lost their chance at landing a generational talent in Zion Williamson.

In fairness, RJ Barrett hasn’t been a bad consolation prize since then.

Alberto de Roa contributed research to this article.

NBA Bar Races: How Russell Westbrook became the all-time triple-double leader

HoopsHype takes a look at Russell Westbrook breaking the record for most triple-doubles in a career.

By securing a triple-double Monday, his fifth in a row and his eighth in his last nine games, Russell Westbrook became the NBA’s all-time triple-double leader with 182 in his career.

No. 2 on the list now, of course, is Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson, a 12-time All-Star in his heyday and an 11-time All-NBAer, who had 181 triple-doubles in his career, and is the only other player, along with Westbrook, to average a triple-double for a full season.

Westbrook has averaged a triple-double four times in his career, including this season where he’s putting up 22.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and a league-leading 11.5 assists, while Robertson did it over a full season just once, in 1961-62, when the legend put up an unreal 30.8/12.5/11.4 stat line over 79 games.

Besides the two triple-double legends, only two other players in league history have over 100 career triple-doubles, Magic Johnson (138) and Jason Kidd (107), though a third player should be joining that club relatively soon, LeBron James, who has 99 career triple-doubles so far.

Other active players high up the list in career triple-doubles include James Harden (58), Nikola Jokic (56), Luka Doncic (35) and Ben Simmons (32), who all have plenty of time to fly up the list as their careers progress.

Regardless, Westbrook likewise has a ton of time to accumulate more triple-doubles.

Considering in four of his last five seasons, Westbrook has posted 42, 25, 34 and, this season, 36 (and counting) triple-doubles, the nine-time All-Star should cross the 200 triple-double threshold in 2021-22, barring something completely unforeseen happening.

Still 32 years old and showing little sign of slowing down, the super energetic Westbrook is going to have a stranglehold on the triple-double record by the time his playing days end, which likely won’t be for years down the road.

And for how contentious debates about how effective Westbrook truly is get, the UCLA product has put those discussions to bed this season, as the Washington Wizards, after a slow start, are 17-8 over their last 25 games, fighting their way into the playoff picture when most expected them to be in the lottery in early March.

Over that stretch, Westbrook is putting up an unreal 22.6-point, 14.1-rebound, 13.2-assist stat line to go with a +3.8 stat line.

This is now the longest injury absence of LeBron’s career

After missing tonight’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, this is now the longest injury-related absence of LeBron James’s career.

After missing Saturday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, we can now officially say this has been the longest absence of LeBron James’ illustrious 18-year career.

And we still don’t have a return date for the future Hall-of-Famer quite in sight.

Prior to this season, the longest amount of time the four-time league MVP had been forced to sit out due to injury was 35 days, which came in the 2018-19 season, James’ first campaign with the Lakers.

Now that he’s missed Saturday’s game against the Mavericks, however, it has been 36 days since we’ve last seen James suit up and take part in an NBA game, making it the longest stretch of time we’ve had without seeing James play since he joined the Association way back in 2003, offseason obviously notwithstanding.

The last time the 36-year-old took part in an official contest was back on March 20 against the Atlanta Hawks, an outing that James participated in for 10 minutes and 36 seconds before going down with the ugly ankle injury that has kept him sidelined for this record-setting amount of time.

Prior to the last three years, the longest absence of James’ career had been just 16 days, which took place in the 2014-15 season, his first campaign back with the Cleveland Cavaliers for their second go-around.

Currently, the fourth-longest absence of his career is just 13 days.

The fifth-longest? Just 11.

That just goes to show how absurdly durable the 17-time All-Star has been in his career, and that freakish durability, along with his outrageous numbers, innumerable accolades, multiple championships and even more ridiculous longevity, all go a long way in making James’ case for GOAT status.

Alberto de Roa contributed research to this article.

DeMarcus Cousins has gone from All-Star to 10-day contract faster than any player ever

By signing to a 10-day contract with the Clippers this season, DeMarcus Cousins made a bit of history in the process.

As the saying goes: Life comes at you fast.

And that couldn’t ring truer than for a player like DeMarcus Cousins, who, as recently as 2017-18, was an All-Star for the New Orleans Pelicans being paid $18.1 million for his services that season.

At that point, Cousins was considered arguably the best big man in the basketball – if not the best, then certainly in the Top 3 – putting up over 25 points, nearly 13 rebounds and more than five assists per night, astronomical numbers for an individual player.

Now, Cousins was most recently forced to sign a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. Cousins, an All-Star just three seasons ago and an All-NBA 2nd Teamer five seasons ago, can’t even get a standard contract right now without having to prove his worth first.

That insanely fast turnaround for Cousins is actually historic, as it makes the 30-year-old big man the fastest player to go from being an All-Star to signing a 10-day contract in NBA history, according to our research.

Of course, there are blatant reasons why Cousins’ fall from grace has been so swift and brutal.

Since that last All-Star appearance, Cousins has had a well-documented string of major injuries, including a torn Achilles and a torn ACL, two of the very worst injuries an athlete can suffer – and Cousins went through both within a two-year span.

Obviously, those ailments have sapped Cousins of a good amount of the otherworldy athleticism he once possessed at his size, and odds are, he’ll never return to the pre-injury form he once had.

Nevertheless, Cousins isn’t the only NBA player with a shockingly fast turnaround from an All-Star nomination to having to sign a 10-day contract.

Phil Chenier, a three-time All-Star in the 1970s as a member of the Washington Bullets, went from playing in the February 13, 1977 All-Star Game to signing a 10-day contract on January 21, 1981, a 1438-day turnaround caused by back problems Chenier went through that he could never truly bounce back from.

Even more recently than that, Isaiah Thomas played in the 2017 All-Star Game on February 19, 2017, and had to sign a 10-day contract 1,504 days later on April 3, 2021, with the New Orleans Pelicans, one that, like Cousins’, is still active at this moment.

That’s why it was so good to see both Cousins and Thomas perform well in their first games with their new teams this past week, as it’s impossible not to feel for those guys going from being NBA superstars one day to barely hanging around the Association the next, especially since the injuries they suffered were completely out of their control.

Life comes at you fast indeed.

Alberto de Roa contributed the research for this article.

The Nets could make history with star-studded lineup

HoopsHype breaks down the history being made by the 2020-21 Brooklyn Nets following their addition of LaMarcus Aldridge.

When the Brooklyn Nets came out as winners of the LaMarcus Aldridge sweepstakes on Saturday, the immediate thought that came into everyone’s minds was: Wow, this team is absolutely loaded with star-level names.

Whether it’s good for the NBA to have teams stack the deck like that is a discussion for another time, but what’s for certain now, following a bit of research on our part, is the fact that the 2020-21 Nets are making history with their star-studded roster.

With the addition of Aldridge, Brooklyn now has an astounding five players with at least six All-Star appearances under their belt in Aldridge (seven-time All-Star), Kevin Durant (11-time All-Star), James Harden (nine-time All-Star), Kyrie Irving (seven-time All-Star) and Blake Griffin (six-time All-Star).

That makes the Nets just the second team ever with a roster boasting five players with six-plus All-Star appearances. The first team to do that was the 2010-11 Boston Celtics, who we’ll talk about more in just a bit.

Even if you factor in that Aldridge and Griffin are no longer the players they were in their primes, it’s still a ridiculous feat for Brooklyn to put together a roster that loaded with stars. Plus, it’s not like the two big men are unplayable – they can still contribute at a high level as role players. What we’re getting at here is: The Nets will be scary come playoff time, health permitting.

This year’s Brooklyn squad can also say they have the most combined All-Star appearances on a single team (41) since the aforementioned 2010-11 Celtics.

If you recall, that Boston teams were led by their Big 3 – Kevin Garnett (15-time All-Star), Paul Pierce (10-time All-Star) and Ray Allen (10-time All-Star) – as well as Rajon Rondo (four-time All-Star), Jermaine O’Neal (six-time All-Star) and Shaquille O’Neal (15-time All-Star) in the final year of his career.

What makes this Nets team extremely unique, however, is the fact that their five six-plus-time All-Stars might actually see the floor together in a single lineup, something that Boston’s five All-Stars never did, since the two O’Neals played the same position.

To be exact, that means we could see an Irving-Harden-Durant-Griffin-Aldridge lineup at some point this season, all players with at least six All-Star appearances on their resume on the floor at the same time together, something that has never happened before in NBA history.

That’s legitimately insane and goes to show how truly loaded the Nets are right now, while also speaking to the problems with the buyout market as presently constructed.

That’s a conversation for another time, though.

Alberto de Roa contributed research to this article.

This is officially the shortest NBA offseason ever

Due to the obvious circumstances, the 2020 NBA offseason will be the shortest offseason in the league’s long history.

With the start of the 2020-21 NBA season officially announced as December 22, we can now confirm this will be the shortest offseason in NBA history. At just 72 days, it will be so by a margin of 55 days, beating the 2017-18 offseason, which was the previous shortest offseason ever at 127 days.

Prior to this year, the average length of an NBA offseason was 155.8 days, which goes to show just how quick the turnaround this year will be for players.

Luckily, 14 franchises haven’t played since March, so some teams will be geared up and ready to go for the start of the 2020-21 campaign, but for the 16 bubble teams, especially the two Finalists – the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers – this quick of a turnaround will likely affect how they use their veterans, particularly early on in the campaign.

Lakers guard Danny Green went so far as to speculate while on an interview with The Ringer that both he and LeBron James would miss as much as the first month of next season as they recover from the grind that was the bubble.

Though that might have been a bit of hyperbole from Green, don’t be surprised if this record-setting offseason leads to more cases of load management early on in the 2020-21 league year.

Lu Dort is the highest-effort defensive player in the NBA

Using average speed on defense in relation to speed on offense, we establish which players are running harder on defense and vice versa.

Just by watching your typical NBA game, one thing that immediately stands out is how some players simply try harder than others – be it by running faster, putting their bodies on the line for loose balls or anything else that requires high effort – on the less glamorous end of the floor.

And thanks to the advanced level of statistics that the NBA is gracious enough to share with fans and media on the league website, we can actually try and decipher which players are running harder on defense and which reserve their top-end speed for offensive purposes, which could have a lot to do with the roles given to them by their specific teams.

For clarity, this includes speed in half-court sets and in transition opportunities.

Checking out the rankings based on our research, the Top 20 players who run the fastest on defense in relation to their average speed on offense – we’re calling it the defense-versus-offense effort ratio – is filled with guys who are known for being high-energy point-stoppers, including the likes of OG AnunobyMatisse ThybullleAvery BradleyJevon Carter and the No. 1 finisher on the list, Oklahoma City guard Luguentz Dort, who has made waves defensively in his first year with the club:

There are a few surprises on the list, namely Enes KanterHassan Whiteside and Kevin Porter Jr. who aren’t known for going all out on defense, but overall, this defensive effort ratio we created gives a pretty good indication of which guys may simply be trying harder on the point-preventing end of the floor than they are on offense.

Dort finishing No. 1 comes as no surprise to anyone who has closely watched the Thunder this campaign, as Oklahoma City veterans and coaches have raved about the rookie’s defensive effort. Steven Adams had this to say about Dort in early August after a game where the first-year guard made life difficult for LeBron James:

“‘He’s an animal. It’s all the small stuff. Making them start their offense at a later clock, which rushes them more. It’s all that small stuff that is so good. It will help out tremendously in the playoffs.'”

In Game 2 of the matchup between Oklahoma City and the Houston Rockets, we saw the level of impact Dort has on defense for the Thunder, as the Arizona State product pestered and hounded former league MVP James Harden all game long:

Harden finished the evening with a mere (by his standards) 21 points on 5-of-16 shooting, though with Dort guarding him, per NBA.com, he had just nine points, converting only one of his seven field-goal attempts in those possessions.

Teammates took notice of Dort’s impact on the defensive end for that contest:

Dort’s defensive chops already as a rookie give him huge upside on that end of the floor, and as long as he continues to play as hard on the point-stopping side of things as our defensive-effort ratio indicates, he’ll continue to see even more minutes for Oklahoma City.