NBA Finals: The games with the highest ratings of all time

HoopsHype presents the 20 NBA Finals games with the highest TV ratings ever, a list featuring a lot of Michael Jordan.

With the advent of the internet and online streaming, TV ratings across the board are not what they once were.

Still, as followers of the NBA can attest to, it’s still fun to learn about which games still draw a ton of viewers in the traditional sense – on TV.

So with the 2022 NBA Finals on the brink of being decided, we decided to take a look at the NBA Finals games with the highest ratings in league history.

Spoiler alert: A lot of them involve His Airness, Michael Jordan.

Check out what we found below.

Source: SportsMediaWatch

The worst-performing NBA stars at the draft combine

HoopsHype presents the 25 statistically worst-performing eventual NBA All-Stars at the draft combine.

We recently took at the eventual NBA All-Stars who performed the best at the draft combine, a list led by none other than Isaiah Thomas, who surprisingly went last in his draft class anyway.

Others featured on that list included James HardenJimmy Butler and Victor Oladipo, indicating that the draft combine can be a solid indicator of future NBA success.

However, that isn’t always the case.

Below, we present the NBA All-Stars who performed the worst at the combine. To determine the worst performances, we took the percentile scores for each star in the following drills: lane-agility drill, three-quarter sprint, standing vertical leap, max vertical leap and max bench press.

Again, many stars skipped draft combine drills, so it’s not as comprehensive a list as it could be. Either way, it’s a fun exercise. Let’s check out the results below, featuring the likes of Kevin DurantKawhi Leonard and a historically bad performance by Rudy Gobert.

The best-performing stars ever at the Draft Combine

HoopsHype ranks the best star performances at the NBA Draft Combine, including Stephen Curry, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul.

Keep in mind many stars skipped draft combine drills, so it’s not as comprehensive a list as it could be.

But among those who did go through the process, these were the best who eventually became All-Stars.

To measure the best performances, we took the percentile scores for each All-Star in the following drills: lane-agility drill, three-quarter sprint, standing vertical leap, max vertical leap and max bench press.

Check out the interesting results below.

The slowest stars ever at the NBA Draft Combine

HoopsHype ranks the slowest stars ever recorded at the annual NBA Draft Combine, including Kevin Durant and Rudy Gobert.

Speed is quite important when trying to predict the future success of NBA prospects, particularly for ball-handlers and wings.

However, it’s not the end-all, be-all.

Either way, the league still measures speed for participating prospects at the annual draft combine in various drills.

Below, we present the slowest NBA All-Stars ever measured, which we determined by adding players’ lane-agility time and their three-quarter sprint.

Look out for the likes of Kevin Durant and Rudy Gobert, two of the league’s current greats, both of whom were quite slow in those drills.

Ranking the fastest stars ever measured at the NBA Draft Combine

HoopsHype presents the fastest NBA stars ever recorded at the annual NBA Draft Combine, led surprisingly by Devin Booker.

Speed is an important predictor of success in the NBA, particularly for guards, which is why officials measure prospects’ lane-agility time and three-quarter sprint times every year.

And with the NBA Draft Combine having just passed, we decided to take a look at some of the fastest times measured for some of the league’s current and former All-Stars, including Dwyane WadeJohn Wall and James Harden.

To determine speed, we added up both the players’ lane-agility time and three-quarter sprint times.

You’re in for some surprises, which further prove you have to take combine results with a grain of salt.

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.