By JERRY TAPP
When the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Toronto Raptors on January 30 in Game #50 of the season, it upped their record to 37-13 (a .740 winning percentage). That win also helped the team reach a sort of milestone in league history: The Bucks became the 100th team in league history to reach 37 or more wins in their first 50 games of a season.
The .740 winning percentage at the 50-game mark is now tied for the fourth highest in team history, and this year’s team became the seventh team in franchise history to have a .700 or better winning percentage 50 games into the season. Here are those seven Bucks’ teams.
1970-71, 41-9 (.820)
1971-72, 39-11 (.780)
1973-74, 39-11 (.780)
1980-81, 37-13 (.740)
2018-19, 37-13 (.740)
1972-73, 36-14 (.720)
1981-82, 36-14 (.720)
Of the seven Bucks teams that were at a .700 or better winning percentage at the 50-game mark, the 70-71 team won the NBA title that year, while the 73-74 squad lost in the NBA Finals that season. The 71-72 team lost in the Western Conference Finals that year; the remaining three teams above each lost in a conference semi-finals that season.
This year’s team, coached by Mike Budenholzer, scored 5,849 points through the first 50 games, the second-most in team history (the 1970-71 team had 5,969 points through their first 50 games). In addition, this year’s team allowed 5,363 points through their first 50 games, sixth fewest in team history.
But here’s an amazing stat to consider when you put the points scored and points allowed through 50 games together as a stat: This year’s Bucks became only the sixth team in NBA history to score more than 5,800 points and allow less than 5,400 points in their first 50 games of the season.
Following are the six teams who reached this rare stat through the first 50 games of a season:
1966-67, Boston, 5808 points scored, 5380 points allowed
1970-71, Milwaukee, 5969 points scored, 5320 points allowed
1986-87, L.A. Lakers, 5865 points scored, 5384 points allowed
1990-91, Portland, 5836 points scored, 5314 points allowed
2016-17, Golden State, 5921 points scored, 5263, points allowed
2018-19, Milwaukee, 5849 points scored, 5363 points allowed.
Of the five teams who reached this stat prior to the Bucks this season, three won the NBA Finals that season (1970-71 Bucks, 1986-87 Lakers and 2016-17 Warriors), while the 1966-67 Celtics and 1990-91 Trailblazers each lost in a conference finals matchup.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp
–-Photo by Bill Tennessen