By JERRY TAPP
The Milwaukee Bucks jump into the second half of the 2019-20 NBA season with the league’s best record. With a 46-8 record, the Bucks have 28 games remaining on the schedule.
The team, and a few of its players, is closing in on some noteworthy stats. Here are six stats that you’ll want to pay attention to as the regular season gives way to the playoffs.
- Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.0 points per game, 13.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. He could become the fifth player in NBA history to finish a season with an average of 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Wilt Chamberlain (1963-64 and 1965-66) and Oscar Robertson (1960-61, 1961-62) each did it twice in their careers; Elgin Baylor did it in 1960-61, and the most recent player to reach these numbers was Russell Westbrook in the 2016-17 campaign.
- As mentioned above, the Bucks have a 46-8 record. The team’s best regular season record was in 1970-71 when they went 66-16. The second-best record was the following year when the team went 63-19. Last year’s Bucks were 60-22, tied for the third best record in team history with the 1972-73 and 1980-81 squads. This year’s team will need to finish 21-7 in their final 28 games to top the 1970-71 team’s record of 66-16.
- Guard George Hill has been lights out from the three-point arc this season. He has made 131 threes, but the impressive part of that is his percentage: He is shooting threes at .511 percentage through the first half of the season. There has been only five times in NBA history that a player has shot over 50% on three-pointers with a minimum of 150 threes made in the season. The five times: Detlef Schrempf (.514 percentage, 181 made threes) in 1994-95, Steve Kerr (.524-170 threes) in 1994-95, Tim Legler (.522, 245 threes) in 1995-96, Steve Kerr (.515, 237 threes) in 1995-96 and Jason Kapono (.514, 210 threes) in 2006-07. Hill has a chance to join this list.
- Through games of Feb. 12, the Bucks have an active streak of 78 consecutive regular season games with at least 100 points. That is tied for sixth as the longest streak in league history. If they finish the season with 100 or more points in each of their remaining 28 games, that would increase the streak to 106 games at the end of the season. That would be the third longest streak in NBA history. Denver has the longest streak with 136 straight games with 100 or more points (in 1981 and 1982) and the San Antonio Spurs are second at 129 games (1978- 80).
- Brook Lopez has 135 blocks and has attempted 242 three-pointers this season. He should pass the 250 mark in three-point attempts soon; that would give him three seasons where he has had 100 or more blocks and 250 or more three-point field goal attempts. He would become only the fourth player in league history to reach those numbers (100 blocks and 250 three-point shots attempted) in three or more seasons. The others: Shawn Marion (he did it four times), Rasheed Wallace and Karl-Anthony Towns (three times each).
- Last season the Bucks set a team record with nine different players making 50 or more three-pointers in the season. With 28 games remaining, the team already has eight players with 50 or more made threes (Khris Middleton-114, Wesley Matthews-82, Kyle Korver-77, Antetokounmpo-73, Brooks Lopez-72, Hill-67, Donte DiVincenzo-62 and Eric Bledsoe-56). The Bucks need two more players to reach the 50 mark to break the team record of nine players with 50 or more threes made in a season. The best bets are Ersan Ilyasova (he has 44 this season), Pat Connaughton (he has 35) and Sterling Brown (he has 31).
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