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Extreme individual performances and their results

NBA Statistical Analyst Michael 'wiLQ' Wilczynski
by Michael 'wiLQ' Wilczynski
Comments can be directed to wilq@orion.media4u.pl


Huge and rare individual performances are very often the top stories of game recaps, but the truth is that those big numbers can sometimes only make fantasy basketball managers happy, as they can mean nothing to player's teammates or fans of his team. That's because the most important number from basketball game is the final score. With that simple conclusion in mind I investigated how huge individual numbers translate into wins. In essence which category can help or hurt the most a player's team chances for winning a game.

All minimal requirements are set not by accident. I counted how many times every condition occurred during last decade and if result was something between 25-70 per season it became a minimal requirement. Because it's rare enough to call it great or awful performance and usage of 10-year outlook makes a good-sized sample.

Note that all statistics are based on databasebasketball.com website and take into consideration all games from November 3 1995 to March 14 2006.

Every category is divided into the same parts. At first a few information about last and actual season because we have fresh in mind what happened so I thought it would be nice to compare it with facts. "Cinderella" part name a players who can be not widely known to general public because most of them are end of bench type but they somehow achieved minimal requirement. After that much wider 10-year view with many curiosities.

40 points or more

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 95 wins and 53 losses (.642)
Top 3 players:
1) Kobe Bryant - 29 times with 17-12 record
2) Allen Iverson - 22 times with 16-6 record
3) Gilbert Arenas - 14 times with 6-8 record
Random observation 1: Vince Carter had 8 such games, 7 were wins.
Random observation 2: Paul Pierce (4), Damon Stoudamire (1), Darius Miles (1), Marbury (1), Garnett (1) and Jamal Crawford (2) lost all such games.
Random observation 3: LeBron James had 13 such games with 9-4 record
Cinderella: Darius Miles, Apr 19 2005, 47 points against Nuggets.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Bucks (10), Heat (9) and Suns (9).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 395 wins and 180 losses (.687)
Top5 players:
1) Allen Iverson - 72 times with 49-23 record
2) Kobe Bryant - 59 times with 40-19 record
3) Tracy McGrady - 38 times with 24-14 record
4) Michael Jordan - 37 times with 33-4 record (well, it's not quite fair comparison because he retired)
5) Shaquille O'Neal - 29 times with 26-3 record
Random observation 1: Karl Malone had 13 such games, all were wins.
Random observation 2: Glen Rice had 11 such games, all were wins.
Fastest: Stephon Marbury, Nov 11 2000, needed only 29 minutes to collect 41 points.
One-dimensional: Damon Stoudamire, Jan 14 2005 - 1 as, 1st, 0rb, 0to and 54 points on fg=20/32.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Bucks (38!) and Warriors (26).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 92 (.160 of all)
Cinderella's:
1) Tony Delk, Jan 2 2001, 53 points in 50 minutes.
2) Acie Earl, Apr 12 1996, 40 points in 44 minutes.
3) Lamond Murray, Jan 2 2002, 40 points in 38 minutes.


15 assists or more

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 58W and 22L (.725)
Top3 players:
1) Steve Nash - 22 times with 17-5 record
2) Brevin Knight - 17 times with 7-10 record
3) Jason Kidd - 7 times with 6-1 record
Random observation 1: Billups (4), Baron Davis (6), Marbury (4) and Andre Miller (4) won all games when they reach that 15-assist mark.
Random observation 2: I have no idea why but such games occurred 28 times in January when on other months around 11...
Cinderella: Jason Hart, Dec 21 2004, 15 assists in 30 minutes against Nets.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Bucks (7) and Lakers (6).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 314W and 137L (.696)
Top5 players:
1) Jason Kidd - 59 times with 41-18 record
2) John Stockton - 35 times with 30-5 record (well, it's not quite fair comparison because he retired)
3) Marc Jackson - 33 times with 24-9 record (look at note above)
4) Steve Nash - 27 times with 22-5 record
5) Brevin Knight - 27 times with 17-10 record
Random observation 1: Terrell Brandon (11), Baron Davis (10) and Tim Hardaway (6) won all that kind of games.
Random observation 2: Avery Johnson had 9 such games, 8 were wins.
Random observation 3: Stephon Marbury had 16 such games, 14 were wins.
Random observation 4: Damon Stoudamire had 12 such games, 9 were losses.
Fastest: Nick Van Exel, Jan 7 1998 needed just 25 minutes to collect 18 assists!
One-dimensional: Jason Williams, Jan 21 2005 - 4 points, 1 rebound, 2 turnovers, 1/8 fg and 15 assists.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Clippers (25), Rockets (24) and Bucks (23).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 92 (.204 of all)
Cinderella's:
1) Brent Barry, Feb 21 2003, 16 assists in 38 minutes.
2) Anthony Goldwire, Mar 7 1996, 15 assists in 40 minutes.
3) George Mccloud, Mar 26 2001, 22 assists in 49 minutes.
4) Jacque Vaughn, Nov 22, 2000, 15 assists in 30 minutes.


20 rebounds or more

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 35W and 24L (.593)
Top3 players:
1) Kevin Garnett - 9 times with 3-6 record
2) Marcus Camby - 6 times with 5-1 record
3) Tyson Chandler and Dwight Howard - 5 times with 3-2 and 4-1 record respectively
Random observation 1: The shortest player on that list was 6-7 Marion, who did it twice.
Random observation 2: 12 times a player with 20+ rebs had 0 assists.
Cinderella: Dan Gadzuric, Apr 18 2005, 20 rebs in 32 minutes against Sixers.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Bobcats and Suns - 6.

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 276W and 183L (.601)
Top5 players:
1) Dennis Rodman - 38 times with 34-4 record
2) Ben Wallace - 36 times with 26-10 record
3) Dikembe Mutombo - 34 times with 17-17 record
4) Kevin Garnett - 31 times with 16-15 record
5) Tim Duncan - 22 times with 12-10 record
Random observation 1: PJ Brown (3), Dale Davis (4), Brian Grant (4), Ervin Johnson (3), Yao Ming (3), David Robinson (4), Arvydas Sabonis (3), Kenny Thomas (3) were the only players with at least 3 such achievements who won all games.
Random observation 2: Shaq had 19 such games, 17 were wins.
Random observation 3: Shawn Kemp had 3 such games, all were losses.
Fastest: Jayson Williams, Dec 30 1995 needed just 25 minutes to collect 22 rebounds!
One-dimensional: by far the best was Reggie Evans, Mar 10 2006 - 0/3 fg, 1 to, 2as and 20 rebounds.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Magic and Suns - 26.
Blowouts (+15 pts): 67 (.146 of all)
Cinderella's:
1) Keon Clark, Mar 7 2000, 22 rebounds in 38 minutes.
2) SF Mike Dunleavy Jr., Mar 2 2004, 20 rebs in 42 minutes.
3) Grant Long, Feb 14 1996, 21 rebs in 44 minutes.


6 steals or more

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 52W and 25L (.675)
Top3 players:
1) Larry Hughes - 7 times with 5-2 record
2) Brevin Knight - 4 times with 3-1 record
3) Shawn Marion - 4 times with 3-1 record
Random observation 1: There were as many as 49 different players on that list!
Random observation 2: Marcus Camby at 6-11 was both the only center and the tallest player who accomplished that feat.
Cinderella: Damien Wilkins, Mar 5 2006, 7 steals in 26 minutes against Jazz.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Jazz (7), Bucks (5), Celtics (5) and Hawks (5).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 334W and 199L (.627)
Top5 players:
1) Mookie Blaylock - 23 times with 15-8 record
2) Doug Christie - 22 times with 14-8 record
3) Jason Kidd - 19 times with 11-8 record
4) Eddie Jones - 16 times with 11-5 record
4) Allen Iverson - 16 times with 10-6 record
4) Ron Artest - 16 times with 9-7 record
Random observation 1: Shareef Abdur-Rahim (3), Caron Butler (3), Grant Hill (2), Ruben Patterson (2), Jason Terry (2) and Mitch Richmond (2) lost all such games.
Random observation 2: Both Tim Hardaway and Scottie Pippen had 8 such games, 7 were wins.
Random observation 3: Chris Webber had 5 such games, all were wins.
Fastest: Marcus Banks, Apr 2 2004, needed only 17 minutes to collect 7 steals!
One-dimensional: by far the best was Ryan Bowen, Dec 6 2002 against Kings - 0/3 fg, 3 rebs, 0 pts, 0 as and 7 steals in 26 minutes.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Sixers (30) and Celtics (24).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 126 (.237)
Cinderella's:
1) PF Scott Burrell, Mar 29 1998, 6 steals in 26 minutes.
2) C Marty Conlon, Jan 5 1997, 6 steals in 28 minutes.
3) Tony Farmer, Mar 24 2000, 6 steals in 25 minutes.
4) PF Grant Long, Nov 25 1995, 7 steals in 38 minutes.
5) Haywoode Workman, Apr 16 1999, 7 steals in 34 minutes.


7 blocks or more

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 29W and 21L (.580)
Top3 players:
1) Marcus Camby - 9 times with 6-3 record
1) Andrei Kirilenko - 9 times with 8-1 record
3) Joel Przybilla - 4 times with 0-4 record
3) Josh Smith - 4 times with 2-2 record
Random observation 1: SF Josh Smith is arguably the stranger on that list but he had the most blocks in one game - 10.
Cinderella: Michael Ruffin, Nov 3 2004, 7 blocks in 39 minutes against Memphis.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Hornets (5) and Jazz (4).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 279W and 126L (.688)
Top5 players:
1) Dikembe Mutombo - 42 times with 30-12 record
2) Theo Ratliff - 31 times with 22-9 record
3) Alonzo Mourning - 29 times with 20-9 record
4) Shawn Bradley - 25 times with 14-11 record
5) Marcus Camby - 21 times with 12-9 record
Random observation 1: Ben Wallace had 15 such games with 11-4 record
Random observation 2: David Robinson had 20 such games with shocking 19-1 record
Random observation 3: Greg Ostertag had 11 such games, 9 of them were wins.
Random observation 4: Shaquille O'Neal had 12 such games, 11 of them were wins.
Random observation 5: Andrei Kirilenko had 11 such games with 10-1 record.
Random observation 6: Kevin Garnett had 6 such games, all were wins.
Random observation 7: Tim Duncan had 11-2.
Fastest: Shawn Bradley, Dec 6 1995, needed only 16 minutes to collect 9 blocks!
One-dimensional: Calvin Booth, Jan 13 2004 against Cavs - 1/4 fg, 2pts, 0 rebs, 0as, 1to and 10 blocks!
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Nets (26) and Sixers (24).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 74 (.183)
Cinderella's:
1) Mamadou N'Diaye, Nov 4 2002, 8 blocks in 23 minutes.
2) Zeljko Rebraca, Apr 8 2002, 7 blocks in 34 minutes.
3) Olden Polynice, Mar 3 2000, 7 blocks in 28 minutes.


7 threes made or more

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 43W and 17L (.716)
Top3 players:
1) Quentin Richardson - 6 times with 6-0 record!
2) Ray Allen - 5 times with 3-2 record
3) A few players with 3 times.
Random observation 1: Raja Bell had 2 such games, both were losses with less than 4 points margin.
Random observation 2: Rashard Lewis and Kobe Bryant had 3 such games, all were wins.
Cinderella: Dan Dickau, Feb 13 2005, 7 threes in 35 minutes against Magic.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Sixers (7), Jazz (6) and Celtics (6).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 176W and 82L (.682)
Top5 players:
1) Ray Allen - 15 times with 10-5 record
2) George Mccloud - 11 times with 4-7 record
3) Reggie Miller - 10 times with 7-3 record (well, it's not quite fair comparison because he retired)
3) Nick Van Exel - 10 times with 8-2 record
4) Quentin Richardson - 8 times with 7-1 record
4) Antoine Walker - 8 times with 4-4 record
Random observation 1: There were as many as 101 different players on that list!
Random observation 2: Latrell Sprewell (3), Peja Stojakovic (3), Glen Rice (3), Cuttino Mobley (3), Hersey Hawkins (3), Vince Carter (3), M. Abdul-rauf (3) and Robert Horry (2) won all that kind of games.
Random observation 3: Latrell Sprewell on Feb 4 2003 made 9 threes on 9 attempts.
Fastest: by far the best was Henry James on Apr 15 1997. He needed only 10 minutes to made 7 threes! His team (Hawks) won.
One-dimensional: Sam Mack, Apr 19 1999, 7/12 fg, 21pts, 0rebs, 2as, 0to, 1st and 7 threes made.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Bucks (19) and Sonics (17).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 75 (.291)
Cinderella's:
1) Jaren Jackson, Nov 20 1999, 7 threes made in 23 minutes.
2) Jannero Pargo, Mar 26 2004, 7 threes made in 39 minutes.
3) Trevor Ruffin, Dec 20 1995, 7 threes made in 30 minutes.


8 turnovers or more

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 28W and 34L (.451)
"Top3" players:
1) Allen Iverson - 8 times with 3-5 record
2) Dwyane Wade - 5 times with 2-3 record
3) Kobe Bryant - 5 times with 2-3 record
Random observation 1: Steve Nash and LeBron James both had 3 such games, all were... wins!
Random observation 2: Antoine Walker (2), Gilbert Arenas (2) and Yao Ming (2) lost all that kind of games.
Cinderella: Mark Blount, Nov 5 2005, 8 turnovers in 28 minutes against Bobcats.
The toughest targets: the most such games were against Warriors (6) and Pistons (5).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 166W and 252L (.397)
"Top5" players:
1) Allen Iverson - 24 times with 8-16 record
2) Jerry Stackhouse - 19 times with 6-13 record
3) Jason Kidd - 18 times with 7-11 record
4) Stephon Marbury - 16 times with 4-12 record
5) Antoine Walker - 13 times with 5-8 record
5) Steve Francis - 13 times with 5-8 record
Random observation 1: Juwan Howard and Michael Jordan had both 4 such games. All were wins.
Random observation 2: Tim Duncan (4-2), Steve Nash (3-1), Hakeem Olajuwon (4-1), Chris Webber (5-2) and Paul Pierce (5-3) and aforementioned Howard and Jordan were other only examples of players with winning record.
Fastest and One-dimensional: Brent Price, Feb 19 1996, 1/3fg, 2pts, 0as, 0 reb, 1st and 8 turnovers in 18 minutes.
The toughest targets: the most such games were against Celtics (27) and Magic (23)
Blowouts (+15 pts): 75 (.179)
Cinderella's:
1) Loren Meyer, Jan 16 1997, 8 turnovers in 34 minutes.
2) Terry Dehere, Mar 18 1996, 8 turnovers in 23 minutes.
3) Jason Caffey, Mar 29 1998, 8 turnovers in 36 minutes.


triple-doubles

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 41W and 15L (.732)
Top3 players:
1) Jason Kidd - 14 times with 10-4 record
2) LeBron James - 8 times with 8-0 record!
3) Kobe Bryant - 5 times with 1-4 record
Random observation 1: Damon Stoudamire had 2 such games, both were losses.
Cinderella: Chris Duhon, Nov 2 2005, 18points, 10 rebs, 12 assists in 39 minutes.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Sixers (7), Warriors (5) and Raptors (5).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 281W and 86L (.766)
Top5 players:
1) Jason Kidd - 69 times with 51-18 record
2) Grant Hill - 27 times with 19-8 record
3) Chris Webber - 18 times with 13-5 record
4) Antoine Walker - 14 times with 12-2 record!
4) Kobe Bryant - 14 times with 10-4 record.
Random observation 1: Jason Kidd had 3 times triple-double on 2 days in a row. Grant Hill and Bob Sura got it once.
Random observation 2: There were only 4 triple-doubles with 10+ blocks - Ben Wallace twice, Jermaine O'Neal and Dikembe Mutombo once.
Random observation 3: There were only 3 triple-doubles with 10+ steals - Kendall Gill, Mookie Blaylock and clyde Drexler.
Random observation 4: LeBron James had 8 such games, all were wins.
Random observation 5: Vlade Divac (5), Paul Pierce (5), Mookie Blaylock (4), Karl Malone (4), Charles Barkley (3), Gilbert Arenas (3), Sam Cassell (3) and Kevin Johnson (3) also won all such games.
Random observation 6: Kevin Garnett had 13 such games with 11-2 record.
Random observation 7: Only Gary Payton (5-7) and Ray Allen (1-2) had multiple such games with losing records.
Fastest: Karl Malone, Nov 28 2003, needed only 26 minutes to collect 10pts, 10as and 11 rebs.
The easiest targets: the most such games were against Warriors (25) and Sixers (21).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 100 (.272)
Cinderella's:
1) Anthony Bowie, Mar 19 1996, 20/10/10 in 41 minutes.
2) Blue Edwards, Mar 1 1996, 15/13/11 in 41 minutes.
3) Robert Pack, Apr 13 2001, 12/10/11 in 40 minutes.
4) Rodney White, Mar 24 2003, 17/12/10 in 39 minutes.


75% or better FG% with 10+ FGM

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 89W and 32L (.735)
Top3 players:
1) Shaquille O'Neal - 7 times with 4-3 record
2) Tim Duncan - 4 times with 4-0 record
2) Kevin Garnett - 4 times with 3-1 record
2) Amare Stoudemire - 4 times with 3-1 record
Random observation 1: Dwyane Wade (3), Antoine Walker (2), Carmelo Anthony (2), Gilbert Arenas (3), Marcus Camby (2), Juan Dixon (3), Josh Howard (3), Tony Parker (2), Zach Randolph (2) and Kenny Thomas (3) won all that kind of games.
Random observation 2: Dwight Howard had 2 such games, both were losses.
Cinderella: Brian Cook, Feb 7 2006, 12/16 fg.
The easiest targets: Hawks (12), Sonics (10) and Raptors (9).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 503W and 181L (.735)
Top5 players:
1) Shaquille O'Neal - 31 times with 24-7 record
2) Tim Duncan - 16 times with 15-1 record
3) Karl Malone - 15 times with 14-1 record
4) Kevin Garnett - 14 times with 12-2 record
5) David Robinson - 11 times with 9-2 record
Random observation 1: Elton Brand had rare losing record at 5-7 but the he wasn't the worst - Brian Grant had 0-4.
Random observation 2: Kobe Bryant, had 3 such games, all were wins. Also one of the most impressive performances belongs to him - 20/26 fg on way to 45 points on Dec 21 2000.
Random observation 3: Rasheed Wallace (6), Horace Grant (5), Shawn Marion (5), Steve Nash (5), Dirk Nowitzki (4), Calbert Cheaney (4), Terrell Brandon (4), Larry Johnson (4), Jason Kidd (4), Rashard Lewis (4), Patrick Ewing (3), Avery Johnson (3) won all that kind of games.
Fastest: Eddie Robinson on Mar 10 2001 and Cedric Ceballos on Apr 15 1997 needed 17 minutes to hit 10 shots on 13 and 11 attempts respectively.
One-dimensional: Mike James, Apr 20 2005, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 0/0ft, 0 st, 0 blocks and 24 points on 10/13fg
The easiest targets: Celtics (33), Hawks (32), Mavs (30) and Warriors (30).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 241 (.352)
Cinderella's:
1) John Amaechi, Dec 23 2000, 11/14fg in 35 minutes.
2) Mario Bennett, Apr 3 1998, 10/12 fg in 35 minutes.
3) Wayman Tisdale, Mar 26 1997, 10/12 fg in 30 minutes.
4) Tony Massenburg, Mar 26 1997, 10/12 fg in 33 minutes. (It's not misprint, it was on the same day)
5) Don Maclean, Feb 1 1997, 12/16 fg in 30 minutes.


FG%<=25 with FGA>=20

For 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons
Overall: 14W and 31L (.311)
"Top3" players:
1) Gilbert Arenas - 5 times with 1-4 record
2) LeBron James - 2 times with 0-2 record
2) Tracy McGrady - 2 times with 0-2 record
2) Quentin Richardson - 2 times with 2-0 record
2) Allen Iverson - 2 times with 2-0 record
Random observation 1: There were 33 different players on that list.
Random observation 2: The worst percentage had Rip Hamilton 3/22 on Dec 18 2004.
Cinderella: Jeff McInnis, Jan 28 2005, 4/20 fg against Knicks.
The toughest targets: the most such games were against Warriors (4), Wolves (4) and Sixers (4).

Last 10 seasons
Overall: 70W and 197L (.262)
"Top5" players:
1) Allen Iverson - 20 times with 6-14 record
2) Antoine Walker - 13 times with 3-10 record
3) Stephon Marbury - 11 times with 2-9 record
4) Jerry Stackhouse - 9 times with 3-6 record
5) Tracy McGrady - 8 times with 2-6 record
5) Baron Davis - 8 times with 2-6 record
Random observation 1: Only four players had at least 2 such games at winning percentage - Keith Van Horn (3-0!), Jamal Mashburn (3-2), Quentin Richardson (2-1) and Chris Webber (2-0).
Random observation 2: The most such games without a single win had Jason Kidd (6), Glenn Robinson (6) and Ray Allen (5).
Random observation 3: There were 14 such games against Blazers. All of them Portland won.
Random observation 4: The worst percentage had Allen Iverson and Chris Webber - 2/21. To make it even more interesting those games were within 6 days in March 2004.
Fastest: Antoine Walker, on Nov 24 1999 against Spurs, needed only 25 minutes to miss 16 shots out of 21.
The toughest targets: Knicks (25), Heat (18), Spurs (15).
Blowouts (+15 pts): 46 (.172)
Cinderella's:
1) Austin Croshere, Nov 17 2000, 5/20 fg in 35 minutes.
2) Kevin Edwards, Nov 22 1995, 5/21 fg in 34 minutes.


The most important individual accomplishment?
Just to sum up, let's sort all overall results by winning percentage:

Stat
Won
Lost
Win%
 Triple-Doubles
281
86
.766
 FG%>=75 with FGM>=10
503
181
.735
 15+ Assists
314
137
.696
 7+ Blocks
279
126
.688
 40+ Points
395
180
.687
 7+ Threes made
176
82
.682
 6+ Steals
334
199
.627
 20+ Rebounds
276
183
.601
 8+ Turnovers
166
252
.397
 FG%<=25 with FGA>=20
70
197
.262


The launch of the recent 82games.com Research Program has brought us a flurry of very interesting ideas for NBA analytical articles, many of which we hope will eventually find their way to publication on the site.

Also see: wiLQ: Predicting the NBA's Most Valuable Player (02/24)


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