Other than two spectacular buzzer-beaters ;-)
Since I started analysing box scores regularly for FB in 2004 I was surprised how often unique stat-lines occurred and it’s a series designed to celebrate that fact. The rules are simple: it has to be something that never happened in the last 20 playoffs [over 1500 games] and less than 25 times during last 25 regular season games [there were over 55000]. Incidentally it’s a tribute to Basketball-Reference.com for great tools.
In Game 3 of NBA Finals http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201106050DAL.html
Mavs found themselves in a very unusual position:
Dallas lost even though they had advantage in FTA [+12], Fouls [-13] and Rebounds [+6].
Amazingly there were 232 such instances during last 25 RS but
only 14 of them happened to a team which lost a game for a losing percentage of 6%!
This isn’t a surprise but there was another great performance by Nowitzki.
Dirk had 34 points, 3 threes, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks.
It happened 13 times during last 25 RS including Dirk himself twice!
I think we should admire him while there’s still time in this series and for Mavs as a team…
Surprisingly Ian Mahinmi’s 5 fouls in 8 minutes were not as unique as you may think: it happened 32 other times in the playoffs since 1991 and only 13 times a team with such performance won a game.
Meanwhile in Game 2 of NBA Finals http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201106020MIA.html
Mike Bibby showed signs of life with 4 steals and 4 threes in 22 minutes.
That kind of performance happened only 8 times during last 25 RS and that’s probably exactly what Heat hoped for from him. Only if he could do that more often than once a month ;-)
Also there was another classic non-box score game by our usual suspect.
Joel Anthony had 3 blocks, 3 fouls, 1 rebound and zero points. It happened 17 times during last 25 RS but only once someone played more than 21 minutes… while Joel did it in 27 minutes!
Surprisingly Dwyane Wade’s versatile performance with 36 points, 2 threes, 3 steals and 2 blocks were not as unique as you may think: it happened 3 other times in the playoffs since 1991…
Hell, it wasn’t even unique for Wade himself, he did it in a previous series versus Celtics! http://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/201105010MIA.html