With the NBA playoffs starting Saturday A'Shawn Robinson Jersey , here are 10 things to know:
Pacers fans, avert your eyes.
LeBron James hasn’t experienced losing a first-round game in nearly six years.
James’ teams have won 21 consecutive opening-round contests, a streak that started in Game 5 of the Miami-New York series in 2012. Combining his Cleveland and Miami years, James’ teams have won 46 of their last 51 first-round games.
James and the Cavs play Indiana in the first round this season.
James could set a slew of NBA records in these playoffs.
He’s already the all-time postseason leader in points, is seven steals from passing Scottie Pippen (395) for the playoff record in that department, is four shots from passing Kobe Bryant (4,499) for another career postseason mark.
Depending on how long Cleveland’s postseason lasts, James also has a shot at passing Ray Allen (385) for career postseason 3-pointers; he’s 55 shy of taking over the No. 1 spot there. And if the Cavs make a deep run James could also catch Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (2,356) for most field goals.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr is estranged from his son.
Nick Kerr works for the San Antonio Spurs – the Warriors‘ opponent in a Western Conference first round series. This has long been a source of great amusement for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, who coached Steve Kerr as a player and remains close with him now. Popovich has said that Nick Kerr is the subject of additional security screenings at work, just to ensure he’s not a spy for the Warriors. (No, Pop wasn’t serious.)
Steve Kerr says he and his son are ”recusing ourselves” from family interaction during the series.
”I think they already confiscated Nick’s phone,” he said.
SO CLOSE …
You have to feel for Omri Casspi and DeMarcus Cousins.
No active players have appeared in more regular-season games without any getting any postseason run than Casspi and Cousins. Casspi has played in 552 games, Cousins 535. And both were right on the cusp of ending their droughts this year; Casspi was waived by Golden State because it needed a roster spot once he hurt his ankle, and Cousins tore his Achilles’ to end his season with New Orleans.
Tom Van Arsdale (929) is the record-holder for most regular-season games without seeing postseason play, followed by Otto Moore (682) Peyton Manning Jersey , Nate Williams (642), Sebastian Telfair (564), then Casspi and Cousins.
These NBA playoffs will be more global than ever.
A record 62 international players, from a record 33 countries, are headed to the postseason. Every playoff team has at least one international player on its roster, with Utah and Philadelphia both featuring seven and Boston, Toronto and San Antonio six each.
France and Australia lead the way in international representation in these playoffs, with seven players from each nation making it to the second season. Canada and Spain both have four.
This wasn’t San Antonio’s best season; the Spurs got ”only” the seventh seed in the West.
But their streak lives.
This is the 21st consecutive season the Spurs have made the playoffs, one shy of matching Philadelphia for the longest NBA run.
To put their current streak in perspective, the soonest any other NBA club will be able to say that it has a 21-season postseason streak will be 2033.
Golden State and Houston have the second-longest active postseason streaks, at six. Portland and Toronto have been to five in a row, and four teams in this postseason – Miami, Minnesota, Philadelphia and New Orleans – didn’t qualify for the playoffs a year ago.
Portland and Philadelphia have already won a little extra money. By winning on the season’s final night to ensure each finished alone in third in their respective conferences, the Trail Blazers and 76ers picked up another $64,842 from the NBA’s record $20 million playoff pool this season.
Playoff teams split payouts from the pool Ricardo Louis Jersey , often toward bonuses for players and staff.
Houston is assured $1,380,065 from the pool so far. Toronto is assured $803,222 while Boston and Golden State are up to $704,169. Every playoff team will receive at least $298,485 – and the payouts keep rising as teams keep advancing.
The NBA champion will claim at least $4,782,438; the runner-up, at least $3,587,489.
Of the 15 series played in the 2017 postseason, Game 1 winners ultimately won the best-of-seven 12 times. That 80 percent clip is consistent with the league norm.
Since the 1983-84 season, winners of Game 1 have gone on to win the series 79 percent of the time. But that guarantees nothing – over the last seven years, four teams have lost Game 1 of the NBA Finals and gone on to win the championship anyway.
DEFEND HOME COURT
Home-court ”advantage” really didn’t exist in the 2017 playoffs.
Road teams won 43 percent of the postseason games played last year, and it’s reasonable to think such a success rate might be in play again this year. The 16 teams in these playoffs combined to win 351 games on the road in the regular season, or 54 percent.
Ordinarily Tre'Davious White Jersey , road teams win playoff games about 35 percent of the time.
The Timberwolves are in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
During that 14-year drought, the franchise had nine different coaches, used 131 different players, 92 different starters, took 93,776 field-goal attempts and
One bad inning seems to spoil every Michael Fulmer start.
The Detroit Tigers right-hander can look overpowering most of the time, but the opposition catches up to him at some point.
In Cincinnati three starts ago, he dominated for five innings before giving up two home runs in the sixth.
Against Oakland in his next outing, he lasted eight innings but gave up three runs in the third. Facing the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, Fulmer tossed four scoreless innings but allowed three runs in the fifth.
He wound up with two losses and a no-decision in those starts. He’ll try to break the habit in the finale of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers on Sunday afternoon.
“Overall, it’s just kind of eliminating that one big inning,” Fulmer said of his struggles. “I feel like that’s what it is every start. If I can just keep the crooked numbers off the scoreboard every inning and just try to put up zeroes the best I can, the results will come eventually. I know I’ve been saying that for a while, but I feel like we’re close and I’m still happy with my stuff right now.”
Fulmer (3-7, 4.22 ERA) has posted one victory in his last seven outings. Run support has been spotty at best for him this season — he has given up two or fewer runs in eight starts — but he’d rather make things easier on his team.
“I feel like any given start Tavon Austin Jersey , it just needs one complete game and we’re going to turn the corner,” he said. “Everything else feels good. I feel healthy, I feel strong and you can see that by the way I’m executing my pitches.”
Fulmer is 1-1 with a 4.58 ERA in three career starts against the Rangers. He can take inspiration from Jordan Zimmermann’s performance Friday after the veteran right-hander limited Texas to one run in eight innings and struck out 11.
“His command (Friday) was impeccable,” Fulmer said. “The biggest key for myself is trying to command the ball a little better.”
Detroit got another strong start Saturday from Mike Fiers, who gave up one run in six innings of the Tigers’ 7-1 win.
Right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2, 4.40) will oppose Fulmer. He has made three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.
Bibens-Dirkx gave up five runs in six innings against Houston in his last start, but it could have been worse. All the runs came in the first three innings, but he settled down and retired nine of the last 12 batters he faced.
This will be Bibens-Dirkx’s first career start against the Tigers, but he tossed 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief last season. He’s 4-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 14 road appearances (five starts) since making his major league debut as a 32-year-old last season.
Texas designated hitter Shin-Shoo Choo can establish a franchise on-base record Sunday. He tied Julio Franco’s 1993 mark by reaching base for the 46th consecutive game Saturday.
He had two doubles after homering Friday despite dealing with a quad injury.
“Very impressive what Choo’s doing,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Any time a player is battling through some nagging things and continuing to go out and perform is highly impressive. He’s a tremendous player. For me, it’s not just the on-base (streak), it’s how he’s playing, how he’s swinging the bat, the power, the extra-base hits and the walks.”
Adidas Jason Pominville Jersey ,