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10 Numbers About Historical Dominance
Twenty-four years ago today, the Bulls were in the thick of a stretch in which they went an almost unfathomable 31–1. That team went on to set a new NBA record for regular season wins, going 72–10 before winning the title, the first team ever to reach 70 wins. Since then, only one other team has reached 70 wins (the 73-win Warriors in 2015–16). Last season, the Bucks put up the best regular season record in the league before falling just short of the Finals, so they are after more than that this season, but they are also in the middle of a historically dominant run. It is worth taking a step back and thinking about how rare this all is.
70. At 38–6, the Bucks are on pace to go 70–12, which would be the third best regular season record of any team in league history. With a win against the Bulls on Monday in Milwaukee, the Bucks would bump up to a 71–11 pace.
0. A couple losses in a row would throw off their winning percentage and wins pace in a hurry. The good news there is that the Bucks have not lost back-to-back games this season, and, they only lost back-to-back games once all of last season.
2. The Bucks rank in the top two in the NBA in both offensive efficiency (2nd) and defensive efficiency (1st). This century, only the Warriors have turned that trick (they did it twice, in 2014–15 and 2016–17).
20. Fourteen times already this season the Bucks have won games by 20+ points, which means they have been more than twice as likely to win a game by 20+ than they have been to lose a game at all (six losses), which feels right.
+12.6. That is their point differential per game, currently better than the 72-win Bulls and the 73-win Warriors.
170–0. So, if the Bucks lost 170–0 to the Bulls on Monday (not likely), they would still have the best point differential in the league.
39. Due to all the blowout wins, the Bucks have played just 39 minutes all season in the clutch (defined by stats.nba.com as games within five points in the final five minutes). That is the lowest number of any team in the league, and puts them on pace to play the fewest number of clutch minutes of any team since tracking began in 1996–97. By the way: The Bucks have the best efficiency in the clutch of any team in the league.
28–1. The Bucks are 28–1 against teams below .500, best in the league. Lest you think they are just beating up on second-tier teams, the Bucks also have the best record in the league against teams with winning records (10–5).
8.0. The 29–13 Heat are second in the East, 8.0 games behind the Bucks, which means the Heat are exactly as close to being .500 as they are to being tied with the Bucks.
1. Statistically, the Bucks have the #1 bench in the NBA (up from #2 when I wrote that story) and the #1 starters in the NBA, based on point differential.