Friday, April 20, 2007

NBA playoff preview

The NBA playoffs start tomorrow, but that has nothing to do with Craig Biggio getting hit by pitches. Or does it?

Since 1989, the first year Craig Biggio got hit by a pitch, there have been 670 Astros games on dates when there have been NBA playoff games, and Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch 82 times in 76 of those games. 29% of Biggio plunks have come on days when the NBA playoffs were being played. On days of NBA playoff games, Craig Biggio has been plunked once per 35 plate appearances, but only once per 45.4 plate appearances on days when there are no playoff games. That is, he gets hit 29.7% more often on days when there's an NBA playoff game.

Biggio has been hit by a pitch 14 times on days when Houston's NBA team, the Rockets, have had a playoff game, but he's been hit the most times - 28 - on days of Lakers playoff games. Unfortunately, the Rockets are only 6-8 in playoff games on days when Biggio has been plunked, so while his ability to get plunked helps the Astros win, it doesn't appear to help the Rockets. The Rockets are 3-3 in the first round when Biggio gets hit by a pitch, 1-4 in the 2nd round, and 0-1 in the conference finals. But when they make it to the NBA Finals, they are 2-0 in games on days when Biggio has been hit. The Sacramento Kings have the best record in the playoffs on Biggio's plunk days, going 7-1, while Biggio seems to have jinxed the Milwaukee Bucks to an 0-7 record on dates of his HBPs.

Perhaps most amazingly, of the 30 current NBA franchises, all but 2 of them have played at least 1 playoff game on a day when Craig Biggio was plunked. The only two who haven't are the most recently added - the Charlotte Bobcats, and the Golden State Warriors who are returning to the playoffs for the first time since 1994 this year.

Here are the playoff records of every NBA team on days when Craig Biggio has been hit by a pitch:
TeamWinsLossesWin Pct.
Kings710.875
Suns940.692
Pacers1370.650
Lakers1690.640
Celtics530.625
76ers530.625
Bulls1280.600
Pistons640.600
Nets430.571
Hornets650.545
Heat660.500
T-wolves440.500
Magic440.500
Cavs110.500
Raptors110.500
Blazers560.455
Spurs9120.429
Rockets680.429
Hawks340.429
Sonics7100.412
Jazz6100.375
Mavericks240.333
Nuggets120.333
Knicks5120.294
Clippers010
Grizzlies010
Wizards/Bullets030
Bucks070
Warriors
0
0
n/a
Bobcats
0
0
n/a
Total
143
143

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