We’re several weeks into our worldwide attempt to “flatten the curve” and have been offering daily escapes into the sporting events of yesteryear through our “Filling The Void” series. We’ve looked back on the inspiring, mind-boggling, and remarkable events as well as the ordinary, daily games we’ve been missing in our lives. We here at The Turf Sports sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and being safe through these trying days. We’d also like to take a moment to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of those front-line folks keeping society going – from the medical community to those stocking grocery store shelves, delivering supplies around the country or helping us all fight this virus together in some other essential, invaluable way.
You are all heroes.
On another note, we here at The Turf have always been of the mind that standing up for what is right and standing up in opposition to hate and violence is necessary. For resources on how to help the fight against systemic racism in the United States please check out the following links: Black Visions Collective, LGBTQ Freedom Fund, National Bail Fund, Reclaim the Block, Color of Change, and Black Lives Matter.
Today: Michael Jordan goes off and has what is statistically the greatest game ever played.
We know that Michael Jordan is the GOAT. That’s a fact at this point, and if you haven’t turned on the TV since mid-March, boy do I have a documentary for you.
The Last Dance gave us some great Michael moments, and even showed us some tough ones. This game, however, should be shown to every basketball player. Why? Because Michael Jordan goes off.
Going 23 of 37 from the field, 2 for 6 from behind the arc, and an insane 21 of 23 from the charity stripe, Michael dropped 69 points on the Cavaliers. In addition to his massive offensive output, Jordan added to his stat line with 18 total rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals in the Bulls 117-113 win over the Cavs.
But this game right here is on another level for a different reason, and it involves a fun little statistic.
Personally, I love stats that cross over the sporting lines. Baseball has WAR or Wins Above Replacement and Basketball has VORP or Value Over Replacement Player. Both are great stats and equally fun words to say. However, the stat we’re going to look at here is Game Score.
In baseball, Game Score was created by Bill James, to help determine how well a pitcher performs in a game. Point values are assigned to strikeouts, hits, outs, and so on. Any game score that falls in the 80-100 range is considered to be a masterpiece.
In basketball, it’s the same idea. According to Pro-Basketball Reference, “Game Score was created by John Hollinger to give a rough measure of a player’s productivity for a single game. The scale is similar to that of points scored, (40 is an outstanding performance, 10 is an average performance, etc.).” For all my Mathletes out there, here’s the formula!
PTS + 0.4 * FG – 0.7 * FGA – 0.4*(FTA – FT) + 0.7 * ORB + 0.3 * DRB + STL + 0.7 * AST + 0.7 * BLK – 0.4 * PF – TOV.
Math is fun!
In this game between the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 28th, 1990, Michael Jordan put up the best Game Score of all-time of 64.60.
Since this game, only one other player has ever reached the 60 Game Score mark. That player was Kobe Bryant 16 years later. Just two GOATs sitting atop the leader board, as if you would have expected anything different.
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