Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stat of the Day: Sweep Revenge

(Editor's Note: Meant to run this a week lost in the shuffle! Still, it's a really cool piece, and definitely worth a read)

Last week in Atlanta, the Hawks avenged their playoff sweep at the hands of the Orlando Magic in 2010. By winning the series, they became the 9th team in the last 30 years win a series against the team who swept them in the playoffs the previous season. In the following table, teams in bold have achieved the feat and the teams in red got swept two years in a row by the same team.

Last night, the Hawks became the first team since the 2003 Nets to avenge their series sweep by winning in the postseason the following year. Atlanta accomplished the same feat in 1996, actually, when they defeated the Indiana Pacers 3-2 in the first round. The previous postseason, the Pacers swept the Hawks out of the playoffs. Interestingly, the Pacers were victims of "sweep revenge" for two consecutive postseasons. In 1994, Indiana swept the Orlando Magic, who would go on to beat them in the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. On their way to face the Magic in 1995, though, the Pacers swept the Hawks, who would then take revenge against them in 1996. Lastly, the 2001 Lakers dominated their competition by sweeping through the Western Conference playoffs. In 2002, Los Angeles faced those same three foes again, and they won all three series.  They even swept the Portland Trailblazers for the second consecutive year in a row. Now that's domination.

There's A Stat For That

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