As always, it’s time for another edition of…
The Weekly Fives
As most people know, a basketball game lasts between forty and forty-eight minutes, depending on the league. High Schools in Nebraska play four quarters of ten minutes each, for a total of forty minutes. College ball plays two halves of twenty minutes each, also for forty total minutes. The NBA, which plays twelve minute quarters, is a longer game, sitting at forty-eight minutes. Playing 82 games per season, that adds up quickly. However, some players have shown that they have the ability to stay on the court at all times, whether it be because of their strong stamina, or simply because their team needs them out on the court. Whatever it might be, the basketball games don’t have to stop at the end of regulation, and in some cases, star players may be forced to play for close to sixty minutes in overtime games. If you haven’t figured it out already, today we are diving into minutes per game.
The NBA record for minutes in a single game was set on November 9, 1989, when Dale Ellis of the defunct Seattle Supersonics played a staggering 69 minutes over the course of the game. That is incredible, considering that that is over an hour spent running up and down the court. Kyle Lowry of the Toronto Raptors is currently leading the league in minutes per game, at 37.7. LeBron James, however, is only a touch behind, at 37.6. Although not nearly as impressive as the 69 minutes set by Ellis, 38 minutes is definitely not something to shake a stick at.
In the NCAA, during their forty minute games, Marcus Foster has been Creighton’s leading minute-man, at over 30 MPG. Tai Webster, who was Nebraska’s sole senior this year, averaged an amazing 34.6 MPG. Tra-Deon Hollins is also playing over 30 minutes per contest for Omaha. Minutes, as an overall statistic, represent who are the key playmakers for each team.
At the high school level, only two players in the state average thirty or more minutes per game: Millard North’s Nick Farrarini and West Point’s Ben Vandergriend. For high school players, that is a lot of minutes, considering that they are not elite athletes, but rather conditioned, athletic teenagers. Some stars, such as Boys Town’s Teddy Allen, average less minutes because, for one, they do not want to risk injury before a promising college career, but also because they typically put their opponents away early in the games, and can afford to stay on the bench towards the end of the second half.
- Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors (37.7 MPG)
- LeBron James, Cleveland Caveliers (37.6 MPG)
- Zach LaVine, Minnesota Timberwolves (37.2 MPG)
- Andrew Wiggins, Minnesota Timberwolves (37.0 MPG)
- Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls (36.7 MPG)
- Tai Webster, Nebraska (34.6 MPG)
- Tra-Deon Hollins, Omaha (32.7 MPG)
- Glynn Watson Jr., Nebraska (31.3 MPG)
- Marcus Foster, Creighton (30.7 MPG)
- Khyri Thomas, Creighton (30.5 MPG)
- Nick Farrarini, Millard North (30.4 MPG)
- Ben Vandergriend, West Point-Beemer (30.1 MPG)
- Bret Porter, Millard North (29.6 MPG)
- James Bensen, Pender (28.2 MPG)
- Austin Streeter, West Point-Beemer (27.5 MPG)
(Stats as of 3/4/17)
As always, Home Court Advantage is your place for basketball at all levels.
Senior App Associate, Nebraska
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, COJMC