Getting off to a good start is imperative in any sport.
Although three games may not be a big enough sample of what might transpire over the next six months in the NBA, maybe we can offer some optimistic hope for Milwaukee Bucks fans with stats analysis from their first week in the 2012-13 season.
For the Bucks, their first three games included a decisive win over perennial playoff contender Boston in the opener, a last-second victory over a young, up-and-coming Cleveland squad and a loss to a Memphis Grizzlies team that has made the playoffs the last two seasons.
The 2-1 start is the 23rd time in the Bucks 44-year history that they have started the season winning two of their first three games. They have now been 0-3 in three seasons; 1-2 in 12 seasons; 2-1 in 23 seasons; and 3-0 in seven seasons.
Here’s a brief look at how each three-game start has played out in the Bucks' franchise history.
The last time the Bucks started 0-3 was in 1976-77. They were also 0-3 in 1975-76 and in their first year of existence, 1968-69. The team has never ended above .500 after starting the season 0-3 and made the playoffs in only one season (1975-76) after going 0-3.
The team has made the playoffs five times after a 1-2 start and have ended the season above .500 five times after winning one of their first three games.
Note: The Bucks have made the playoffs in six of the 15 years (40 percent) when they started the season 0-3 or 1-2. They finished the season above .500 in five of those 15 seasons (33 percent).
The Bucks made the playoffs in 15 of their 22 seasons in which they started the campaign 2-1. They finished above .500 in 14 of those 22 seasons.
Milwaukee made the playoffs in five of the seven years when it started 3-0. The Bucks finished above .500 in four of the seven years. The last 3-0 start was in 2005-06. The team made the playoffs that season after a .488 winning percentage in the regular season.
Note: The Bucks have made the playoffs in 20 of the 29 years when they started either 2-1 or 3-0 (69 percent). They finished the season above .500 in 18 of those 29 seasons (62.1 percent).
The Bucks have had a regular-season winning percentage of .600 or above in 13 of their 44 seasons. They got off to a 3-0 start in two of those seasons; a 2-1 start in eight seasons; and a 1-2 start in three of those years.
What will the Bucks 2-1 start this season lead to at the end of the season? Stay tuned.
Follow Jerry on twitter @StatsonTapp