Kyle Soppe also writes about the NBA for Pickin’ Splinters. Follow him on Twitter.
Another week in the books, and plenty of standout numbers to note.
- On Tuesday night, we saw the value of free throw shooting for big men. Andrew Bynum poured in 37 points against the Grizzles, thanks in large part to a 86.0 TS%, while Dwight Howard was “held” to 24 points by the Heat due to his miserable 57.4 TS%. Howard had the ninth best TS% in the game despite having the game’s best FG%. This is going to be a problem come playoff time, as Howard completely dominated the Heat bigs (his 31.1 TRR was more than double of that of any Heat player), but they continually wrapped him and managed to stay in the game.
-Bynum’s success on the interior meant limited production from the perimeter for the Lakers. In fact, the Laker/Grizzles game saw only 10.6% of the total points scored from behind the arc. To put that in perspective, the Magic have scored 32.9% of their points this season from distance.
- It is no secret that the Golden State Warriors are a guard oriented team (that may change with the trade of Monta Ellis) and never was that more evident Tuesday night against the Kings. The Warriors tallied 115 points, but shot 6/27 from 15 feet or closer.
- Sacramento’s Jason Thompson scored 20+ points twice this week, breaking a streak of 85 consecutive games without a 20 point performance. Thompson had just six double doubles in the season’s first 41 games, but ended this week with three consecutive double doubles.
- The Knicks count on Steve Novak for long range shooting, and he is more than happy to oblige. For the week, 93.3% of his shot attempts came from three point land, and he connected on 4.3 threes per game.
- LeBron James has been a scoring machine this year, but the Orlando Magic seem to have his number. He’s been held under 20 points in all four matchups against the Magic. He’s been held under 20 points in only 4 of his other 39 games.
- The 76ers surrendered 94.7 points per game this week, but lost all three games. The Raptors gave up 101.7 points per game, but won two of three.
- Staying with the 76ers, Jrue Holiday recorded the first 30+ point game for Philadelphia this season. On Saturday, he accounted for 37.5% of the teams points, a huge jump from the 14.7% he averages for on a nightly basis. His 30 point effort out-did leading scorer Lou Williams’ high for the week of 28 points.
- Saturday night was one to remember for Utah’s Derrick Favors, who recorded career highs in points (23) and rebounds (17). His 72.3 TS% was a season best (when attempting at least 7 shots) and topped all-stars such as Luol Deng, Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, and Carmelo Anthony for the night. His 33 rebounds in the past two games are already a more than he’s totalled in any three game stretch for his entire career.
- In his first three games of the week, Steve Nash averaged more points per game, 14.0, than he has for the season, 13.7, and still had more assists than points. Nash averaged 1.91 points per shot, continuing to reinforce his place in the pantheon of efficient shooters. But it’s his ability to set up his teammates that elevates him above most. He averaged 14.3 assists to only 2.7 turnovers per game this week, working as the engine of the Suns’ offense.
- Monta Ellis took the “don’t get mad, get even” approach in his first game against his former team. The Bucks outscored the Warriors by 33 points when Ellis was on the court, the highest plus/minus game of the season for Ellis. His PC/PU was 0.16 greater than his Warrior replacement (Brandon Rush), equating to approximately an extra seven points for the Bucks, and seven fewer points for Golden State. The 14 point swing was most of the margin, in a 22 point victory for Milwaukee.
- The Clippers brought in Chris Paul this year to lead their offense, but it was a different guard who led the back-court in shots this week. Mo Williams took 71 shots in his 149 minutes of action (scoring 72 points), while Paul took 63 shots in his 189 minutes (scoring 79 points).
- The Bobcats won two games this week, their first week with multiple wins on the season. Chicago, the league’s best team has lost two games in a single week only once this season.
- John Wall is a 78% free throw shooter for his career, but made only 5/10 on Sunday night. The Wizards have yet to win a game this season in which Wall has missed more than three free throws. His sophomore slump is most evident in his inability to take care of the ball, totaling 21 turnovers over his last three games. His assists are down from 8.3 to 8.0, while his turnovers are up from 3.78 to 4.1. He plays an aggressive style, but is one dimensional when it comes to scoring. Having given opponents 60+ games of film to watch, while not developing new weapons helps explain his continuing struggles. He is shooting better than 60% from inside of three feet, but under 32% from outside of three feet.
- Jeremy Lin averaged 13.25 points per game this week, and his scoring average will continue to trend downwards as long as all of his teammates struggle to pass the ball. In the midst of “Linsanity”, the ball was whipping around the Garden, but with Stoudemire and Anthony back in action, Lin’s offense comes only off of his own penetration. A mere 20% of his buckets were assisted on over the past seven days.
- Kenneth Faried, the ‘manimal’, burst on the national scene about this time last year, making a name for himself as “the dude with long hair who grabbed every rebound for some little school”. Faried’s tenacity isn’t going anywhere, and he delivered a memorable night on Saturday against Kevin Garnett and the Celtics. The Morehead State man set career highs in free throws made (8), TS% (100), DRR (55.6), TRR (43.8), and PC/PU (1.69). On top of that, the Nuggets were +9 when he was on the court, and -2 with him on the pine.While Faried was dominating the paint, it was Rondo keeping the Celtics competitive. He had a hand in 61.1% of Boston’s buckets, the highest percentage of the week for a player who handed out double digit assists.
Player A: 16.8 ppg, 9 rpg, 47.4 FG%, (-6) +/-ratio
Player B: 17 ppg, 15 rpg, 66.7 FG%, (+51) +/- ratio
Player C: 21.3 ppg, 8.7 apg, 62.1 TS%, 7 three pointers, 8 turnovers
Player D: 21 ppg, 5.7 apg, 42.4 TS%, 4 three pointers, 12 turnovers
Shoot me your guesses @unSOPable23, and I’ll tweet out the correct answers later tonight.