Kyle Soppe also writes about the NBA for Pickin’ Splinters. Follow him on Twitter.
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To paraphrase Newton: “for every [impressive stat] there is an equal and opposite [Bobcat stat].”
- The mantra that “defense wins championships” is being put to the test theses days, but the Chicago Bulls are making old school hoops fans proud. Their constant effort simply overwhelms their opponents, and this week they held 80% of players to four or fewer made field goals.
- The Clippers went a disappointing 1-3 this past week, but the rock solid play of Chris Paul did not waiver. The Clippers’ point guard ended the week with a cumulative plus/minus ratio of +14, by far the best on the team. Los Angeles was outscored by a whopping 36 points when CP3 was on the bench.
- DeMar DeRozan increased his scoring output in each of the three games he played this week. DeRozan has played in 48 games this season, and he has recorded an increased point total in a three game stretch six times this season. Raptor running mate Jose Calderon also had his share of odd numbers in an eventful week across the border. Calderon handed out 10 assists against the Knicks on Wednesday, but misfired on all 10 of his attempts from the field. Surprisingly enough, this isn’t that rare of an occurrence. In seven NBA seasons, Calderon has not connected on a field goal (minimum of five attempts) six times, and he averages more assists in those games (7.7) than he does per game for his career (7.1).
- Pop quiz time …
Question: What do Kris Humphries, Randy Foye, Gordon Hayward, and George Hill all have in common?
Answer: They all recorded as many 15+ point games this week as the entire Bobcats roster. The Bobcats managed to put two players over the 15 point plateau in 144 minutes of action, pitiful even by their standards.
- Let’s have a little bit of fun with the Thunder/Timberwovles shoot out from Friday night. Minnesota, led by Kevin Love, knew what they wanted all night – either a shot from point blank range or a shot from three-point land. This game plan resulted in an astounding 74% of their shots coming from either within 3 feet or behind 23 feet. We saw three players (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Love) all go for 40+ points, but an unexpected catalyst led all players with 60 points produced (points + total points assisted on). J.J. Barea’s 25 point, 14 assist performance placed him ahead of Love (51 points produced), Durant (53), Westbrook (58), and all other NBA players this week. Russell Westbrook scored 45 points, but only 17.6% of his baskets were assisted on.
- More fun with the Bobcats. They have won 7 games this year without Derrick Rose in the lineup, while the Bulls have won 12. The big difference here, is that Rose actually plays for the Bulls. Chicago has won 12 of the 16 games played without their MVP, while the Bobcats have won 7 out of 46 without him.
- The Grizzles only won one of four games this past week, but Tony Allen was the most efficient scorer in the NBA. The 6’4″ swing man averaged 13.5 points per game, with a TS% of 74.6. The strong play from Allen allowed the Grizzles to average two more points per game this week than they do for the season, now all they need to do is get a few stops, and this team could be dangerous once again.
- The Lakers lost on Sunday night against the Grizzles, despite making 19 more free throws than Memphis. This was the biggest disparity in free throws in the NBA last night (win or lose) and teams making less free throws were 2-6 on Sunday. This was the worst possible outcome for Laker fans, as Kobe Bryant actually seemed content to run the offense through the teams dominant bigs. The loss may prove to be even worse than just a tick in the right hand column if it prevents Bryant from trusting his big men with the heavy lifting in the future.
- The Golden State Warriors knew how good of a scorer Monta Ellis is, but it has been reinforced in the seven games since his departure for Milwaukee. The Warriors are reaching triple digits in 28.6% of the games since he left, as compared to 62.5% of the games when he was in town.
Player A: 14.8 ppg, 63.9 FG%, 69.8 TS%, 5.8 rpg, 6 3PM
Player B: 13.5 ppg, 36.8 FG%, 44.4 TS%, 6.3 rpg, 1 3PM
Player C: 14.5 ppg, 41.4 FG%, 46.3 TS%, 2.8 rpg, 3 3PM
Shoot me your guesses @unSOPable23, and I’ll tweet out the correct answers later tonight.