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Kyle Soppe also writes about the NBA for Pickin’ Splinters. Follow him on Twitter.

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.

Blind Resume

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.

  • boyer

    Ah, it seems that maybe you and others are finally realizing how ridiculous it is to say and think that the only thing the lakers need to do is pound the ball into bynum and pau. While they are quality bigs, Pau is not playing at an AS level and is easily pushed around down low while settling for long shots, including many 3′s this year. And unless Bynum is in the exact right spot for him, and unless no help defenders at all helping bynum’s primary defender, he struggles a lot. And both of them lollygag going down the court on defense and offense all too often. Sessions now allows Kobe not to work so hard and play so many minutes, supposedly, as he becomes another playmaker, which Kobe hasn’t had alongside himself for years now. The lakers offense almost always struggles unless Kobe is having a very good game. Relatively speaking, he barely touched the ball last night, and his FG pct. was decent, but while defense was the main problem, their offense wasn’t too good either.

    Interesting acknowledging the warriors ineptness without Ellis. While Ellis is just a near AS caliber player, the warriors needed him to shoot a lot and often, regardless of his FG pct. He’s a poor man’s iverson. And while many stat guys chastise these types of players for shooting too much and somewhat inefficiently, they fail to recognize that their teams need exactly this out of them. It reminds how indiana st.’s coach told Bird to shoot more before one season. I’m sure his FG pct. went down as he shot more, but his team needed him to shoot and score a lot, same type of example.

    • http://48MinutesOfHell Jesse Blanchard

      You can’t use the immediate post trade Warriors to judge the value of Monta Ellis. In the trade the Warriors essentially replaced him with nothing for the remainder of this season. His shots are being distrubted among players still trying to figure out what to do with them. And the Warriors are flat out in tank mode right now.

  • Pingback: The Point Forward » Posts Court Vision: Lakers better without CP3? «

  • Kyle Soppe

    In reality, the perfect game plan for the Lakers is somewhere between Kobe dominating and distributing. He has the ability to take over a game, no doubt, and not using him is simply not wise. But the same can be said for their bigs; leading me to think their ideal game plan would include a barrage of mid range jumpers from Kobe, and a heavy dose of the big men. They have enough talent on this team to win a title, it’s just getting the pieces together correctly.

    As for Monte and the Warriors, I completely agree; just thought the stats were interesting. The Warriors were an average team with Ellis, and will be a bad team until they replace him. And bad teams don’t score many points. My question in Golden State is: what happens to the development of Curry? He’s been told to distribute and score, but now, does he become more a scoring PG? Is that best for his development? I’m not so sure.

    • boyer

      Sure, ideally, it’s better for Kobe to shoot less shots; however, with the current lakers team, that is not usually a good idea since they are void in so many areas. But, how many of Kobe’s FGA/game are end of shot clock shots, end of qtr. shots, which are FGA that bynum/pau rarely ever shoot and for good reason, as it’s tougher for bigs to create their own shots in a short amount of time. And then there are many possessions/game which bynum/pau aren’t very aggressive at all, the offense becomes stagnant, so Kobe is required to take a ‘bad’ shot. It’s a silly narrative just to look at Kobe’s FGAs and then conclude he’s shooting too much and being a selfish gunner.

      Sessions helps, but it might make Kobe a bystander too much, which isn’t good. Kobe is great since he can play well without the ball. But, when Bynum gets the ball in the post, and his first move is taken away, he has no counter, and then the shot clock is down low, and not much can be made out of that type of situation.

      The lakers didn’t have enough talent last year to win, and their talent level is worse this year. I don’t think they much of a chance this year. I suppose they have a very outside chance, since they still have Kobe, and he’s still able to play at a high level, but I doubt it. Pau is acting like he’s afraid to play in the paint anymore. Peace is way worse. The bench is still terrible. They had odom and brown last year, and nobody is as good as them this year. They can’t beat the thunder. Better hope mavs or clips or someone beats the thunder in the 2nd round should the lakers make the conf. finals, which is going to be a very tough task for them, and probably unlikely.

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