Weekly Stat Recap
This week’s study was done to determine what position led the winning team in scoring with the most frequency. For all 53 games this week I recorded the position of the highest scoring player on the winning team and the percentage of his teams points he scored. I used ESPN’s box scores to determine what position each player qualified as.
In a resounding 35.8% of the games this week, the winning team was led by its small forward. On average, those small forwards scored 23.3% of their teams points. The position which the led the fewest winning teams was center, but when a center led the team in scoring, they actually averaged a higher percentage of the team’s points (25.1%) than any other position.
While Kevin Durant and LeBron James had a lot to say with the results of this study, it was Paul George who had the single most influential game of the week. The Pacers SF poured in 42.5% of Indiana’s points in a win against the Bulls on Tuesday, far and away the highest total in this 53 game sample.
The moral of this study: build your team around a high scoring SF. High scoring PG’s have become a bit of a rage since Derrick Rose won the MVP and Russell Westbrook helped the Thunder advance to the Finals, but it would appear that teams led in scoring by their point guard are not overly successful in the NBA as a whole. I believe a reason for the dominance of the small forward is the requirement of a solid all around game to excel at the position. They need to have the ball handling skills of a guard and often have the body of a PF. The “swingman” is the direction that the NBA is moving, and I would venture to guess that if this study were to be preformed next season, we may see an even stronger correlation.
What stats do you find interesting? No stat is out of the question. I’ve touched on “home court advantage” and the affect on free throw attempts, the correlation between winning and fast break/points in the paint, and the affects of AST% on the final outcome of the game. Get creative and tweet me @unSOPable23 to submit your idea.
Now here are some other interesting statistical tidbits from the rest of the week:
- In the Nuggets/Raptors game it seemed as if Denver was toying with Toronto, as their starters couldn’t do anything right and the bench couldn’t do anything wrong. Their starting unit had 0 players shot 50% or better from the field, with four of them shooting 40% or worse. But the basket grew when the starters departed, as every reserve shot at least 50%, with three quarters of them making shots at least 60% of their field goal attempts.
- The Pistons beat the Cavs, notching their sixth win in the process. Detroit rookie Andre Drummond tallied seven points and grabbed 12 rebounds, production that has been directly correlated to Piston victories. The Pistons have won three straight when Drummond’s PR (Points + Rebounds) is at least 15.
- Heading into the Hornets/Bucks game, it would have been reasonable to think a certain duo would dominate. While that proved true, the efficient tandem wasn’t who you guessed. Robin Lopez and Ryan Anderson combined for 43 points on 70.8% shooting from the field, making every one of their free throws. The Bucks high profile starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings combined for 42 points on 42.9% shooting, connecting on only 62.5% of their free throws.
- For a game without much star power, the Magic/Warriors game saw six players score 68.4% of the games total points. That means that the other 15 active players combined for only 31.6% of the games points.
- Ben Gordon ranked seventh in his game against Portland in minutes played and made only one of his four two point shots … and scored a game high 29 points.
- Kevin Love scored six points on 2/10 shooting in a win over the 76ers. It was the first game since April of 2009 (199 games) that the Timberwolves won with their best player scoring six or fewer points.
- Since the beginning of the 2010-2011 season, LeBron James’ teams are 2-4 when he registers a triple double. Two of those four losses have been against teams with a cumulative 15-71 record.
- Zach Randolph poured in 38 points against the Suns, the majority of which came in the painted area. Phoenix managed 38 points in the paint as a team. In addition to equaling the Suns paint production, ZBo blocked three shots, grabbed seven offensive rebounds and 15 defensive rebounds. Again, he nearly matched all of Phoenix in those categories: the Suns blocked five shots, snatched nine offensive rebounds and 23 defensive rebounds. I know the Suns aren’t exactly an elite team, but dominance like this is hard to find.
- We all know that D’Antoni’s offensive scheme relies on a solid, if not elite, point guard. Without a healthy Nash, the Lakers offense has reverted to their past ways. Los Angeles has dropped nine of their last 11 games when Kobe Bryant takes at least 27 shots. In fact, the next two highest scorers in this game (Greg Smith and Toney Douglas) combined to take six fewer shots than Kobe.
- In stark contrast, Paul George propelled his Pacers to victory in a very efficient manner. He took 16.3% of Indiana’s field goals and made 24.6% of their field goals.
- Tyson Chandler scored 15 points and made eight of 10 shots from the field against the Bobcats. Since joining the Knicks, Chandler is shooting a remarkable 79.7% in games in which he has tallied at least 15 points. In 58.8% of those games he has shot at least 80% from the field. While it may be comparing apples to zebras (can’t say oranges because it isn’t even that close), Kobe Bryant has scored 15+ points 4.3 times more often than Chandler over the past two seasons, but he hasn’t had a single game in which he has shot 80% from the field. We pile on Kobe for taking shots in bunches, but consider this: Bryant has taken at least 23 shots from the field in 53.4% of the games over the last two seasons in which he has scored 15+ points. That means that, given both players score at least 15 points, Chandler is more likely to shoot 80% than Bryant is to take 23+ shots.
- Ryan Anderson scored 31 points in a loss to the Lakers, knocking down five triples in the process. Since establishing himself as a go-to option on the perimeter last year, 90% of his 25+ point games have included a minimum of five three pointers made. He is averaging six treys in those games.
- When Golden State traded Monta Ellis, most thought it would open the door for Steph Curry to shine. While that is true, the argument could be made that Curry is more effective, or at least his team is more successful, when he is a pass first point guard. The Warriors have won 71.43% of their games in which Curry hands out at least 10 dimes and only 57.14% of their games when Curry scores at least 20 points.
- The Mavs traveled to Los Angeles to face the Clippers, and they were beaten in a way that will make Jerry West cringe. The master of the midrange game (partly because the 3 point line didn’t exist) would have gone crazy in this game, as the Clippers scored 85.7% of their points either from the paint, the free throw line, or behind the three point line. The Mavericks totaled 62 points in those three areas, matching the number of points LA scored in the paint alone.
- J.J. Redick scored 14 points against the Jazz despite missing all five of his three point attempts. The marksman had gone 397 games (all 362 games as a professional and his last 35 at Duke) without scoring at least 14 points with 0 three pointers made in a single game.
- Raymond Felton scored 27 points, his second highest point total in his last 119 games, thanks in large part to his accuracy from deep. Felton buried six of 10 three pointers, as compared to making four of his 10 shots from inside the arc. Since the 2008-2009 season, Felton’s team (Bobcats, Nuggets, Knicks, Trailblazers) have won 19 out of 21 games in which at least half of his field goal attempts have come from behind the three point line (minimum six field goal attempts).
- A season high 48.4% of the Knicks field goal attempts came from distance in a 112-92 victory in Miami. In two games against the Heat this season, the Knicks have attempted more three pointers (80) than field goals made (77).
- “The Battle of Steve Nash” did anything but resemble the elite playmaker that graced one of their rosters from 1996-2012. Despite 191 points being scored, no player recorded more than five assists in the Mavs/Suns game. Ironically enough, the games leading scorer (OJ Mayo) was the only player with five assists.
- All 10 players in the Dallas/Phoenix game who scored in double figures averaged at least one point per shot. For reference, only three of six Knick players who scored 10+ points did so.
- Darren Collison, who averages less than three free throws per game over his four year career, made 10 of his 12 shots from the stripe. The rest of his team made nine of 12 free throws.
- Russell Westbrook attempted and made more three pointers than free throws (minimum two free throws attempted) for the second time in less than a month. He had only done that three times in his first 318 games as a pro.
- In games in which Mo Williams has recorded a double double, his team has won five of the past six. A very strong turnaround after his team had lost seven of the eight occurrences prior.
- The Wizards may have beat the Heat earlier this week, but not with this formula. Their starters played only 54.2% of the game, scoring only 44.2% of the team’s total points. Their opponent, the Hawks, had their starters on the floor for 76.7% of the game and saw them account for 82.7% of the team’s production. Theoretically, a team starts its best players, which should result in the team whose starters play 22.5% more of the game winning just about every time.
- A box score beauty was turned in by Joakim Noah against the Pistons: 30 points, 23 rebounds, 6 assists, 63.2% shooting from the field, 85.7% shooting from the free throw line, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. He had more offensive rebounds (10) than the rest of the players in this game combined. He blocked more shots than the entire Pistons roster and out assisted Detroit’s starting five. The Bulls were outscored by eight points in the five minutes that Noah was on the sidelines.
- Deron Williams and the Nets are supposed to be a fun team to watch, one that uses athletic forwards like Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace to get easy buckets in transition. Want to know why they lost to the surging Warriors? They managed one transition basket all night, on their way to being outscored by 22 on the break. Golden State has done a lot of things well this season, but defending isn’t one of them, which makes this stat even more concerning.
- The Spurs racked up an NBA high 132 points in Charlotte tonight, thanks in large part to their willingness to set up an open teammate. San Antonio recorded an assist on 76% of their baskets, far and away the best mark in the NAB this week. No Spurs player took more than 12 shots from the field, never allowing the Bobcats to focus on a certain player. In fact, Raymond Felton took more shots by himself (30) than the three starters in the Spurs back court (28). With Carmelo Anthony out of the lineup, I wonder what Felton was thinking about his replacing those points.
- Since joining Miami, the Heat have won 12 of the 14 games in which LeBron James has not attempted a three point field goal. I’m not sure what the more telling statistic is: the fact that they have won nearly 86% of those game or that James (career 33% three point shooter) has not attempted a three in less than 7% of his games in a Miami uniform.
- We are nearing the quarter poll of the NBA season and what a beginning to the season we’ve had. Raise your hand if you thought Dwight Howard would have as many three point attempts as Marc Gasol has double digit rebound games (2).
- Chris Paul made five of 10 shots in an 18 point win over the Suns, continuing a trend of hot shooting and winning. The Clippers have won five of their last six games, all of which CP3 has shot at least 50% from the field. The six game streak is tied for the second longest streak of Paul’s eight year career, and the .833 winning percentage is the highest for Paul led team during a stretch of 50% shooting that lasted at least six games.
- Chandler Parson averaged fewer than nine shots per game last season but has hoisted at least nine shots in all 19 games this season. He just turned 24 years old and has seen his scoring jump 60% this season. I know he plays for a below average Rockets team, but can we give him the respect he deserves? He has done more on the floor than any member of that draft class besides Kyrie Irving but nobody has taken notice.
- There were three shooting guards active in the Thunder/Pacers game (Kevin Martin, Thabo Sefolosha, and Lance Stephenson) that played a total of 81 minutes. Despite playing nearly 17% of the games total mintues, the trio accounted for a mere 4.1% of the games total rebounds. When it comes to the Thunder, the other four starters all grabbed at least seven rebounds.
- The stereotypical point guard distributes the ball and sets up his teammates for success. Try telling that to the PG’s in the Bucks/Nets game, as players considered point guards accounted for nearly 37% of the games total points. The 185 points scored in this game matched the exact number in the Raptors/Clippers game, but point guards averaged less than eight points in that game, as compared to almost 23 points in the Bucks/Nets game.
- The average size of the three members on the Raptors starting front line is over 6’10” while their starting backcourt stands less than 6’4” on average. Toronto, however, saw its two guards grab more rebounds (11) than their big men (8) against the Clippers.
- J.R. Smith came off the bench but took more shots than any member of the opposing Nuggets. In fact, Smith averages one shot every 2.59 minutes played, greater than Denver’s leading shot taker Ty Lawson.
- The Suns and Magic played a game, and while I cannot confirm that this game was played with a beach ball in the early going, the stats would indicate that this is a possibility. The starters made 18.2% of their three point attempts, while the reserves (who decided to use a regulation sized ball) shot a much more respectable 46.2% from distance.