Weekly Stats Pack
USA Today Sports
We are back with another group of statistics that found a way to fly under the radar for the week that was in the NBA. No player is exempt from this collection of far-reaching oddities, pointing out trends that you likely missed in the excitement of watching the games. On days with a full schedule, the top five stats are highlighted, and on days with fewer than five games, I’ll give you a stat from each game. One thing to remember: these stats are current on the day listed. That is, a trend can break as the week progresses, but for that moment in time, the numbers held true.
Without further adieu, the always interesting and never replicated Weekly Stat Pack.
Arron Afflalo has scored at least twice his career average in the majority of games this season. Orlando’s winning percentage, however, is better when he doesn’t.
Kirk Hinrich does whatever it takes to put his team in a position to win. He missed all eight of his three point attempts tonight, as he was clearly aware that it had been almost two years since he last missed five-plus three pointers in a losing effort. The five game win streak in such games was snapped, however, as the Bulls lost in triple overtime (losing four and winning only one of the seven periods played).
There were 49 three point attempts in the Spurs/Hawks game as both teams struggled to get to the free throw line (22 total attempts). The low free throw number is surprising when you consider that there were 90 points scored in the paint. Can you imagine what the ratio would have been if Kyle Korver was active? In a fitting end to an odd game, Tim Duncan knocked down a fall away jumper from the elbow on a designed down screen.
The Jazz are 3-4 since the return of Trey Burke, a major improvement over their 1-11 mark to start the season. They won their second game in a row tonight, but the MVP during the season long winning streak hasn’t been the talented rookie, rather it’s been his backup. Alec Burks is shooting 60% from the field (80% from distance), scoring 17 points, grabbing three rebounds, and turning the ball over once for every nine assists over that stretch.
Paul George is a flat out star and he proved as much by pouring in 43 points against the red hot Portland Trail Blazers tonight. Surprisingly enough, it was the first time in over a year that his point total surpassed his minute total and only the second time in his career.
Starters for the Milwaukee Bucks played 64% of the minutes, yet they were out-rebounded by the reserves. In the same game, there were 76 points scored in the final 12 minutes after just 81 points were scored in the previous 24 minutes.
Andre Drummond has more missed free throws this season (40) than he has career assists (36). I should mention that he is only attempting a shade over three freebies a night.
The Charlotte Bobcats haven’t scored more than 27 points in a quarter in more than a week: the Warriors outscored the Raptors by 27 in the fourth quarter last night.
The 76ers scored 126 points in a double overtime win over the Magic last night and recorded as many offensive rebounds (20) as assists in the process. The effort on the offensive glass (Michael Carter-Williams led the way with seven o-boards) allowed Philadelphia to overcome committing 23 turnovers.
The Grizzlies “big two” on the inside took over, scoring 44 points on 75% shooting while grabbing 21 rebounds and blocking four shots. Not too shabby when you consider that Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph missed this game with injuries. Jon Leuer and Ed Davis led Memphis to their most impressive offensive performance in more than a month.
For the first time since February 2012 and just the second time in his career, Ty Lawson recorded more missed shots than assists in a regular season game in which he handed out at least ten dimes.
In 19 games for the Hawks, Paul Millsap has already set a season high in three pointers made. At his current pace, he will match the 31 three pointers he hit in 540 games as a member of the Utah Jazz in just 42 games in Atlanta.
Speaking of the Jazz, they are 3-5 since getting Trey Burke back from injury. Oddly enough, his assist-to-turnover ratio seems to be indirectly correlated with the team’s success. In the five losses, the rookie is handing out five assists per turnover (including a nine to one ratio tonight). In the three victories, his ratio drops to 2.2.
Dwight Howard failed to block a shot for the fourth consecutive game, matching the longest streak of his career. The jury is out as far as what this means, as the Rockets beat the then second best team in the league (San Antonio) but lost to the worst team (Utah) in those four games.
The Thunder are a talented team, but only one player had more than one assist in a losing effort against the Blazers. In fact, 80% of the starting lineup (112 total minutes played) recorded more turnovers than helpers. In contrast, Portland had three players hand out at least five assists, with 80% of their starters notching more dimes than turnovers.
The Knicks beat the Nets and have now won four games on the season. In those four wins, J.R. Smith has attempted a total of 16 shots (he was inactive for two of them). He’s averaging over ten shots per game in losses. Coincidence? I think not.
Blake Griffin made all four of his free throws and handed out at least five assists for the second time this season and fourth time in the last three years. Oddly enough, not a single one of those games have come at home.
The Miami Heat have won nearly 78% of the games since Ray Allen came over from Boston, but they are a mere 3-3 when he attempts at least as many free throws as field goals.
There are four players (LeBron James, Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Paul George) who average at least 24 points and are shooting at least 45% from the field. Those four combine to take a shot once every 2.17 minutes of game time, the exact same frequency as Tony Wroten.
I know Kyrie Irving likes to dress up and play in the streets as Uncle Drew, but who is dressed up and playing for the Cavaliers as Irving? He went 0-9 from the field tonight and is now shooting 39.4% for the season. He has made more than half of his field goal attempts just once this season: he had done so four times at this point last season … and he was inactive for nearly half the games!
Who didn’t see this coming? The Celtics, who rank dead last in team assist-to-turnover ratio, handed out 25 helpers and turned the ball over only twice while the Nuggets, a top ten team in AST/TO, had 11 assists and 14 turnovers. The strong passing performance allowed Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, and Kris Humphries to score 58 points on 71.4% shooting from the field.
The Knicks were never as bad as they looked for the first month of the season, but they also are nowhere near as good as they have looked over the past few days (back-to-back 30+ point victories). In those two games, they have made three more three pointers than free throws they have attempted.
The Jazz attempted ten more shots than the Trail Blazers did and outscored them by six in the fourth quarter … and lost by 32. Portland buried 74% of their three point attempts, a greater conversion rate than Utah has from the free throw line this season (news flash: there were NBA players defending while Portland was firing away, something that is not allowed when taking free throws).
This is kind of what we expected to see from the Pistons at times. Their “big three” combined to score 23 points on 9/32 shooting from the field. But their size proved to be too much for the Bulls to handle, as the trio grabbed 36 rebounds, three more than Chicago’s entire starting unit.
LeBron James attempted only five free throws and didn’t once launch a three pointer in the Heat’s nice bounce back win over the Timberwolves. It was the third game this season in which his FTA+3PA was less than six, Miami’s winning those games by an average of 17.7 points.
Robin Lopez has been the definition of a “role player”, a title that may not be sexy, but has significant value. Portland lost to Dallas by two points in a game they would have no chance to win if not for Lopez having more offensive rebounds than the entire Trail Blazers team and attempting only one shot from outside of four feet.
Steph Curry notched his best passing performance of the season, handing out 15 assists and turning the ball over only once. In the previous two games, Curry totaled 15 assists but threw the ball away 11 times.
The Pacers win over the Spurs is a nice confidence booster, but don’t read too much into it as a way of determining playoff power rankings. As expected, San Antonio refused to take any one game too seriously and had only one player (Kawhi Leonard) play more than 26 minutes. The Pacers treated the game as a way to earn respect and played their studs extended minutes (six players played more than 26 minutes). I like the win and think Indiana can compete for a title, but be careful before you declare that they are better than San Antonio on the heels of this impressive victory.
The Celtics beat the Knicks by 23 points in the first quarter: it was less than a month ago when Boston failed to score 23 points in a single quarter against the Bobcats.
There were 30 three pointers attempted in the Heat/Pistons game … by players 6’8” or taller.
Dwight Howard pulled down 22 rebounds against the Magic, giving him at least 18 in three straight games. He’s totaled 58 rebounds over that stretch, his best three game total that didn’t include a game against the Bobcats since December of 2010.
Oklahoma City has a ton of play makers, but they are getting nice production from an unexpected source. Heading into tonight’s game, Perry Jones led all Thunder players (minimum of seven home appearances) in points per shot during home games (1.79). He made all three of his field goal attempts in his four minutes of action tonight.
In what felt like a mini TV show titled “Mamba Returns”, Kobe Bryant had twice as many turnovers as the Lakers did fast break points. At their game pace, Toronto would have had to play another 118 minutes without an assist to have twice as many team turnovers as transition points.