Weekly Stats Recap
Thanks to the All Star Break, we’ve got a Weekly Stats Recap with 43% more stats for you to enjoy. But before we dive into the week’s oddities, let’s determine how important the distribution of assists is to a team’s success rate.
Jared Dubin (@JADubin5), the founder of HoopChalk and Co-EIC of Hardwood Paroxysm, was curious as to the impact of having many good distributors. To answer this question, I charted the number of assists from the third leading assist man on both the winning and losing team. Jared guessed that the teams who split up the passing duties would win more often than not, and, for the most part, he was correct. For the past two weeks (78 games) the third leading assist man averaged 3.56 assists for the winning team and 2.99 helpers for the losing team. That doesn’t reflect a huge advantage, but in such a competitive league, the extra point or two on a nightly basis is huge. The magic number seems to be five assists for three or more players, as teams who accomplished that won 13 of 17 games.
I also took a look at how the team with the most players notching at least four dimes faired during this extended study. This study was a bit more definitive, as teams who led in this category won two of every three contests. In fact, both teams had the exact same number of 4+ assist men more often (24) than games won by the team with fewer 4+ assist men (18). In short, it appears that the correlation between distributions of assists and wins gets stronger in higher scoring games. A single assist man can carry a low scoring team to victory, but if the game is going to be played at a fast pace, you’d better have multiple players capable of creating via the pass.
You’re next! What stat would you like to see broken down? Any stat that can be tracked on a nightly basis is fair game and I’d love to hear (@unSOPable23) your thoughts.
Without further delay, here are your 50 stats that most people missed over the past two weeks.
Monday (February 11)
- Reggie Evans was at it again, recording his third 20 + rebound performance of the season. In those games, he has collected 50% more offensive rebounds than FGA and his average point production in those games is exactly what it is (4.0) for his career. Over the last five seasons, Evans has nearly as many 20 rebound games (4) as he does double doubles (5).
- Why were the Clippers able to dominate the scrappy 76ers (led by 29 entering the fourth quarter) that seem to play every opponent tough? Los Angeles’ top four scorers tallied 72 points on 71.4% shooting while Philadelphia’s top four scorers (who took 38.1% more shots) managed only 59 points on 37.9% shooting.
- Brook (Batman) and Robin Lopez combined for 48 points tonight, only the second time this season that the duo has reached that total. Oddly enough, both instances came while both players were on the road. You would think that All Star Brook would have a huge night when this happens, but Robin has actually been the more efficient player in these instances. The soon to be Pelican is averaging 26 points on 78.3% shooting from the field and 94.1% shooting from the line while Brook is averaging 23 points on 45.9%/85.7% shooting.
- Fans that came out to see the Bulls hosts the Spurs were sadly disappointed, but not because San Antonio’s “Big Three” were dressed in street clothes. The crowd of nearly 22,000 came to see three point contest participant (and crowd favorite) Matt Bonner make the most of his extended minutes, but instead they were the first crowd since late in the 2006-2007 season that witnessed a game in which the Red Rocket played 20+ minutes and didn’t attempt a single three pointer. Bonner’s streak was snapped at 214 streak games and Gregg Popovich wasn’t happy about it .
- In a showdown of Anti All Star’s, Monta Ellis and Jordan Crawford did not disappoint their critics here at Hickory-high. Ellis missed all four of his three point attempts (has now missed 11 straight and 16 of 17) and while he did record six steals, the Bucks lost (to the Wizards who had won just three of their first 24 road games) for the first time in seven games this season when he totals at least four thefts. Crawford’s team won for the fifth time in seven games in which he was a healthy DNP.
- Blind Resume: Here are the cumulative stats lines from two players in the last three games in which they have attempted at least 15 shots from the field. Answer at the conclusion of the Tuesday section.
Player A: 34/51 from the field for 94 points with endless highlights.
Player B: 36/53 from the field for 83 points with few people realizing he is even on the court.
- Kenneth Faried doesn’t miss shots or hand out assists very often, and he recorded two of each against the Raptors tonight. It was the eighth time in his last 37 games in which his assist total has been at least as high as his missed FGA total, pretty surprising considering he averages eight more FGA than assists per game this season.
- Kevin Martin struggled to find the range in Utah, misfiring on all four of his 3PA. The zero made triples stopped a streak of five consecutive games with 3 three pointers made and continued the Thunder’s struggles in such games (2-4 in games in which Martin played but didn’t make a trey).
- Remember when Mark Jackson said: “We’re not going to lie down. I was an old-school basketball player. I’m an old-school coach. If you can’t appreciate that, that’s on you”? Now, I’m not a historian, but we must have different definitions of “old school”. The “old school” basketball I’m thinking of involved terms like “no easy buckets” and “no blood no foul”. Mark Jackson’s “old school”, in his Warriors last two games against the Rockets, is more accurately described with terms like “only easy buckets” and “no three point record no defense”. In a seven day period, his Warriors gave at least 27 points in all eight quarters (256 total points) against the Rockets. They also allowed Houston to assist on 75.3% of their baskets while committing one turnover 10.7 possessions. Maybe I am not old enough to remember this type of “old school” basketball.
- Kobe “the distributor” is gaining a lot of attention these days, but why? In games in which he has truly been the team’s distributor (20 or fewer points and at least eight assists) the Lakers have beaten bad teams that they should beat anyway. Bryant’s recent passing spree started on Christmas Day and the Lakers have won six such games (20 or fewer points and 8+ assists) including tonight’s victory over the Suns. The six wins have come against teams with a cumulative record of 112-199 (.360 winning percentage). To gain further perspective, the Kings winning percentage this season is .358.
Player A: LeBron James
Player B: Chris Bosh
- Major props go out to Anthony Gibbs (@ADG_25) for nailing the blind resume. The Heat have been very good lately during this historic run by LeBron, but Bosh has been producing well above his norm as well.
- Confidence is a scary thing in the NBA when combined with extreme talent. DeMar DeRozan is displaying new levels of poise since the Raptors added Rudy Gay, and his free throw shooting is reflective of just that. For the second time AG (After Gay), DeRozan made all of his free throws in a game in which he attempted at least 10. In the final 163 games of the BG (Before Gay) era, DeRozan only had two such games.
- Josh Smith has found rhythm in his jump shot, something that is rarely said about the inconsistent Atlanta swingman. He has made multiple three pointers in three straight while shooting 69.2% from distance. This was only the third three game stretch of Smith’s career (694 games) in which me made multiple three pointers in each game, and the first in which his team has won more than they have lost.
- Ty Lawson has been as statistically impressive as I can remember any player being during a three game losing streak. The Nuggets speedster tallied 26 points and nine dimes against the Nets last night, the third straight game in which he has reached those totals. Prior to this recent stretch of All Star level play, Lawson had only recorded two such games in his 274 game career. He has always been an efficient guard (career 48.2% from the field and 37.9% from distance heading into this three game tear), but he has elevated to a LeBron James level by shooting 62.3% from the field and 64.3% from three point land.
- Jose Calderon led the Pistons in scoring in what was anything but a standard game for the Pistons newest point guard. It was only the fourth time in his eight year career in which Calderon played 28+ minutes (his career average) and recorded more turnovers than assists.
- The Rockets and Clippers played an entertaining game, but the final stats were anything by predictable. The Rockets (without James Harden) have the second highest percentage of points scored from three point land (28.9%) but managed only 15.6% of their points from deep in this one, resulting in a 24 point deficit from distance to the Clippers who rank 16th in the league in percentage of points scored from downtown (21.4%). On the flip side, only 45.3% of the Los Angeles’ points came from two point field goals (season average of 61.9%) while Houston scored 64.6% of their points from inside the arc (season average of 53.1% which is the second lowest in the NBA).
- Kevin Durant sat out all of 28 seconds in tonight’s loss to the machine that is known as the Miami Heat. One would assume that having KD on the court at all times is the best strategy for the Thunder, but less has been more in terms of minutes played of late. The Thunder have won just two of the past eight games in which “the nicest guy in the NBA” plays at least 36 minutes.
- For the sixth time this season, Russell Westbrook recorded at least as many FTM as FG missed. However, the results were a bit different this time as the Thunder recorded a season low 100 points and lost for the first time in those six games. In the previous five, OKC was averaging 113 points with an average margin of victory of 28.8 points.
- The Lakers managed to top the century mark in a game they never really had a chance to win. Los Angeles tied Denver for the most losses (14) in the NBA this season when totaling at least 100 points and are far and away the worst team in terms of winning percentage (minimum of 24 games in which they have scored over 100 points) in the NBA, winning only 60% of the time.
- While LeBron James’ streak of 30 points/60% shooting nights ended with a late miss, Steve Blake continued a streak of his own. The 10th year man out of Maryland has not missed a shot in his last three games (51 minutes) and has taken more shots with each passing game. Over this stretch, Blake has not made a single free throw.
- Speaking of percentages, in the case of Jamal Crawford they are vastly overrated. Even if the high scoring reserve isn’t connecting, the threat of him taking over the game affects how defenses play. Case in point: the Clippers won for the eighth time in 10 games this season when Crawford attempts at least 10 shots and shoots under 30% from the field.
Tuesday (February 19)
- The Phoenix Suns simply don’t win many ball games these days, but they are at least competitive when Goran Dragic has a “Steve Nash” type of game. He recorded 10 first quarter dimes on his way to an 18 assist performance, improving the Suns record in games in which his assist totals at least matches his shot total to 4-3. Half of those victories have come on the road, where the Suns have only won six times in 29 games this season. Interesting enough, half of those wins have also come against the Trailblazers.
- When the Raptors acquired Rudy Gay, they did so with the knowledge that Kyle Lowry would have to adapt his game to fit the athletic front line he would be playing with. They knew his game would have to change, but they couldn’t have known how quickly he would get the hang of playing with this high scoring front court. Previous to the blockbuster move, Toronto had dropped five of seven games when Lowry played a minimum of 26 minutes and attempted 10 or fewer shots from the field. Tonight’s victory over the resurgent Wizards was their sixth win in seven such games after acquiring the forward from Memphis.
- For his career, Gerald Wallace averages 1.6 times more FGA than rebounds per game. He has been a monster on the glass against the Bucks this season, however, notching 13.3% more rebounds than field goal attempts.
- They say “the NBA is a game of runs”, and in tonight’s Grizzles/Pistons game was the perfect example. In each quarter, at least one team scored 30 points, yet there were only 196 total points scored. In the highest scoring regulation game of the season to date (the Rockets and Warriors combined for 249 points), neither team managed 30+ points in the third quarter. That being said, the lowest scoring quarter for a team in that game was 23 points, while every quarter in the Memphis/Detroit game had a team score fewer than 23 points.
- Paul Pierce has recorded exactly as many rebounds as assists for four straight games. Unfortunately for Celtic fans, while his assist/rebound production is spiking his shooting has taken a nose dive. Since recording a massive triple double against the Nuggets 10 days ago, Pierce has totaled just 31 points on 21% shooting from the field.
- For the first time in his NBA career, Greg Monroe had 7+ assists in a winning effort.
- J.R. Smith is capable of scoring in bunches, but there is a good reason he has started less than 6% of his games since the 2007-2008 season: consistency. Over the Knicks last 12 contests, Smith has as many games with at least five three pointers made as games where he shoots under 20% from the field and has more personal fouls + turnovers than rebounds + assists (4).
- In the best game of the day, the Rockets found a way to come back and beat the Thunder despite a triple double from Kevin Durant and a week’s worth of offensive production from defensive stopper Thabo Sefolosha (his 28 points are 4.5 times his career average). Interestingly enough, Jeremy Lin’s ability to get shots off continued its direct correlation to the efficiency of James Harden. For the fourth time this season (three of which have been Houston wins) Lin attempted at least 16 shots in a game in which Harden was active. In those four games, Harden is averaging 35.5 points on 60.6% shooting from the field. He scored a career high 46 points against the Thunder tonight, breaking his previous mark of 45 points against the Hawks earlier this season. Yep, you guessed it: Lin took 16 shots in that game against Atlanta.
- Larry Sanders dominated the paint for the fourth consecutive game, this time turning away All Star Brook Lopez seemingly every time he attacked the basket. This was the fourth straight game in which Sanders swatted at least five shots, bringing him within one blocked shot of NBA leader Serge Ibaka (although Sanders does lead the league in BPG). He has rejected 22 shots over this four game stretch while the Bucks second best shot blocker in Ekpe Udoh has blocked 22 shots since January 9th (19 games).
- Chris Bosh missed eight of his 10 shots against the Hawks, as the Heat were considerably better with him off the court (+12) than on the court (+1). Bosh had missed just seven of 30 attempts from the field over his last two games.
- Joakim Noah leads all Centers in assists per game and is generally viewed as one of the better defenders in the league. For the season, Noah averages a double double with two blocks, 1.3 steals, and 4.2 assists, but he has never put it all together in a single game like he did against the Heat tonight. For the first time in his six year career (411 games), Noah recorded double digit points, at least eight rebounds, at least eight assists, two blocks, and two steals in a single game.
- As hot as LeBron James has been lately, this was the first game in February and the seventh of the season (52 games) in which he hasn’t missed a single free throw. None of those instances occurred when The King attempted six or more FT’s.
- Shane Battier’s only basket against the Bulls was a three pointer, a feat that is the norm these days. The former Duke standout’s last 23 baskets have been from behind the arc, dating all the way back to early in the second quarter on February 4th.
- Tony Parker delivered another spectacular performance against the Clippers tonight, continuing a run of great play. Over the last nine games, here is how his statistics stack up with LeBron James.
Parker: 8 wins, 61.8 FG%, 90.6 FT%, 8.7 apg, 27.6 ppg
James: 9 wins, 67.8 FG%, 81.1 FT%, 7.1 apg, 30.4 ppg
Now, what if we adjust the numbers to make up for the fact that James is averaging 37.2 minutes over that stretch as compared to Parker’s 33.4 (has yet to play more than 35 minutes in any of the nine games)? It is impossible to project the percentages, but with an added 3.8 minutes (and 11.4% increase) per game, Parker’s counting numbers would be superior to those of James (9.7 apg and 30.7 ppg). And by the way, the Spurs have the best record in the NBA.
- We’ve taken a look at Jamal Crawford filling a specific role on the Clippers (point scorer) and determined that even if he is ineffective, as long as he is playing the style his teammates expect, they can be successful. The opposite rings true and was proven accurate once again tonight. Crawford isn’t on an NBA roster for his ability to set up teammates, but he gave it a try tonight against the Spurs. While he statistically did a good job (six assists and no turnovers), it simply doesn’t fit into what Los Angeles is trying to do offensively. Since we flipper the calendar to 2013, the Clippers (who win over 68% of their games) have won just once in the seven games in which Crawford hands out more assists than his career average of 3.8.
- The Pacers are rolling right now in a way many didn’t think was capable. Not only did they record their second straight win by at least 30 points, they have now won their last four games that ended in regulation by a total of 109 points. Indiana won nine games in all of January by a total of 103 points.
- The Denver Nuggets lost a shootout to the Washington Wizards tonight, giving them their league high 15th loss when scoring at least 100 points. There are three teams in the league with 15 or fewer total losses and the team just ahead of the Nuggets in the standings (Memphis) is the only team in the NBA yet to lose a game in which they hit the century mark.
- There are four simple words to describe the Knicks current skid: “Regression to the mean”. Carmelo Anthony, a career 33.3% three point shooter, was connecting on 41.1% of his shots from distance before playing the Raptors last Wednesday. In three games since, Melo has made just three of his 20 three point attempts, and his season percentage (39.3%) is gradually declining closer to his career rate.
- While the Knicks are struggling, the other (and for my money, the better) team in NY is making some noise thanks to the play of CJ Watson. For his career, Watson averages a mere 20 minutes and 7.7 points, but he is scoring more often than Carmelo Anthony over the last ten days. The Nets reserve guard, who actually cracked the starting lineup in tonight’s loss to the Rockets, is averaging one point every 1.79 minutes since February 13th and the Nets have only lost once. Anthony is scoring one point every 1.88 minutes over the last ten days and the Knicks have only won once.
- According to the stats give in the Thursday section, Tony Parker has been the best player during this two week long article, but Al Horford isn’t far behind. The Atlanta Hawks, who average 0.4 less points than the average NBA team, are averaging 106.3 points over the past two weeks thanks to the extreme efficiency of Horford. The ex-Gator is averaging 24.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and had as many assists last night (6) as turnovers recorded over the past four games. The scoring punch is nice, but when you consider that he has made at least 10 field goals in each game and is shooting 74.6% from the field, his play changes from “nice” to “special”.
- We all know that the Rockets rely heavily on the three point shot; can a team really be successful when they count this much on the long ball? Of all Houston players to take at least five shots, Jeremy Lin was the only player to attempt fewer than 50% of his shots from behind the three point line. In contrast, the Wizards had only one player attempt 50% or more of his shots from distance (minimum five FGA).
- The first quarter of the Pacers/Pistons game set the game of basketball back at least 50 years, as they were on pace to score 100 total points. Two thirds of the teams in action tonight were on pace to score at least 100 points by themselves after the first 12 minutes.
- The Nuggets and Bobcats scored an NBA high 212 points tonight but had as many players block multiple shots as they did attempt 10+ field goals (8). JaVale McGee (thanks to seven dunks), Gerald Henderson, and Jeffery Taylor were the only players to do both.
- Kyrie Irving attempted fewer field goals against the Magic last night (9) than he normally makes (10) when Cleveland wins, yet the Cavs were able to blow out the Magic. The second year man has been pouring in 29.5 points per game in victories this season, but the Cavs depth took over in Orlando, as three bench players outscored the stud point guard on this night. Cleveland isn’t as far away from being a good basketball team as their record would indicate, while the Magic might be worse than their 15-41 record.
- The Utah Jazz traveled to Lob City, which is a tough place to win (road teams are beating the Clippers 21.4% of the time). But any place a basketball game is played is difficult to play if 60% of your starting lineup is held scoreless. Marvin Williams, Jamaal Tinsley, and Randy Foye combined for 0 points on 0-9 shooting (0-8 from three) in 50 of the most useless minutes in the history of basketball. They recorded as many rebounds as turnovers and each player have a negative plus/minus ratio that at least matched the number of minutes played.
- Jarrett Jack scored 74 points in the Warriors last three wins, tallying at least 20 points in three consecutive games for the first time in more than 13 months and only the second time in his eight year NBA career. Oddly enough, even with this spurt, the Warriors reserve is averaging slightly more points in games that Golden State losses.
- John Salmons nailed six triples on seven attempts (he missed all seven of his two point field goal attempts) in a 15 point loss in New Orleans. The six makes from distance matches the total number of two pointers Salmons has made over the last two weeks.
- If I told you Kobe Bryant would shoot nearly 62% from the field, Dwight Howard would play 33 minutes, the Lakers would total over 100 points, and the Mavericks would start a 28 year old rookie center, would your first instinct be to assume that the Lakers dominated the paint? Probably and that isn’t unreasonable. But Dallas scored 83.3% more points in the paint than Los Angeles.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder average 9.6 baskets per quarter, the sixth best number in the NBA. But is was their defense that stepped up against Chicago, as the Bulls made 10 baskets in the entire first half.
- The Knicks beat the 76ers with a much more aggressive game plan than usual. In wins this season, the Knicks are averaging a league high 30.3 3PA as compared to 20.7 FTA, a number that ranks in the bottom third of the league. Tonight, however, New York attempted more free throws (35) than threes (33).