Weekly Stats Recap
This week I decided to take a look at players who rebound, but also score. I charted the total points each team received from players grabbing at least five rebounds in an effort to determine if teams with high scoring rebounders won more often than not.
I figured that winning teams would have a higher average point total from qualifying players, but never did I imagine the difference being this drastic. During the 50 game week, winning teams received an average of 50.8 points from players notching at least five rebounds, a 31.6% advantage over losing teams.
Interestingly enough, the scoring output was more consistent from the losing team than it was the winning teams. The losers had a range of 65 points from their highest scoring game to their lowest (Toronto totaled 75 such points while the Celtics managed only 10) and the victors had a range of 91 points (the Thunder managed 97 points while the Wizards notched only 6). Oklahoma City’s production on Friday night (97 points from players with 5+ rebounds) out did 44.4% of the winning teams total points for the night.
The Miami Heat recorded the second (21 points) and third (22) lowest outputs by a winning team. If you subtract these two games from the study, the advantage for winning teams increases to 37.2%. But they were the exception, not the rule, when it came to elite teams in this study. Oklahoma City more represented the norm, as they tallied high point totals in losses and wins. The Thunder had the second most points scored by their leading rebounders (71) in defeat and recorded the highest total in a victory (97).
Just another step in my effort to understand the game of basketball. Do you have a question you’d like answered? I’ll run your statistical inquiry through the gauntlet for the next seven days and provide you with a bit of insight. Tweet me your ideas @unSOPable23.
With all of that being said, here are your 35 stats from the week that was in the NBA.
- Spencer Hawes led the 76ers over the Nets with a season high in points (24) and assists (7). In fact, Philadelphia’s starting center recorded a PAR (points + assists + rebounds) that was 150% greater than his career average. To put that in perspective, Kevin Durant could go for 60 points, 20 rebounds, and 11 assists and still not improve by that much. LeBron James could drop 65 points, 25 assists, and 14 rebounds and come up just shy of a 150% statistical increase.
- Tiago Splitter tallied a team high 21 points and +24 +/- ratio in the biggest game of the season for the Spurs, as they defeated the Thunder in relatively convincing fashion. San Antonio has won five of the six games in Splitter’s career when he has scored at least 19 points, with three of their four wins this season coming against playoff teams. In those six games, the 28 year old Brazilian is shooting a mind boggling 82.6% from the field and has yet to miss more than three shots in a single occurrence.
- Only two players in the league have attempted more three pointers than Klay Thompson this season, but over the past three games, Khris Middleton is averaging more 3PA per minute played than the Warriors gunner. The rookie from Texas A&M is taking a shot from distance every 4.9 minutes while Thompson is shooting one every 6.5 minutes.
- When Denver traveled to Phoenix, it was a matchup of a rim attacking playoff team and a offensive inept bottom feeder. Simple logic says that it is more likely to assist on a basket at the rim than it is a jump shot, but this game proved just the opposite. The jump shooting Suns were outscored 42 points in the paint but assists on 71.4% of their buckets, as opposed to the Nuggets 56.8% assist percentage.
- The New York Knicks average 74.4 points in the final three quarters of the game but managed a mere 40 in the final 36 minutes in Golden State. With Amar’e Stoudemire out for an extended period of time (again), the Knicks are as reliant on the three point shot as ever. An amazing 81.5% of their attempts from distance clanked off the rim, thanks in large part to the bench trio of Jason Kidd, Steve Novak, and Pablo Pirgioni. They combined to miss all 13 of their field goal attempts, 11 of which came from behind the arc.
- Ricky Rubio recorded his first career triple double against a Spurs team that hardly resembled the core of players that have them atop of the Western Conference, but Rubio has been showing off a well rounded game even prior to this game. Everyone knows Rubio can set up teammates with the best of them, but did you know he has recorded at least five rebounds and five assists in 10 of his last 12 games? For a reference point, Deron Williams has had 10 such games since Christmas.
- Speaking of the Nets floor general, Williams played exactly 25% of Brooklyn’s starters minutes but handed out 92.9% of their assists.
- Dwight Howard recorded more made free throws (25) than the Laker starters, himself included, made field goals (23).
- Brandon Jennings managed a mere five points and four assists in the Bucks 108-115 loss to the Mavericks. For a player who owns a career 23 PA (points + assists), you’d think a game with a single digit is as rare as it gets, but not so fast. Tonight was the second instance this season, putting him within one game of a four straight season with at least three single digit PA games.
- The Cavaliers have a young stud who has increased his production in a big way, and it’s not the youngster you’re inclined to think. Tristan Thompson registered his sixth straight double double in March, the same number of double double he had in the previous month and a half.
- The Thunder beat the Jazz with Russell Westbrook not making a single three pointer, something they have done on a regular basis over the last two regular seasons. In fact, OKC has a higher winning percentage in games in which Westbrook doesn’t make a three (0.767) than when he does (0.705).
- Steph Curry made five of his seven three point attempts, just another rock solid game from the baby faced assassin. He has made 70% of his threes in a game with at least seven attempts six times this calendar year, which is one more time than fellow All Star snub Marc Gasol has recorded a 19+ points double double over that time period. You tell me who the bigger omission was.
- For his career, Rudy Gay averages roughly 18 points on 45% shooting. Many thought that his move to Toronto and shifting into a “go-to” role would inflate his numbers, but his efficiency has dropped in a big way since moving north of the boarder. Including tonight’s 19 points on 36.8% shooting performance, Gay has shot 46% or better in just one third of the games in which he has scored at least 19 points.
- In the past two months, the Knicks have lost only three road games to playoff bound teams. The number of losses isn’t a big concern, but the fact that those losses have been by a total of 86 points is a bit of a red flag.
- The Chicago Bulls were run out of the building in Sacramento, losing by 42 points to a team that wins slightly more than once every third game. The Bulls have played six playoff teams in their last eight games, but Joakim Noah has recorded a “triple single” in both games against subpar team and not once against the strong teams.
- For the first time in nearly three months, Manu Ginobili had a higher AR (assists + rebounds) over a consecutive two game span than points. When he did so in December, it came against a non contender (Hornets) and at home against the Mavericks. This time, it came against a non contender (Timberwolves) and at home against the Mavericks.
- The Spurs won a home in which Gary Neal hit multiple three points … surprise surprise. San Antonio hasn’t lost such a game in more than a calendar year, notching 15 straight wins. Interestingly enough, they have lost five road games over that stretch when Neal buries 2+ triples.
- Dirk Nowitzki made at least as many three point baskets as two point baskets, a death wish for the Mavericks if the past is any indication. Dallas won such a game on January 12th, and they haven’t won multiple such games in a season since 2005.
- J.R. Smith tallied 33 points in a losing effort against the Trailblazers, and only nine of those points came via three pointer. Since January 30th (21 games), this was only the second time that Smith made at least one three pointer and accounted for fewer than 40% of his points from distance.
- Damian Lillard didn’t make a single free throw but scored 26 points against the Knicks. In an age where we see the high scoring James Harden, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, etc. record half of their points on free throws, you’d think a high scoring game without any FTM would be rare. But, since January 11th, Lillard is averaging more points in games in which he doesn’t make a freebie (25.5) than when he does (19.7).
- Since January 17th, Klay Thompson has been held without a 3PM six times (including tonight against Chicago), but his Warriors have managed to score at least 100 points in four of those games. The other instance in which they didn’t also came against the Bulls.
- Ricky Rubio continued his run of well rounded games, notching seven rebounds to go along with his seven assists and 14 points. Over his last 13 games, Rubio is averaging 13.8 points, 9.4 assists, and 6.9 rebounds. For reference, Chris Paul’s greatest season AR (assist + rebound) average was 16.5. Rubio’s seven dimes against Houston was the most predictable stat of the entire game due to the 10 assists he handed out on Wednesday. If you break the Timberwolves point guard March into consecutive two game segments, you’ll notice that in all four instances, he has tallied exactly 17 assists.
- Need further proof that this is a star driven league? The lowly Wizards won for the fourth time in four games when John Wall shoots at least 60% from the field, averaging 100.5 points in those contests. That is a nine point jump over their average output in the other 60 games, but it isn’t enough to keep Washington out of the cellar when it comes to average point production.
- Tobias Harris is getting a chance to play extended minutes for the Magic and has impressed in March (15.3 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 1.0 steals, and 1.4 three pointers). Against the Thunder, he made all 10 of his free throws in 40 minutes, one more make than he had for the entire month of March prior to the game in 213 minutes.
- It is easy to point to Dion Waiters’ 24.2 points per 48 minutes and peg him as the next great scorer in the NBA. But until he increases his efficiency, Waiters is much more Eddie House than Carmelo Anthony. JJ Redick, a nice pro but by no means the standard to which lottery picks hold themselves too, has scored more points on fewer shots in 20+ point games than Waiters. In other words, unless Waiters plans on playing for a team that is willing to allow him to shoot the ball in mass quantities, his rookie numbers are not a good indicator of what his production will be in the future.
- Martell Webster buried seven more triples, giving him an NBA high 24 since last Saturday. Ryan Anderson, the second most prolific three point shooter in the league this season, has made just 21 three pointers in the last month of action. In fact, the Wizards SF is averaging the most PPS (points per shot) of the players who rank in the top 20 in 3P%. He has also made more three pointers this season (125) than Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Steve Novak, and Ray Allen.
- Jerryd Bayless played 40.7% of the Grizzles bench minutes in Utah tonight and scored 85.7% of their bench points. He also accounted for 44.4% of the total three pointers made in this game.
- Tim Duncan dominated the Cavs front court to the tune of 30 points and 12 rebounds, the second time in as many games in which his PR (points + rebounds) total has surpassed 40. The future hall of famer hadn’t done that in back to back games since December of 2009, where the Spurs played two games that included 414 total points scored. This two game stretch saw 415 total points scored
- Gerald Henderson didn’t attempt a three pointer for the first game in over a month, but the Bobcats remembered how to lose anyway. Charlotte has dropped 11 of 12 games when Henderson is active but doesn’t launch a triple.
- Only one team (Boston) had more blocked shots than team Spencer Hawes. The 76ers big man swatted seven shots against the Pacers, defending the paint when nobody else on his team would (despite the seven blocks, the 76ers still gave up 50 points in close). Hawes had eight blocked shots in March prior to this game.
- Most NBA players, and ballers at all levels for that matter, tend to jack up more shots when they see a few go through the net. J.R. Smith, however, is the exception to this rule. With his 4/20 performance against the Clippers, Smith’s shooting percentage in the 11 games in which he has taken at least 20 shots dropped to 39.9% (40.1% in games with fewer than 20 FGA).
- The Warriors boast two of the better three point shooters in the NBA in Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, but their impact against the Rockets was unheard of. The duo (averages 17.4 points per game from three pointers) scored more points from long range (33) than the high scoring Rockets scored for the entire first half (31). Coming into action, Houston was the second highest scoring first half team, averaging 53.4 points.
- It took a little while, but Amir Johnson is finally recognizing his rebounding (and scoring) potential when playing alongside his athletic teammates. With 18 points and 18 rebounds against the Heat, Johnson recorded his fourth PR total of at least 30 in last 13 days. He had four such games sense February 3rd of last season.
- Serge Ibaka had his third game with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds in less than two weeks. He also extended his streak of double doubles without a single assist to five.
- The Milwaukee Bucks won only one quarter, but they pulled away from the Magic late and won 115-109. The Bucks are outscored by an average of 1.5 points per fourth quarter, the third worst margin in the NBA.