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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics – NBA – March 5, 2013

LeBron James, last month, pulled off an NBA record six consecutive games played with at least 30 points scored and a 60% field goal percentage. What I found as interesting was that the two players that shared the record prior to James breaking it were Hall of Famers Adrian Dantley and Moses Malone. While both were great players, there have been many more prolific scorers in the history of the NBA. For that reason, I thought it was time for another installment of Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

The King has given the Heat Cheerleaders plenty of cause for action (cheering) this season. 4
Kobe Bryant leads the NBA in minutes played this season.

Following the Lakers’ elimination from the playoffs last season, the sports world was abuzz with speculation about how much more the 34 year old Bryant (27 PPG, 6 APG, 6 RPG) had in the tank. Bryant has played 2,289 minutes this season (as of this morning), averaging over 38 minutes per game. His per game averages this season for points, assists, rebounds, and minutes are above his career averages. I think the Black Mamba has a lot of venom left in him.

WWWS: What would Weezy say to, "Who is the NBA iron man this year?"

Ryan Anderson is currently second in the NBA in three point shots made.

The New Orleans Hornets gave the 2012 NBA Most Improved Player a lucrative contract paying him over $8 million per year this past off season in the hopes of getting the extra push to win the types of close games that the team lost last year.  Unfortunately, nagging injuries to their two best players, Anthony Davis (13 PPG, 8 RPG, 2 BlkPG) and Eric Gordon (17 PPG) (resulting in over 60 games missed between the two of them this year) derailed any effort the Bees had at a playoff run in 2013.

This statistic sneaked up on me and it should not have because I am a Hornets fan. I knew Anderson (17 PPG, 6 RPG) was a consistent and potent three point threat, but I would have never guessed he was second only to sharp shooting star Stephen Curry (22 PPG, 7 APG, 4 RPG, 2 StlPG) of the Golden State Warriors. Anderson is shooting 40% from behind the arc this season with 172 three point shots made.

Anderson (right) is second to Curry (left) in 3-point shots made in 2013. 1
Greivis Vasquez leads the NBA in total assists this season.

It may appear that I am getting my homer on with two entries about the New Orleans Hornets, a team in last place in the Southwest Division that is all but certain to have a lottery pick in the coming offseason. However, you cannot tell me that either of these two Bee-related statistical phenomena are not surprising. Vasquez (14 PPG, 9 APG, 5 RPG) is a guard who is not a household name among NBA fans, but is going to command a nice offer in free agency after next season. NBA scouts are taking notice of his rapid continued improvement since entering the NBA.

Vasquez has dished out 572 dimes for the Pelicans-in-waiting this year. Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers is second with almost 100 fewer assists at 476. Vasquez is third in the NBA in assists per game behind Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics, who is out for the season with a knee injury, and Paul, the Hornets’ former franchise player.

Vasquez: "Take notes, CP3!" 2
Omer Asik currently leads the NBA in total rebounds.

Asik (10 PPG, 12 RPG) made headlines last summer when the Houston Rockets rolled the dice on the former Chicago Bulls reserve center and offered him a $25 million contract, more than quadrupling his annual salary. Asik  is more than doubling his career per game production for points and rebounds. Much speculation was made about how much impact this relatively unknown Turkish import, who had averaged less than 15 minutes per game for his career, could make.

Asik has grabbed 709 boards this season and is third in the NBA in total rebounds per game behind Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers and Zach Randolph of the Memphis Grizzlies.

Asik pitches in on offense, too. 3
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