Welcome to I GO CHART NOW, your bi-weekly source for straightforward stat musings! We’re a little over a week into the NBA season, which means some fun can be had with small sample sizes. Okay, maybe not that much fun, but here are some statsy tidbits for your reading pleasure.
Klay Thompson, Pay PER vs. Future View
Klay Thompson, after never having a season PER of 15 or above (15 is the league average, by the way), got a max extension from the Warriors. His highest PER came from his rookie season and his PER last season was 14.3. Has a player that’s never had an above average PER ever been given a max extension? I’m too lazy to look it up right now as my first few Google attempts were futile, but I don’t recall a guy that’s never had an average or above average PER getting the max. Whatever. With the jump that’s likely to happen in the salary cap as a result of the new NBA television deal, this max contract will likely end up being a nice contract.
(disclaimer: I really, really like Klay Thompson; this stat wasn’t a diss on him. It is what it is, and stats aren’t the whole picture in sports, obviously.)
Speaking of PER….Anthony Davis. Is. A. Beast. Sure, we’re only a week into the NBA season, but after three measly games Anthony Davis’ PER sits at 33.8. While only shooting .455, he’s averaging 13 rebounds and 4.2 blocks while scoring 23 PPG. Expect the blocks to end up slightly lower, around 3~4 per game, for the season, but it would be no surprise to me if the 23 points and 13 rebounds per game end up being pretty close to his average come mid-April.
The other first pick Anthony
Anthony Bennett has started off this season quite nicely in his first three games with the Timberwolves, shooting .632 on field goals and *gasp* not attempting any three point shots! He’s played well enough to sport a 19.5 PER so far. I’ll be keeping an eye on Bennett, as I have a soft spot for him, just like he has many…soft…spots…in general. Yep. I’ve got some lame fat jokes. Lame fat jokes that don’t even make much sense anymore cuz AB’s slimmed down quite a bit. Good for him.
Chris Paul notables
Chris Paul, through the Clippers first three games, had 28 assists yet only 1 turnover. One of those games was an 11 assist to 0 turnover ratio. He even has more blocks (2) than turnovers (1). He had four blocks total all of last regular season in 62 games.
While digging around Chris Paul’s stats, one thing jumped out at me: since the 2010-2011 season, Paul has had more steals than turnovers per game. In those seasons, he averaged 9.1 or more APG. Steals don’t indicate great defense, but when a guy steals more balls than he turns over as a point guard, that’s damn impressive.
If anyone remembers (they don’t), I used to try and keep track of rookies throughout the season. I’m going to try that again. You’ll note Julius Randle and Joel Embiid are not on the list. If you can’t figure out why, you probably should not be reading a basketball blog. To replace them, I went two spots deeper than normal and included two rookies that are actually playing in Elfrid and Doug.
There really isn’t too much you can read into this data so far, mainly due to the small sample size. So, even with that in mind, what’s jumped out?
- Stauskas leads all rookies in blocks. This will not hold up at all. But I guess it’s fun.
- Jabari, unsurprisingly, is leading rookies in minutes per game at 34. He hasn’t made much of a positive impact so far (.404 TS%), and for being the most offensively ready player by many’s estimation, he’s sporting a shoddy 77 Offensive Rating three games into the season. Look (hope?) for those numbers to improve as he adapts to the NBA game.
- So far, only two rookies are shooting over .375: Aaron Gordon (.538) and Dante Exum (.529). Exum also has the highest PER above rookies, a solid [for a rookie] value of 13.4.
- Thanks in large part to Jimmy Butler’s injury, Doug McDermott has seen a few more minutes than I was expecting to see from him at this point. He’s not shot the ball well from three (.200), but is shooting two pointers at a nice percentage (.667). Since he’s shooting more threes than twos per game (3 vs 2.2), his shooting percentage sits at an unimpressive .375. McBuckets? More like McChuckIts. …Sorry.
- It looks like Elfrid Peyton is doing a nice job running the point for Orlando so far, averaging 7.7 assists in 28 minutes along with a respectable 3.7 rebounds. Like almost all of his other lotto companions, he’s not shooting the ball very well, however. And if you’re the Magic, what do you do when VIctor Oladipo comes back? Fournier has looked very good as the starting shooting guard for the Magic so far. Payton is a better point guard than Oladipo. Do you use Victor as a combo guy off the bench or do you bench Payton? Payton obviously isn’t unbenchable (yay made up words) and the Magic are 0-3, so it’s not like a Payton/Fournier backcourt, while looking promising, is producing wins right now. We’ll see what Orlando does with it’s guard situation soon enough.
That’s all for the first 2014-2015 edition of IGCN. I’ll be back in a couple weeks, with stats blazin’.