5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 13
With another week in the books, we're that much closer to the All-Star game taking place in New Orleans next month. Some veterans have continued to prove their worth on the court, but some young players are having a harder time adjusting to their new roles.
What trends are we seeing in the NBA through 13 weeks of regular season play? Here are five to take note of moving forward.
Pau Gasol Leads the NBA in Offensive Rating Over the Last 10 games
The San Antonio Spurs have looked to Pau Gasol to fill Tim Duncan's role now that he's retired. It took some time for the former Chicago Bulls big man to fit in, but over the last 10 games, Gasol’s offensive rating of 125.7 is easily the best in the NBA.
Despite averaging just 10.9 points over the last two weeks, Gasol has bumped his efficiency with a stellar 54.7% field goal rate to go along with 3.4 assists per game.
This improved efficiency has been key since the veteran is playing less than 30 minutes per game for the first time in his 16-year career. He's also putting up just 9.6 shorts per game, which is 3.9 fewer than his career average.
With veterans such as Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker already entrenched in the system, it is not a shock that Gasol is thriving on offense. However, it is still a welcome sight for coach Gregg Popovich.
Doug McDermott Is Shooting 34.8% From the Floor in January
When he entered the NBA as the 11th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Doug McDermott was supposed to provide the Chicago Bulls with some much needed shooting.
After a poor first season, McDermott shot 42.5% from three-point range, making 1.4 threes per game in his sophomore campaign. This season started off even more promising, as the third-year pro was connecting on over 50% of field goals through November.
That has slowed dramatically, though, as McDermott is shooting a miserable 34.8% from the floor in seven games this month. Some of this could be due to a bigger role in the offense because of an illness to Jimmy Butler and rest for Dwyane Wade, but his atrocious 27.6% rate from deep was not expected.
He did respond in a big way on Sunday night, posting a career-high 31 points with three makes from beyond the arc, which should renew confidence from his coaches.
McDermott doesn't bring a ton to the table outside of his shooting prowess, but if he continues to slump, the bulls may need to bench their former top pick and look for other options. But if he can play like he did on Sunday, he could step into a bigger role for Chicago.
The Cavaliers Have a Net Rating of -7.4 Without LeBron James
As we approach the mid-point of the NBA season, nearly all the MVP talk has revolved around James Harden and Russell Westbrook. However, LeBron James is not ready to give up his candidacy for a fifth MVP trophy.
It is hard for James’ stats to be overlooked -- the Cavs' leader is averaging 8.3 assists, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 three-pointers per game, which are all over his career averages. Those numbers have led to him posting a 117 offensive rating, better than everyone on Cleveland outside of Tristan Thompson.
Despite all his gaudy numbers, the one that stands out the most shows exactly how valuable he is. When James isn't on the court, the Cavs have posted a net rating of -7.4.
With Harden and Westbrook averaging such gaudy statistics, James making yet another MVP run seems unlikely. However, stats like this show he's still the best player on the planet and key to Cleveland making another run at an NBA title.
Isaiah Thomas Has Made at Least 2 Three-Pointers in Eight Straight Games
Much was made of the Boston Celtics’ signing of Al Horford to help their offense. He has certainly helped, but it was their incumbent point guard who has been the biggest reason for a boost in Boston’s production this year.
Isaiah Thomas came into this year fresh off posting career highs in points and three-pointers made in 2015-16. Through 36 games this season, Thomas has increased those numbers even further, pouring in 28.2 points per night to go along with 2.9 three-pointers.
He's also been feeling it from beyond the arc lately, enjoying an eight-game stretch with two or more threes made. Much of this streak has been aided by Avery Bradley being sidelined due to injury -- Thomas' usage rate jumps to an astronomical 36.1% when Bradley isn't on the floor, which is three percentage points above his season average.
The point guard's continual improvement has been the main reason behind Boston currently sitting ninth in numberFire's team rankings, while also having a 99.7% chance of reaching the playoffs.
Steven Adams Is Fourth in the NBA With 6.7 Post Touches per Game
Steven Adams has been known as a role player who provided toughness and a strong defensive presence. With departure of Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka last summer, not many thought he'd emerge as a viable option on the offensive end.
However, the former Pitt center has seen a boost in production largely due to his 6.7 post touches per game. That's an increase from 4.7 a year ago, and it has helped Adams boost his scoring to 12.2 points per game this year (up from 8.0 in 2015-16).
He has managed to remain efficient with an increase in opportunity, posting a sparkling 59.8% field goal rate to go with a solid 71.4% success rate from the charity stripe.
With a newfound reliability on the offensive end, Adams has given the Thunder the ability to keep both him and Enes Kanter on the floor late in games, helping take pressure off Westbrook to be the sole producer.