5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 20
The trademark of the NBA over the past week has definitely been change.
How have those changes impacted individual and team performances in recent days? Here are five NBA stats to know with another week of action on the docket.
Tyler Ulis Has a 2.18 Assist-to-Turnover Ratio Over the Last 5 Games
The Phoenix Suns stood relatively pat at the trade deadline, but they've made a concerted effort since the All-Star break to work in more of their young talent.
Unlike Alex Len, who is now starting, Tyler Ulis has maintained a bench role but has been bumped to nearly 18 minutes per game over the last two weeks. He has certainly shown an elite passing game during this opportunity by posting an average of 5.6 assists, but his 2.18 assist-to-turnover ratio is most impressive.
Ulis, who is listed at 5’10”, is showing a ton of promise in his rookie season by posting per-36 minute numbers of 13.3 points, 6.5 assists, and 2.4 steals. Look for him to continue seeing an uptick in production as a disappointing season in Phoenix concludes.
Curry, Thompson and Green Are Really Missing Kevin Durant
When Durant suffered a knee injury last week, the Golden State Warriors knew they would be in for an adjustment.
However, it's surprising that the trio of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have seen such a dramatic decrease in effective field goal percentage (eFG%) without him on the floor, shown below courtesy of NBAWowy.
|Player||Durant on the Floor||Durant off the Floor|
Kyle Korver Is Shooting 50.3% From the Three-Point Line in Cleveland
Kyle Korver is one of the best three-point shooters in NBA history -- that shouldn't be much of a question. The former Atlanta Hawks wing has a career rate of 43.1% from deep, and that sparkling rate has seen an even bigger boost since getting traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He's shooting a ridiculous 50.3% from beyond the arc in 25 games.
This rate certainly shows the importance and prowess of a player like LeBron James, who gets many of his teammates excellent shots with his passing ability -- over the last 15 games, nearly all of Korver’s shots are in the catch-and-shoot category. He's attempting 4.8 three-pointers per game with an amazing 70.5% eFG%.
With the impending return of J.R. Smith, it would appear likely that Korver sees a dip in playing time. However, it'll be tough for head coach Tyronn Lue to keep him buried on the bench if he keeps this pace up.
Portland Has a Net Rating of 16.6 Since Acquiring Jusuf Nurkic
One of the most influential deadline deals was the swap of Jusuf Nurkic for Mason Plumlee. While Plumlee had been having a solid season for the Portland Trail Blazers, Nurkic appears to have brought the team a new dimension.
Their 114.2 offensive rating shouldn't surprise anyone -- Lillard and McCollum are one of the NBA's elite backcourts. The team has struggled for much of the year on defense, though, so the 97.6 defensive rating for this great is a welcome sight for head coach Terry Stotts.
Much of that credit seems likely to go to Nurkic, who has a defensive real plus-minus (DRPM) of 2.30. Plumlee’s DRPM was at a meager 0.64.
Another big bump this squad has experienced is in the rebounding department -- they rank 25th overall, but have seen a huge increase over the last three games.
It may be a stretch for Portland to reach the playoffs, but their recent progress seems to be a good step for the future.
Denver Is Only Averaging 96 Possessions Over the Last 3 Games
After the insertion of Nikola Jokic into the starting lineup, the Denver Nuggets turned into one of the fastest and best offensive teams in the NBA -- they've already scored at least 35 points in 30 different quarters this season, and are eighth overall in pace at 100.5.
However, that pace has slowed considerably to just 96.0 over the last three games, which ranks 28th during that span of time.
One big reason may possibly be due to the fatigue of Jokic.
Nikola Jokic battling fatigue. In 2 games since All-Star break, Malone has played him 26 & 15 mins. Pretty concerning to hear this for DFS. https://t.co/zjx5kNNTu4
— Allan Lem (@AllanLemDFS) February 25, 2017
After playing in 21.7 minutes per game last season, Jokic has seen his minutes jump to 27.1 this year. So, him dealing with fatigue shouldn't be overly surprising.
How the team plays down the stretch on offense will be vital to their playoff odds, which currently sit at 42.2% according to numberFire. If they can maintain their fifth-ranked offensive efficiency, they have a shot to punch themselves a ticket to the postseason.