5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 22
With just a few weeks left in the NBA's regular season, teams have fallen into some distinct groups.
With all of that said, what are some key stats to know about the NBA through 22 weeks?
The Wizards' starting lineup is the only five-man group to play 1,000 minutes together
Last week, we highlighted the emergence of Bojan Bogdanovic with the Washington Wizards, but due to great health and career seasons, the Wizards' starting unit has been the most-played lineup of the season with 1,195 minutes.
The health of this unit is perhaps the best news of all. Last season saw Beal miss 27 games, along with 7 each for Porter and Gortat.
Outside of the good fortune of being healthy, the Wizards' starters have been remarkably effective. They rank fifth in the NBA at 108.9 points per game and a solid 110.7 offensive rating. Much of that improvement can be attributed to Porter, who is leading the NBA with an offensive rating of 129.1.
It also should not be much of a surprise that first year coach Scott Brooks is running this group major minutes per game, as he let Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant play huge minutes in his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The only concern for the team could be the prolonged wear and tear of this many minutes in a tough series against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have made a habit of resting several of their key players.
Of the 24 players all-time who have had at least 2,000 points, 500 assists, and 500 rebounds, Russell Westbrook has the fewest win shares
With just 13 games left for the Thunder, it seems like a forgone conclusion that Russell Westbrook will average a triple-double. Those numbers have put him in the rare air of players who have posted more than 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 500 assists in one season.
Steph Curry picked James Harden for MVP.
Russell Westbrook: "I don't care ... Who's he?"
🎥: https://t.co/d2RGTsjOua pic.twitter.com/R57OQEnDrN
— SLAM Magazine (@SLAMonline) March 16, 2017
Although Westbrook is likely to move up this list over his final 13 games, he currently sits with just 11.0 win shares, the lowest number for all 24 players who have hit those lofty season numbers.
The main reason Westbrook is lagging in this category is his defense, as he has a defensive real plus minus of -0.15 this year, ranking 21st amongst point guards on the season.
The raw numbers suggest that Westbrook should be the runaway MVP, but with today’s movement towards advanced metrics, it will be interesting to see how the MVP race shapes up.
However, stats like win shares could prove to be a tipping point towards Harden over the remarkable triple-doubles of Westbrook.
Jeremy Lamb scores 25.3 FanDuel points per game when playing 20 or more minutes
Jeremy Lamb is a daily fantasy player's dream. The former Connecticut Huskies wing rarely gets playing time when the Charlotte Hornets are fully healthy, as evidenced by fact that he has 30 games with fewer than 20 minutes and just 19 games over the 20 minute threshold on the season.
The silver lining for FanDuel players is that this generally leads him to be under-priced due to his inactivity in a majority of games. What follows is that when a player such as Nicolas Batum or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is forced to miss time, Lamb becomes an instant plug-and-play option.
In his 19 games that he has played at least 20 minutes, Lamb has scored a more than respectable 25.3 FanDuel points per game.
This success was evident in the last week as Lamb saw seven consecutive games with more than 20 minutes and was able to post 20-plus fantasy points in five of those outings.
With Batum returning from injury last night, Lamb was limited to just 14 minutes against the Wizards. However, if the Hornets continue their downward trend towards missing the playoffs, it would not be much of a surprise to see the team give Lamb a boost in playing time.
This could mean big things in both daily and season long fantasy leagues as the season winds down.
Brooklyn has allowed the most steals and second-most blocks to opponents
It has been a disastrous year for the Brooklyn Nets in nearly every aspect. The team sits at 13-56, which is seven games worse than the next worst team in the NBA. To compound this, the team does not even have their first-round pick this year.
Among the many things that have gone wrong for the team, perhaps the most astounding is that they have allowed opponents to collect the most steals (655) and second-most blocks (391) on the season.
These stats are a bit surprising, as -- last year -- the team was 13th in blocks allowed and 4th in steals allowed.
The blocks are especially surprising as center Brook Lopez has turned over new leaf and is attempting a massive 5.1 three-pointers per game, which is remarkable considering he had only shot 30 in his entire career combined entering this season.
What has led to many of the opponent’s steals has been the loss of point guard Jeremy Lin. Lin, who just signed this last offseason, has been limited to 24 games, and this had forced several young players into the rotation. Reserve guards Isaiah Whitehead, Sean Kilpatrick, and Randy Foye all average at least 2.4 turnovers per 36 minutes.
The team certainly has a ton of deficiencies, but the mind-boggling number of turnovers per game is without a doubt the biggest reason the Nets are yet again the worst team in the entire NBA.
Willie Cauley-Stein is averaging 28.0 FanDuel points in his past five games
The trade of DeMarcus Cousins last month was assured to open up more playing time and fantasy value for several players in Sacramento. Willie Cauley-Stein has been the one to take most advantage of his new role, as his fantasy points scored over the last five games is up 119% over his season average.
This should not come as a huge surprise, as the former Kentucky Wildcats big man is playing 33.3 minutes per game over the last two weeks and has displayed a solid all-around game.
In the last six games, Cauley-Stein has two double-doubles and has scored in double figures in all but one of those outings.
Along with that, he has at least one steal in 8 of 11 games and recently had a four-block outing against the Phoenix Suns.
Although he comes with a bit of inconsistency, Cauley-Stein has proven that he can supply value on the floor for his team and in your fantasy lineups. Look for a big emergence from the second-year center next season.