5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 7

Whiteside is the shot blocking king. The Thunder are back. And the 76ers are still struggling.

Seven weeks are now in the books, and every team in the NBA has finally lost a game. The Golden State Warriors have certainly been a treat to watch so far this season.

Now we’ll see whether they can continue their dominance after falling to 24-1. We are seeing tremendous parity in the Eastern Conference with six teams winning over 60% of their games and each within 1.5 games of first place.

In the Western Conference, we continue to see the San Antonio Spurs dominate in their own right with a record of 20-5.

Here are five important statistics to know through seven weeks.

1. Hassan Whiteside is leading the NBA with 4 blocks per game

Hassan Whiteside is technically in his fourth season in the NBA but has still only played 90 career games. However, he’s having a historically good season blocking shots. Whiteside plays only 27.6 minutes per game, yet he is averaging 12.1 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 4 blocks per game. Whiteside on a per-48 minute basis is averaging over 7 blocks.

He’s on pace to block approximately 324 shots, which would place him 14th for single season blocks. In fact, the last NBA player to accumulate more than 300 blocks in a season was Theo Ratliff back in 2003-04. The active player with the most blocks in a season right now is Serge Ibaka with 242. Whiteside is on pace to shatter that number, and maybe he’ll be the next great shot blocker in the NBA.

2. Marvin Williams, according to nERD, is the second best player on the Charlotte Hornets

Marvin Williams is the sixth leading scorer on the Charlotte Hornets this season, but he is doing a little bit of everything to help the Hornets win. In addition to averaging 10 points per game, Williams is also averaging 7.1 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists per game and 1.09 blocks per game. Williams, a power forward, is also contributing 1.6 made three pointers per game and shooting 36% from three point range.

Marvin Williams also has a solid nERD ranking of 5.3, which is second best on the Charlotte Hornets behind only Kemba Walker (the Hornets leading scorer). nERD is a measure of the total contribution a player makes during a season based on efficiency and estimates how many games above or below .500 a league-average team would win with that player as a starter. Williams is clearly a valuable member of the Hornets rotation, and he may be on your fantasy waiver wire. In Yahoo leagues he’s still only 63% owned.

3.The Oklahoma City Thunder are the third best team in the NBA, according to nERD

The Oklahoma City Thunder have two players in the top six in scoring in the NBA. No surprise, it’s Russell Westbrook who is averaging 26.1 points per game (sixth in the NBA) along with 9.6 assists per game and 7.5 rebounds per game, and the other player is Kevin Durant who is averaging 27.5 points per game (third in the NBA) along with 4.2 assists per game and 7.9 rebounds per game.

The Thunder average approximately 107 points per game, and Durant and Westbrook are combining (through points per game and assists) to account for approximately 80 of those points. With all of the attention deservedly put on the Golden State Warriors, it’s possible that we’re failing to appreciate fully the incredible show these guys put on every night. Durant and Westbrook are also third and fourth nERD, respectively. The Thunder look like a powerhouse with a record of 16-8, and as mentioned above, they’re the third best team in our  team power rankings, behind only the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs.

4. The Philadelphia 76ers are 1-25

The Philadelphia 76ers are 1-25, and there doesn’t appear to be any hint of a light at the end of the tunnel. This franchise has gone 18-64 and 19-63 the past two seasons, and it looks like this season could be worse. There is no doubt that the 76ers have been stockpiling young talent and trying to build a better team. You can see it with the talented young players they put out there such as Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. However, when your veteran leadership consists of Carl Landry (who hasn't played yet this season) and Robert Covington (who's 25 years old), you are more likely to end up with a terrible team. That's what the 76ers are right now.

They are the worst offensive team in the NBA per our Offensive Efficiency numbers (93.2). The poor Offensive Efficiency also combines with poor Defensive Efficiency, where their rating is 106.1 (21st out of 30 teams). The 76ers' real NBA statistics are just as bad. They only score 90.6 points per game and they give up 103.3 points per game, a -12.7 point differential, last in the NBA. The 76ers' points per game scored and point differential are both worse than how they performed in the prior two seasons.

It raises a real question as to whether the 76ers can go 18-38 the rest of the way to beat last season’s record. Alternatively, are they destined to win fewer than 10 games this year?

5. John Wall is averaging 24.9 points and 10.7 assists per game in December

John Wall started slow this season, which you can see in his performance during the month of November. He averaged 14.5 points per game and 7.8 assists per game while shooting 36.9% from the field over 11 games.

In December, however, he's found his stride again, putting up superstar numbers. Wall has averaged 24.9 points per game, 10.7 assists per game, 5 rebounds per game and 2.2 steals per game while shooting over 52% from the field through nine contests.

Wall’s performance unfortunately hasn’t been the cure all for the Wizards, as they’ve only gone 4-5 in December (after a 4-7 November), but hopefully, things turn around if Wall continues to play this well.