5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 12
12 weeks have flown by in the NBA, and last night, we saw the Golden State Warriors steamroll the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It was pretty much a beatdown, as the Cavaliers lost by 34, and it, frankly, wasn’t that close. Games like that make us wonder how improved the Eastern Conference really is overall. We might also think that there are only two elite teams in the NBA, the Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs, both of whom have beaten the Cavaliers in the last week.
What do you need to know after 12 weeks in the NBA?
1. The San Antonio Spurs are on an 11-game winning streak
The San Antonio Spurs may be the best team in basketball as of today. They are on an 11-game winning streak and are only two games behind the Golden State Warriors for the best record in basketball. That is pretty amazing when you think about the winning streak that the Warriors started the season with. The Spurs are undefeated at home (24-0) and have the largest point differential in the NBA (+14.3). Our algorithms rank the Spurs number one in the league, as well. It’s a little early to be thinking about playoffs, but keeping track of who ends up with home court advantage in the Western Conference will be interesting. One would think that team has the inside track to the NBA finals.
The Spurs don’t play again until Thursday, but their winning streak has a good chance of continuing against the Phoenix Suns, who are 1-9 over their last 10 games.
2. Carmelo Anthony is averaging 5 assists per game in January
Carmelo Anthony's career has largely been built around his tremendous scoring ability. He’s averaged 25 points per game over 13 seasons and continues to lead the New York Knicks in scoring this year at 21.5 points per game. He's scored almost 22,000 points and is just behind Larry Bird on the career scoring list.
However, there is a different aspect to his game that seems to be sparking the Knicks during January. Anthony is passing the ball and averaging five assists per game during the 10 January games the Knicks have played. That’s well above his career average of 3.1, and it seems to have helped propel the Knicks to a 6-4 record. The Knicks are hovering around .500 at 21-22 and are only 1.5 games out of a playoff spot. This team continues to achieve much greater results than were expected after last season, and Anthony’s passing seems to be playing a significant role.
3. Isaiah Thomas is averaging 21.6 points and 6.6 assists per game
Isaiah Thomas is flying under the radar this season even though he’s averaging 21.6 points per game and 6.6 assists per game for the Boston Celtics. He’s the 13th leading scorer and 10th leading assist man in the NBA. He’s also contributing two three-pointers per game and is an amazing free throw shooter (90%). No team has ever complained about having a clutch free throw shooter controlling the ball at the end of a game.
More importantly, he’s the point guard on a resurgent Celtics team that is 22-20 and finds itself in the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. This team is dominating on the defensive end of the floor, with the second most efficient defense in the NBA. That’s not too shabby when you have a 5’9” point guard leading the charge.
4. Andre Drummond leads the NBA with 35 double doubles this season
Andre Drummond is having a great season and is averaging 17.6 points per game and 15.5 rebounds per game. He's had 35 double doubles this season, and that's nine more than any other player in the NBA. His overall rebounding is the most incredible statistic. There is not another active player in the NBA other than Kevin Love who has averaged over 15 rebounds per game in one season. Drummond is also leading the NBA in offensive rebounds per game at 5.4.
It seems pretty safe to say that Drummond is bringing tremendous effort every night on both the offensive and defensive end of the floor. This is contributing to the Pistons' success and 22-19 record, tied for sixth best in the Eastern Conference.
5. Draymond Green is averaging 14.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 7.4 assists
Draymond Green is averaging 14.8 points per game, 9.5 rebounds per game and 7.4 assists per game. He’s also contributing 1.5 three-pointers per game, 1.4 blocks per game and 1.3 steals per game. He might be the most versatile player in the NBA and possibly the most valuable player on the Golden State Warriors. He's listed at 6'7" and plays power forward, but he leads the Warriors in assists per game and rebounds per game. Frankly, it's still pretty easy to forget about him because most people think about Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson before considering the rest of the Warriors roster.
It's pretty amazing what he's doing as a fourth-year pro after being a second-round pick coming out of college.