5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 13
After 13 weeks, we now know who the NBA All-Star Game starters will be. Overall, there were not too many surprises.
Of course, you can always debate who deserves the starting nod given that there are only five starting spots on each team. With the fans voting for the starters, however, this gives us one more opportunity to see the great Kobe Bryant lace them up, despite playing for the 9-37 Los Angeles Lakers and having a sub-par year by his standards.
Here are five things to know after 13 weeks in the NBA.
1. Kristaps Porzingis is averaging 1.1 three-pointers per game
Kevin Durant compared Kristaps Porzingis to a unicorn recently, which we presume is a compliment and a reference to Porzingis' unique skills at 7'3". Porzingis has been somewhat of a revelation for New York this season and a huge part of the Knicks' resurgence as a competitive basketball team. The Knicks would not be 22-25 and only two games out of the playoffs without Porzingis it seems safe to say.
Porzingis is averaging 14 points per game (third among rookies), 7.8 rebounds per game and 1.9 blocks per game. He’s also making 1.1 three-pointers per game. The Knicks have also benefited from Porzingis taking and making big shots; he doesn't seem to fear the moment. We’ll now get to see him play in the Rising Stars Game, and maybe we’ll see him in the actual All-Star game in a year or two.
2. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers and Spurs by a combined 64 points
The Golden State Warriors are 42-4 and put an absolute beat down on two of the best teams in the NBA last week. The Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs by 30 and the Cleveland Cavaliers by 34. In addition, the Warriors have beaten five teams ranked in numberFire’s top 15 by an average of 25 points per game over the last 10 days.
The Warriors dominate in so many ways every night, but it’s hard to argue that their offense isn't the best in the league. The Warriors churn out over 115 points per night. No team in the NBA has come close to averaging that many points per game in the last 15 years. They are an offensive juggernaut, and it is also reflected in their 86.7 field goal attempts per game (4th in the NBA), 30.1 three-point attempts per game (2nd in the NBA) and team field goal percentage of 48.9 percent (2nd in the NBA).
3. Gordon Hayward is averaging six free throw attempts per game
Gordon Hayward, now 25 years old and already in his sixth NBA season, continues to be the straw that stirs the drink for the Utah Jazz. He’s their leading scorer on the season (19.9 points per game) and is getting to the free throw line six times a game (and shooting 82.2% from the free throw line). He’s also averaging 1.2 steals per game, 5 rebounds per game, 3.6 assists per game and 1.9 made three-pointers per game.
The Utah Jazz clearly have some depth now with Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood, Trey Burke and of course Rudy Gobert. However, Hayward still makes this team go as he’s the leading scorer and leading assist man on the team. Hayward may or may not be at an All-Star level, but he’s right on the cusp, and the Jazz are playoff threats again with a 20-25 record. They are tied for the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
4. Kobe Bryant averages 20 points per game in All-Star Games
Kobe Bryant is winding down one of the greatest NBA careers of all time (33,084 points scored and five NBA championships) and was voted an NBA All-Star for his final season. Bryant has averaged 20 points per game over 14 previous All-Star game appearances with a career high of 37 when he was 32 years old. It will be fun to see Bryant finish his career with one last appearance, and you can wonder whether we might see one more vintage appearance for Bryant on his way out. Can he score 30 or more points and maybe take home a fifth NBA All-Star MVP performance? It still seems possible as he did score over 30 points in a game twice during December.
5. James Harden is shooting 45.2% in January
James Harden struggled at the start of this season, shooting 41.7% from the field in November and 43.6% during December. However, he’s shooting 45.2% from the field in January, which is above his career shooting percentage. He’s also averaging 25.4 points per game to go along with 6.7 rebounds per game and 7 assists per game during January. He’s also recorded two monster triple-double games in the past week (33 points, 17 rebounds and 14 assists; and 23 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists).
The best part about Harden’s play, however, is that the Houston Rockets have posted a 9-5 record during January and are right in the thick of the playoff race. They are currently seventh in the West at 25-23 and only two games out of the fifth spot for the playoffs. This is after starting the season 7-11.