5 NBA Stats to Know Through Week 21
Weeks 20 and 21 are now in the books, and we have learned that Pelicans' power forward Anthony Davis is done for the year.
This is Davis' fourth NBA season, and he’s yet to play more than 68 games in a year. Coincidentally, he's missed a total of 68 regular season games, an average of over 16 per season. Injuries and winning are the things limiting him from becoming a complete NBA superstar.
Speaking of injuries, there has still been no on-court sighting of Blake Griffin in Los Angeles, but the Clippers look pretty locked into the 4 seed in the Western Conference.
Here are five things to know after 21 weeks in the NBA.
1. The San Antonio Spurs have not lost at home to the Golden State Warriors in 33 games
The San Antonio Spurs are now 59-11 after their loss to the Charlotte Hornets two nights ago (including 35-0 at home). The road loss to the Hornets was two nights after the Spurs defeated the Golden State Warriors at home for the 33rd time in a row. This makes one think that if the Spurs could somehow wrangle home-court advantage away from the Warriors, they’d have a good shot of beating them over a seven-game series.
Unfortunately for the Spurs, the Warriors remain four games ahead of them in the Western Conference race for the 1 seed. That will be a tall order to overcome with just 12 games remaining in the regular season, especially with the Spurs playing the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder twice each during that span.
2. DeAndre Jordan is shooting 80.6% from the field in March
DeAndre Jordan is having a tremendous run from the field during March -- shooting over 80%. In fact, it's brought him very close to eclipsing the single-season field goal percentage record held by Wilt Chamberlain at 72.7%. For the season, Jordan is shooting 70.8%. If Jordan can continue his current pace from the field (shooting around 80.6%) for the last 13 games of the season, he’ll be very close to eclipsing (or may eclipse) Chamberlain’s single-season record. If you presume he continues making, on average, 5.8 shots per game and taking 7.2 shots per game as he has through 10 games in March, that will bring him very close to the record -- within a single percentage point.
3. The Washington Wizards are 1.5 games out of the playoffs
The Washington Wizards have won five games in a row and are in the playoff conversation at 35-35. They are only 1.5 games behind the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons (who are in a virtual tie for eighth in the Eastern Conference). The Wizards' schedule down the stretch, however, is not that favorable. They have seven road games and must play six of their 12 remaining games against playoff teams -- the Atlanta Hawks (twice), Detroit Pistons (virtual tie or eighth), Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, and Charlotte Hornets. The last 12 games of the season for the Wizards also include a five-game West Coast road trip.
The Wizards are clearly surging, but they have a tall task ahead of them to make the playoffs and beat out both the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
4. The Dallas Mavericks are seventh in the Western Conference
The Dallas Mavericks are seventh in the Western Conference, one half game ahead of the 8-seeded Houston Rockets and one game ahead of the Utah Jazz, who are in the ninth spot. Clearly, this is a very close battle, but the Mavericks have been struggling over their last 10 games at 3-7 and now have to deal with another injury to Chandler Parsons.
Parsons has been a much bigger part of the offense over the last 10 games (even though the Mavericks have struggled during that span). Parsons has averaged 16.2 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and 4.4 assists per game during that span (all above his season averages). On the season, he's the third leading scorer, but if he's injured for some period of time the Mavericks will have to go back to relying upon Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams, and Wesley Matthews.
With only 12 games left, the Mavericks also have to face the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz. That’s seven potentially difficult games as they close out the season. Playoffs are still in the balance.
5. The Toronto Raptors are only 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers
The Toronto Raptors have 13 games left in the season, and eight of them are against playoff teams including the San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks (twice) and Oklahoma City Thunder. That will make for a difficult test while they try to surpass the Cleveland Cavaliers for first in the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors clearly seem to be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, which is supported by their record and our power rankings (sixth overall and just behind the Cavaliers for second in the Eastern Conference). There's still a chance that they can surpass the Cavaliers for the best record in the Eastern Conference, but It will be a battle down the stretch.