20 Second Timeout is the place to find the best analysis and commentary about the NBA.

Monday, January 21, 2008

NBA Leaderboard, Part XI

The Celtics have come back to Earth; if it was not obvious before that they were not going to win 70 games then that is certainly clear now. They are only 4.5 games ahead of Detroit and Phoenix with more than half the season remaining to be played so it is even possible that they won't finish with the league's best record.

Best Five Records

1) Boston Celtics, 32-6
2-3) Detroit Pistons, Phoenix Suns, 29-12
4-5) Dallas Mavericks, New Orleans Hornets, 27-12

The L.A. Lakers briefly had the best record in the Western Conference but after losing to Phoenix they just missed the cut for this list with a 26-12 record. With Andrew Bynum out of the lineup due to injury and a tough schedule coming up, most people expect the Lakers to slide in the standings. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Hornets have won four in a row and eight of their last 10 to put themselves in position to challenge for the best record in the Western Conference. A couple intriguing teams that are not on the leaderboard are Cleveland and Washington. The Cavaliers have won three in a row and eight of their last 10 and will be a much more dangerous playoff team than most of the "experts" think. Gilbert Arenas and his legion of fans keep insisting that the Wizards are not better off without him but a 21-17 record--including seven wins in their last 10 games--suggests that at the very least the team is not worse off without him. Assuming that he is able to come back this season, it will be fascinating to see how the team performs with him in the lineup.

Top Ten Scorers (and a few other notables)

1) LeBron James, CLE 29.7 ppg
2) Kobe Bryant, LAL 27.7 ppg
3) Allen Iverson, DEN 27.1 ppg
4) Carmelo Anthony, DEN 25.8 ppg
5) Dwyane Wade, MIA 24.4 ppg
6) Richard Jefferson, NJN 23.8 ppg
7) Michael Redd, MIL 22.9 ppg
8) Carlos Boozer, UTA 22.8 ppg
9) Baron Davis, GSW 22.4 ppg
10) Amare Stoudemire, PHX 22.4 ppg

12) Yao Ming, HOU 22.1 ppg
13) Dwight Howard, ORL 22.1 ppg
14) Dirk Nowitzki, DAL 22.1 ppg

21) Paul Pierce, BOS 20.7 ppg

31) Brandon Roy, POR 19.4 ppg

35) Kevin Garnett, BOS 19.3 ppg
36) Kevin Durant, SEA 19.1 ppg

43) Ray Allen, BOS 18.2 ppg

That thud you just heard was Kevin Durant hitting the rookie wall. His already poor shooting percentages have been sinking steadily in January and the Sonics have yet to win a game in 2008. Durant is shooting .387 from the field and .233 from behind the arc in the new year, dropping his seasonal numbers to .399 and .295 respectively. I've seen him play in person and don't doubt the possibility that he could become a good player at some point in the future but I still don't understand the breathless praise that has been showered on him since the moment he was drafted. He is the only player in the top 50 in the NBA in scoring who is shooting less than .400 from the field and it's not like he is putting up off the charts numbers in other categories (4.2 rpg, 2.1 apg) to compensate for this. Another young player who may be hitting a wall of sorts is Dwight Howard: he has shot less than .500 from the field in six of nine games in January and his scoring average has declined each month (24.3 ppg in November, 21.7 ppg in December, 19.2 ppg so far in January).

Top Ten Rebounders (and a few other notables)

1) Dwight Howard, ORL 15.2 rpg
2) Marcus Camby, DEN 14.3 rpg
3) Chris Kaman, LAC 13.8 rpg
4) Tyson Chandler, NOH 12.2 rpg
5) Al Jefferson, MIN 12.0 rpg
6) Tim Duncan, SAS 11.0 rpg
7) Carlos Boozer, UTA 10.8 rpg
8) Antawn Jamison, WAS 10.7 rpg
9) Yao Ming, HOU 10.6 rpg
10) Shawn Marion, PHX 10.4 rpg
11) Andrew Bynum, LAL 10.2 rpg

15) Kevin Garnett, BOS 9.7 rpg
16) Al Horford, ATL 9.7 rpg

29) Ben Wallace, CHI 8.6 rpg
30) Jason Kidd, NJN 8.6 rpg

32) Dirk Nowitzki, DAL 8.4 rpg

Howard's rebounding numbers have not fallen as much as his shooting and scoring statistics have and he remains on course to have the best non-Rodman performance this category has seen in quite some time. When healthy, Marcus Camby is a rebounding and shot blocking machine; if he had ever developed a consistent offensive game he could have been a superstar.

Top Ten Playmakers

1) Steve Nash, PHX 12.1 apg
2) Jason Kidd, NJN 10.7 apg
3) Chris Paul, NOH 10.5 apg
4) Deron Williams, UTA 9.1 apg
5) Jamaal Tinsley, IND 8.6 apg
6) Jose Calderon, TOR 8.4 apg
7) Baron Davis, GSW 8.1 apg
8) LeBron James, CLE 7.5 apg
9) Chauncey Billups, DET 7.2 apg
10) Raymond Felton, CHA 7.1 apg

Once again, the top nine players are in the exact same order that they were on the previous leaderboard. Raymond Felton barely knocked Allen Iverson out of the top 10, meaning that for now LeBron James and Baron Davis are the only players who are in the top 10 in both scoring and assists.

Note: All statistics are from ESPN.com

Labels: , , ,

posted by David Friedman @ 3:56 AM



Post a Comment

<< Home