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Monday, November 19, 2007

NBA Leaderboard, Part II

The Boston Celtics finally lost a game but still have the NBA's best record, Kobe Bryant is not leading the NBA in scoring and Kevin Garnett dropped to third in the rebounding race.

Best Five Records

1) Boston Celtics, 8-1
2-3) New Orleans Hornets, Orlando Magic, 9-2
4-5) Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, 8-2

The Celtics are not going to go 82-0 after all--nor will they challenge the 70 win mark, though I guess that it will take a few more losses to convince some people of that. They are very good but they are not 70 wins good--not even close. Still, it is impressive how quickly they have jelled defensively and how much production they have received from their bench. We expect to see the Spurs and Suns in the top five all year but it is a mild surprise to see Orlando up here and a fairly big surprise (at least to me) that the Hornets are 9-2. Orlando got off to a fast start last year but could not sustain it; the addition of Rashard Lewis and the continued improvement of franchise player Dwight Howard are two reasons to believe that Orlando can stay near the top of the standings. Injuries have been the major downfall for New Orleans the past couple years and star point guard Chris Paul is already dinged up, so it will be interesting to see how long of a run the Hornets enjoy on the leaderboard.

Top Ten Scorers (and a few other notables)

1) LeBron James, CLE 29.2 ppg
2) Kevin Martin, SAC 28.2 ppg
3) Kobe Bryant, LAL 27.4 ppg
4) Tracy McGrady, HOU 26.8 ppg
5) Carmelo Anthony, DEN 25.5 ppg
6) Carlos Boozer, UTA 25.3 ppg
7) Baron Davis, GSW 24.9 ppg
8) Allen Iverson, DEN 24.8 ppg
9) Richard Jefferson, NJN 24.2 ppg
10) Joe Johnson, ATL 22.9 ppg

14-15) Yao Ming, HOU 22.0 ppg
14-15) Paul Pierce, BOS 22.0 ppg

17) Kevin Garnett, BOS 21.6 ppg

22) Ray Allen, BOS 20.4 ppg

25) Dirk Nowitzki, DAL 19.8 ppg

28) Kevin Durant, SEA 19.7 ppg

LeBron James is known as a pass first player but he shoots a lot, too--not that there is anything wrong with that. I suspect that Kobe Bryant will still claim this year's scoring title but there are likely multiple scoring titles in James' future, particularly when he becomes a more proficient free throw and three point shooter. Kevin Martin is without question the best scorer who casual fans may have never heard of--or even seen, since Sacramento does not get a lot of national television exposure anymore. Richard Jefferson is off to the best start of his career. The three Boston stars have almost perfectly divided the scoring load. Until Kevin Durant develops better shot selection and starts shooting a higher percentage it will be very difficult for him to average more than 20 ppg.

Top Ten Rebounders (and a few other notables)

1) Dwight Howard, ORL 15.0 rpg
2) Marcus Camby, DEN 14.5 rpg
3) Kevin Garnett, BOS 13.6 rpg
4) Chris Kaman, LAC 13.3 rpg
5) Emeka Okafor, CHA 12.4 rpg
6) Zydrunas Ilgauskas, 12.1 rpg
7) Shawn Marion, PHX 11.7 rpg
8-9) Carlos Boozer, UTA 11.5 rpg
8-9) Tyson Chandler, NOH 11.5 rpg
10) Al Jefferson, MIN 11.1 rpg

15) Yao Ming, HOU 9.8 rpg

18) Andrew Bynum, LAL 9.6 rpg
19) Tim Duncan, SAS 9.5 rpg

21) Jason Kidd, NJN 9.3 rpg

25) Dirk Nowitzki, DAL 8.7 rpg

33) LeBron James, CLE 7.8 rpg

39) Kobe Bryant, LAL 7.4 rpg

46) Shaquille O'Neal, MIA 6.8 rpg

Dwight Howard and Marcus Camby moved past Kevin Garnett but it will be interesting to see how long they stay ahead of him. Young Andrew Bynum is actually outrebounding Tim Duncan so far this season. That probably won't last but it is a sign that the Lakers are developing a legit supporting cast around Kobe Bryant, who has been venturing into the paint enough as a shooting guard to rank ahead of many forwards and centers, including his former teammate Shaq Diesel, who truly seems to be running on fumes now.

Top Ten Playmakers

1) Chris Paul, NOH 10.8 apg
2) Jason Kidd, NJN 10.5 apg
3) Steve Nash, PHX 10.4 apg
4) Baron Davis, GSW 9.4 apg
5) Deron Williams, UTA 8.6 apg
6-7) T.J. Ford, TOR 8.0 apg
6-7) LeBron James, CLE 8.0 apg
8) Allen Iverson, DEN 7.6 apg
9) Jamaal Tinsley, IND 7.4 apg
10-12) Earl Watson, SEA 7.0 apg
10-12) Raymond Felton, CHA 7.0 apg
10-12) Chauncey Billups, DET 7.0 apg

In just one week, Steve Nash increased his average by more than 1 apg, so it won't be long before he tops this list.

Note: All statistics are from ESPN.com

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posted by David Friedman @ 3:10 AM



At Tuesday, November 20, 2007 3:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


lebron james is a pass first guy even though he has shot alot this year so far. he is a playmaker before scorer though still even with his high fgatypical james hateing by yourself you do it shaq wade nash now james

At Wednesday, November 21, 2007 1:08:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

LeBron James has shot a lot throughout his career but--as I said in the post--that is not a bad thing; he is a good scorer, so he should shoot a lot. To assert that I "hate" LeBron is ridiculous.

Was I "hating" LeBron when I wrote an article saying that his career is on an "accelerated growth curve" that is unparalleled in NBA history?

Was I "hating" Shaq when I said that he should have won the MVP over Nash in 2005?

Was I "hating" Nash when I said that he is such a good shooter that it is scary?

I haven't even had that much to say about Wade for quite some time simply because he has been injured until the past week or so.

Unfortunately, to you and many others, "hate" is short for "David Friedman does not offer unhesitating praise for my favorite players."

What I'm doing here is analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of players and teams, not running a fan club. Do you realize how absurd it sounds to say that I "hate" LeBron in light of what I have written about him here? Anyone can search the site and see everything that I have written about him, so your assertion just makes you look foolish because there are mountains of evidence that it is not true.

At Wednesday, November 21, 2007 5:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


he hasnt shot alot till this season because he has too for his team to win because of the distractions of pavlik and the brazillan guy. lebron is a dynamic player yes he is one of my faavirote players with nash wade and shaq and kobe but you only praise kobe and not the rest of the guys is my issue with you kobe is not the only great player in the nba. there are alot of outstanding players in the league. and it's funny you analyze everbody fairly but kobe he is so special to you for some reason but your good at what you do thats why iread you just too much kobe prasing.

At Wednesday, November 21, 2007 6:05:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


Like I said, just browse around 20 Second Timeout and it is not hard to see that I have offered a lot of praise for LeBron, Nash, Wade, Shaq and many other players besides Kobe. If you re-read what I wrote in this post about LeBron, I said that it is not a bad thing that LeBron shoots a lot; my comment is directed more toward the people who describe LeBron as a pass first player but don't say the same thing about other players who shoot less than he does.

Kobe receives a lot of unfair, negative coverage and I try to point out the flaws in that reporting. That may make it seem like I am saying he has no flaws when what I am really doing is refuting certain specific, unfair criticisms of his game.

At Thursday, November 22, 2007 3:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


kobe has always shot more than lebron other than this year. kobe does get bad press but he made alot of bad mistakes to get that press at times thats not lebron or shaq fault everybody dont feel the wayyou you do about kobe. you claim to be a fair analyst but you protect your favirote player and critcize others whent they do the same thing, david BE CONSISTENT please.

At Thursday, November 22, 2007 4:06:00 PM, Blogger David Friedman said...


What are you talking about?

Re-read this post--I didn't criticize LeBron at all; I just mentioned that he shoots a lot. That's a fact. It also makes more sense for him to shoot a lot than for some of the other Cavs to shoot a lot, just like it makes more sense for Kobe to shoot a lot than for some of the other Lakers to shoot a lot. So what's the problem here? You are inventing a controversy where none exists.

At Saturday, November 24, 2007 5:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


he has too shoot more because the other players havent picked up they game yet but he been the best player this year so far. this season players around kobe are playing better so his team isnt better off with him shooting too much and james has like 3 triple doubles this year so far. so he doing much more than just shooting and scoreing alot he all around great.

At Sunday, November 25, 2007 1:20:00 AM, Blogger David Friedman said...

OK. I still don't understand your original objection to this post; nothing that I said in the post contradicts what you said in your most recent comment.


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