Hassan Whiteside’s Historic Double-Double

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside is doing some incredible things this year.  Not the least of which is averaging a double-double.  “Lots of guys can post ‘ten and ten’ over the course of a season” you say.  Well that’s true but can they accomplish the feat while playing part-time?


Except for Whiteside.  He is attempting to become the first NBA player in more than a half-century to average 10 points and 10 rebounds while playing less than 24 minutes per night.

Player                           Season       Tm     G     Mins     PTS     REB    MPG

Hassan Whiteside   2014-15   MIA  38    860     11.0      9.9      22.6

Johnny Green           1960-61   NYK  78 1784     10.2    10.7     22.9

Ray Felix                     1957-58   NYK  72 1709     12.2    10.4     23.7

Chuck Share              1954-55   MLH  69 1685     11.9    9.9       24.4

James Johnson’s Throwback Dunk

My love of James Johnson highlights has not been a secret.  After filling up the video tape reel (and the box score) in Memphis last year he has brought his talents to Toronto.

In the Raptors win over the Pistons last night Johnson threw one down on Andre Drummond.  I couldn’t resist adding this to JJ’s budding archive resembling David Thompson & Dominique Wilkins.


The Blazers Sticky Fingers Big Man

The Portland Trail Blazers edged out the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night by just two points.   Coach Terry Stotts’ team won the possession battle by forcing two more turnovers than Denver.   He can thank big man LaMarcus Aldridge for his team keeping the rock.

LMA became the first NBA player since Carmelo Anthony to take 30 shots while committing zero turnovers.

His ability to get a shot up before fumbling the ball away is a prime reason why he is a valuable piece of the Blazers.  Aldridge’s career turnover rate of 8.2% is one of the three lowest of all-time.

Here is the complete list of games with 30+ FGA’s and Zero turns (since 2010):

Player                    Date  Tm   FGA TOV
LaMarcus  Aldridge   2014-12-02 POR W  30   0
Carmelo  Anthony     2014-01-24 NYK W  35   0
Kevin  Durant        2014-01-07 OKC L  34   0
LaMarcus  Aldridge   2013-12-26 POR W  31   0
Kevin  Durant        2013-01-14 OKC W  30   0

Why OKC Misses Durant and Westbrook

The OKC Thunder display Friday highlighted why they miss Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook so much.  In a home loss to the Pistons Scott Brooks‘ team made one free throw.

Over 53 minutes and nearly one-hundred shot attempts only Steven Adams would make a foul shot for the home team.

See KD has led the NBA in made free throws for five years straight.  In addition Russ has been among the top-five league wide in each of his last three healthy seasons.  Getting to the foul line and converting has been the primary advantage for OKC during their five year run of success.

Sans their stars the Thunder have become the first team in at least three decades to make fewer than two foul shots in an overtime game.

Only the expansion Toronto Raptors featuring rookie Damon Stoudamire played an entire NBA game while not hitting a freebie.


Date          Tm  Opp       Result  MP  FGA FT FTA   
2014-11-14   OKC  DET L 89-96 (OT) 265   96  1   6  
2014-02-08   MEM  ATL      W 79-76 240   90  1   1 
2013-11-24   PHO  ORL     W 104-96 240   95  1   3 
2012-01-14   TOR  CHI      L 64-77 240   86  1   7 
2004-02-25   NJN  MIN      L 68-81 240   83  1   5 
1996-01-09   TOR  CHH      L 91-92 240   84  0   3 

Carmelo Anthony: Five Comps

Taking into account player performance over the last two NBA seasons here are five guys who are roughly as valuable as Carmelo Anthony.  Numbers included are offense only so for the sake of this post defense is totally ignored.

These are players with similar shooting, rebounding, passing and ball control attributes to ‘Melo:

Player            ORB% AST% TOV%  TS%
Blake  Griffin      8.2 19.5 12.3 .578
Kevin  Love         9.0 19.6 10.2 .568
David  Lee          8.7 14.0 13.0 .563
Carmelo  Anthony    5.8 15.0  9.4 .561
Paul  Millsap       7.9 15.3 12.6 .547
Tim  Duncan         8.0 15.8 12.4 .545

NBA History: Best ‘Career’ Sixth Man

Miami Heat center Chris Andersen has never started more than three games in an NBA season.  Birdman has played in 69 playoff games coming off the bench in every one.  In his entire career Anderson has started ten games.   For a guy who has earned nearly $30 million dollars playing a dozen seasons in the NBA this is quite unique.

His career per 36 minute numbers are 11 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks with a 58% true shooting.  Throw in the ring he won with Miami last season and we are looking at a really good career.  Further, is it possible that Chris Andersen is the best sixth man in NBA history?

Thanks to Basketball-Reference.com we can attempt to answer this question.  Using ‘win shares’ as an estimate of career value let’s start with players who have accumulated over 30 career win shares.  This is a comprehensive list of nearly every substantial player in league history.  There are 626 players (and counting) at this level of production.

Unfortunately, we don’t have solid ‘games started’ data before 1980.  Of course most great players are starters so there are probably only a few key sixth men who were really good before the early ’80s.  To be accurate we will just include players who were primarily coming off the bench after 1980 in this study.

A few notable points:

  • Bobby Jones won the first sixth man of the year award in 1983 while playing for the NBA champion Philadelphia 76’ers.
  • Boston Celtics forward Kevin McHale took home the award in each of the next two seasons.
  • Only Detlef Schrempf and Ricky Pierce would ever win sixth man of the year multiple times after McHale.
  • McHale, Schrempf and Pierce would start over 250 games in their NBA career’s.

Back to the study.  Using 250 career games started as a cut-off we find forty-five players with 30+ win shares and less than 250 starts.  This criteria yields us with Michael Cooper, Vinnie Johnson and Kyle Korver as the best ‘career’ sixth-men.

Korver is going to finish with well over 250 starts so we should exclude him.  Cooper and Johnson are both great candidates for best of all-time.  The Microwave won two titles with the Detroit Pistons while not starting any games in their playoff runs.  He averaged 14 points/game off the bench in the ’89 playoffs for the Pistons.

Mike won at least three titles with the Lakers while not starting a game.  In the ’87 playoffs he averaged 13 points, 5 assists in 29 minutes while shooting 49% from three and making almost two three’s per game.  Plus Cooper played great defense against Larry Bird and Danny Ainge in the Lakers win in the NBA Finals.  We are probably looking at the greatest single year performance for a sixth man right here.

On the note of career value, the only players who started fewer games than Michael Cooper but still compiled over 30 win shares are:

Looking at the career value (including the playoffs) of these six players it’s hard to choose against Kerr.  Five championship rings and the career record for three-point percentage he’s got my vote.

Chris Andersen is probably the best minute-for-minute ‘career’ sixth man in NBA history.  He just won’t have the longevity of Kerr.

So it depends on how you want to define your terms but the finalists for greatest career sixth man are Michael Cooper, Steve Kerr and Chris Andersen.


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