Don’t look now but Tim Duncan is making 80% of his free throws this year. This success is coming from the same guy who in the Spurs 2010 playoff run made only 48% of his attempts from the foul line.
From November to December alone he boosted his success rate from a solid 76% to an outstanding 86%. If Duncan can continue making even three-quarters of his foul shots while anchoring one of the leagues 5 best defenses then he is still a clear top 10 player in the NBA.
While the Sacramento Kings have been a nightmare this year they do have one bright spot. Despite having his minutes cut to only 14/game after a poor rookie season Jimmer Fredette is playing much better in his sophomore season.
2012 – 15 PTS/36 Mins, 1.0 Points/Shot, -7 Simple Rating*
2013 – 22 PTS/36 Mins, 1.4 Points/Shot, +6 Simple Rating
Kings fans want to see The Jimmer starting and playing 30 minutes/game. He leads the team in PTS/36 Mins and True Shooting (60%). The team stinks and they aren’t going anywhere. Starting 33 year-old John Salmons on this squad is silly even if he is getting paid $8M.
At the very least Sacramento would get the benefit of a more valuable trade chip in Jimmer if they decide to move him to a contender.
*from 82games.com, a production measure for a player’s own stats versus the counterpart player on the other team while he is on the court, as well as a simple on court/off court plus minus.
The newly named Washington Wizards defeated the lowly Warriors on Feb 10 1998. A star shooter from UCLA named Tracy Murray poured in 50 points on 29 shot attempts. On the sidelines for the Wizards that night were two of the Fab Five, Chris Webber and Juwan Howard.
Murray made the third most 3-pointers in the NBA in ’98 while connecting on 87% of his free throws (6th in league) and posting a 52% Effective Field Goal Pct (16th in NBA). In his single dynamite game though, he may not have been the best player on the floor. Point guard Rod Strickland scored 21 points of his own while dishing out 20 assists and leading all players with 12 rebounds.
Clyde The Glyde Drexler, 1989, Blazers vs. Lakers
I just wanted to view a quick comparison of high scoring guards shooting performance early in the 2013 season. It’s down and dirty but here is what we have seen:
Kobe Bryant – 1.4 Points/Shot
O.J. Mayo – 1.4
Stephen Curry – 1.3
Kemba Walker – 1.2
Damian Lillard – 1.2
Monta Ellis – 1.1
The outstanding figure here is Ellis. The Bucks two-guard has been abysmal so far this season. He is shooting a career low 43% on 2-pt shots and just 20% from beyond the arc. Ellis is on pace to hoist 250 threes this year, if he continues his make percentage this will be a historically poor performance.
Here are the lowest 3-PT shooting rates of players with 150 attempts in a season:
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
With the Bucks in the hunt for a playoff spot we have to wonder when coach Scott Skiles will tell Monta to let up on the 3s and focus on what he is really good at, finishing at the rim.
25 games into the 2013 NBA season the best player on the best team is Kevin Durant.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are the top offensive team in the league while ranking 10th in defense. KD is playing 40 mins/game and scoring 28 points while averaging career highs in rebounds (9) and assists (4). His 1.6 Points/Shot is up from a career average of 1.4.
Durant has also helped turn an already highly efficient Kevin Martin into one of the three most efficient scorers in the NBA. Martin’s career high 65% True Shooting is matched only by Durant’s own 65% and Tyson Chandler‘s off the charts 72%. In Martin’s defense he does score 3 more points/game than the Knicks center.
Back to Durant, he is second on OKC in blocks and steals while leading the entire league in free throws. He leads the NBA in win shares while ranking 2nd in PER (less than 1 point behind King James).
If Miami starts to play some defense then we can include James in the MVP discussion but for now it’s Kevin Durant’s award to lose.
Saturday night saw a 1-point victory for the Chicago Bulls over the Brooklyn Nets. Marco Belinelli was the Bulls most productive player on offense (19 points on just 9 shots) while as usual Joakim Noah lead their defense (7 D Reb, 3 Stl, 2 Blk). But the undersized front-court for Chicago was out-rebounded for just the 4th game in 22 so far this year. It was the teams worst effort on the glass as the Nets pulled down 8 more boards than Chicago.
The unusually strong effort by Brook Lopez on the offensive glass (5 O Rebs in 25 mins compared to a season average of just 2) caused much of the destruction to the Bulls. Lopez extends his lead at the quarter pole for NBA comeback player of the year 2013.