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
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.
Team 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
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:
Adva 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
The odds of the top two NBA Draft picks both becoming hall-of-famers is next to zero (sorry Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker).
Going back fifty years there is only one NBA Draft where both the #1 and #2 overall picks turned into superstar, hall-of-fame level players.
Can you guess which draft that was?
It was in the 1990’s.
Can you guess the two players drafted?
They are both centers.
*cutoff for superstar was 40 career Win Shares and .14 WS/48 minutes
Tim Duncan has spent seventeen years in San Antonio. During this time the Spurs have won 70.6% of their regular season games.
The Pop-Duncan combo has averaged 58 wins per year over almost two decades. To put this in perspective only two teams won this many games in the 2014 NBA season (Thunder and Spurs).
Since the 1998 season the only other franchises who won 60% of their games are the Lakers and Mavericks. Even with the assistance of Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Phil Jackson and Jerry West L.A. won an average of 52 games/year.