Mike Gallagher

NBA Fantasy Trends

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Christmas Break Stat Check

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! We didn’t have any hoops on Christmas Eve, so let’s just take a moment and discuss one of my favorite things: Stats.  For more stats like these, follow me on Twitter (@MikeSGallagher).


Editor's Note: This was a version of Pickup of the Day that ran in the NBA Season Pass after a night with no games.  Due to the unique nature of the column, and the fact that it's the season of giving, we decided to share it with everyone.  Enjoy. 


NBA pace (possessions per game)

Top five


1. Houston Rockets

2. Dallas Mavericks

3. San Antonio Spurs

4. Milwaukee Bucks

5. Cleveland Cavaliers

Bottom five


30. New Orleans Hornets

29. Brooklyn Nets

28. Indiana Pacers

27. Philadelphia Sixers

26. Chicago Bulls


It’s not a coincidence that guys like James HardenOmer Asik and Chandler Parsons are off to great starts and Houston is leading the league in pace. The Rockets are using a new brand of hoops than what we’ve seen from them with their new smaller and faster lineup.

The Nets are chock full of disappointments including Deron Williams off to his worst season since his rookie year.  The Bulls and Sixers were near the bottom last year and their teams are more defensively oriented. It hasn’t hurt Jrue Holiday and he’s breaking out this year.


3-point attempts allowed

Top five (allowed)


1. Charlotte Bobcats

2. Golden State Warriors

3. Denver Nuggets

4. Dallas Mavericks

5. Detroit Pistons


Bottom five


30. Chicago Bulls

29. Milwaukee Bucks

28. Memphis Grizzlies

28. Brooklyn Nets

26. Minnesota Timberwolves


The Bobcats allowing so many triples is another indicator that they’re rotation on D has been sub-par in the league. They allowed the eighth fewest last year. Golden State, Denver and Dallas were also in the top five for teams to allow triples last year and this is nothing new.


Random Denver stat: Denver’s ranking in free throw percentage over the past four years: Ninth (09-10),   16th (10-11), 25th (11-12)30th (12-13).


This is a disturbing trend considering that Denver ranked first in free throw attempts the first three years and rank sixth this year. George Karl has been relentless at attacking the basket, but guys like JaVale McGeeAndre Iguodala, Kenneth Faried, and Kosta Koufos all being a disaster at the line this year has really hurt them. Ty Lawson is even shooting just 69 percent this year.

Usage rate (how often a player is used on a given possession)


1. Carmelo Anthony

2. Kobe Bryant

3. Kyrie Irving

4. Russell Westbrook

5. Kevin Love

6. LeBron James

7. DeMarcus Cousins

8. Brook Lopez

9. Kevin Durant

10. Paul Pierce


This list shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since more than half of these players would be first-round picks in fantasy drafts. DeMarcus Cousins has been a colossal letdown this year, so I’d consider offering up a buy-low deal at a pennies-on-the-dollar discount. Brook Lopez has really been the only guy exceeding his ADP on Brooklyn -- excluding the injury -- and he should continue to be solid as long as he’s healthy. Interesting, Paul Pierce has been outstanding this year and he’s been a bigger part of the O than Rajon Rondo.

Shots per game at the rim


1. Greg Monroe

2. Nikola Pekovic

3. LeBron James

4. Carmelo Anthony

5. Kevin Love

6. Dwight Howard

7. James Harden

8. Brook Lopez

9. David Lee

10. Zach Randolph

11. Omer Asik

12. Russell Westbrook

13. DeMarcus Cousins

14. Tyson Chandler

15. Al Horford


This is one of my favorite stats in because it’s a great indicator for players getting good shots. Greg Monroe being at the top is nothing new and he was ranked second last year. Who was first? DeMarcus Cousins took that distinction and he’s taking less than one shot per game this year compared to last season. Nikola Pekovic has been fantastic this year and he should continue to be a beast as long as he’s healthy. Kevin Love is an interesting case here by shooting an ugly 36.3 percent from the field this year. Oddly enough, he’s shooting just 45.0 percent on his attempts at the rim. The league average is 63.8 percent. There are only two guards on this list and they’re two of my favorite players to watch in the league: Russell Westbrook and James Harden.  They’re two of the best at breaking people down off the dribble and are relentless in doing so.


Players helping the most in free throw percentage


1. Kevin Durant

2. James Harden

3. Kevin Martin

4. Kobe Bryant

5. Jamal Crawford

6. Stephen Curry

7. Chris Paul

8. Marc Gasol

9. Lou Williams

10. Ramon Sessions


Everyone knew that Kevin Durant would be the king of this category again and he’s fantasy basketball’s best player by a mile so far. James Harden has been just as good as KD in December by making 91 percent of his 10.8 shots per game. Ramon Sessions has been a bit of a headache, but he’s always been adept at getting to the line. He’s making a career-high 84 percent from the line on an average of 5.6 attempts. If not for Kevin Durant and Kobe BryantChris Paul would be getting more fantasy pub as a fantasy mega monster. He’s making a career-high 88 percent from the field and is helping in every 8-cat department except blocks.

Bottom five


1.Dwight Howard

2. DeAndre Jordan

3. Andre Drummond

4. Josh Smith

5. Kenneth Faried


The usual suspects. One interesting case was to see how Josh Smith would do at the line this year. Before the All-Star break last year, J-Smoove shot a pathetic 55 percent from the line and raised it to 70 percent after the break. This year he’s been even worse at an ugly 51.1 percent on 3.8 attempts per game.

Players helping the most in field goal percentage


1. Tyson Chandler

2. LeBron James

3. Dwight Howard

4. David Lee

5. JaVale McGee

6. Serge Ibaka

7. Blake Griffin

8. Kevin Durant

9. Brandan Wright

10. Thaddeus Young


Most of those guys are also the first players that come to mind when thinking of efficient scorers. Tyson Chandler shooting 70 percent from the field is just nuts. His shots might go down with Amare back, though, so he has a bit of a sell-high thing going. David Lee has been an absolute beast this year and he’s returning first-round value. Thaddeus Young would also be viewed as a breakout, but he’s really struggling from the charity stripe.

Bottom five

1. Bradley Beal

2. Byron Mullens

3. Dion Waiters

4. Brandon Jennings

5. Austin Rivers


It’s a rookie-laden top five. Byron Mullens has also been one of the headaches for owners and this is the main reason why. He makes Andrea Bargnani look like Tyson Chandler at this rate and shows no signs of improving. That said, his upside makes him worth owning as long as nothing is seriously wrong with his ankle. 


Thanks for reading! Hat tip to Hoopdata.com for some of these stats.

Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.

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