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Notable Numbers

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Notable Numbers

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


 

Here in “Notable Numbers,” we attempt to unearth a plethora of interesting stats and fantasy-relevant facts each week. The topics discussed today include Damian Lillard’s dominance, James Harden’s free throws, as well as Taurean Prince and Myles Turner bouncing back.


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* Dame Dollar
The Blazers are the hottest team in the NBA. Portland has won 10 straight games, the longest current streak in the league and they’ve scored at least 100 points in each of their ten victories. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time the franchise has done this since the 1990-91 season. Stud point guard Damian Lillard has been the primary driving force behind this recent Blazers winning binge. The clock has been stuck on “Lillard Time” for over a month now.

 

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Back on February 9th, Lillard dropped a 50-burger on the Kings in a win at Sacramento. He hasn’t cooled off since. In the 12 games the Blazers have played since Feb. 9, Dame is averaging 34.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 4.5 treys and 1.1 steals, while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, 43.5 percent from downtown and 88.7 percent from the stripe. Lillard’s total of 414 points represents the highest-scoring 12-game span in Blazers franchise history.


Dame leads the NBA in scoring and made 3-pointers over the last month-plus. He also ranks third overall in nine-category fantasy leagues during this stretch, trailing only Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis.


Lastly, a historical note on Lillard (via Basketball-Reference): He is one of only four in NBA history to tally score at least 10,000 points and dish out 2,800 assists in their first six seasons. The other three members of this exclusive club are Oscar Robertson, Tiny Archibald, and LeBron James.


Lillard is the first and the only player in league history with more than 10,000 points and 1,000 made 3-pointers in his first six seasons.


* Harden Living at the Line
James Harden is likely well on his way to capturing his first MVP award, despite the fact that he is averaging nearly three fewer rebounds per game and two fewer assists per contest compared the numbers he posted last season.


Harden is the MVP frontrunner primarily because he’s helped lead the Rockets to the NBA's best record as the league’s leading scorer. His 31.0 points per game represent a career-high. A large part of Harden’s consistent scoring success can be traced back to his uncanny ability to get to the free throw line and knock down his freebies.

 

In fact, Harden is already one of the league’s most prolific free-throw shooters. He’s currently averaging 8.7 made free throws per game. It’s the fifth time in the last six seasons he averaged more than 8.5 FT’s. Oscar Robertson is the only player in NBA history to average at least 8.5 free throws more than five times in his career. Harden and Jerry West are the only other players with more than three such seasons.


Among active players, no one is even within shouting distance of The Beard.
Here is the leaderboard for most made free throws since the start of the 2012-13 campaign:
1. James Harden: 3,946
2. Russ Westbrook: 2,765
3. DeMar DeRozan: 2,727
4. Kevin Durant: 2,619
5. DeMarcus Cousins: 2,454


Yes, Harden has made 1,180 more FT's than any player in the league over the last six seasons.


*PG-13 has been Rated R
We assumed Paul George’s offensive numbers would dip a bit this season, as he shifted from the main man in Indiana to playing alongside Russell Westbrook in OKC. Yet he seemed to find his groove toward the middle of the season. However, George has been mired in a nasty slump since the All-Star break.


Over the Thunder’s last ten games, George is shooting just 37.6 percent from the floor and converting only 28.0 percent of his 3-point attempts. He also hasn’t been racking up as many steals, averaging just 1.1 thefts per contest.


Prior to the break, George was shooting 44.9 percent from the floor and 43.3 percent from downtown. He averaged 2.2 steals per game. A post-AS-break decline has actually been a common theme for George over the last few years.


PG-13 injured his groin in Tuesday’s win over the Hawks when he took a hard fall, but told reporters after the game that he felt okay and planned to play Friday vs. the Clippers. OKC has a brutal schedule to close out the season, and will need George back in rhythm is they want to finish with momentum heading into the playoffs.


* Randle Still Rolling
Julius Randle simply refuses to slow down. After scoring 26 points (on 11-of-17 shooting) and pulling down 13 rebounds in Tuesday’s victory over the Nuggets, Randle has now scored at least 12 points and shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 15 straight games.


That’s the longest such streak in the NBA since Blake Griffin matched those numbers in 16 consecutive games back in December of 2012. The last Laker with at least 12 points on 50-plus percent shooting in 15 straight games was Shaquille O'Neal, during the 2000-01 campaign.


Over this 15-game stretch, Randle is averaging 21.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists, on 60.5 percent shooting.


* T-Pain
Taurean Prince was a preseason Rotoworld favorite back in October. And while Prince started the season in fine fashion, his production dipped in the middle of the winter. Over the 15 games the Hawks played in January, Prince averaged just 9.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists, while shooting a ghastly 34.8 percent from the floor.


Well, Prince has bounced back in a big way since the All-Star break, averaging 18.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.7 treys. He’s shooting 43.7 percent from the floor and 46.5 percent from 3-point territory. And those averages include a three-point, one-rebound dud in which he logged only 18 minutes in a blowout.


Better yet, he's in an ideal position to continue posting impressive numbers. In the two games since Kent Bazemore injured his knee, Taurean tallied a total of 63 points, 14 boards, ten dimes and ten treys over 69 minutes. With Bazemore ruled out for the rest of the season, Prince will continue to see a substantial uptick in his usage rate and scoring opportunities.


* Turner-ing It Around
Another player reversing course after a mid-season slump has been Myles Turner. Injuries and inconsistent production left Turner owners often frustrated this season. However, it appears he may be saving his best for last.


Over the Pacers last four games, Turner is averaging 21.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 2.3 treys, while shooting 61.8 percent from the field, 52.9 percent from deep, and 80 percent from the stripe. That’s the type of production fantasy folks were hoping for when they invested a second-round pick in him back in October.


* Record for Russ
Russell Westbrook recorded the 100th triple-double of his career on Tuesday night. That’s pretty good.


Since he entered the league, no other NBA franchise has more than 43 trip-dubs over that same time span. The Knicks have a total of four triple-doubles over the last nine seasons. The Jazz have zero.


In fact, dating back to the start of last season, Russell Westbrook has racked up 63 triple-doubles, while the entire Eastern Conference combined has a total of 57.




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