With the first half of the 2018-19 regular season in the rearview mirror, I take a look back by listing an interesting statistic/factoid for each NBA team.
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Eastern Conference --
Only four rookies in NBA history have averaged at least 17 points, seven assists and three rebounds per game: Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Damon Stoudemire and Allen Iverson … Trae Young is currently averaging 16.9 points, 7.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds.
After a slogging through a shooting slump in January, Gordon Hayward is back on track in February. Over the seven games Boston has played in February, Hayward is averaging 14.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.6 treys, while shooting 57.1 percent from the floor, 53.4 percent from 3-point territory and 90.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Kemba Walker is the Hornets franchise leader in total points, made 3-pointers, career free throws, most 3-pointers made in a single game (10), most 40-point games (11), most 30-point games (55), and most 20-point games (193). He ranks second in career assists, behind Muggsy Bogues.
Lauri Markkanen has posted a double-double in a career-high five straight games. He is averaging a whopping 24.4 points, 13.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.8 treys during this five-game stretch.
Blake Griffin scored a total of 445 points for the entire month of January, which is a new Pistons all-time record for most points in a single month. Per NBA.com, the previous record-holder was Isiah Thomas, who poured in 442 points in March of 1983. In addition, Griffin’s current average of 26.2 points per game is the highest average for any Piston since Jerry Stackhouse (29.8 ppg) in 2000-01.
Thaddeus Young is one of eight active players in the NBA with at least 11,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 1,000 assists and 1,000 steals in his career. Young continues to fly under the fantasy radar, but he ranks 66th overall in nine-category formats this season.
Josh Richardson leads the Heat in points, assists, steals, field goals made, three-point field goals made and free throws made.
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Over Milwaukee’s final five games prior to the All-Star break, Giannis Antetokounmpo averaged 32.8 points, 14.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.2 treys, 1.0 steals and 1.6 blocks, while shooting a scorching 67.0 percent from the floor and 46.2% from downtown. Just ridiculous.
Joe Harris, the NBA’s newly-crowned 3-point Shootout champion, is averaging career-highs across the board this season. Unsurprisingly, he ranks in the top three in 3-point field-goal percentage, converting 46.5 percent of his attempts. The only player in Nets history to shoot better than 45 percent from downtown prior to the All-Star break (on a minimum of 100 attempts) was Drazen Petrovic in 1992-93.
Larry Nance Jr. has grabbed double-digit rebounds in seven straight games. During this seven-game stretch, Nance is averaging 12.0 points, 13.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 treys, 1.0 steals and 1.6 turnovers. Dating back to the end of January, Nance ranks 42nd overall in nine-category fantasy formats.
New York Knicks:
Kevin Knox has been alarmingly inefficient offensively of late. Over New York's last 15 games, Knox is shooting 32 percent from the field and below 30 percent from 3-point territory. He has scored only 179 points on 198 FG attempts over the last month. (To put that in context, Malik Beasley has scored 245 points on 167 FG attempts.) Also, Knox is the only player in the NBA this season with more than 600 field goal attempts, yet fewer than 50 assists.
Over Orlando’s final eight games before the All-Star break, Jonathan Isaac averaged 14.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 treys, 1.1 steals and 2.6 blocks in 28.9 minutes per contest. Dating back to the end of January, Isaac ranks 18th overall in nine-category leagues, ahead of both Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.
Prior to the trade deadline earlier this month, the Sixers were the only team in the NBA with four players averaging at least 17 points per game. Then, the Sixers acquired Tobias Harris, who is averaging 17.8 points per contest this season.
Pascal Siakam exploded for a career-high 44 points in last Wednesday’s win over the Wizards. He shot 15-of-25 from the floor and 10-of-12 from the charity stripe and also racked up ten rebounds, four 3-pointers, three blocks and two assists. Siakam scored 20-plus points just once over his first two years in the league. This season, he’s already topped the 20-point plateau 16 times.
In the month of January, Bradley Beal was one of two players (Kevin Durant is the other) to average at least 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 37 percent shooting from downtown. Beal has taken his production to another level in February, averaging 28.1 points, 7.3 dimes and 5.1 boards.
Dirk Nowitzki has scored 31,310 points in his illustrious career. He currently ranks seventh on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He needs 109 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) for sixth place. The Mavs have 25 games remaining on the schedule this season. If Dirk plays in 20 of those 25 contests, he’ll need to average 5.5 points per game to pass Wilt.
Denver has had to deal with a slew of significant injuries to key contributors this season; however, they’ve received some unexpectedly excellent contributions from their role players. For instance, over the Nuggets last eight games, Malik Beasley is averaging 21.0 points and 3.5 trifectas, while shooting a stellar 55.7 percent from the floor, 50.9 percent from downtown and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Golden State Warriors:
DeMarcus Cousins made his Warriors debut on January 18th, joining Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant & Draymond Green in the starting five, giving the Warriors five All-Stars from the previous season playing at the same time. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Golden State is the first team since the 1975-76 Boston Celtics to have five All-Stars from the previous season be on the court at the same time. (The five Celtics All-Stars were Jo Jo White, Charlie Scott, Dave Cowens, Paul Silas and John Havlicek.)
Chris Paul needs only 20 assists to become the fifth player in NBA history with at least 17,000 points, 9,000 assists and 4,000 rebounds - joining Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, Oscar Robertson and John Stockton.
Los Angeles Clippers:
After a relatively slow start to the season, Lou Williams has heated up as the temperature dropped. Over the Clippers last 11 games, Lou Will is averaging 25.1 points, 6.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 trifectas.
Los Angeles Lakers:
There has been some rumbling out of L.A. that the Lakers are "privately a little concerned" that LeBron James is not fully healed from his groin issue and isn’t quite as explosive. However, it should be noted that King James is averaging a triple-double (23.2 points, 10.8 rebounds, 11.0 assists) since returning from the injury.
In his two games with the Grizzlies, Jonas Valanciunas has tallied a total of 35 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists in just 44 minutes. Assuming his playing time increases over the final two months of the season, JV could be a real difference maker in the fantasy playoffs.
Karl-Anthony Towns has already registered a total of 191 double-doubles in his NBA career. According to Basketball-Reference, over the past 35 years, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and David Robinson are the only player to have collected more double-doubles at the same juncture of their careers.
New Orleans Pelicans:
We’re still waiting to see how the Pelicans will handle Anthony Davis over these final two months of the season. If AD gets shut down, Jahlil Okafor would be the primary beneficiary. In the eight games Okafor started while Davis was sidelined due to his finger injury, Okafor averaged 18.9 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks, while shooting 66.7 percent from the floor. He ranked 16th overall in nine-category formats during this short stretch.
Oklahoma City Thunder:
Paul George is on pace to join Michael Jordan (1988-89) as just the second player in NBA history to average at least 28 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals per game over a full season.
Jamal Crawford has scored 19,218 points in his 18-year NBA career. That’s the most points in NBA history by a player without an All-Star selection. Eddie Johnson (19,202) is second on that unenviable list.
Portland Trail Blazers:
Coming into 2018-19, Jusuf Nurkic had never recorded more than 27 double-doubles in a season in his entire career. However, Nurk has already posted 26 dub-dubs this season, with 25 games remaining in the season.
Buddy Hield is averaging career-highs in points (20.5), assists (2.3), rebounds (5.1) and 3-pointers (3.4) this season. He also has an excellent chance to join Stephen Curry as just the second player in NBA history to average more than six 3-point attempts per game for a full season while shooting above 45% from the floor, 45% from 3-point range and 85% from the free-throw line.
San Antonio Spurs:
LaMarcus Aldridge scored his 18,000 career point earlier this month. He is one of only six active NBA player with at least 18,000 points and 7,500 rebounds. The other five are LeBron James, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph and Dwight Howard.
Donovan Mitchell leads all sophomores in scoring this season and averaged 27.7 points per game in January. According to the Jazz PR department, that's the highest scoring average by a Utah player in a calendar month (minimum ten games) since Karl Malone poured in 32.2 points per game in April of 1998.