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Notable Numbers

Notable Numbers: Piston Production 

by Tommy Beer

Here in “Notable Numbers,” we attempt to unearth a plethora of interesting stats and fantasy-relevant facts each week. Today we highlight James Harden continuing to make history, as well as the  impressive play of Collin Sexton, Damyean Dotson, and the Pistons dynamic duo of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond

Follow Tommy Beer on Twitter: @TommyBeer

* Sexton And Driving 
Coming out of Alabama last year, the questions concerning Collin Sexton heading into his rookie season were about his offensive capabilities. He was considered one of the top perimeter defenders in the 2018 draft class, but there were doubts about whether or not he’d be able to score at the next level. Welp, 70-plus games into his debut NBA season, Sexton has dramatically exceeded expectations on that end of the floor.

Sexton has scored at least 23 points in each of the Cavs last six games, and has done so with remarkable efficiency.

27 points (10-16 shooting)
28 points (10-17 shooting)
23 points (7-16 shooting)
26 points (11-20 shooting)
28 points (10-18 shooting)
27 points (11-17 shooting

 

Sexton is the first rookie with at least 23 points in six straight games since Tim Duncan in 1998. He is currently tied with Allen Iverson for the longest streak ever by a rookie with at least 23 points and two made 3-pointers. Stephen Curry is tied for second with five. 

During this six-game stretch, he’s averaging 26.5 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.7 treys, while shooting 57.3 percent from the field, 56.4 percent from downtown and 90.5 percent from the free-throw line. Sexton has also done a better job taking care of the basketball of late. Last week alone, he had three games with more than 25 points and zero turnovers. The rest of the 2018-19 rookie crop has only three such games combined over this entire season!


It is important to note that Sexton hasn’t supplied much in the way of defensive stats, including surprisingly few steals, and his assist rate is lower than what the Cavs were hoping for, but his efficient offense makes him a very intriguing option down the stretch this year and in fantasy drafts next season. Over his last ten games, Sexton ranks 107th in nine-category formats. 

* Dame Got Game
With the Knicks getting absolutely demolished by Raptors on Monday (the final score was 128-92), Damyean Dotson logged just 18 minutes. However, he still managed to knock down three 3-pointers. It was his fifth straight game with at least three triples. Per Basketball-Reference, the only Knicks with a longer such streak are John Starks, Stephon Marbury, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith.

Prior to Monday’s blowout, Dotson tallied 25 points, 6 boards and three trifectas the night before, which concluded a four-game surge in which he averaged 22.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.5 treys, while shooting 47.3 percent overall, 42.4 percent from behind the arc, and 100% from the charity stripe. In the 15 games since the Knicks traded Tim Hardaway Jr. to the Mavs at the deadline, Dotson is averaging 16.0 points and 2.7 treys with a .548 True Shooting percentage. He ranks 105th overall in nine-cat leagues during this stretch. 

Dotson’s value next season is obviously dependant upon what the Knicks do in free agency and the draft; but if the Knicks strike out, they may end up relying on Dotson as one of the team’s offensive focal points in 2019-20. Even if they sign a stud like Kevin Durant, Dotson could still secure a substantial role in the rotation due to his ability to stretch defenses and defend on the perimeter. He could have sneaky fantasy value as a 3-point specialist in that situation. 

* Piston Powered 
At the beginning of February, the Pistons were seven games under .500 with a 22-29 record. It looked as though their season was circling the drain. However, since then, Detroit is 14-5, which is the third-best record in the league, behind only the Rockets and Bucks. Over these 19 games, Detroit has the NBA’s highest Offensive Rating, as they are averaging 115.6 points per 100 possessions. The two main reasons for this late-season surge has been the outstanding play of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond

Over the ten games the Pistons played in February, Drummond averaged a whopping 21.2 points (on 63.2 percent shooting) and 16.1 boards. On the season, he’s averaging 17.4 points and a league-leading 15.4 rebounds. 

In addition, Drummond has now tallied at least 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 100 blocks and 100 steals in the same season for the 4th time in his career. The most such seasons in league history.

Meanwhile, Blake Griffin has been a beast all year as well. Along with Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James, he’s one of only three players averaging at least 24 points, seven rebounds and five dimes a night in 2018-19. He’s also on pace to become just the fifth player ever to tally 24/7/5 and more than two made 3-pointers per game. In fact, dating back to the start of the since 2010-11, Griffin has recorded 82 career games with at least 25 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Per NBA.com, that's the fifth-most games among all players in the NBA in that time period. He has 14 such games in 2018-19, which is tied for the fifth-most in the league.

BG scored a total of 445 points in January, which broke Isiah Thomas’ Pistons all-time record for most points in a single month.

Griffin, who just turned 30 this past weekend, is one of only three players in NBA history to tally at least 12,000 points and 5,000 rebounds and 2,000 assists in his first 600 career games. Per Basketball-Reference, the other two are Oscar Roberston and Larry Bird.

* More Harden History
In a season chockfull of unprecedented historical moments, James Harden added another chapter to the story last night in Atlanta. In the Rockets 121-105 win, The Beard finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and ten assists to power Houston to their 12th win in their last 13 games.

In the process, Harden passed Stephen Curry for the most 3-point field goal attempts in a season (890) and became the first ever player in NBA history to score 30-plus points against all 29 teams in a single season.

On the season, Harden has scored more than 50 points five times, yet has scored fewer than 20 points only three times. He also leads the NBA in most 40-point games by a vast margin. Just how big is the gap? Consider this: Harden has scored 40-plus points 25 times this season, while the entire Golden State Warriors team (Steph, KD, Klay, Boogie, etc.) have reached the 40-point plateau just 14 times.

Not only does Harden has more 40-point games than every other TEAM in the league, but he also has more 40-point games (25) than the entire Eastern Conference Central (11) & Southeast Divisions (12) COMBINED. Yes, Harden has scored 40+ points more times than every player on than the Bucks, Pacers, Pistons, Bulls, Cavs, Heat, Wiz, Hornets, Hawks combined. The Pacers, Mavs and Knicks are teams that don’t have a single 40-point scorer this season. 
 

Tommy Beer