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This has been a fascinating year thus far. It’s not just the off-season transactions, the Lakers going for another three-peat, or the hype in South Beach. From rookies to veterans, we are in the middle of one of the most exciting statistical seasons, ever. Most of that can be attributed to some of the all-time great players reaching the end of their careers or young guys trying to make a name for themselves. We are a quarter of the way through the year and here are the statistical standouts thus far:
Chicago Bulls (1st, 12-8)
A Rose That Grew: Derrick Rose is developing into one incredible player. In just his third season his game is already a potent poison for most defenses to deal with. He has a lethal combination of speed, agility and power that I have only seen from one other player, you know who I’m talking about. So far this year Rose has put up 25.1 ppg and 8.2 apg. Those are staggering stats but just how staggering? In the history of the NBA, only 6 other NBA players have recorded at least 25 & 8 for an entire season ( Jerry West x2, Oscar Robertson x9, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tiny Archibald and some dude named Michael Adams). Like his name’s sake, Rose’s game has thorns.
Indiana Pacers (2nd, 10-10)
McUps: The Central Division is actually quite boring. Like wise so are the Indiana Pacers. Just like their 10-10 record, everything they do is near the league average. Except for one overly athletic Caucasian by the name of Josh McRoberts. At 6’10” the former Duke player has a vertical of 32”. When he isn’t busy banging in dunks on a defender’s head, he could very nearly bang his own head on the rim.
Milwaukee Bucks (3rd, 8-13)
Nothing To Fear: After last years impressive run, the Bucks adopted the #FearTheDear motto. This year, they have been anything but frightening. The own the NBA’s worst offense in terms of Offensive Efficiency (99.9 ORtg) and Points Per Game (91.2 ppg). And if you are still awake after those two snoozing stats, the Bucks play at one of the slowest paces in the NBA (90.9). These might not be the best stats to watch out for unless you are planning on taking a nap.
Cleveland Cavaliers (4 th, 7-15)
Comedy Of Errors: The Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t the worst Offensive team in the NBA, but it is close. Their 101 points per 100 possessions is the 2nd worst rating in the NBA. Likewise their defense is also putrid, allowing 110.2 points per 100 possession, which ranks 25th in the NBA. If you thinik that’s bad, it gets worse, their OffEff/DefEff differential is the worst in the league coming in at a -9.2 points per 100 possessions per game. In laymen’s terms on they are getting blown out of every game by an average of 9 points. If there was ever a need to justify LeBron’s two MVPs it’s the fact that in the two previous years the Cavaliers were in the top two in differential (2009-10 - #2, +7.1, 2008-09 - #1, +10).
Detroit Pistons (5th, 7-16)
Coming Up Empty: Much like Joe Dumars and the Detroit Pistons in the Billups for Iverson trade, I got nothin’. Sorry, Motorcity.
I actually do have something for this team. Piston fans probably don’t want to hear it but I’m going to tell you anyway. Tracy McGrady has played in all 23 games this year and is on pace to play in all 82 for the first time EVER. *golf clap*
Keep your pencils sharp and your calculators handy, NBA geeks! We’ll be back soon with the next installment of ‘NBA Stats To Watch For’.
Fear the Deer, baby!
The Bucks are galloping under the radar this year and that’s not a bad thing. The Eastern Conference has become a melting pot of TMZ and Jackass 3D. The Bucks don’t fit that mold and that’s not a bad thing. What is a bad thing is Andrew Bogut’s long road back after that horrific elbow injury. The success of this team hinges on that elbow and how soon Andrew is back to 100%.
The Bucks have a young, exciting, well coached team. Bogut is a top 5 center in the NBA, Brandon Jennings is an explosive young point guard, Ersan Ilyasova had himself a great FIBA World Championship run and Johnny Fish is one of the most underrated scorers in the NBA.
The Bucks had a lot of Roster movement this off-season but none were as important to their success last year as Luke Ridnour. Luke was the offensive relief off the bench for the entire second half of the season as Brandon Jennings continued to struggle shooting the ball. In limited minutes (21 mpg) Ridnour managed to put up 10.4 ppg and 4.0 apg and execute Coach Scott Skiles offense with great results. The Bucks are hoping the addition of Earl Boykins will help make up for the loss of Luke.
Corey “Bad Porn” Maggette, Chris “love my haters" Douglas-Roberts, Drew Gooden, Earl Boykins, Jon Brockman, Larry Sanders
I can’t believe Drew Gooden got paid like that. If I were an NBA player, I would immediately fire my agent and hire his.
Chris Douglas-Roberts is a capable scorer but has a ways to go before he is starter material.
Earl Boykins is actually a great player for this team. They are going to need scoring and speed off the bench to fill in for Jennings whenever he comes out of the game. Earl is the perfect compliment.
You know why they call Maggette “Bad Porn”, right?
Jon Brockman isn’t going to get a lot of minutes, in fact he might register more DNPs than GS this year. But that isn’t the point. Brockman is a high energy rebounder off the bench and that’s something every team needs. Last year Brockman nabbed 19% of all available rebounds.
I’m a big fan of Larry Sanders, he might not start this year but he is going to be a good NBA player for years to come.
The Bucks won 46 games last year mainly on the coattails of their defense (#2 over all in the NBA, 103.1 DRtg). With the Cavs, division champs last year, apocalypse that took place over the off-season, the division is a toss up between the Bucks and the Chicago Bulls. With both Carlos Boozer and Andrew Bogut trying to recover from injuries to start the season, the division championship will ultimately be determined by which one of those two returns to their respective teams first. Personally, I would fear the deer if I were a Bulls fan.
- Milwaukee will win the Central Division this year.
- Brandon Jennings will have at least one 50 point game and will delete his twitter account at least 4 times.
Unfortunately, so did the rest of his Milwaukee teammates, combined.