While all the teams are not yet stable, the context of the start of the season can surprise. Some statistics, set to change or not, are completely inconsistent with the expectations set during the summer. After about fifteen games for each, here are five statistical anomalies in the NBA.
1. Seven players who averaged more than 30 points
Usually, the first matches of the season are accompanied by individual scoring flashes. Teams, who have yet to develop true collective chemistry at this stage, rely more on the attributes of their stars. This trend is confirmed again in 2022-2023, in massive proportions.
The time that includes the attack with excess, the offensive specialists feast. Since the start of the exercise, seven players have posted more than 30 points on average:
- Luka Doncic: 34.3 PTS
- Joel Embiid: 32.2 PTS
- Stephen Curry: 32.2 PTS
- Donovan Mitchell: 31.2 pts
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: 31.1 pts
- Kevin Durant: 30.6 PTS
- Jayson Tatum: 30.3 PTS
Giannis Antetokounmpo, at 29.5 points per game, isn’t too far off in this category either. Impressive stats, anything but normal compared to previous years.
In the last 10 seasons, it has happened 11 times that a player has finished with at least 30 points on average. James Harden moreover, alone, accounts for three of these events. In the same year, the number of players above this symbolic bar fluctuates between 0 and 2.
The 2022-23 fiscal year will likely not end with these seven, almost eight, players in more than 30 units per game. However, we can expect the final total to exceed the ceiling of the last two decades. This millennium record, set by three players in 2005-2006 including Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson and LeBron Jamesmay fall by the end of the year.
In addition, this increase observed at the beginning of the season is usually associated with a sharp increase in the speed of play. This season, the pace has only increased to 99.4. Very small growth (+1.2) compared to 2021-2022. So there is a good chance that some of these averages will be maintained across matches.
2. Russell Westbrook has a better three-point percentage than Trae Young
Russell Westbrook (32.7%) had a better three-point percentage than Trae Young (31.5%). Everything is in the title. Isn’t it surprising?
With players who have more than 4 attempts per game, the list doesn’t stop there. It reaches about thirty names, including that of LeBron James (23.9%), Kyrie Irving (28%) and Luka Doncic (29.1%), for example. But of the lot, there isn’t a more popular shooter than the Hawks’ franchise player.
The statistic is amusing and underscores the bald leader’s struggles at the start of the season. However, this should be taken lightly. The shots given to the Lakers’ sixth man don’t really compare to those taken by each team’s stars. Especially when defenses typically choose to leave Westbrook open, which — believe it or not — happens more often with Young or Doncic.
The question of quality, but also quantity partially justifies this anomaly. His 7.2 attempts per game behind the line is a far cry from Brodie’s 4.2. This anecdotal stat will therefore be more relevant to your friend’s room, an Atlanta fan, than a serious analysis.
The Lakers began receiving calls for Russell Westbrook
3. The Jazz marched on the NBA
Although he had to tank and perform at a mediocre level, Utah is finally at the top of the league. The Jazz have undoubtedly been the biggest surprise since the start of the season. Statistically, the team is a real anomaly compared to expectations.
- Best Western Conference record (12-6)
- 4th offense in the NBA (offensive rating)
- Third in points per game
- 7th net rating in the NBA
- Most wins against teams with a positive record (8)
Everything is easier when you are brought by a Lauri Markkanen in Franchise Player mode. So far he has averaged 22.3 points and 8.4 rebounds, 54.4% shooting and 36.9% three-point. Finn is far beyond his usual standard.
All players seem to be satisfied with the surprisingly well-established system of Will Hardy. The ball is rolling, everyone can express themselves. Like what, basketball is definitely not played on paper.
Don’t talk to Lauri Markkanen and the Jazz!
4. The Lakers and Clippers have the worst offense in the NBA
No, the teams that decide to tank, like the Pistons and Rockets, aren’t the worst offenses in the league. The Hornets, with an injury of LaMelo Ball and chaotic offseason too. The two teams that find themselves at the bottom of the classification in this regard are among those aiming to secure the title in the short term.
Averaging 106.5 points per 100 possessions, the two least effective offenses in the NBA are the Lakers and Clippers. An anomaly given their ambitions, but understandable given the context.
The Lakers are off to a disastrous start to the season. Their 4-10 record says a lot about their situation. With their incomplete workforce and their lack of external address (30.9% on three points), they hardly hope for better.
The Clippers’ problems, for their part, are primarily physical. Kawhi Leonard has played just four games since the start of the season, with limited ability and impact. Beyond that, most workers struggle to find rhythm and maintain their standards. Their situation should improve gradually and not as dramatically as their Hollywood neighbors.
It’s kind of funny, though, that the two worst teams in the league are also two of its biggest teams. As it is, accumulating stars is not a guarantee.
Anthony Davis recounts the Lakers’ crisis meeting
5. Bobby Portis leads the league in double-doubles
A double-double is a highly symbolic statistic for NBA interiors. Exceeding the 10 unit mark, in points and rebounds, is usually a sign of good performance. Above all, it is a standard, almost expected in five positions.
Last season, Nikola Jokic has crushed the competition in this area with 66 double-doubles in 74 matches, leading the Rudy Gobert (53) and Jonas Valanciunas (50). A matter of dominant pivots, therefore.
But this year, the first in the ranking is a little surprise: Bobby Portis. So he accumulated 10 performances with at least 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first 15 games of the year.
Its status is likely to be temporary. Giannis Antetokounmpo, his teammate, and Nikola Vucevic only one unit behind him. Tyrese Haliburton, which also has assists instead of rebounds. How many players have passed the eight mark?
But right now, Bobby Portis is the NBA’s most prolific double-double machine this season. The fifth and final statistical anomaly that no one saw coming.
Bobby Portis, double-double leader in the NBA this season