The Obscure Statistics Leaderboard: Layup Line

Frequently, when researching some obscure point in response to a comment or follow up question, I’ll come across a contextless but completely surprising statistical tidbit. In that spirit I present a new feature, The Obscure Statistics Leaderboard. I won’t dig too hard for meaning or predictive value, just present these numbers for what they are, bizarre and unexpected statistical iotas.

For reasons too boring to relate here, last night I was looking at the players who have attempted the most shots at the rim this season. My gasts were literally flabbered by the names at the top of the list:

1. Russell Westbrook – 255
2. Dwayne Wade – 243
3. Blake Griffin – 222
4. LaMarcus Aldridge – 210
5. Zach Randolph – 209
6. Amare Stoudemire – 208
7. Tony Parker – 205
8. Carmelo Anthony – 196
9. Lamar Odom – 194
10. Kevin Love – 188
11. Derrick Rose – 186
12. Dwight Howard – 186
13. Paul Millsap – 185
14. Monta Ellis – 172
15. Tyreke Evans – 172

First of all, if anyone still has doubts about this no longer being a league dominated by interior post play then this list should clinch it. In the Top 15 I count 3 point guards and 4 wings to go along with 8 big men. Of those 8, only Dwight Howard is legitimately considered a center.

One thing that shocked me was how different the list was from last season’s. Some players who made the Top 15 last season like David Lee and Carlos Boozer have missed a significant amount of games to injury which dropped them off. Others are new to this list mostly because of an increase in playing time, like Paul Millsap and Kevin Love.

A few players have either left or joined this list because of adjustments to their playing styles. Josh Smith and Brook Lopez, 7th and 8th on the list last season, have dropped to 29th and 40th this season, due to a summer romance with the long two point jumpshot; a summer romance that is now stretching into the heart of winter. Lamar Odom is playing just slightly more minutes but has taken on an increased offensive role and catapulted himself into the top ten.

Another player I want to commend for putting his body on the line for his team is LaMarcus Aldridge. Last year Aldridge was 61st in the league in terms of total attempts at the rim, this season he is 4th. He totalled 304 attempts at the rim in 78 games last season. This year he’s taken 210 attempts in just 37 games. Keeping up that pace across 78 games would bring him to roughly 443 layups attempts, obliterating last year’s total.

With Brandon Roy limping back and forth between the bench and the trainer’s room, the TrailBlazers have been hurting for an offensive leader. Aldridge seems determined to not just assume that mantle but to hold his coronation under the basket.

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Filed under Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Obscure Statistics Leaderboard, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Statistical Analysis, Utah Jazz

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