Category Archives: Obscure Statistics Leaderboard

The Obscure Statistics Leaderboard: Turnover Margin

ShatteredFrequently, 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.

A frequently used mainstream football stat is turnover margin. This is simply the difference between the turnovers a team creates and the time it gives the ball away to it’s opponents. NBA.com tracks this statistic, as does ESPN, but I rarely, if ever, hear it mentioned.

The table below shows the turnovers per game for each team and their opponents, as well as the turnover margin.

I don’t that I’ve ever looked at it for NBA team’s before today, but I really like the way turnover margin gives a more complete picture. For example the Hawks only turn the ball over 13.86 times per game, a respectably low total good for 12th in the league. However, they force only 12.75 turnovers per game, 2nd to last in the league. Despite doing a good job of protecting the ball, they actually have a negative margin of 1.11 in the turnover department.

In true Obscure Statistics fashion, I leave it to you to ponder the numbers and their meaning.

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Obscure Statistics Leaderboard: The All Three-Point Team


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.

My second post for The Two Man Game went up yesterday morning and was centered around the sudden increase in DeShawn Stevenson’s 3PT% this season. Between that and Ray Allen passing Reggie Miller last night as the NBA’s all-time leading three point shooter, long range bombers have been on my mind.

I decided to try and put together a roster of some of the greatest three point shooters of all time. The idea was to fill out a 12 man roster, adhering mostly to traditional position designations. In the spirit of Allen’s accomplishment last night I attempted to include players who were great three point shooters in terms of quantity not just efficiency.

I only included players who had played 500 or more games played and 500 or more three point attempts for their career. To factor in efficiency and quantity I multiplied each player’s made three pointers by their three point percentage to arrive at a “3PT score.” The tables below shows the top 4 at each position.

The Centers

The Power Forwards

The Small Forwards

The Shooting Guards

The Point Guards

I’m sure some will quibble with my method of choosing players. How can you include Jason Kidd over a deadly shooter like Steve Kerr? Mostly because Jason Kidd has made nearly two and a half times as many three pointers over the course of his career. How can you classify Jason Terry as a point guard or Rashard Lewis as a power forward? If you diagree that vehemently, then go make your own list.

Choosing the two highest 3PT Scores from each position and throwing in two wild cards of my own preference I end up with this 12 man roster:

If you need any more evidence that the style of play in the league has changed consider the fact that 7 of the 12 players on this roster are still active. It’s also pretty amazing that I could have ended up with three current Dallas Mavericks’ players on the list. This is obviously a completely subjective and individual list. My method isn’t meant to imply that this is the definitive list of great shooters by position. It’s just one way to look at it.

This team couldn’t guard anyone or compete on the glass, and would likely lose as often as they would win. Still, watching them swing the ball around the perimeter and jack up threes would be a sight to behold.

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The Obscure Statistics Leaderboard: No Thanks, I’m Stuffed

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.

Speaking strictly from personal experience, there is nothing quite as confidence-shattering as having one of your shots thoroughly and completely stuffed. So who has had their shot blocked the most this season? Below is the the Top 10 in terms of their totals shots blocked by opponents.

1. Derrick Rose – 68
2. Kevin Love – 63
3. Carmelo Anthony – 61
4. Russell Westbrook – 60
5. Zach Randolph – 59
6. Amare Stoudemire – 57
7. Danny Granger – 52
8. Pau Gasol – 51
9. Gerald Wallace – 50
10. DeMarcus Cousins – 49

What you have here is actually a collection of some of the best scorers, especially at the rim, that the league has to offer. Each of these players takes a high number of shots at the rim. More shots at the rim means more opportunities to get your shot blocked. Jumpshooters, like Ray Allen, are unlikely to ever find themselves on this list. Now let’s look at the Top 10 list by percentage of shot attempts blocked.

1. Omer Asik- Chicago Bulls – 25.0%
2. ZaZa Pachulia – Atlanta Hawks – 20.4%
3. Reggie Evans – Toronto Raptors – 18.0%
4. Ryan Hollins – Cleveland Cavaliers – 18.0%
5. Chuck Hayes – Houston Rockets – 17.1%
6. Semih Erden – Boston Celtics – 16.7%
7. Solomon Jones – Indiana Pacers – 15.7%
8. Dominic McGuire – Charlotte Bobcats – 15.4%
9. Josh McRoberts – Indiana Pacers – 14.3%
10. Greg Monroe – Detroit Pistons – 13.9%

As a Pacers’ fan I’ve got to say that looking at that list makes me feel a little nauseous. Jeff Foster’s Blkd% of 13.2% comes in just a few slots below McRoberts. When looking at percentage instead of totals, Danny Granger drops out of the Top 10, but with a Blkd% of 8.1% he doesn’t drop too far. As a reference point, the league average for a player’s Blkd% is 6.7%. For a team that’s struggling offensively, to lose so many potential points at the rim because of an inability to finish strong is just torture.

Last season’s champion for Blkd% (minimum 100 FGA) was Glen Davis, who had 17.9% of his shots sent back. That mark would rank Davis 5th this season. Last season Zach Randolph led the league with 121 of his own shots being blocked, a full 12 more than the next highest player, Carmelo Anthony. It’s still only halfway through the season but Randolph’s mark looks like it could be in jeopardy from several players, including Randolph himself. There’s nothing like striving to beat a personal best!

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The Obscure Statistics Leaderboard: Finishing Strong

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.

Earlier this evening I finished the first edition of this series with a look at the players who have attempted the most total shots at the rim this season. I pushed publish, but the wheels never stopped turning on the topic. From Hoopdata it’s easy to look at the Top 15 players in terms of made field goals at the rim, something I probably should have included with my other post:

1. Blake Griffin – 152
2. Dwyane Wade – 152
3. Lamar Odom – 142
4. Russell Westbrook – 140
5. Dwight Howard – 137
6. Amare Stoudemire – 136
7. LaMarcus Aldridge – 135
8. Paul Millsap – 135
9. Zach Randolph – 135
10. Tony Parker – 131
11. Nene – 122
12. LeBron James – 118
13. Emeka Okafor – 115
14. Thaddeus Young – 115
15. Monta Ellis – 114

The bee that was left in my bonnet was: Which of those players finishes the strongest? Luckily CBSSports tracks the number of dunks for each players in the league. CBS doesn’t have any explanation of their methodology or source on this page, so I really have no clue how accurate their numbers are. The list below shows the Top 15 in the league in terms of totals dunks. Before you look, see if you can guess who’s first. I’ll give you a hint. His name is B. Griffin. No, no, that’s too obvious. Let’s call him Blake G.

1. Blake Griffin – 86
2. Dwight Howard – 72
3. LaMarcus Aldridge – 71
4. DeAndre Jordan – 70
5. Amar’e Stoudemire – 69
6. Kevin Durant – 67
7. JaVale McGee – 62
8. Tyson Chandler – 53
9. Dwyane Wade – 50
10. Josh Smith – 49
11. Serge Ibaka – 47
12. Nene – 45
13. Derrick Favors – 45
14. Rudy Gay – 44
15. Hakim Warrick – 44

Anyone surprised to see Derrick Favors up there? Me too. In other news, Hakim Warrick should send Steve Nash a nice thank you note and some vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free brownies. Now here is the original list, the Top 15 in terms of total made field goals at the rim. However, they are now re-ordered by the percentage of those made field goals which were dunks as opposed to layups.

1. Blake Griffin – 56.6%
2. Dwight Howard – 52.6%
3. LaMarcus Aldridge – 52.6%
4. Amare Stoudemire – 50.7%
5. Nene – 36.9%
6. Emeka Okafor – 35.7%
7. LeBron James – 33.9%
8. Dwyane Wade – 32.9%
9. Thaddeus Young – 24.3%
10. Lamar Odom – 23.2%
11. Russell Westbrook – 18.6%
12. Monta Ellis 18.4%
13. Paul Millsap – 16.2%
14. Zach Randolph – 1.5%
15. Tony Parker – 0.0%

Are you kidding me Zach Randolph? CBS has counted exactly two dunks for Randolph this season out of 135 made field goals at the rim. It’s still two points whether a dunk or a layup, but my goodness, have some pride!

The prohibitive dunk contest favorite, Blake Griffin, still owns the top spot. Just for fun I looked up these numbers for the other three dunk contest entrants.

JaVale McGee – 127 FGM At the rim, 62 dunks, 48.9% Dunk Percentage
Serge Ibaka – 111 FGM At the rim, 47 dunks, 42.3% Dunk Percentage
Brandon Jennings – 97 FGM At the rim, 2 dunks, 2.1% Dunk Percentage

I know dunking in a game has very little to do with performing in a dunk contest, but how exactly did Brandon Jennings get himself included? His participation is even more unconscionable when you consider the fact that Josh McRoberts was left out.

JoshCan’tDunk.com

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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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