It’s just been a little over two weeks since the 2019-20 NBA season tipoff but it already provides us with plenty of material for some really fascinating facts and stats:
1.) The Assists Battle
LeBron James is the runaway leader in APG early in the season with 11.1 but Malcolm Brogdon edged him 79-78 for the total assist count as the Pacers played their eighth game Thursday.
Four out of the top 5 in APG this season were nowhere near the league leaders in the category last season. Only Russell Westbrook. who led the league in AST last year (10.7) remained among the leaders (8.7 APG this season) with Luka Doncic (3rd with 9.1) and Ricky Rubio (8.5) rounding out the top 5.
2.) Andre Drummond
Drummond has been a fixture as a pillar on the boards, leading the NBA in RPG for three straight seasons now dating back 2016-17.
That’s why it’s no surprise that the Pistons big man currently owns the three of thebest rebounding games in the season, grabbing 24 boards versus Chicago and Washington and 23 against the Pacers in the opener.
Fun fact: Drummond is either first or second in the NBA in RPG since his second year (2013-14). He is the league leader in the’15-’16, ’17-’18, and ’18-’19 seasons while finishing second in ’13-’14, ’14-’15, and ’16-’17.
3.) Speaking of rebounds
Currently, the Knicks ranked 19th in RPG as a team but interestingly enough, they own the highest rebounding game as a team with 63 (vs Chicago last Oct. 28).
4.) In a similar vein…
The Denver Nuggets is in a three-way tie in the most blocks registered as a team this season (12 vs Phoenix, Oct. 25) but that should be about it. They are currently ranked 23rd across the NBA in BPG with 4.4.
5.) Could Brodie pass Oscar?
In the all-time list, Russell Westbrook only needs 42 triple double games to surpass Oscar Robertson. It could possibly happen this season but if it doesn’t, it’s only a matter of time before a record that was once thought to be invincible be re-written.
6.) Phoenix Suns
The biggest surprise of the season so far is the resurgence of the Phoenix Suns and they’re doing a complete 180 because of their newfound defensive acumen.
This season, the Suns ranked No. 10 in opponents FG% (43.3), 5th in defensive rating (100.9), 10th in Defensive Rebounding % (74.3), and third in allowed three-pointers made (9.7) despite ranking only 28th in BPG.
Last season, Phoenix is among the worst in just about every defensive category including defensive rating (29th), Defensive Rebounding % (30th), and Opponents 3P% (30th, 37.2%).
7.) The Morey Blueprint
The Houston Rockets score 39.2% of their total points from deep (leads NBA) while they are the worst in the NBA in the percentage of points coming from the two-point area (41.3%). 19.5% of their points come from free throws, second only to the Golden State Warriors (21.1%).
That’s Daryl Morey for you.
Photo: Carlos Osorio, AP