Friday, November 19, 2010
10 nuggets on Celtics vs. Thunder
By Chris Forsberg
Here are 10 facts and figures to keep in mind for Friday's Celtics vs. Thunder clash (ESPN, 7 p.m) at the TD Garden (information researched for ESPN by Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.):
1. Rajon Rondo has registered 10-or-more assists in each of his last nine games. That is the longest such streak in Boston’s franchise history. The previous Celtics record in that category was seven straight games by Nate Archibald (1981-82), Bob Cousy (1959-60), and Rondo (2009-10).
2. Only seven NBA players have scored at least 15 points in every game this season. The only team with two players in that group is Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The others: Monta Ellis, Pau Gasol, LeBron James, Kevin Martin and Derrick Rose.
3. Durant and Westbrook are the first teammates to score at least 15 points in each of their team’s first 10 games since Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis did it for the Seattle Sonics in 2006. (Prior to that, no one had done it since 1994).
4. Jeff Green is out for Friday's game, but the Thunder are a different team with him. Green in combination with Durant and Westbrook gives Oklahoma City a “Big Three” to rival those in Boston and Miami. Last season, Durant, Westbrook, and Green accounted for 60 percent of the Thunder’s scoring. That was the highest such percentage by any three NBA teammates over the past four seasons (2006–2007 through 2009–2010).
5. Even with Green sidelined for five games, Durant, Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka have the highest “Big Three" scoring percentage in the NBA this season (61 percent). Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh have produced 60 percent of Miami’s scoring this season, to rank second in the NBA; Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett have accounted for 54 percent of Boston’s points and rank eighth.
6. Rondo and Westbrook have each led their team (or tied for the lead) in assists in all of their team’s games this season. Only four other players in the league can make that claim: D.J. Augustin, Derrick Rose, Jason Kidd and Deron Williams.
7. Durant, questionable for Friday's game, scored 37 points in his only trip to Boston last season. That tied the Thunder’s franchise record for the most points scored in a game against the Celtics in Boston. Durant shares the mark with three other players: Bob Rule (1968), Lonnie Shelton (1982) and Dale Ellis (1987), all of whom scored 37 points against the Celtics at the Boston Garden.
8. Allen has played 243 games with Boston after appearing in 296 games with the Seattle SuperSonics earlier in his career. Only four other players have appeared in at least 200 games with each of these franchises: Dana Barros, Dennis Johnson, Xavier McDaniel, and Paul Silas.
9. The Blazers announced on Wednesday that Greg Oden would miss the entire 2010–11 season. After being drafted No. 1 overall, Oden’s total of 82 NBA games through four seasons is the lowest since the NBA abolished the territorial draft in 1966. So it’s worth mentioning the Thunder’s good fortune in Durant falling to No. 2 in the 2007 draft. Durant’s scoring average in his first three seasons was the second-highest recorded by any No. 2 overall pick in the first three seasons after he was drafted (also since 1966).
10. The top five (draft year in parentheses): Bob McAdoo, 27.7 (1972); Durant, 25.3 (2007); Earl Monroe, 24.5 (1967); Sidney Wicks, 23.6 (1971); Dave Bing, 23.5 (1966).