Stats & Info: Golden State Warriors

Next Level nuggets from Saturday

April, 20, 2014
Apr 20
1:36
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It was a wild opening to the NBA playoffs. Three of the four games were won by road teams, just the second time in NBA history that three road teams won Game 1 of the First Round on the first day of the postseason. It also happened in 1996.

Playoff games are all about matchups. Here are the biggest ones from the four Saturday games.

Nets 94, Raptors 87

Paul Pierce
Pierce
The story of this game was Paul Pierce, who scored nine of his 15 points in the 4th quarter. Seven of those nine points were scored when Patrick Patterson was the primary defender.

DeMar DeRozan, however, had a much more disappointing day. He was 3-for-13 from the floor, including 1-for-9 on jump shots.

DeRozan averaged 9.6 points per game on jump shots during the regular season, tied for seventh best in the NBA..

Warriors 109, Clippers 105

Chris Paul scored 28 points Saturday, but struggled with Klay Thompson as his primary defender. Paul missed his first eight shots when guarded by Thompson, who also forced three of his six turnovers.

But Doc Rivers and the Clippers shouldn't want Paul to score that much. They now have seven wins and five losses this season when Paul scores 25 points or more. They're 37-12 when Paul scores fewer than 25.

Hawks 101, Pacers 93

Jeff Teague helped to snap the Hawks eight-game road playoff losing streak, scoring 28 points, a new playoff career high. 78 percent of his field goal attempts came on drives, and he scored 20 points on those shots (including free throws).

Teague averaged just 5.6 points per game on drives during the regular season.

Roy Hibbert, however, continued to struggle. Hibbert was 4-for-9 from the floor Saturday and has not made a shot outside the paint since April 4.

In his first 77 games this season, he shot 40 percent on such shots.

Thunder 100, Grizzlies 86

Kevin Durant
Durant
Kevin Durant had 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. That makes nine straight postseason games where Durant had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, tied for the fourth-longest streak in NBA history.

The only Grizzlies player that could contain Durant Saturday was Tony Allen. He held Durant to 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting (36 percent) Saturday, but Durant scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting (73 percent) against everyone else.

But we all knew Durant is good and would be tough to stop. What we didn't know was how bad the Grizzlies would be outside of the paint.

Memphis missed its first 18 shots from outside the paint Saturday before hitting their last attempt of the second quarter. The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 23-3 outside the paint in the first half, making up most of Memphis' 22-point halftime deficit.

A rare matchup of point guards

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
2:11
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Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY SportsThe Warriors-Clippers series could be decided at the point guard spot.
The NBA playoffs kick off Saturday afternoon and one of the more intriguing first round matchups will take place in Los Angeles.

The Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers have already exchanged pre-series barbs making it clear the two teams are not fond of one another. But this series should be just as entertaining on the court, as it features two of the league’s best point guards – Chris Paul and Stephen Curry.

Elite point guards
Paul and Curry both averaged at least 19 points and eight assists per game this season.

The last time two point guards faced off in the playoffs with such averages? The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that it was in 1991.

That would be Magic Johnson and Tim Hardaway. The two faced off in the 1991 Western Conference Semifinals, with the Lakers winning the series four games to one.

And the point guards did not disappoint. In game two of that series, the Warriors won 125-124 with Hardaway totaling 28 points, 14 assists and eight steals. Johnson? Well he put up 44 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in the loss.

Postseason form
Curry and Paul have stepped their games up during the playoffs.

Last postseason, Curry averaged 23.4 points per game and 8.1 assists, while making 3.5 three-pointers per game. That is the third-highest single postseason average all-time (minimum five games in that postseason).

Most memorable was Curry’s 44-point, 11-assist performance in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Spurs last season.

Paul, on the other hand, is one of two players all-time with averages of 20 points and nine assists per game in the playoffs (Deron Williams).

Inside the matchup
There are a few key spots in which this matchup could be determined.

Curry averages an NBA-high 10.3 pull-up shots per game, shooting 43.6 percent on such shots according to NBA.com player tracking.

Turnovers, however, have been an issue for Curry. He was tied for the league-lead, averaging 3.8 turnovers per game this season. That bodes well for Paul, as he led the NBA averaging 2.5 steals per game. In fact, during their first meeting this season, Curry committed 11 turnovers and Paul had six steals.

This season Paul averaged an NBA-best 8.8 points per game as the pick-and-roll ball handler. That could be a way in which Paul could exploit Curry’s defense. For example, in Game 5 of the 2013 Western Conference semifinals, the Spurs made 11-of-16 shots and scored 30 points when Curry was the on-ball defender.

Top stats to know: Kobe's season cut short

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
4:13
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AP Photo/Jae C. HongKobe Bryant fractured his knee on December 17 against the Memphis Grizzlies.
A league source told ESPN’s Chris Broussard that Kobe Bryant will be shut down for the rest of the season. With that in mind, here are the top stats you need to know about Bryant’s future as well as that of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rough last 11 months
On April 12 last season, Bryant tore his Achilles in a game against the Golden State Warriors, causing him to miss the playoffs and the start of this season. His subsequent rehab went well enough that the Lakers signed him to a two-year extension worth $48.5 million on November 25.

Bryant debuted this season on December 8, but fractured his left knee nine days later against the Memphis Grizzlies. If he is indeed out for the rest of the season, the 76 games missed will by far be the most for any season in his career. His previous high was 17 games missed in the 2003-04 season.

Couldn’t get in rhythm
In the six games Bryant did play this season, he wasn’t in top form. He was held to single digits scoring in three of the games. To put that in perspective, Bryant had not been held to single digits in scoring three times in a single season since the 1998-99 season.

The Lakers went 2-4 with Bryant this season, as their leader averaged just 13.8 points per game in just under 30 minutes per contest.

Chasing Kareem
Bryant’s curtailed season also decreases his odds of catching Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s all-time scoring record.

Bryant trails by 6,688 points and turns 36 in August. Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone are the only players in NBA history to score 6,688 points after turning 36.

If Bryant averages 20 points per game over the rest of his career, he would need to play into the 2018-19 season to take the record.

No Hollywood ending
The Lakers have struggled in Bryant’s absence – their .344 win percentage is on pace for the third-worst in franchise history and the worst since the team moved to Los Angeles.

The .344 win percentage is currently fourth-worst in the league – setting up good odds that the Lakers will pick in the top five of the upcoming NBA Draft. Since the territorial draft was abolished prior to the 1966 draft, the Lakers have made just four picks in the top five. Three of those times, the pick came via trade. The only year that the Lakers played their way into a top five pick in that span was in 1975 when they took Dave Meyers second overall.

Offseason flexibility
Despite signing Bryant to the big two-year extension, the Lakers currently have just three guaranteed contracts on the books for 2014-15 for a total of $34.1M (Bryant, Steve Nash, Robert Sacre). The projected salary cap for next season is $62.9M and the Lakers could gain around an additional $6.5M in space via the stretch-provision by releasing Nash as his $9.7M contract would be spread over 3 seasons.

Curry has historic encore at MSG

February, 28, 2014
Feb 28
11:32
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AP Photo/Frank Franklin IIStephen Curry now has a 50-point game and a triple-double at Madison Square Garden.
How do you follow-up a 54-point performance at Madison Square Garden? A triple-double with 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists sounds like a nice encore. And that's exactly what Stephen Curry did on Friday night in the Warriors’ 126-103 win over the New York Knicks.

Curry recorded his third triple-double this season, the second-most of any player in the NBA behind Lance Stephenson, who has four.

He is only the fourth Warriors player in the last 50 seasons with at least three triple-doubles in a season and the first since Baron Davis in 2007-08, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Before this season, Curry had only one career triple-double in 258 career games.

Elias also tells us that Curry and LeBron James are the only visiting players with a triple-double and a 50-point game at the current Madison Square Garden. LeBron has two 50-point games at the arena (Mar. 5, 2008 and Feb. 4, 2009) and got his one triple-double there on Dec. 17, 2010.

Curry once again was the leader in points and assists for the Warriors, the 27th time this season he has done that, which leads all players.

Currently ranked eighth in the league in scoring and first in assists, he is trying to be the first player to finish a season in the top 5 in both scoring average and assists per game since Nate "Tiny" Archibald in 1975-76.

Curry was at his best in transition, scoring 10 of his 27 points on the break against the Knicks. He entered Friday's game averaging 4.5 transition points per game, 12th-best in the league. It's hardly a surprise that Curry had success in transition against the Knicks, who rank 25th in the NBA in transition points per game allowed.

With the win, the Warriors are now 5-1 since the All-Star break, helping them keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race. They are 2-1 on their current six-game trip, which takes them to Toronto, Indiana and Boston over the next week.

How Curry has been so effective

January, 15, 2014
Jan 15
12:57
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Kyle Terada/USA TODAY SportsStephen Curry is having a career season for the Warriors.
With Chris Paul possibly out through the All-Star break, Stephen Curry is making the argument to be the Western Conference’s starting point guard. He will lead the Golden State Warriors against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday night at 10:30 ET on ESPN.

Curry is averaging career highs in points (23.0), assists (9.3), rebounds (4.6), steals (1.9) and player efficiency rating (21.85). His points and assists per game averages put him in the top 10 of both categories, the only player to do so this season.

The last player to average at least 23 points and 9 assists per game for a season was the Warriors’ Tim Hardaway in the 1991-92 season.

Curry creates for teammates
Curry has emerged as one of the league’s top passers, ranking in the top five of most passing categories. He’s averaging a career-high 9.3 assists per game, second to Chris Paul’s 11.2.

According to NBA.com’s player tracking, Curry has created an average of 20.8 points off assists per game this season, second to Paul’s 25.3.

Curry has at least 10 assists in 16 games this season, which has already surpassed his previous career high (15). That is ranked second in the NBA this season, as Paul has recorded at least 10 assists in 25 games.

Curry has the green light
Curry is eighth in the NBA in scoring, averaging 23.0 points per game, with 66 percent of his points coming from jump shots (10-plus feet). He relies heavily on his pull-up jumper, taking 10.4 such shots per game, the most in the league. No one averages more made pull-up jumpers (any jump shot outside 10 feet where a player takes at least a dribble before shooting) this season than Curry (4.2).

Warriors’ offense sputters without Curry
With Curry on the bench, the Warriors are 23.3 points worse on offense per 100 possessions, which is the highest differential in the league (minimum 500 minutes played).

Golden State's effective field goal percentage, which adjusts for the fact a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal, is 11 percentage points better with Curry on the floor than when he is on the bench.

Iguodala's buzzer-beater keeps streak alive

January, 3, 2014
Jan 3
11:43
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AP Photo/John BazemoreAndre Iguodala hit his second buzzer-beater of the season as the Warriors win their eighth straight game.
The saying goes that if “you live by the three, you die by the three”. The Golden State Warriors did a little bit of both Friday against the Atlanta Hawks. After Klay Thompson made the team’s first three attempts of the game from beyond the arc, the Warriors went ice cold – missing 18 straight. But in the last five minutes-and-change of the game, they hit three of six from deep including Andre Iguodala’s only three-pointer of the night at the buzzer.

Iguodala likes to beat buzzers
Iguodala has now played 23 games as a Warrior and has two buzzer-beaters – he also hit the game-winner as time expired on November 14 against the Thunder. Since entering the league in 2004-05, Iguodala has hit five buzzer-beaters. The only player to have more in that span is Joe Johnson with six.

Inside the comeback
The win gives the Warriors their first eight-game win streak since 2005. That streak looked to be in big trouble as the Warriors trailed by a game-high 15 points with just over six-and-a-half minutes left in the game. But they finished the game on a 25-9 run as Stephen Curry outscored the Hawks himself during that span with 11 points down the stretch.

#FullSquad
Iguodala’s impact on the Warriors has been evident this season. When he was sidelined with a hamstring injury, the Warriors went just 5-7. With him they are now 17-6.

In fact, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, when the Warriors starting five consists of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, David Lee and Andrew Bogut, they are 17-3 this season. That is the second-best win percentage (0.85) of any starting five with a minimum of 10 games played together, behind the Oklahoma City Thunder’s starting five that used to be made up of Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka (17-2, .895).

Westbrook reverses trend with game winner

November, 30, 2013
11/30/13
12:14
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Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY SportsRussell Westbrook's 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining gave the Thunder the win.
Entering Friday night’s game against the Golden State Warriors, Russell Westbrook was 1-for-20 in his career on game-tying or go-ahead field goal attempts in the final 5 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime. But he buried the go-ahead 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining to give the Oklahoma City Thunder an overtime win.

Westbrook finished with 34 points, giving him an average of 32.5 in a pair of games against the Warriors this season. He’s averaging 18.8 points per game against the rest of the NBA.

This season, Westbrook has scored 22 total clutch-time points (clutch time being defined as the last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime with the score within five), with 10 of those now coming against the Warriors. That’s tied with teammate Kevin Durant for the most clutch-time points against Golden State this season.

Westbrook was coming off his two lowest-scoring games of the season. He had six points on 2-of-16 shooting in Wednesday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs. In his last game before that, he had a then-season-low 12 points in a victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Those two Warriors-Thunder games this season have been decided by a total of two points, with the home team winning by one in each. Earlier this season, it was Andre Iguodala playing the hero, as he hit a buzzer-beater to give the Warriors the win.

Prior to Iguodala's heroics in that Nov. 14 game, Westbrook made another go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 3 seconds remaining to give Oklahoma City a short-lived one-point lead.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the Thunder came through with a home win, as Friday’s victory improved Oklahoma City to 8-0 on its home floor this season, the best home start to the season in franchise history (dating back to the Seattle SuperSonics days).

Despite the pair of tight games against the Thunder, the Warriors are just 9-8 on the season and sit outside a playoff spot, although it's still very early in the season. After an 8-3 start, the Warriors have now lost five of their last six, allowing more than 103 points per game in those six games, compared to 96 points per game in their first 11.

Stephen Curry
Curry
Stephen Curry led the way for the Warriors on Friday with 32 points, his second 30-point outing in 14 games this season. The first came on Halloween, the team’s second game of the year. He also added a career-high-tying 11 rebounds and five assists Friday, giving him his first career 30-point, 10-rebound, 5-assist game.

Two best All-Star scorers take the floor

February, 16, 2013
2/16/13
9:03
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NBAE/Getty Images
Kevin Durant (left) and LeBron James have the two highest scoring averages in All-Star Game history.
We preview the NBA All-Star Game with 10 facts you need to know.

• Kevin Durant won his first All-Star Game MVP award last year after scoring 36 points. He’s scored 30 or more points in two straight All-Star Games, the only player in NBA history to accomplish that feat. His career scoring average (28.3 points) is an All-Star record (minimum 60 career points).

• LeBron James, making his ninth All-Star appearance, ranks second in career scoring average (25.9 points) in the game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, James has scored at least 20 points in each of his past seven All-Star Games, the longest such streak for any player in NBA history.

• Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett were selected to the All-Star Game for the 15th time. Only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has more career selections (19). Bryant’s 15 selections have come consecutively, the longest active streak. His 271 career points are the most in NBA history and his four MVPs are tied with Bob Pettit for most all time.

• Bryant and Dwight Howard are slated to start for the Western Conference, but the Los Angeles Lakers enter the All-Star break in 10th place in the West. According to Elias, the Lakers could be the fourth team since the merger (1976-77 season) to miss the playoffs in a season with two All-Star starters on the roster. The last team to do so was the 2005-06 Rockets (Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming).

The Lakers will also become the first team in All-Star Game history to start two different centers in back-to-back years (Andrew Bynum in 2012).

• The Miami Heat lead the way with three All-Star selections -- all three of whom will start -- becoming one of eight teams with multiple selections. According to Elias, they’ll be the sixth trio of teammates to start the All-Star Game following a championship season, and the first since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and James Worthy in 1986.

• Kyrie Irving is the sixth-youngest player ever selected to an All-Star team (he’ll be 20 years, 331 days old on Sunday).

• David Lee earned the Golden State Warriors' first All-Star selection since 1997 (Latrell Sprewell). That leaves the Milwaukee Bucks and the Sacramento Kings as the teams with the longest active streaks without an All-Star (nine seasons).

• Stephen Curry is averaging 21.0 points per game this season, the highest average for a player not selected to an All-Star team. Monta Ellis is fourth on that list (18.4), but he’s got the highest career points per game without ever being selected to the All-Star Game (minimum 400 games played).

Jeremy Lin
Lin
• Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets was the only player among the top 10 vote-getters who was not selected to the All-Star Game. He finished ninth, between Howard and Blake Griffin. Bryant led the way with more than 1.5 million votes, just ahead of James.

• The Eastern Conference leads the series 36-25, but the West has won two straight and three of the past four games. A third straight victory by the West would be tied for its longest win streak (three straight from 2002 to '04).

Warriors rebound into NBA's elite

December, 21, 2012
12/21/12
2:53
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Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesThe Warriors' improvement in rebounding has them winning a lot of games.
How is it possible for the worst rebounding team a season ago to be one of the best a year later?

That's exactly what happened to the Golden State Warriors, who at 17-9 are off to their best start in 21 years. Rebounding has been the key to the turnaround for the Warriors, who finished 23-43 in Mark Jackson's first season.

After ranking last in the NBA in rebound percentage each of the last three seasons, the Warriors are third this season.

The difference comes primarily at the defensive end, where the Warriors ranked last in defensive rebound percentage each of the last five seasons and lead the league in that category this season.

The Warriors have already outrebounded more teams this season (18) than they did all of last season (17). One of their most impressive efforts of the season came in a 95-86 win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, which lead the NBA in rebounding percentage, on November 24.

Golden State was able to outrebound Minnesota – with Kevin Love in the lineup - by nine boards. That was the second-worst rebounding differential for the T-Wolves this season, and the worst with Love on the floor.

How are they such a better rebounding team?
Their roster isn't that much different, although they did add a few frontcourt players who have contributed to their rebounding prowess:

• Carl Landry: averaging a career-high 6.8 boards per game
• Draymond Green: averaging 12.8 rebounds per 48 minutes; 58 of his 103 rebounds this season have come in his last eight games
• Festus Ezeli: averaging 11.7 rebounds per 48 minutes

Plus, David Lee, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry have all seen significant increases in their rebounding numbers this season.

But what's the real reason for the drastic improvement on the boards? Lee explained it in a recent SI.com article:

"It's no fun to be on an island 1-on-5 rebounding. I've found that out the hard way. [But] we've made it an emphasis this year. We're not playing with two smaller guards this year. Our wings have been doing a much better job with Harrison [Barnes] and Klay. And our bigs are taking it as a challenge. We were one of the worst in the league last year and it's time to turn that around."

After being outrebounded by 6.6 boards per game last season, the Warriors are outrebounding opponents by 4.2 per game this year. How rare is that?

The 10.8 rebound differential improvement would be the largest by a team from one season to another since rebounds became an official stat in the 1950-51 season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Perhaps the man on the bench, Jackson, is the catalyst for the turnaround. He is using a new mix of players to change up his rotations. The Warriors' top nine lineups in terms of point differential each include at least two new acquisitions.

Jackson's coaching impact is being felt most when the Warriors are facing their toughest competition. The Warriors are 10-4 against opponents currently with a win percentage of .500 or better; only the Los Angeles Clippers (at 11-4) have a better record this season.

Bobcats are not at odds with NBA lottery

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
4:55
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With the 2012 NBA Draft Lottery on Wednesday (8 ET on ESPN), each non-playoff team’s fans are hoping that the ping-pong balls come out in their favor, giving them the No. 1 overall pick and a chance to select likely top choice, Anthony Davis.

Given each team's probability of winning the top pick in the lottery, here is a similar event related to that team that has approximately the same frequency.

Charlotte Bobcats (25.0 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Bobcats losing a game last season by at least 25 points. In 2011-12, the Bobcats lost 16 of 66 games (24.2 percent) of their games by at least 25 points.

Washington Wizards (19.9 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: John Wall scoring at least 24 points in a game last season.

New Orleans Hornets (14.8 percent, includes their own pick and the Timberwolves' pick)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Hornets winning a game by at least eight points last season.

Cleveland Cavaliers (13.8 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Kyrie Irving scoring more than 10 points in the fourth quarter of a game.

Sacramento Kings (7.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins combining for 50 points in a game last season.

Brooklyn Nets (7.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Deron Williams scoring at least 25 points and also having 10 assists in a game last season.

Golden State Warriors (3.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Stephen Curry scoring at least 25 points and also having 10 assists in a game last season.

Toronto Raptors (3.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Andrea Bargnani scoring at least 35 points in a game in 2011-12.

Detroit Pistons (1.7 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Greg Monroe having a 30-point, 15-rebound game last season.

Portland Trail Blazers (0.8 pecent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: LaMarcus Aldridge scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in a half last season.

Milwaukee Bucks (0.7 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Brandon Jennings making five 3-point field goals in a half in 2011-12.

Phoenix Suns (0.6 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: Steve Nash making 50 straight free throws during his career.

Houston Rockets (0.5 percent)
Team-Related Event with Similar Frequency: NBA team finishing two to four games above .500 and missing playoffs in three straight seasons (which the Rockets have, in fact, done the last three seasons).

Defense in decline since Rubio's injury

April, 5, 2012
4/05/12
1:09
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Ever since point guard Ricky Rubio was lost for the season with a torn ACL on March 9, the Minnesota Timberwolves have struggled. They were 21-20 when he got hurt and are 4-11 since then, and much of the Timberwolves’ struggles are on the defensive end.
Ricky Rubio
Rubio

Rubio is not the quickest player, but his length and size helped cover a lot of ground. Without Rubio -- who ranks third in the league in steals per game (2.22) -- the Timberwolves have had to rely more on smaller guards like J.J. Barea (6-0) and Luke Ridnour (6-2), both of whom rank in the bottom 40 percent in points per play allowed.

The Timberwolves are fine offensively without Rubio. In fact, they've scored two more points per 100 possessions with Rubio off the floor. Defensively they've allowed seven more points per 100 possessions without him and are allowing 11 more points per game.

Minnesota’s opponents have scored 100 or more points in nine of the last 15 games after scoring at least 100 in 17 of 41 games that Rubio played.

But how are opponents scoring so much more lately?

Without Rubio on the court this season, Minnesota’s opponents are scoring 22 percent more fast-break points, 11 percent more second-chance points and 4 percent more points in the paint.

However, with Rubio not on the court at all anymore, those numbers have been amplified even more over the last 15 games. Minnesota’s opponents are scoring 30 percent more fast-break points, 14 percent more second-chance points and 14 percent more points in the paint.

Some of those increased easy baskets -- fast breaks, second-chance points, points in the paint -- can be attributed to Nikola Pekovic missing eight of the last 15 games with an ankle injury. But more of it can be attributed to Rubio's injury; the Timberwolves have had trouble stopping opposing guards from penetrating and dishing.

Over the last 15 games, opposing guards have an assist-to-turnover ratio better than three-to-one. In the 15 games before Rubio’s injury, that ratio was less than two-to-one.

On March 12, the Phoenix Suns guards combined for 74 points, 16 assists and two turnovers. On April 2 against the Sacramento Kings, Isaiah Thomas had 17 points, five assists and no turnovers.

In Wednesday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors, guard Charles Jenkins had 19 points, seven assists and two turnovers as Golden State erased a 20-point deficit with 58 second-half points.

Not having Rubio also impacts the Timberwolves on the boards. He averaged 4.2 rebounds per game, which ranks 10th among guards.

The Timberwolves were strong playoff contenders before Rubio’s injury. Now, they're in last place in the Northwest Division, five games out of the playoffs with 10 games left to play.

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