Tuesday, December 31, 2013
New Year's Resolutions in the NBA
By Doug Clawson, ESPN Stats & Info
With December 31 upon us, here are some examples of stat-based New Year’s resolutions that might be on the minds of players and teams around the NBA:
Heat: Defend corner 3-pt FG
Opponents are shooting 47.1 percent on corner three-pointers against the Miami Heat, the highest percentage in the NBA this season.
Last season the Heat allowed opposing players to shoot 34.1 percent on such shots, the second-lowest percentage in the league.
LeBron James: Post up more
James is shooting 61 percent on post up plays this season, compared with 48 percent last season.
That is more than five percentage points higher than the next closest player on such plays this season (minimum 50 plays) (Brook Lopez – 56 percent). James has been in the post on 16 percent of his plays this season.
Trail Blazers: Defend the paint
The Portland Trail Blazers have allowed the most paint points per game in the NBA this season (49.2). They were outscored 68-32 in the paint in Monday’s loss to the Pelicans.
Knicks: Get healthy at point guard
The New York Knicks starting point guards are averaging a league-low 7.4 points per game this season, and 3.8 assists per game, tied for the second-fewest in the NBA. Raymond Felton has missed nine of the Knicks last 10 games and Pablo Prigioni has missed six straight.
Nets: Play better D and make a 4th-quarter comeback
The Brooklyn Nets have the fourth-worst defensive efficiency in the NBA this season (106.2 points per 100 possessions). They are 0-19 when tied or trailing entering the fourth quarter this season.
Pistons: Finish games
The Detroit Pistons have been outscored by 105 points in the fourth quarter this season, the worst score differential in the NBA. They have lost three games this season after entering the fourth quarter with a double-digit lead, and that doesn’t include a loss when leading by nine entering the fourth against the Wizards Monday.
Ricky Rubio: Improve his shot
Rubio is shooting 34.4 percent from the field, on pace to be the worst field goal percentage in the three-point era (since 1979-80) (Kemba Walker, 36.6 in 2011-12).
Russell Westbrook: Get healthy and regain explosiveness
Westbrook is shooting 30.9 percent on drives to the basket in the half court this season, the worst percentage in the league (minimum 100 drives) according to player tracking on NBA.com.
What stat are you looking for your team to improve in 2014 (besides wins!). Share your thoughts in the comments.