Stats & Info: Tyson Chandler

Under-the-radar milestones on NBA horizon

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
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Larry Sanders, LeBron James and Tyson Chandler are making runs at under-the-radar milestones this NBA season. A glance at what each player can accomplish:

Larry Sanders

Sanders, of the Milwaukee Bucks, leads the NBA in blocks per game at 3.11. Why is that interesting? He’s doing it while averaging 25.5 minutes per game.

Since the NBA started tracking blocks in 1973-74, there have been eight previous instances of a player recording three or more blocks per game while averaging fewer than 30 minutes (minimum 2,000 minutes).

But there have been only three instances in which a player averaged fewer than 30 minutes and led the league in blocks per game.

Sanders will clear the 2,000-minute mark if he stays healthy and plays at roughly his current pace for the remainder of the season.

At his current 25.5 minutes per game, he would set the mark for fewest minutes per game for a player who led the league in blocks per game, edging out Manute Bol and Mark Eaton.


LeBron James

There have been 16 previous seasons in NBA history in which a player posted a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 30.0 or better (minimum 45 games played). James’ PER is a league-best 30.37. Assuming he can keep it up, James would become the second player in history with four or more seasons with that mark, joining Michael Jordan.

Tyson Chandler

For the third time in the past three seasons, New York Knicks center Chandler is making a run at the record books. Chandler’s True Shooting Percentage -- which takes into consideration 2-point field goals, 3-point field goals and free throws -- is in rare territory once again, at 70.1 percent on the season. That is just fractionally behind his own record from last season (70.8).

How They Got Here: Seven All-Star Newbies

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
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David Dow/NBAE/Getty ImagesKyrie Irving and Jrue Holiday will join forces in their first All-Star games
A look at the seven players selected to their first All-Star team this season:

JAMES HARDEN
James Harden becomes the first Houston Rockets All-Star since Yao Ming in 2011. Harden ranks fifth in the NBA, averaging a career-high 25.9 points this season. His scoring has increased by 9.1 points per game from last season, the highest increase among all players from last season to this season.

The NBA’s reigning Sixth Man of the Year award winner has been one of the best pick and roll ball handlers this season. Among the 107 players with at least 50 such plays, Harden ranks second in the NBA, averaging 1.03 points per play.

BROOK LOPEZ
After playing just five games during an injury-plagued 2011-12 season, Brook Lopez makes his first All-Star team in his fifth NBA season. Lopez averages an NBA-high 18.6 points among centers this season.

According to the Hollinger PER (Player Efficiency Rating) rankings, Lopez ranks fourth in the NBA with a mark of 25.4. Only LeBron James (30.3), Kevin Durant (29.1) and Chris Paul (26.1) have recorded a higher PER this season.

KYRIE IRVING
In his second NBA season, Kyrie Irving becomes the first Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star since LeBron James in 2010. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Irving will be the sixth-youngest player in NBA history to play in an All-Star Game at 20 years and 331 days old on February 17.

After winning Rookie of the Year last season, Irving has blossomed into one of the best guards in the NBA this season. He ranks fourth among point guards with a 22.5 PER.

JRUE HOLIDAY
Jrue Holiday becomes the second member of the Philadelphia 76ers in as many seasons to earn his first All-Star selection (Andre Iguodala, 2012). Holiday is averaging career highs in points (19.4), assists (8.9), field goal percentage (46.1) and rebounds (4.1). He and Russell Westbrook are the only two players averaging at least 19 points and eight assists this season.

Holiday has assisted 40 percent of his teammates’ field goals when he’s been on the court this season. That assist percentage ranks fifth in the NBA.

PAUL GEORGE
Paul George leads the Indiana Pacers in scoring, averaging a career-high 17.4 points this season. Despite his emergence on offense, George has made his biggest impact on defense. George ranks second in the NBA with 3.5 defensive win shares according to Basketball-Reference. Defensive win shares estimates the number of wins contributed by a player due to his defense.

JOAKIM NOAH
Joakim Noah is one of two Chicago Bulls selected as All-Star reserves (Luol Deng). Noah is averaging career highs in points (12.1), rebounds (11.3), and assists (4.2), which leads all centers. Noah has recorded at least 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in 11 games this season. Only LeBron James has recorded more such games with 13.

Noah has anchored a Bulls defense which ranks third in defensive efficiency, allowing just 97.5 points per 100 possessions this season. He leads the NBA in defensive win shares with 3.7 and ranks eighth in blocks with 2.1 per game.

TYSON CHANDLER
In his 12th NBA season, Tyson Chandler was finally selected to his first All-Star team. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is averaging a career-high 11.9 points and 10.6 rebounds this season. Chandler leads the New York Knicks with 17 double-double and is one of just nine players averaging at least 10 points and 10 rebounds this season.

Chandler leads the NBA with a 70.6 true shooting percentage this season. True shooting percentage measures a player’s shooting efficiency taking into account two-point field goals, three-point field goals and free throws, a category Chandler has led in each of the previous two seasons.

Why Stoudemire's return could hurt Knicks

January, 1, 2013
1/01/13
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Steve Mitchell/US PresswireAmar’e Stoudemire has not played in a game yet this season.
Amar'e Stoudemire is expected to make his season debut tonight for the New York Knicks. Normally, having a former All-Star return to the lineup is a good thing, but Knicks fans might want to temper their expectations about Stoudemire’s return.

The Knicks were nearly nine points worse per 48 minutes with Stoudemire on the court last season. They were significantly worse on both ends of the court with Amar'e. The biggest difference came in the turnover department, where the Knicks committed one more turnover and forced three fewer turnovers per 48 minutes with him on the floor.

Defense

Their four worst defensive lineups (in terms of points allowed per 48 minutes) that played at least 15 minutes together last season included Stoudemire. The worst lineup also included Mike Bibby, Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert and Bill Walker, and was outscored 42-29 in 16 minutes. That also happened to be the Knicks' worst lineup overall (in terms of plus-minus per 48 minutes).

Overall, Stoudemire was a part of the Knicks' three worst lineups.

The Knicks have often been exposed defending isolation plays this season. They've allowed the most isolation points in the league.

Amar'e isn't known as a one-on-one defensive stopper. Last season, he ranked 120th in points per isolation play allowed of the 184 players to defend at least 50 isolation plays.

Rebounding

One area in which the Knicks are struggling this season is rebounding. They're the 6th-worst rebounding team, grabbing just 48 percent of available boards. They've only outrebounded eight of their 30 opponents -- only the Boston Celtics have outrebounded fewer opponents (6) this season.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that Stoudemire -- a 6-foot-11 athletic power forward who averages nearly nine boards per game for his career -- will help the Knicks in the rebounding department.

But that may not be the case.

Stoudemire only made the Knicks a slightly better rebounding team when he was on the court last season, as they grabbed 50.4 percent of available rebounds when he was on the court compared to 49.5 percent when he was on the bench.

Last season, Amar'e grabbed 13.7 percent of available rebounds, an improvement from the 2010-11 season. This season, the Knicks have added assets like Kurt Thomas, Marcus Camby and Rasheed Wallace that have helped on the glass. Each of them, along with Chandler, have a rebound percentage higher than 13.7 this season.

With Chandler, Thomas, Camby and Wallace (when healthy) all sharing frontcourt minutes, Stoudemire's presence may not help the Knicks much on the glass.

Different offensive game plan

The aspect in which the Knicks really change with Amar'e is their shot selection. When he was on the court last season, 50 percent of the Knicks' shot attempts came in the paint and only 22 percent of their attempts were 3-pointers. But when Stoudemire was off the court, only 42 percent of their shot attempts came in the paint and 35 percent of their attempts were from beyond the arc.

That trend has continued this season without Stoudemire, as 35 percent of their attempts are 3-pointers and only 38 percent of their shots are in the paint.

Adding Amar’e to the rotation could disrupt a Knicks offense that currently ranks second in offensive efficiency and is on pace to be the Knicks’ most efficient offense in the last 40 seasons.

Carmelo Anthony's game is more efficient

December, 19, 2012
12/19/12
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Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty ImagesCarmelo Anthony is putting up bigger, and better, numbers this season.
(The New York Knicks host the Brooklyn Nets, Wednesday at 7 ET on ESPN.)

The New York Knicks are coming off a loss on Monday to the Houston Rockets. They’re hoping to have Carmelo Anthony back against the Brooklyn Nets after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.

In two games this season against the Nets, Anthony has scored 80 points -- including a season-high 45 on Dec. 18.

In those two games against Brooklyn, Anthony made eight of 12 3-point attempts. Shooting behind the arc is one area of his game that has improved significantly.

Before this season, Anthony was a career 32 percent shooter behind the arc. That average has shot up to 45.5 percent (51-112) this season.

Long-range shooting isn’t the only area of Anthony’s game that has improved. He’s also shooting a career-best 46.8 percent on mid-range shots (which are 2-point field goal attempts taken outside the paint). Last season, he made just 38.9 percent from that distance.

Combined with making more than six free throws per game, Anthony’s true shooting percentage this season is 59.2, which would be the highest of his career. (True shooting percentage is a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, three-point field goals and free throws.)

An improved True Shooting Percentage has resulted in higher efficiency from Anthony. His offensive efficiency this season is at a career-high 115.1 -- meaning the Knicks score 115.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the court. His highest offensive efficiency entering this season was 110.7 in 2008-09. When Anthony is not on the court, the Knicks efficiency drops to 102.6

Among players to log at least 100 minutes this season, Anthony’s offensive efficiency ranks third behind Nick Collison (115.5) and teammate Tyson Chandler (115.2).

Another reason the Knicks would like to see Anthony return? He ranks fifth in plus/minus at +167. He’s been on the court for 712 minutes compared to 445 off it and the difference has been noticeable. Per 48 minutes, the Knicks are outscoring opponents by 11.3 points with Anthony on the court, but are getting outscored by almost two points with him off the court.

Anthony is second this season averaging 27.9 points per game. If he maintains that for the entire season, he’d be just the fourth Knick to average at least 27 points per game for an entire season and the first since Patrick Ewing in 1989-90.

Kevin Martin is super efficient

November, 21, 2012
11/21/12
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Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Martin’s offensive efficiency this season is off the charts.
Kevin Martin has been the most efficient scorer in the NBA this season. Martin leads the league in points per play of the 137 players with at least 100 plays, according to Synergy Sports.

Another way to prove Martin has been the most efficient scorer in the NBA this season is his true shooting percentage, a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-pointers and free throws. In that regard, Martin ranks first in the league among players with at least 250 minutes.

WHY HAS MARTIN BEEN SO EFFICIENT?

He doesn’t have to create his own offense as often this season.

Martin is playing off the ball more this season alongside Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, as compared to last season when he had the ball in his hands more often. His usage percentage -– an estimate of the percentage of team plays used by a player while he’s on the floor -- is 22.3, his lowest since 2005-06, his sophomore campaign with the Sacramento Kings.

Martin is second in the NBA this season in catch-and-shoot points (behind O.J. Mayo). He’s shooting 52.1 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers and has a 75 effective field-goal percentage on those shots.

Now that he isn’t the focal point of his team’s offense, Martin is able to let his offense come to him. As a result, his shooting numbers have blossomed in Oklahoma City.

In 2011-12, Martin shot just 34.9 percent on catch-and-shoot jumpers, which ranked 134th of the 175 players with at least 100 catch-and-shoot jumpers. Catch-and-shoot accounted for 37.5 percent of his jump shots last season, while it accounts for 51.1 percent this season.

Need more evidence that Martin isn’t nearly as ball-dominant anymore? This season, 31.4 percent of his plays are spot-up, as compared to 19.3 percent last season. Isolation accounted for 22.4 percent of his plays last season, while that number is down to 17.9 percent this season.

THUNDER ARE BETTER WITH MARTIN

The Thunder have been a much better team with Martin on the court. They're scoring 19.9 more points per 48 minutes than they are with Martin on the bench. They're shooting better, especially from beyond the arc, and getting to the free-throw line more than twice as often with Martin on the floor.

How impressive is Martin’s season thus far? Let’s put it in perspective:

• Only one player in NBA history has had a true shooting percentage higher than Martin’s current 70.2 percentage (Tyson Chandler – 70.8 last season).

• Martin currently averages 17.6 points per game with a 48.7 field-goal percentage and 53.6 3-point percentage. Nobody in NBA history has finished a season with those numbers. Detlef Schrempf (in 1994-95) is the only player to average at least 15 points per game with a 45 field-goal percentage and 50 3-point percentage.

• Thus far, Martin has a career high in field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage, free-throw percentage and offensive rating this season.

If Martin continues on this pace of super offensive efficiency, the Thunder won’t regret trading Harden for him.


Statistical support for this story from NBA.com

2012 Team USA: Better than Dream Team?

July, 12, 2012
7/12/12
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US PresswireWould the current U.S. Olympic team have a chance against the Dream Team?
Kobe Bryant believes the 2012 U.S. Olympic team would beat the 1992 Olympic team. Is he correct?

According to AccuScore, which ran 10,000 computer simulations, the 1992 team would win 53.1 percent of the time and by an average margin of one point per game.

No one will ever know the true answer, but let's take a look at the Next Level analytical facts about the rosters at each point of their careers to help make the case either way.

REBOUNDING AND DEFENSE

Much has been made about the current team’s weak frontcourt. The 1992 team had four players who grabbed at least 15 percent of available rebounds in 1991-92 (Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, David Robinson). The current team has three players at that rebound rate last season (Tyson Chandler, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love).

The 1992 team had two players (Ewing, Robinson) who blocked at least 5 percent of the shot attempts they faced in 1991-92. No 2012 player had a block percentage higher than 3.4 last season (Chandler).

SHOOTING

Four current members had a true shooting percentage (a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-pointers, 3-pointers and free throws) of at least 60 last season (Chandler, Kevin Durant, James Harden, LeBron James). Chandler (70.8 in 2011-12) led the NBA each of the past two seasons. Only one of the 1992 members had a 60 true shooting percentage (Barkley), although three others fell just short of that threshold in 1991-92 (Malone, Robinson, John Stockton).

PASSING

Five Dream Team members assisted on at least 25 percent of their teammates’ field goals in 1991-92 (Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Stockton), plus Magic Johnson had a 49.3 assist percentage in his most recent NBA season (1990-91). LeBron, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams had a 25 assist percentage or better last season, but none were as high as Stockton (53.7), who was in the midst of leading the league in assist percentage for 10 straight seasons.

AGE, EXPERIENCE AND CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 1992 team was about 2½ years older on average (28.8-26.2). Other than Bird and Magic, every Dream Team member was 30 years old or younger. Every member of the current team is 29 or younger, other than Kobe, who is 33.

But the NBA experience level is about the same. The 1992 team had, on average, 7.3 years of experience per player. This year’s team has 7.1.

As far as NBA titles, give the edge to the 1992 team. Its players had a combined 12 championships as they entered the Olympics -- five by Magic, three by Bird and two each from Jordan and Pippen.

The 2012 version has seven championships among them, carried by Kobe’s five. LeBron and Chandler each have one. The current team has members of each of the past four NBA champions, while the 1992 team had members of the then-past two champions.

PLAYER VALUE/EFFICIENCY

Using average win shares per 48 minutes in their previous NBA seasons, (including Magic’s 1990-91 season and not including Christian Laettner), the 1992 squad’s average is higher by 9 percent (.215-.198). Prefer player efficiency rating to win shares? The Dream Team’s PER was 3 percent higher (23.8-23.0).

IN THEIR PRIME?

Other than Laettner, all 11 Dream Team members are Hall of Famers. And only two could be considered in the twilight of their careers. Bird had just finished his last NBA season, while Magic had retired the previous year, although he made a brief comeback in 1995-96. As for this edition, one could make the case that all but the 33-year-old Kobe on the roster could appear on another Olympic team again.

The 2012 team gets under way with an exhibition game Thursday against the Dominican Republic on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET. Only time will tell whether this team is the modern-day Dream Team.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. WORKING OVERTIME: The Phoenix Coyotes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 in OT to take a 2-1 series lead. FROM ELIAS: All three games in the Chicago-Phoenix series have been decided in overtime. It’s the fifth series in NHL history in which each of the first three games were decided in overtime. The other four were Boston-Toronto in 1933, the Montreal-Toronto Stanley Cup Final in 1951 in which all five games went to OT, Edmonton-Los Angeles in 1991 and Colorado-Minnesota in 2008.

Jamie Moyer
Moyer
2. HISTORIC WIN: Jamie Moyer gave up two runs (both unearned) in seven innings to get the win as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 151 days old. Jack Quinn was the oldest pitcher to win a MLB game at 49 years, 70 days old on September 13, 1932.

3. PANTHERS COME BACK: FROM ELIAS: The Panthers trailed 3–0 after only 6:16 had been played in Game 3 of their series against the New Jersey Devils but Florida made a goaltending change at that point and Scott Clemmensen blanked his former team the rest of the way while the Panthers rallied for a stunning 4–3 victory. It was only the second time in the last 25 playoff years that an NHL team won a playoff game in which it trailed by three goals in the first seven minutes. The Flames did that in Game 3 of their first-round series against the Sharks in 2008. San Jose scored three goals in the first 3:33 but Calgary came back to win 4-3.

Carmelo Anthony
Anthony
4. 'MELO GETS HELP: Carmelo Anthony recorded his second career triple-double as the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics. Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Steve Novak each had 20-point games with Smith and Novak doing so off the bench. FROM ELIAS: The last time an NBA team had a player score 30 points in a triple-double while three of his teammates scored at least 20 points in a non-overtime game was on January 15, 1991 when the Trail Blazers did it in a 132-117 win at Minnesota. Clyde Drexler had the 30-point triple-double while Mark Bryant, Jerome Kersey and Terry Porter all scored at least 20 points.

5. RED SOX HAMMERED: The Texas Rangers hit six home runs on their way to an 18-3 rout of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. FROM ELIAS: It was the 10th time in Red Sox history that they lost a game by 15 or more runs in a game played at Fenway Park, with the last such embarrassment coming on June 19, 2000, when they lost 22-1 to the Yankees.
On Wednesday, the New York Knicks dropped a game to the Charlotte Bobcats, 118-110, to drop to 2-4 on the season and now sit four games back of the Miami Heat atop the Eastern Conference.

Three areas stand out for reasons for the Knicks’ early-season struggles.

Tyson Chandler: Not Helping?
The Knicks acquired Tyson Chandler to help their defense. Unfortunately, not only has the team performed better on defense when Chandler is not on the floor, he’s also had a depressing performance on the team’s offense. The Knicks put up a better points per 100 possessions, both offensively and defensively, when Chandler is not in the game.

If we look at it from a broader perspective, the Knicks’ overall numbers have not improved, either.

Two areas in which one would expect Chandler to have a significant impact would include, naturally, points allowed as well as rebound rate. The Knicks have not improved relative to the league in either of those categories. They've dropped from 21st to 23rd in the league in defensive efficiency, and have remained 28th in rebound rate.

Carmelo Anthony: Not a Savior?
Presumably, one of the reasons the Knicks went out and acquired Carmelo Anthony was because they viewed him as a franchise cornerstone, difference-maker type player. While no one doubts his scoring prowess, it’s fair to question whether he has a tangible impact on a team’s ability to win games.

Over the last two seasons, the Knicks are two games over .500 before acquiring Anthony, and two games under after Anthony became a Knick. Their points scored, allowed and field goal percentage are virtually the same before and after Anthony.

The Denver Nuggets, on the other hand, are 23-9 since trading Carmelo Anthony, after sitting at 32-25 last season before trading their superstar. Only the Bulls have a better record since Feb. 22, 2011, the date of the trade.

Amar'e Stoudemire: Hurt by Point Guards?
Amare Stoudemire
Stoudemire
Amar’e Stoudemire predates both Chandler and Anthony in New York, but it appears he’s being hurt by point guard play that has dropped off since last season.

With Toney Douglas this season, Stoudemire is averaging 5.3 shots in the restricted zone per 36 minutes. Last season, with Raymond Felton on the floor, Stoudemire was averaging 7.2 of those shots per 36 minutes.

His scoring, field goal percentage and free throw attempts per game have also dropped off this season with Douglas on the floor compared to his numbers last season with Felton.

This has matched scouting reports, that Douglas is more of a scoring point guard who may have trouble setting up teammates.

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