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Notable Numbers

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Notable Numbers

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


Here in “Notable Numbers,” we attempt to unearth a plethora of interesting stats and fantasy-relevant facts each week. The topics discussed today include the dynamic duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, as well as LeBron James and Kevin Love's production trending in the wrong direction.


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* Boogie and Brow
In Monday’s double-overtime victory over the Bulls, Cousins poured in 44 points, pulled down 24 rebounds and dished out ten dimes. It was the tenth 40/20/10 game in NBA history, and the first since February of 1972. Wilt Chamberlain (six times), Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are the only other players to accomplish the feat. However, Monday night was one of but many incredible performances by Boogie this season. Cousins is posting unmatched across-the-board numbers.


He’s already had three games this season with at least 40 points and 20 boards. Also, back on December 29th, he tallied 32 points, 20 rebounds, eight assists and five blocks against Dallas. On November 1st, in a matchup against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Timberwolves, Cousins registered 35 points, nine boards, six assists, five treys, six steals and three blocks.


Coming into this season, only three players (Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in the 72-year history of the NBA had ever averaged at least 25 points, 13 rebounds and five assists per game over the course of a full season. Cousins is currently at 25.6 points. 12.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists.


But let’s not stop there. Per Basketball-Reference, no player in league history has ever averaged at least 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks and more than two 3-pointers per contest. In addition to all the points, boards and dimes, Cousins is also averaging 1.6 steals, 1.5 blocks and 2.1 treys.


Cousins’ frontcourt mate has had posted some incredible stats this season as well. In back-to-back games on December 14th and 16th, Anthony Davis recorded 48 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in a win over the Knicks and then hung 45/16/2 on the Celtics in Boston. Davis has six 45/15 games in his career. No other active NBA player has more than three.


Per NBA.com, Boogie and Brow have accounted for the majority of New Orleans’ numbers in several categories, including 47.0 percent of the Pelicans points per game, 54.1 percent of their rebounds and 72.0 percent of their blocks. Davis and Cousins have had at least 25 points and ten rebounds in the same game eight times already this season. No other duo over the last 35 years has more such games over an entire season.


Since Anthony Davis entered the league in 2012-13, Davis and Cousins have each registered 18 35-point, 15-rebound games. Their combined total of 36 such games is more than the rest of the league combined during this timeframe. No other individual player has more than four 35/15 contests.


As a side note, the Dynamic Duo upfront has gotten a big boost from guard Jrue Holiday. After getting out of the gate somewhat slowly, Holiday has been consistently crushing. In the two months since Thanksgiving (27 games), Holiday is averaging 21.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists, while shooting 51.0 percent from the floor, including 39.0 percent from downtown. Over that span, the only two other players to average at least 21 points and shoot at least 51/39 percent are Kevin Durant and Steph Curry.

 

Editor's Note: Looking for an edge in your fantasy leagues? The NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It's the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.

 

* 30k for LBJ
LeBron James made history again on Tuesday night when he scored his 30,000th career point in a loss to the Spurs. Credit to King James for what has been a truly incredible career thus far. LeBron came into the league as arguably the most hyped athlete in the history of North American team sports; yet, somehow, has managed to exceed even the loftiest of expectations.


James is now the only player in NBA history with at least 30,000 career points, 7,000 assists and 7,000 rebounds. To put his statistical accomplishments in context, consider this: LeBron has more career points than Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon; more assists than Bob Cousy and Tony Parker; more rebounds than John Havlicek and Kevin McHale. Oh, and he also has more steals than Magic Johnson, more blocks than Ralph Sampson, and more made 3-pointers than Manu Ginobili and Allan Houston.


However, although he’s having another unbelievably productive season at the age of 33, we should mention that LeBron’s efficiency has dipped a bit during the Cavs January swoon. Cleveland has lost six of their last seven games and James is averaging “just” 22.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists, while shooting 17.2 percent from 3-point territory and 57.7 percent from the free-throw line over those seven contests. That’s solid production for mere mortals, but not close to what LeBron has been putting up earlier in the season.


The declining efficiency has been an ongoing issue. In the 33 games the Cavs played prior to Christmas Day, LeBron was shooting 57.0 percent from the floor, 41.1 percent from downtown and 78.5 percent from the stripe.


In the 13 games Cleveland has played since Christmas, LeBron is shooting 49.4 percent from the floor, 21.4 percent from 3-point range and 65.1 percent on free throws.


James has yet to miss a single game this season. It will be interesting to see if Cleveland considers resting him at some point in the near future. Yes, they desperately need string together some victories in order to bust out of their slump, but they also need LeBron as fresh as possible once April arrives.


* No Love for Kevin
Kevin Love is another Cavalier that has seen his stats sag of late. Interestingly, Love’s lull has coincided with the debut of Isaiah Thomas in a Cleveland uniform.


Over the first 36 games of the 2017-18 campaign, from Opening Night through the end of December, Love averaged 20.2 points and 10.2 rebounds, while attempting 13.9 shots and shooting 47.1 percent.


Isaiah Thomas made his Cavs debut on January 2nd.


In the nine games since that date, Love is averaging 11.3 points and 6.8 rebounds. He is attempting just 9.6 field goals per contest on 37.2 percent shooting. Love's usage rate is only 21.0 percent over those nine games, while it had been north of 26 percent prior. The Cavs have a myriad of issues they need to resolve, with most of them coming on the defensive end of the floor. However, figuring out how to best utilize Love and Thomas is an undeniably pressing problem.


* D12 Dominance
One player that has picked up his production of late is Charlotte’s Dwight Howard. Over the Hornets last five games, Howard is averaging 15.6 points (on 60.0 percent shooting), 16.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 3.6 blocks and just 1.8 turnovers.


Howard has tallied at least 11 points, 15 boards and two blocks in each of his last five games. Per Basketball-Reference, that’s the longest such streak in Hornets franchise history and the second longest in the league since Hakeem Olajuwon had six straight games back in 1988.


Although obviously not on LeBron’s level in terms of historical statistical achievements, Howard’s career numbers are undoubtedly Hall-of-Fame worthy. For instance, D12 is one of just six players in history to average a point-rebound double-double in each of his first 13 NBA seasons. The other six are Wilt Chamberlain, Tim Duncan, Moses Malone, Shaq O’Neal and Bill Russell. Howard is on pace to make it 14-of-14 this season.




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