Casey graduated from the University of Southern California in 2005. He is currently a writer at BuyAthletes.com, Pac10Pros.com, TheHoopDoctors.com, and contributes to several travel sites. He is a huge fan of the NBA, College & International basketball, and Gary Payton.
Devin Harris is better than Kobe Bryant? The San Antonio Spurs are the worst? What? Well, today I am going to serve as The Hoop Doctors “John Hollinger” and perform an autopsy on player & team statistics from the 2008-09 NBA Season. Let’s look at 10 Interesting Facts that may or may not mean anything…
1. LeBron James dished out the most assists that resulted in a 3-pointer with 232, while finishing 8th in total assists. That accounts for nearly 40% of his assists. Not that it was any question before, but now we really know why Mo Williams made his first All-Star appearance as he finished 3rd in 3-pointers made last year with 183 (more than he made in any other two seasons combined).
2. Kobe Bryant came in at #50 in total dunks last year. I understand it was his 13th year in the league and two points is two points, but we are talking about Kobe Bryant! Even former teammate Trevor Ariza threw down more dunks and LBJ had over twice as many.
3. Dirk Nowitzki led the league in points per game from 2-point jump shots with 14.0, which is over 3.0 more than Kobe who finished in 2nd place. This helped Dirk finish 4th in total points per game (25.9) and grab a spot on the All-NBA 1st Team for the third time in his career. Who said the jump shot was dead? By the way, Dwight Howard scored a measly 1.4 of his 20.7 points per game from 2-point jump shots.
4. Devin Harris finished 5th in And 1s last year. He finished with 60, which was more than Kobe and nearly twice as many as teammate Vince Carter. Only LBJ, Howard, Dwayne Wade, and Shaquille O’Neal finished with more.
5. Kevin Love grabbed the 3rd most offensive rebounds last year with 273. That is only two less than Emeka Okafor’s 275 even though Okafor played 7.0 minutes more per game than Love. Howard easily grabbed 1st place with 336.
6. Danny Granger scored the 2nd most points per game in the fourth quarter with 7.5. Only LBJ scored more with 7.7. Granger led the league in points per game in the second quarter with 6.9.
7. Troy Murphy was assisted on 100% of his 3-pointers made finishing with 161, which was 12th best in the NBA. That helps explain how he finished 3rd in 3-point shooting percentage at 45.0%, even though he is a 6-11 forward/center.
8. Kevin Durant & Jeff Green had the worst +/- for any duo on the floor together in the NBA with -421. Not a great stat for the fake-Sonics as Durant & Green are their leaders and are supposed to work well together. The top-5 duos in order were LBJ & Williams, Bryant & Pau Gasol, Hedo Turkoglu & Rashard Lewis, Rajon Rondo & Ray Allen, and Brandon Roy & LaMarcus Aldridge.
9. The New Orleans Hornets were last in bench scoring with 22.9 points per game. That might explain their early exit from the playoffs. Weren’t they supposed to be the Dark Horse to win it all?
10. The Denver Nuggets had more dunks than any other team in the NBA with 520 (50 more than 2nd place). That is not too surprising as they had Nene (#4 in total dunks), Kenyon Martin, Carmelo Anthony, Chris “Birdman” Anderson, and Linas Kleiza all skying above the rim. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the San Antonio Spurs had a miserable 73 dunks all season finishing 30th…aka Dead Last. That is less than one dunk per game. Nene was four dunks short of doubling the Spurs total alone and he missed five games. The Indiana Pacers had over twice as many dunks and they finished 29th on the list…but I guess that goes to show it doesn’t matter how you score just as long as you win!
Special thanks to 82games.com