A wave of injuries has shifted the statistical landscape in the NBA over the past couple weeks. More minutes for replacements means more chances to help out in areas of expertise. For those of you in category-specific formats, here are some notable factoids that might help you gain an edge in areas of need. We'll continue to validate and debunk trends on a weekly basis in this column going forward.
(All stats up to date through Nov. 29 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)
John Wall has been on a tear, averaging a hair less than 30 points per game over the last seven days. The Wizards are without Bradley Beal's 20 points per game for the time being, so expect Wall to keep scoring in bunches during his absence. ... Rodney Stuckey (65 percent) has always had a knack for getting buckets, but lately his production has exceeded expectations. He's gone over 20 points twice in the last three games and is averaging 16.6 points per contest for the season. ... Nick Young (32 percent) is another shoot-first guard who's picked up his scoring as of late. Young scored a season-high 26 against Brooklyn Wednesday night and is averaging 17.5 points per game over the last seven days. ... The 76ers remain the most frequently scored on team, giving up a league-high 109.1 points to opponents per game. They play the Bobcats next week, so consider Gerald Henderson (80 percent) a good Week 6 start if you need help in the points column. ... A surprising 71 percent of leagues consider Kevin Garnett worth rostering, despite his horrendous 6.7 points per game on 36 percent shooting for the season. These owners might be better off adding Andray Blatche, who's reached double-digit scoring in each of his last seven games.
Andre Drummond spends a lot of time dunking, currently leading the league with 41 slams on the season. Dunks comprise 47.6 percent of his made field goals so far. Therefore, his 64.7 "shooting" percentage doesn't come as a surprise because almost every other "shot" he attempts involves a hand or two on the rim. ... LeBron James is converting a mind-boggling 60 percent of his field goal attempts. Pretty amazing considering he's third in the league in scoring while shooting almost seven fewer shots per game than second-place Carmelo Anthony. ... Tony Allen is on your team because of his 2.2 steals per game, but his 55 percent field goal shooting is a nice bonus for Roto players. ... J.R. Smith has struggled mightily with his stroke to start the season, converting on only 32 percent of his 13 field goal attempts per game. ... Reggie Jackson (41 percent) has remained productive coming off the bench. His 48 percent shooting from the field is fifth in the league among point guards who attempt at least nine field goals per game. He can help out in just about every other category too -- shooting 90 percent from the free throw line to go along with 4.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
Kosta Koufos (54 percent) looks comfortable in the Grizzlies starting lineup, grabbing 13 rebounds in each of his first two starts filling in for Marc Gasol. ... How is it that the Heat can be both the worst rebounding team in the league and still give up the fewest rebounds to opponents per game? It's made possible by ultra efficient offense as Miami is the only team to make more than 50 percent of its field goals. Meanwhile, the Lakers give up the most rebounds to opponents because they attempt almost 12 more field goals per game than the Heat while making only 43.8 percent of them. ... Robin Lopez (71 percent) has been rebounding well as of late, averaging 10.5 over the last seven days. ... Martell Webster ranks fourth among shooting-guard eligible players with 5.0 rebounds per game. He's logged 40 minutes-plus in four straight games and will remain cemented in the Wizards' lineup during Beal's absence. ... Ryan Anderson is great for Roto because of his shooting, but his rebounding has been pretty bad to start the year. He's only grabbing 4.8 a game. Reggie Evans has been able to grab more per contest despite playing only 13.5 minutes a night compared to Anderson's 31.4.
Mike D'antoni continues to work wonders for point guards, as evidenced by Steve Blake's surging numbers. Blake (84 percent) has dished out more than 10 assists in five games this year, which he hadn't done once since 2010. He ranks sixth in the league in helpers per game with 7.3, more than LeBron James, Tony Parker and Kyrie Irving. ... At the other end of the spectrum is Kemba Walker who only contributes 4.1 helpers per game. The only starting point guard averaging fewer assists per contest is George Hill at 3.8. ... Kenyon Martin wins the award for most unlikely assist man over the last seven days, averaging 4.7 during that span. He'll likely continue to get minutes while Tyson Chandler recovers from injury, so keep an eye on his numbers. ... Fancy new stats allow Fantasy owners to see whether or not assist numbers are sustainable. For instance, Stephen Curry is averaging 8.8 assists on 14.7 assist opportunities per game. This means his teammates are shooting about 60 percent when Curry passes them the ball. Meanwhile, John Wall is averaging the same number of assists on 18.7 opportunities per game, making it much easier to buy into his numbers long term as opposed to Curry's.
If you're struggling in the category because of Dwight Howard or Andre Drummond, you might consider adding Channing Frye, who's averaging double-figure scoring while shooting better than 80 percent from the line. ... Brandon Bass is making a scintillating 90 percent of his free throws this season -- good for second among power forwards attempting more than two per game. ... Michael Carter-Williams does many things well, however free-throw shooting is not one of them. He's only making 68.3 percent of his five-plus attempts per game. ... Other productive guards shooting free throws in the 60s include Lance Stephenson, Dion Waiters, Tyreke Evans and Dwyane Wade.
Channing Frye has been launching from deep all season, but over the last week he's seen a lot of them fall. Frye has made 14 over a four-game span, including five against Charlotte. ... Patrick Beverley (60 percent) has also been hitting from deep, averaging 2.3 made threes per game in the last seven days. That number could remain for the next two weeks while Jeremy Lin recovers from a knee sprain. ... Caron Butler has been surprisingly effective from downtown, averaging two made threes per game for the season. He only averages 0.8 per game for his career, so don't expect him to maintain this pace. ... The D'antoni system has been fully implemented as the Lakers currently lead the league in three point field goals made and are second in attempts. Philadelphia continues to be a gold mine for three point shooters, allowing a league-leading 10.9 made threes per game.
Not since Dikembe Mutombo in 1995 has an NBA player averaged four blocks per game for an entire season. Roy Hibbert and Anthony Davis are on the cusp of that number so far at 3.9 apiece. ... Serge Ibaka has been surging in the blocks category as of late, tallying up 21 over his last six games. ... Samuel Dalembert, Jon Henson, Robin Lopez and Wesley Johnson are all widely available players averaging at least 1.4 blocks per game. ... Opposing teams are having block parties against the 76ers, averaging 7.3 per game. Meanwhile, teams playing the Heat average less than three per game.
The Thunder are currently the most stolen-from team in the league, with opponents averaging almost 10 thefts a game this year. On the other hand, the Knicks' isolation-heavy offense has them giving up the least amount of steals per game at 6.1. ... DeJuan Blair (45 percent) is tied for first in steals among center-eligible players. He and Andre Drummond average 1.8 steals per game. ... The Rockets turn the ball over more than any other team, so it only makes sense that their star player, James Harden, leads the league in giveaways per game at 4.3. ... Victor Oladipo remains the Fantasy player giving owners the fewest assists with the most turnovers. On the flip side, Martell Webster has only turned the ball over seven times in 15 games -- probably because he's shooting just about every time he gets the ball.