NBA Stat Central #14: Beating Up On The Lottery Teams

On today’s NBA Stat Central, we’re going to take a look at the league leaders and break down their games based on the teams they’re facing. Some players pad their stats by beating up on the lottery teams, while they struggle against the playoff teams. Other players don’t discriminate and dominate against everyone.

We’re here every Friday on to take a deeper look into NBA statistics with a new theme every week!

Let’s get right into NBA Stat Central!

Points Per Game

Player Overall Vs. Playoff Teams Vs. Lottery Teams
1. Kobe Bryant 29.7 30.3 28.8
2. Carmelo Anthony 29.2 29.1 29.2
3. Kevin Durant 28.7 28.2 29.1
4. LeBron James 26.3 26.4 26.3
5. James Harden 26.3 25 27.6

It makes sense that Harden would do more of his damage against lottery teams, as he takes advantage of weaker defenses and matchup problems. However, Bryant does his damage more against playoff teams. Is it because of his insatiable desire to be considered the best, that he’s able to step up huge in big games?

Rebounds Per Game

Player Overall Vs. Playoff Teams Vs. Lottery Teams
1. Anderson Varejao 14.4 14.3 14.6
2. Kevin Love 14 13.6 14.6
3. Dwight Howard 12.7 12.6 12.8
4. Zach Randolph 11.6 12.4 10
5. Omer Asik 11.2 11 11.4

Interesting to note that DeMarcus Cousins is No. 15 on the list against playoff teams, yet he jumps all the way up to No. 4 against lottery teams.

Assists Per Game

Player Overall Vs. Playoff Teams Vs. Lottery Teams
1. Rajon Rondo 11.1 9.7 12.8
2. Chris Paul 9.7 8.8 10.7
3. Greivis Vasquez 9 8.4 10.2
4. Jrue Holiday 8.8 8.6 9.1
5. Steve Nash 8.8 9.5 7.4

We’ve got our first MAJOR jump, courtesy of Rondo. He averages a full 3.1 more assists against lottery teams. Also of note is Nash, who like Bryant, does much better against playoff teams. Again, is it because of increased focus when the spotlight shines the brightest?

Field Goal Percentage

Player Overall Vs. Playoff Teams Vs. Lottery Teams
1. Tyson Chandler 67.30% 64.20% 70.10%
2. DeAndre Jordan 59.80% 61.60% 57.50%
3. Dwight Howard 58.60% 61.00% 55.90%
4. Serge Ibaka 56.40% 57.10% 55.90%
5. JaVale McGee 55.90% 58.80% 52.40%

Well, this one makes no sense at all. Aside from Chandler, who beats up lottery teams at a historic rate, everyone else is much better against playoff teams. Is it that their team plays a more disciplined style and the centers aren’t messing around outside of their comfort zone?

Team Field Goal Percentage

Team Overall Vs. Playoff Teams Vs. Lottery Teams
1. Miami Heat 48.80% 47.90% 50.00%
2. San Antonio Spurs 48.70% 47.90% 49.80%
3. Oklahoma City Thunder 47.90% 48.10% 47.80%
4. Los Angeles Clippers 47.80% 47.20% 48.40%
5. Denver Nuggets 46.40% 46.80% 46.10%

The top teams are pretty consistent, but there are some real discrepancies as we get further down the list. The Dallas Mavericks shoot 42.2% against playoff teams and 47.7% against lottery teams. The Phoenix Suns shoot 42.5% against playoff teams and 46.6% against lottery teams.

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HoopsHabit’s Regular Column Schedule:

Monday – NBA Awards Watch
Wednesday –
NBA Power Rankings
Friday –
NBA Stat Central
Sunday –
Your NBA Fix Podcast

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