Biggest Statistical Oddities of NBA Season
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Alec Burks shot 40.5 percent from beyond the three-point line in 2015-16, his fifth season with the Utah Jazz. It was a career-high for the fifth-year guard and the first time he shot over 40 percent from deep in a season.
Burks didn't hit 40 percent of his three-point attempts a year later, nor did he hit 40 percent in 2017-18. And now in his 10th NBA season, the former Colorado star has shot 40 percent from deep only once, 2015-16, and isn't widely regarded as one of the league's best perimeter shooters. This season, his first with the New York Knicks, Alec Burks has been the league's best perimeter shooter.
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This season's sample size is minuscule, especially for Burks, who's played in just three of the Knicks' eight games while battling an ankle injury. But in those three games, he's hit 10 of 15 three-point attempts and, at 66.7 percent, leads the NBA in three-point shooting (min. pace of 82 made three-pointers for the season).
Alec Burks' three-point shooting is one of the biggest statistical oddities of this young NBA season. Some others:
Free-Throw Attempt Rate: 1.128
No player in NBA history has ever attempted more free throws than field goals. Typically, the league leaders in free-throw attempt rate (FTr) average between 0.6 and 0.7 free-throw attempts per field-goal attempt. For example, Dwight Howard led the league with a FTr of 0.773 last year.
In eight games, Brooklyn Nets' fourth-year center Jarrett Allen has attempted 44 free throws and 39 field goals and owns an FTr or 1.128. Not one of the other 446 players who've appeared in a game this season have an FTr above 0.9.
Turnovers: 5.1 Per Game
Nikola Jokic commits a lot of turnovers for a big man. Only two centers (Karl-Anthony Towns and Andre Drummond) averaged more turnovers than him last year (3.1 per game) and he averaged at least 2.8 turnovers in each of the last three seasons.
Jokic has been especially generous this season, averaging a staggering 5.1 turnovers in seven games during the Denver Nuggets' lackluster start. He leads the league in turnovers per game and no other center is averaging more than 3.4 turnovers.
Plus-Minus: -43/100 Possessions
Players on bad teams have bad plus-minus numbers. Ed Davis is on a bad team but doesn't have a bad plus-minus; Ed Davis has an APPALLING plus-minus.
In his first season with the Minnesota Timberwolves after a late-November trade, Davis is averaging career-lows in nearly every area, including plus-minus per 100 possession. With Davis on the court, the Timberwolves have been outscored by an average of 43 points per 100 possessions.
Free-Throw Shooting: 100%
Since Eric Gordon shot a career-high 89 percent from the line in 2015-16, which would've ranked fourth in the league had he qualified with 14 more made free throws, his free-throw shooting has worsened each year. He hit only 76.6 percent of his attempts last year, his worst clip since 2011-12 and third-worst of his career.
Eric Gordon hasn't missed this season, hitting all 16 attempts. He's one of four players perfect from the line, and while two of those players (Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry) have attempted more free throws, they've been historically better free-throw shooters and not a shooter coming off a 76-percent season.