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Fun With Small Sample Sizes; A look at Some Early Season Stats That Mean Either Little or Nothing.

Its always fun to peruse the stats, and at this point in the season its important to remember that the sample size is too small to really make too many conclusions because of differences in schedule as well as game to game variance.  The first part of this post looks at some notable Blazer stats, and the 2nd part is intended for kicks, to remind us how little we actually know at this point.  Source is basketball-reference.com unless otherwise noted.

* The Blazers are really running like the wind this year.  We're up to 89.8 possessions per game from 87.7!  Still the 2nd slowest team in the league though. The fastest teams thus far are Minnesota, Houston, Memphis, Utah and Golden State.  The slowest teams are Cleveland, Miami, Milwaukee, Portland and Charlotte.

* The Blazers are off to another good start offensive efficiency wise, 109.6 pts/100 possessions, 7th in the league.  Portland's O-Eff last year was 110.8, which was also good for 7th.  The most efficient offenses so far are LAL, ATL, SAC, GSW and HOU.  The worst offenses are WAS, MIN, ORL, MIL and LAC.

* Defensively, the Blazers are allowing 102.7 pts/100 possessions (12th in the league), compared with 107.1 last year (15th in the league).  Best D's so far: MIA, DAL, ORL, BOS, DEN.  At the other end of the spectrum: PHX, SAC, DET... and then two big surprises right at the bottom: Charlotte and Houston.

* Andre Miller and Armon Johnson both have PER ratings (that's John Hollinger's catch-all stat) over 20, ranking them 14th and 15th in the league thus far at that position, well behind the top 5 of Westbrook (30.9 PER), Paul, Harris, Curry and Dragic.

* Roy's got an 18.8 PER right now, way down from last year (which was itself way down from the previous year).  Rudy's got a woeful 8.4 PER.  Wes Matthews' is 11.4, down from his 12.3 number last year.  Top SGs so far are Monta (26.5), Wade (25.8), Kobe, Cartier Martin and Ben Gordon.

* Batum's PER is 18.4, down from 30+ after 2 games, up from 17.3 last year.  Top SFs so far are Rudy Gay, Wilson Chandler, Granger, Cartier Martin (again!) and Richard Jefferson.  Durant is 6th.

* Aldridge leads the Blazers in PER at 21.1, which would be easily a career best.  Lots of PFs are off to good starts so that only ranks 17th among PFs, one spot behind Tyrus Thomas.  Top 5 so far are Scola, Millsap, P. Gasol, Dirk and Derrick Favors.

* Camby's PER sits at 18.6, just above his career averages.  Fabricio Oberto's PER is 0.9.  He's turned it over on a third of his possessions so far, just as he did last year.  Top C's so far by PER look a little less crazy than some of the other positions: Dwight, Horford, Hibbert, Brook Lopez and Ryan Hollins.

More fun facts after the jump.

Star-divide

* The players with the highest usage% so far are Rose, Wade, Durant, Lebron and Amare. Rose is on track to threaten Kobe's alltime record of 38.7% in 2005-2006 and would be #2 alltime (or at least since that stat's been kept).

* Your top 5 overall rebounders so far by rebound rate?  Reggie Evans, Ben Wallace, Kevin Love, Marcus Camby and Udonis Haslem.

* Rookie Derrick Favors leads everyone in Offensive Rebound %.  A Laker is 4th, but its not Gasol or Odom but Matt Barnes.

* Another rookie, John Wall, leads the league with a steal % of 4.9%.  Rudy's 3rd at 4.7%.  Impressive, but a certain Nate McMillan was able to maintain a stl% of 5.8% throughout the entire 1993-1994 season, to set the record.  Jeremy Lin's not impressed with that-- while he's played just 19 minutes (not enough for the basketball-reference leaderboard)... but has a steal rate of 12.9%.

* Speaking of rookies, high draft picks Favors (24.9), Wall (23.8) and DeMarcus Cousins (21.8) are the top 3 in rookie PER.  Armon Johnson is 5th so far.  The best rookie PER ever belonged to Wilt Chamberlain (28 in 1959-60).

* Our old friend James Jones leads the league in 3 pointers attempted and made this year (18/34).  Yeah, Miami's one of two teams (the other being the Blazers of course) who have played 5 games.

* Speaking of which, Roy and LA are #1 and #2 in total minutes played so far (#8 and #10 in minutes per game).

*Your early leaders in True Shooting %-- a metric for overall scoring efficiency, calculated as 50*points/(fga+0.44*fta):

1) Arron Afflalo .782 (he also leads everyone in offensive rating, at 170)

2) Lamar Odom .774

3) Ben Gordon .751

The TS% of these three players last season: .576, .533, .534, respectively.  

If you relax the requirements so everyone qualifies (regardless of how few shots they've taken), your TS% leaders are Pops Mensah-Bonsu (1.000), Marcin Gortat (.868) and Tyson Chandler (.842).

The alltime season record for TS%- at least since 1946-1947-- (among players who scored at least 500 points) is held by Artis Gilmore in 1981-1982, with a mark of .702.

* Rajon Rondo has an AST% of 60.7, ahead of Kidd (54.2) and Devin Harris (52.5).  John Wall is 4th. The top 10 marks in this stat (among those qualified for the assist title) are held by Stockton, Stockton, Stockton, Paul, Stockton, Stockton, Stockton, Stockton, Paul and Nash. The first non-Stockton/Paul/Nash on the list is Andre Miller for the Cavs in 2001-2002.  Rondo's on pace to break Stockton's alltime record of 57.5.

* Big men Tony Battie, Dan Gadzuric, Leon Powe and Omer Asik have yet to commit a TO this year.  Same with Dante Cunningham.  Hilton Armstrong makes Fab Oberto look careful with the ball-- in 39 minutes he's turned it over on 46.5% of his touches.



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