NBA Advanced Stats and Notes
We’ve officially started the second half of the 2021 NBA Season and it’s time for another Advanced Stats Update. Be sure to check back on our previous releases to compare results. Join the conversation and let us hear your feedback on these rankings and notes on Twitter @Tothehizzy.
Player Efficiency Rating – PER
“A measure of per-minute production standardized such that the league average is 15.”
- Nikola Jokic (31.5)
- Joel Embiid (31.1)
- Giannis Antetokounmpo (29.0)
- Zion Williamson (26.8)
- Kawhi Leonard (26.7)
- Damian Lillard (26.6)
- Luka Doncic (26.2)
- Jimmy Butler (25.4)
- Stephen Curry (25.2)
- Kevin Durant (25.2) ***
- Bradley Beal (24.8
“The PER sums up all a player’s positive accomplishments, subtracts the negative accomplishments, and returns a per-minute rating of a player’s performance.”
The biggest surprise here was Zion Williamson cracking the top ten. He’s been a monster across his last ten games, averaging 28.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 4.7 assists. He also replaced Joel Embiid in the All-Star Game and dropped 10 points in 14 minutes. The youngster has come alive, and I see this recent success developing into a more consistent trend; he’ll be in MVP conversations next season for sure!
Jimmy Butler is another player who is absolutely on fire! Across his last ten games, he’s averaged 22.6 points, nine assists, and 8.3 rebounds, nearly a triple-double per game. The Heat have flourished with his increased production, posting a 7-3 record across those ten games, including a six-game win streak.
His success is equating to his teams victories and it couldn’t have come at a better time; the Heat would finish the first half with a .500 record with 18 wins and losses. Miami has a soft schedule to start the second half with matchups, including the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Memphis Grizzlies; I’m betting on his hot streak to continue for the foreseeable future.
Kevin Durant is still hanging out in the top ten despite not having played a game since 2/13/21; that’s how good he was before getting shut down. The Nets will be cautious managing him through his hamstring injury, and with the production they’re getting from the rest of the roster, why wouldn’t they? I suspect Durant’s return will be much closer to the NBA Playoffs; the Nets dominate the competition and could still win the East without him.
True Shooting Percentage – TS%
“A measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account 2-point field goals, 3-pt field goals, and free throws.
- Jarrett Allen (.714)
- Joe Ingles (.705)
- Joe Harris (.700)
- Richaun Holmes (.680)
- Chris Boucher (.660)
- Mikal Bridges (.658)
- Montrezl Harrell (.658)
- Zach LaVine (.653)
- Kevin Durant (.652)***
- Nikola Jokic (.652)
- Zion Williamson (.650)
Jarrett Allen has remained in the top five True Shooting % Rankings all season long. He struggled to get consistent minutes when he first arrived in Cleveland, but now, with Andre Drummond gone, he has a reliable role. Across his last ten games, he’s averaged 17.6 points on .673 Field Goal %. Allen is only shooting around ten shots per game; it would be wise for the Cavaliers to get him a few extra looks in the paint; he’s earned it.
There are many new names on this list since our last update a month ago. Joe Ingles and Joe Harris have both snuck into the top 5. Ingles has averaged 11.7 points per game across his last ten appearances, including a .568 FG%, .490 3P%, and .889 FT%. Harris has filled in very well for Kevin Durant, and James Harden always finds him for open looks. Like Ingles, Harris’s shooting has been remarkably consistent. However, I expect Ingles has a better shot at holding his spot based on the eventual return of Durant post-injury; the minute’s police will come for Harris in due time.
Boucher: Sell High
Chris Boucher is a Sell High candidate in Fantasy Basketball; his recent production has been amazing; but the Toronto Raptors have been without starters Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby who are all out indefinitely under NBA Covid Quarantine protocols. I’m not sure when all three will return, but Boucher’s production will fall once they do. In his last ten games he’s shot .536 FG%, .455 3P%, and .833 FT %.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk up Zach LaVine, who plays for my favorite team, the Chicago Bulls. LaVine has been shooting the lights out in his last ten games, averaging 30 points a game on .539 FG%, .461 3P%, and .843 FT%. The Bulls are 6-4 across that stretch of games, closing out their first-half record with 16 wins and 18 losses.
If Lavine can keep this pace, he’ll keep the Bulls in the Playoff conversation, especially with Otto Porter and Lauri Markkanen returning from injury soon. The Bulls open the back up with the Philadelphia 76ers, who will be without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons; expect a big night from LaVine to start the second half!