So far, this season, the Los Angeles Lakers have managed to score over 100 points in every game. Oh, and they're undefeated on the season as well (8-0), one of only two teams remaining undefeated (New Orleans Hornets are the other team).
Clearly, the Lakers have had no problem offensively. In fact, they contain two of the top eight players in the league relating to player efficiency rating (PER). Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant hold 28.60 and 25.41 PERs respectively, in comparison to the league average of 14.27.
Pau Gasol has meshed with this Lakers team incredibly since his 2008 trade from the Grizzlies. Gasol averaged at least 18 points and nine boards per game in each of his two full seasons with the Lakers. His free-throw percentage has sat consistently at about 80 percent while his FG percentage has varied between 51 percent to 58.9 percent (above average for an NBA power forward).
The FT percentage surely has to have head coach Phil Jackson smiling as Gasol goes to the line, on average, six times per game, not including an "and one" just about every game (0.77 "and ones" per game).
With all those impressive stat lines, you would have to think the Lakers run their entire offense out of Gasol. (Side note: Jackson said he likes to get a post entry to Gasol on the first possession of every game.)
Crazy enough, though, Gasol's usage rate is only 24.82 percent, which ranks 15th among power forwards in the league. Obviously, this has to do with the fact that Kobe Bryant (30.32 percent USG) plays on the same team. Still, the Lakers thrive off the post entry/ kick-out...so why not get the big fella more involved?
Kobe, on the other hand, continues to show the world why he is, quite possibly, the best basketball player on the planet. His FG and three-point percentages are typical to his career averages at around 45 percent and 34 percent respectively.
He's starting to assist more in the fast break, though his stats won't show it. (His assist average is down from previous years due to his decrease in minutes, but his assist percentage (percentage of made field goals in which Kobe assists on) has spiked to 46.8 percent.
It's not just these two, though. The whole team is an offensive juggernaut. According to Hoopdata, the Los Angeles Lakers have had the highest offensive efficiency (points scored per 100 possessions) that they have seen in five years (when they began keeping track of the statistic).
Maybe the Lakers are the most efficient team the NBA has seen in a while. Unfortunately, their defense isn't quite as good (100.0 defensive efficiency), but is still above the league average.
This team is one of the most complete teams we've seen in a while—on offense, that is. First off, as I mentioned earlier, they have no trouble at all scoring the basketball. They currently rank seventh in the league in FG percentage (47.4 percent) and first in three-point percentage (an incredible 43.5 percent).
Their guards (Derek Fisher, Steve Blake) can take care of the ball, something that is widely overlooked in today's NBA game. LA ranks third in the league in turnover rate (percentage of possessions ending in a turnover) at 12.54 percent.
They can also get it done on the boards, even without Andrew Bynum. The Lakers rank seventh in the NBA in total rebound rate (percentage of rebounds grabbed by a team) at 51.25 percent.
Overall, the only way to beat these Lakers is to keep this team from scoring, which is obviously hard to do. Good luck, NBA...you're going to need it.
Many thanks to hoopdata.com for all the important statistics used in this column