2013 NBA Playoffs Stats That Are Just Plain Wrong

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJune 8, 2013

2013 NBA Playoffs Stats That Are Just Plain Wrong

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    There are at most six games remaining in the NBA season. That means a hot summer ahead and nothing left but to look back on what happened.

    It seems when we look back on these playoffs, stats alone aren't going to tell the whole story.

    There are plenty of stats we can look at that make complete sense: Chris Andersen and LeBron James have been extremely efficient; Tony Parker and LeBron will battle for the assists crown. But some numbers are sticking out like sore thumbs.

    Taking a look at everything that has gone on throughout the postseason, some numbers will pop out and make your forehead wrinkle, while others will just make you laugh.

    Some point to the ultimate downfall of teams, while others will make you question why another team was eliminated so early.

    While it's true that numbers never lie, it's also true that they sometimes leave out key details. Be sure to take a lot of these stats with a grain of salt and keep an eye out for details.

Carmelo Anthony Is Tops in Field Goals

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    In perhaps the most surprising statistical realization of the playoffs, Carmelo Anthony, who played in just the first two rounds before his New York Knicks were eliminated, still has the most field goal attempts of the postseason.

    He attempted 310 field goals in just 12 games (25.8 attempts per game, if you're counting at home) this postseason.

    Just three times in the past has a player led the postseason in field goal attempts without making it to the NBA Finals: Michael Jordan in 1989 and 1990, and Elgin Baylor in 1961. However, Baylor and Jordan both made it to the conference finals (or division finals, in Baylor's case), making it seem a bit less ridiculous.

    Unfortunately, it's likely Anthony won't be joining Jordan and Baylor. LeBron James is only 12 field goal attempts behind him, and likely poised to overtake him sometime during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

    Better luck next year, Carmelo.

A Forward Could Be Tops in Assists

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    Assist numbers, at least as far as peaks go, have been way down in this year's playoffs. Deron Williams leads everybody with just 8.4 assists per game, joined by Stephen Curry and Ty Lawson as the only players to average at least eight.

    However, LeBron James leads all players with 113 assists so far in the postseason, with Tony Parker creeping right up behind him with 107.

    The two are incredibly close in assists per game—James at 6.6 and Parker at 7.1—but if things hold, LeBron should end up leading the playoffs in total assists.

    Why is that a big deal? Well, he's a forward. The last time a forward led the playoffs in assists was back in 2007, when LeBron did it for the first time in his career.

    The last time a non-guard had the playoff lead in total assists was more than 30 years ago, when Bill Walton picked up 104 back in 1977.

Apparently Sharing Isn't Caring

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    Keeping on the assists train, the number of dimes dropped by single players this year has been surprisingly low.

    Like we looked at last slide, just three players are averaging eight assists per game or more, and we top out with Deron Williams' 8.4 per game.

    It's been a decade since the postseason lead was anywhere near that low: Gary Payton averaged 8.7 back in 2003.

    In fact, it's been nearly that long since nobody in the playoffs averaged double-digit assists. 2004 was the most recent year, with Jason Kidd and Steve Nash averaging nine assists apiece.

    It doesn't seem as if assists as a whole are down across the board. But it does seem that the distributing is being done by the entire team, rather than by a single point guard.

Moses Malone, Dennis Rodman and...Tyler Hansbrough?

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    Tyler Hansbrough's most notable moment of the 2013 playoffs was the bit of a scrum he got into with Chris Andersen, ultimately leading to Andersen getting suspended for a game.

    However, in his limited minutes he was also able to join a list of just 10 players, including Indiana Pacers legend Jeff Foster.

    Hansbrough recorded an offensive rebounding rate of 18.34 percent, becoming just the 10th player to break the 18-percent barrier. He joins the likes of Dennis Rodman and Moses Malone, as well as a few other curiosities such as Will Perdue, Lou Amundson, Jordan Hill and Foster.

    It's a strange stat to give too much credence to: it really points to Hansbrough being extremely active in his 13 minutes per game, but he did play in nearly double the number of minutes necessary to qualify.

    Color me moderately impressed.

Reggie Evans Is Just Silly

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    While we're on the topic of rebounding, we've got to talk about Reggie Evans.

    Despite the fact that he played in just the first round of the playoffs, he registered 150 minutes and qualifies for the all-time playoffs leaderboard.

    Before last year's playoffs, Dennis Rodman owned three of the top four spots for total rebounding rate in the playoffs. Now he's down to one of the top four.

    Evans followed up his 24.84 percent rebounding rate last playoffs with a 24.60 percent rebounding rate this season, giving him two of the top three, and three of the top seven spots all-time.

    Not only that, he grabbed 40.82 percent of the possible defensive rebounds while on the floor in his seven playoff games, taking over the top spot in that category.

    It would have been interesting to see the Brooklyn Nets move on, if only to see how far Evans could take his insane rebounding.

The Fouls Leader Likely Won't Be a Player from the NBA Finals

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    Generally speaking, you'd imagine that one of the players who was active for the most games in the playoffs would end up committing the most fouls.

    Unless Chris Bosh or Mario Chalmers really get foul-prone in the next six (or maybe just three) games, those players likely won't even crack the top two.

    Right now Roy Hibbert's 74 fouls and Paul George's 72 give them the top two spots, David West coming in at a distant third with 54 fouls.

    Bosh and Chalmers are tied for the active lead, each committing just 52 fouls so far. They would have to average 3.7 fouls if the NBA Finals drags out to seven games in order to take the lead. If Miami gets swept, they can max out at 70.

    Even more stunning, Tim Duncan is leading the Spurs with just 41 total fouls, a distant 15th overall.

Gary Neal Is in a 72-Way Tie for First

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    Gary Neal is a notch ahead of Jamal Crawford for the free throw percentage lead in the 2013 playoffs. Crawford made all 11 of his attempts, but Neal has been slightly more perfect, knocking in 12 of 12 attempts.

    Obviously guys have had perfect playoffs from the free-throw line before, and it'll happen a ton going into the future.

    Neal and Crawford both crossed the qualification threshold of 10 free-throw attempts, so they're in the 100-percent club; Neal just has to finish off the season without a miss.

    If he does that, he'll join 71 other players, including Crawford, who have gone the entire playoffs without a miss from the line.

    That's nearly exciting.

Chris Andersen Can Tie or Pass Scott Williams...

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    It's been quite a while since any NBA player got to the point of ridiculousness with over-aggressive play. For more a decade, no player has committed more than two flagrant fouls in the playoffs.

    Well, Andersen has two to his name with at least three games left to go. If things get testy, don't put it past him to go over the edge and pick up that third flagrant.

    The last guy to go past two flagrants in the playoffs was Milwaukee Bucks center Scott Williams, who earned a suspension for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals after elbowing Allen Iverson in the chin in Game 6.

    What makes the third flagrant foul so particularly interesting is that a player receiving his third flagrant foul "point" (one point for a flagrant-1, two for a flagrant-2) gets an automatic suspension for the next game.

    So, if Andersen lands a third flagrant, that means he'll earn a suspension for the following game. That prospect has generally kept the third flagrant from appearing in the playoffs in recent years.

...and Pass James Donaldson

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    On one hand there's the negative; on the other, the extremely positive.

    Not only is Chris Andersen getting a bit too physical, he's also refusing to miss a single shot—both of which have to get under the opposition's skin.

    Andersen is 41-51 in the playoffs so far, putting his field goal percentage at 80.39 percent.

    He's qualified for the postseason leaderboard by shooting at least 20 field goals. That gives him the all-time best playoff field goal percentage, far ahead of James Donaldson's 75 percent rate from back in 1986.

    The Birdman actually had just his second multi-miss game of the playoffs in Game 1 of the Finals, going 3-for-5 against the Spurs.

Western Conference Feathers Remain Unruffled

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    The San Antonio Spurs have been called for just one technical foul in 15 playoff games. The Chicago Bulls could have knocked that out before tipoff.

    In fact, out of eight playoff teams the Western Conference saw just two, the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Clippers, total double-digit technical foul numbers.

    The Eastern Conference had just three teams rack up fewer than 10 techs.

    Looking at totals across each conference, the West was able to scream and stomp its way to 62 technical fouls while the East picked up 93.

    Somebody needs to get those Atlantic Ocean-dwellers to calm down; they've been far too angry in these playoffs.

LeBron Has to Work to Catch Paul George

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    In another case of players no longer in the playoffs leading a "totals" category, Paul George led everybody with a stunning 75 turnovers in 19 games.

    This is another one of those situations where it would make more sense if a guy playing in the Finals was leading the category, just based on sheer number of games played.

    However, George is in first with LeBron coming in at a distant second with 21 fewer turnovers at 54.

    Once again, given a seven-game series with the Spurs, LeBron would have to up his turnover rate a bit and cough the ball up 3.5 times per game the rest of the way just to tie George.

    Something tells me that George is going to be holding onto this one.

Stephen Curry Could Lead the Three-Point Brigade

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    Much like Carmelo Anthony and the field-goal attempts lead, Stephen Curry has the most three-point attempts of anybody in these playoffs, despite the fact that he only played in the first two rounds.

    Curry attempted 106 three-pointers in just 12 playoff games, giving him 8.8 threes per game. Hell, he could have shot more and Mark Jackson probably would have been fine with it.

    Ray Allen remains the closest shooter remaining, but he's sitting at a distant fourth with 78 attempts. Allen would have to continue on his rate of five attempts per game and the series against the Spurs would have to go to seven games in order for him to pass Curry.

    More amazing, Curry's 8.8 three-point attempts per game is surpassed by just five other players in NBA history, and they all played five or fewer playoff games.