Here in "Notable Numbers," we attempt to unearth a plethora of interesting stats and fantasy-relevant facts each week. Today, I'll discuss a handful of veterans that are beating the odds by exceeding expectations and proving their worth in 2019-20.
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DeMar Is Delivering:
Over the first two months of the 2019-20 campaign, DeMar DeRozan provided solid stats, similar to what we were expecting heading into the season. However, over the last three weeks, DeRozan has ratcheted up his production up to another level by scoring at an incredibly efficient clip.
Dating back to December 21st, DeRozan is averaging 25.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.0 steals, while shooting a scorching 64.8 percent from the floor and 86.0 percent from the free-throw stripe. Incredibly, he has scored over 20 points, dished out at least three dimes, and converted at least 52 percent of his FG attempts in eight straight games. That is the longest such streak in Spurs franchise history. Furthermore, only three players have longer such streaks this century: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Giannis Antetokounmpo. During these three weeks, DeRozan ranks 13th overall in nine-category fantasy formats (one spot of Giannis).
On the season, DeRozan is shooting 53.0% from the floor. It's extremely rare for any guard, let alone one that is a focal point of his team's offense, to post a shooting percentage in that stratosphere. In fact, according to Basketball-Reference, the last guard to attempt 16+ FG's per game and shoot over 52% from the floor was some dude named Micheal Jordan, who did it four seasons in a row (from 1987 through 1991).
One reason for DeRozan's recent upward trend could be related to one of his teammates stretching the floor. Over the Spurs first 27 games this season, LaMarcus Aldridge averaged 1.7 three-point attempts a night, while shooting 31.8% from downtown. Over their last seven contests, Aldridge is averaging 4.3 triple tries while shooting a ridiculous 66.7% from behind the arc. (As an aside, LMA has converted 96.3% of his free throws over his last ten appearances.)
Turning Back the Clock:
With the Blazers in desperate need of a win on Tuesday night, and time running out in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors running double-teams at Dame Lillard, Carmelo Anthony stepped up and knocked down a game-winning jumper. He finished the evening with a season-high 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting, to go along with seven rebounds, two steals and five 3-pointers.
On the season, Anthony is now averaging 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.6 treys, and just 1.8 turnovers while posting a TS% of 52.7%. That ranks him inside the top-100 in nine-category fantasy formats. Not too shabby for a guy that couldn't find a roster spot in the NBA for nearly a year.
Since signing with the Blazer back on Nov. 19, Melo is averaging more points than Lauri Markkanen, Kristaps Porzingis, Andre Drummond, Kevin Love or Ben Simmons, and averaging more rebounds than Draymond Green, Paul George or Myles Turner.
Melo isn't the only 30-something former superstar showing he still has plenty left in the tank in 2020.
Derrick Rose was at it again Tuesday as well, pouring in a team-high 24 points and dishing out seven assists to help push the Pistons to a victory over the Wolves. Rose's production in 2019-20 is remarkable, considering his injury history and the wear-and-tear on his body.
Consider this: When D Rose won the MVP award in 2010-11, these were his per-36 minute averages:
24.1 points (on 44.5% shooting), 7.4 assists, 1.5 treys and 1.0 steals
Here are Rose's per-36 minute averages this season:
25.2 points (on 48.4% shooting), 8.3 assists, 1.4 treys and 1.3 steals.
Yes, D Rose is posting career-highs in PPP, assist rate and steal rate in his age 31-year season. He ranks 89th in nine-cat leagues, a few spots ahead of mid-round picks such as Draymond Green, Derrick Favors and Montrezl Harrell.
And of course we can't forget about Chris Paul. The 34-year old CP3 put on an absolute clinic in the fourth quarter and into overtime of OKC's victory over the Nets on Tuesday evening. He finished the contest with 28 points (9-of-15 FGs, 6of-6 FTs), six rebounds, three assists, two steals and four triples in 38 minutes. It shouldn't have come as a surprise, as Paul leads all players in clutch scoring this season.
Paul's extraordinary efficiency has catapulted him to second-round fantasy value in 2019-20. Not only has he avoided a regression this season, but he's actually on pace to shoot 47% from the floor, over 37% from downtown and over 90% from the FT stripe for the first time in his career. And you know he's taking care of the basketball. He's currently the only player in the league averaging more than six assists yet fewer than 2.5 turnovers per game.
Oh, and I hear that 35-year old LeBron James guy has been decent this year as well.
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Jingles Bells Ringing:
Joe Ingles, who himself celebrated his 32nd birthday back in October, sputtered out of the gates this season. His jumper was missing in action, and he scored in single digits in 14 of Utah's first 20 games. Over that 20-game stretch, from the start of the season through the end of November, he averaged just 7.1 points, 1.4 treys and 3.3 assists, while shooting a putrid 35.3% from the floor, 30% from downtown and 76.9% from the free-throw line.
Over those six weeks to begin the season, Ingles ranked 226th overall in nine-category formats. As a result, he was sent to the waiver wire by many a frustrated fantasy GM.
However, once winter arrived, and the temperature dropped, Ingles percentages began to rise. The most important development that triggered Ingles' resurgence was Mike Conley's injury. Once Conley's left hamstring tightened up and forced the Jazz's starting point guard to the sideline, Ingles was asked to become more of a facilitator on the offensive end.
Ingles replaced Conley in the starting lineup back in early December and has been a different player since. In Utah's last 16 games, Ingles essentially doubled his production across the board, averaging 14.8 points, 3.1 triples and 6.1 assists a night, while shooting 51.8% from the field, 51.5% from deep ad 85% from the charity stripe.
Over his last 12 games, Ingles is tallying 16.6 points, 5.1 boards, 5.6 dimes and 3.5 triples. He ranks 25th overall in nine-cats during this run. Only two other players are averaging more than five rebounds, five assists and three treys over the last month: James Harden and Luka Doncic.
Last Second Shots:
* Andre Drummond exploded for 23 points, 20 rebounds, five assists, one steal and two blocks in 38 minutes on Tuesday night. It was the 38th 20 point/20 rebound game of his career. Over the last 30 years, the only players with more 20/20 games are Charles Barkley, Dwight Howard and Hakeem Olajuwon.
* Jaren Jackson Jr. had blocked at least three shots and knocked down at least three 3-pointers in each of the Grizzlies last three games. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first player in NBA history to accomplish this feat.
* According to Basketball-Reference, Luka Doncic is just the fifth player in NBA history with at least 2,000 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in his first 100 games. The other four are Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Grant Hill, and LeBron James. Doncic and Robertson are the only players with 2,000+ points, 750+ rebounds, and 500+ assists. Furthermore, Luka has made 250 3-pointers, which is the most on league history through 100 games.