The NBA never ceases to amaze us. Every time we feel like we've already seen it all, the league makes sure to give us a lesson and prove us wrong. In fact, the longer you take an in-depth look at the stats, the more amazed you're likely to be.
That's why it's so important to not focus only on the eye test. Obviously, that'll give you a nice starting point when you're trying to do some research, but the stats don't lie, while the eye can be tricked, especially if we're watching our favorite players.
Numbers aren't biased like us. That's why today, we're going to let you know about some of the most surprising stats of the season. Hopefully, you'll be as shocked as I was when you finish reading this.
10. Giannis Antetokounmpo Is Leading The League In Free-Throw Attempts
People often complain about how often referees buy into James harden and Trae Young's trick and all the times they go to the line every single game, but you'll be surprised that it's Giannis Antetokounmpo the one who leads the league in that particular category. Thus far, the reigning MVP has attempted a league-high 338 free-throws, followed by Joel Embiid (332), Trae Young (305), Zion Williamson (254), and Luka Doncic (249). Harden isn't even in the top 5.
9. Chris Paul Is Shooting 97.2% From The Line
Chris Paul continues to prove that he's one of the greatest players to ever do it with his outstanding play this season. Not only he's leading the Phoenix Suns to the playoffs for the first time in ages but also he's the undisputed leader in free-throw shooting percentage. Sitting at 97.2%, he's got a chance to take down Jose Calderon's incredible record of 98.1% free-throw shooting in a season.
8. Dwight Howard Averages 6.7 Fouls Per 36 Mins
There's no doubt that Dwight Howard was a solid pickup for the Philadelphia 76ers in free agency. He came as an insurance policy behind the injury-prone Joel Embiid to give them a lot of playoff experience, rebounding, and defense. Then again, he's barely playing 16.2 minutes per game with 3.0 fouls, which is good for 6.7 personal fouls per 36 minutes. That's shocking for a 5-time All-Defensive and 3-time Defensive Player of the Year.
7. Stephen Curry Is Averaging The Same Numbers From His MVP Season
Some people dared question Stephen Curry's legacy this season and he answered by proving that he hadn't even peaked yet. Believe it or not, he's averaging virtually the same numbers that he did during his unanimous MVP campaign. The craziest part is that he's not even a top-5 MVP candidate according to most insiders, as Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kawhi Leonard are all ahead of him.
6. Nikola Jokic Leads The League In Field Goals Made
Nikola Jokic - or the slim version of him - is being more aggressive than ever. He's averaging a career-high 27.0 points per game on 56.2/40.0/87.5 shooting splits. He's leading the NBA in Win Shares, Offensive Box Plus/Minus, Box Plus/Minus, Win Shares Per 48 Minutes, Offensive Win Shares, and Value Over Replacement. But perhaps the most impressive fact is that he's also leading the league in field goals (338).
5. No Player Averages 2.0+ Steals Per Game
Crazy as it may seem, there isn't a single player in the league that's currently averaging 2.0 steals per game or mote. Jrue Holiday is currently leading the race with just 1.9 steals per contest. To put it in context, this would be the first time in NBA history that the steals leader fails to top 2.0 steals per game. If the season ended today, Holiday would beat Draymond Green (2.0) as the player with the fewer steals per game to earn this distinction.
4. Ivica Zubac Leads The League In Offensive Rating
Ivica Zubac is an above-the-average big man. He's a solid interior presence on both ends of the glass, alters shots, makes some putbacks, and sets nice screens. Then again, he's not exactly an offensive mastermind and averages roughly 8.4 points per game. Nonetheless, his presence is a massive offensive boost for the Los Angeles Clippers, as he's currently leading the NBA with an offensive rating of 140.3.
3. Cam Reddish Is Shooting 26.2% From Three
Cam Reddish drew a lot of mixed takes during his time at Duke. While his physical traits were obvious and the upside is clearly there, his lack of efficiency raised a lot of questions. Now, he's proving his doubters right in his sophomore season, as he's having one of the worst three-point shooting seasons of all time at 26.2%. To put it in context, the worst career-three-point shooter in NBA history (John Mahnken) shot 27.2% per his career.
2. Draymond Green Has More Assists (253) Than Points Scored (166)
Draymond Green isn't exactly known for being a scorer but his numbers have regressed even more this season. However, he continues to make a huge impact on both ends of the floor thanks to his top-notch defense, leadership, and elite playmaking, and basketball IQ. Thus far, he's handed out more assists than points scored, and is averaging 5.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.4 steals per game on 35.8% shooting.
1. Russell Westbrook Has As Many Technical Fouls (9) As Triple-Doubles (9)
While it's not unusual to find out that a player has more technical fouls than triple-doubles, it's still surprising if we're talking about Mr. Triple-Double himself, Russell Westbrook. Westbrook has regressed this season with the Washington Wizards and some wonder whether he's still got it or not. Right now, he's averaging 19.9 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 9.9 assists per game, with 9 technicals in just 22 games.