Its Week 12 of the NBA season, but Week 1 of 2018. In the early days of the New Year, let’s explore the first numbers on the NBA Jersey Number Line.
#0 – Demarcus Cousins
26.2 PPG / 12.5 RPG / 5.2 APG / 1.5 SPG / 1.5 BPG / .479 FG% / .354 3PFG% / 36 GP
Though his jersey number is the lowest of the spectrum, Cousins impact has been quite enormous in the Big Easy this season. The monstrous Cousins is fourth in the league in points per game, third in the league in rebounds, and seventh in value over replacement player (2.3).
Boogie’s contribution on both ends has been much needed for the 18-18 Pelicans, who sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Much like the NBA’s officials have signaled Cousins for a fourth best 7 technicals this season, we are signaling Cousins as the best to rock the #0 this season.
Honorable Mention : Damian Lillard
#1 – Devin Booker
24.9 PPG / 4.5 RPG / 4.2 APG / .9 SPG / .3 BPG / .444 FG% / .384 3PFG% / 28 GP
In his third year out of Kentucky, Booker brightens the Suns offense on a nightly basis, sitting 7th in points per game. The 21 year old Booker is showing improvement this season, averaging career highs across the board including upping his effective field goal percentage from 47.5% to 51.2%.
The next area for Book will be on the defensive end where he and his Suns teammates particularly struggle. Booker’s offense box plus minus sits at very respectable 18th in the league (3.5), while his defense box plus minus is an atrocious -2.7. Nevertheless, Booker has established himself as one of the premier young scorers in the league, all while rocking his sharp #1.
#2 – John Wall
18.3 PPG / 3.7 RPG / 8.7 APG / 1.2 SPG / 1.1 BPG / .414 FG% / .327% 3PFG% / 26 GP
I swear that I don’t have a Kentucky basketball bias, but John Calipari has a knack for producing quality NBA players. John Wall is certainly one of them. Currently 4th in the league in assists per game, Wall has had a hard time matching last seasons career year.
His shooting numbers have dropped three percentage points, his points per game 5 points, and assists have dropped 2 points. Wall’s dip in production hasn’t effected the Wizards drastically, but he has been critical of the team and their play for the 21-16 Wiz.
Honorable Mention: Kawhi Leonard (Missed Time with Injury)
#3 – Bradley Beal
23.4 PPG / 4.4 RPG / 3.6 APG / 1.1 SPG / .5 BPG/ .447 FG% / .365 3PFG% / 37 GP
Beal has been the most consistent producer for the Wizards, leading the team in points and appearing in all 37 games. Beal, like his backcourt mate #2, has regressed from last season’s career best shooting numbers. Beal is attempting two more shots per game, but hitting them less efficiently.
Wizards fans have seen less triple attempts (6.5) from #3 this season, which hasn’t quite matched Coach Brooks expectations. Lets hope that the explosive Wall can set the Florida product with a few more opportunities to show off his velvety jumper in 2018.
Honorable Mentions: CJ McCollum, Chris Paul
#4 – Victor Oladipo
24.9 PPG / 5.3 RPG / 3.9 APG / 1.8 SPG / 1.0 BPG / .485 FG% / .423 3PFG% / 33 GP
Before his current right knee issue, Oladipo burst onto the NBA landscape in his first season with his hometown Pacers. Ninth in the league in points, Vic has received lots of deserved praise for his hard work on his game this offseason.
His vicious dunks and 2.7 trey’s per game has translated to a 4.2 offensive box plus minus. Oladipo is also a menace on the defensive end, sitting 11th in the league in steals. The fifth year man out of Indiana, #4 has been on opposing coaches minds often this season.
#5 – Will Barton
14.9 PPG / 5.2 RPG / 3.8 APG / 1.1 SPG / .6 BPG / .450 FG% / .365 3PFG% / 35 GP
Barton is a real sparkplug for the Nuggets off Mike Malone’s bench. Barton provides a nice mix of reliable scoring production with head scratchers, and it’s entertaining as hell. In his seventh NBA season, Barton has filled up the stat sheet giving rise to his Sixth Man of the Year Candidacy.
Malone told the Denver Post, “Most sixth-men of the year affect the game in one way: scoring. But what separates Will is his playmaking, his scoring and his rebounding. And he’s a much improved defender.” Will is in the last year of a cheap 3 year,10.6 Million dollar deal and the impending free agent will look to cash out this summer.
Honorable Mention : Rodney Hood
#6 – Kristaps Porzingis
24.5 PPG / 6.7 RPG / 1.3 APG / .6 SPG / 2.2 BPG / .446 FG% / .370 3PFG% / 30 GP
There is a 22 year old unicorn running wild in MSG, blocking everything in sight and splashing home jumpers for the 18-18 Knicks. Thirteenth in the league in points per game and third in blocks, #6 is also leading the league in providing hope to a fanbase.
KP has been spectacular carrying New York’s offense behind his 7’3″ frame, with the fifth highest usage percentage of 33.2%. The Latvian is 2nd in blocks per game and block percentage (6.3%), and while that alone is terrifying for the opposition, what Porzingis becomes next is even more frightening if you are not a Knicks fan.
Honorable Mention: DeAndre Jordan
#7 – Kyle Lowry
16.2 PPG / 6.1 RPG / 7.0 APG / 1.2 SPG / .1 BPG / .424 FG% / .389 3PFG% / 35 GP
Lowry is producing in many areas of the floor, averaging career highs in assists and rebounds. At 25-10, The Raptors are second in the Eastern Conference behind a revamped and very effective offense that is third in points per game, fourth in offensive rating, and tenth in pace.
Lowry plays a large role in this offensive outburst with an astounding 119 offensive rating. Fresh off a contract extension, Lowry hopes to parlay his All Star caliber play in the regular season to improved postseason play in 2018.
Honorable Mention: Carmelo Anthony, Jaylen Brown
#8 – Spencer Dinwiddie
12.5 PPG / 3.1 RPG / 6.5 APG / .8 SPG / .4 BPG / .396 FG% / .360 3PFG% / 36 GP
A fourth year player out of Colorado, Spencer Dinwiddie has slid into the starting lineup after injuries to Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell. Dinwiddie has converted his extra opportunity this season into career highs in points and assists after his stints with the Pistons and Nets. Brooklyn attempts the second most threes per game and plays at the fourth fastest pace, with Dinwiddie doing his part hitting two threes per game.
#9 – Dario Saric
13.6 PPG / 7.0 RPG / 2.7 APG / .7 SPG / .3 BPG / .443 FG% / .366 3PFG% / 35 GP
The 23 year old Saric has improved in his second season out of Croatia. Super Dario often feels like a left out piece amongst the Sixers promising core, leaving some to suggest that the Sixers move Saric. At 6’10” Saric is versatile and he makes sense in the Philadelphia starting lineup if his jumper falls more consistently.
As Christopher Kline of Fansided notes, Saric has been even better over his last 10 games – averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. With production like that expect Brett Brown’s squad to look #9’s way even more here in 2018.
Honorable Mentions: Serge Ibaka, Nikola Vucevic
#10 – Demar Derozan
24.9 PPG / 4.3 RPG / 4.9 APG / 1.2 SPG / .3 BPG / .485 FG% / .349 3PFG% / 35 GP
When he’s not posterizing opposing rim protectors, DD has unleashed a new part of his game – a three point shot. Ask the Milwaukee Bucks, because this is just unfair. Over his last 9 games, Derozan is doing his best to warm up the cold Canadian weather with a scorching 21 of 41 (51.2%) from downtown.
Fans have wondered about Derozan’s lack of a three point shot in the past, but this is an encouraging sign as the Raptors are making changes to their offense. Pairing with #7, Derozan and the Raptors are destroying those who come north of the border, with a 14-1 record at home.