This Season In SportVU: Regular Season Player Tracking Stats

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

It’s been some time since we’ve looked at the available data from the network of motion-tracking cameras that have been installed in all 29 NBA arenas known as SportVU. The NBA describes the technology as, “Using six cameras installed in the catwalks of every NBA arena, SportVU software tracks the movements of every player on the court and the basketball 25 times per second. The data collected provides a plethora of innovative statistics based around speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.”

So here’s how the Trail Blazers ended the regular season in regard to their stats in SportVU. All stats are courtesy of NBA.com/stats.

Now, some of the interesting numbers …

SPEED AND DISTANCE

As many of you probably know, Nicolas Batum finished the regular season as the player who covered the most ground in the NBA. Batum finished the season having covered 216.0 miles, which is eight miles more than the next closest player. All of Portland’s starting backcourt ended the season in the Top 10 in distance traveled, with Damian Lillard coming in third at 207.5 miles and Wesley Matthews traveling 199.2 miles, good for eighth this season.

Batum also finished the season third in distance traveled per game at 2.6 miles per game. Lillard finished 12th in the NBA at 2.5 miles per game.

As a team, the Trail Blazers travelled 1,400.5 miles this season, fourth-most in the NBA behind the Spurs (1,443.8 miles), the Sixers (1,438.8 miles) and the Cavaliers (1,414.2 miles). The average speed of the team was 4.2 miles per hour and their distanced traveled per game was 17.1 miles.

TOUCHES AND POSSESSION

As you would expect, Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers in touches per game (which is defines as “the number of times a player touches AND possesses the ball”) with 84.0, which was good enough for 11th in the NBA this season. Lillard logged 6,888 total touches this season, fifth-best in the NBA, and possessed the ball an average of 6.9 minutes per game, eighth-best in the league.

In regards to elbow touches (which the NBA defines as “touches that originate within the 5 foot radius nearing the edge of the lane), LaMarcus Aldridge finished the season averaging 7.6 per game, good for ninth in the NBA.

The Trail Blazers as a team were 18th in the league this season in touches per game with an average of 416.0, which comes to 34,113 total touches this season. Portland possessed the ball an average of 18.8 minutes per game, 12th in the NBA, and were eighth in points per touch at 0.26. Portland’s 13.1 close touches per game (defined by the NBA as “all touches that originate within 12 feet of the basket, excluding drives) was third-worst in the NBA this season. By contrast, the Grizzlies led the NBA in close touches per game with 24.9.

PASSING

In another non-surprise, Damian Lillard finished first on the team in passes per game with an average of 60.8, 14th-best in the NBA this season. Lillard also led the team in secondary assists (aka “hockey assists”) with 1.2 per game, just tick up from Nicolas Batum at 0.9 per game. Lillard also led in assist opportunities per game with 10.9, with Batum once against right behind him at 9.4 per game. Batum did just edged out Lillard in free throw assists at 0.7 per game.

As a team, the Blazers averaged 295.5 passes per game, 18th in the league this season. They were also 18th in free throw assists at 2.4 per game and were 17th in secondary assists with 5.4 per game.

Portland’s 45.8 assist opportunities per game was good for ninth in the league this season while their average of 55.8 points created by assist per game was seventh-best in the NBA.

DEFENSIVE IMPACT

When it comes to rim protection, our beloved Robin Lopez finished the regular season ranked third in opponent field goal attempts at the rim with 10.3 per game, which put him right behind DeAndre Jordan and just ahead of Roy Hibbert. RoLo’s opponents converted an average of 4.4 attempts at the rim per game, which was 11th in the NBA. Divide one by the other and Lopez’s opponents shot just 42.5 percent at the rim this season, which puts him behind only Hibbert in opponent field gaol percentage at the rim (minimum 25 games and six opponent field goal attempts at the rim per game). What a difference from last year.

As a team, Portland gave up the third-most attempts at the rim with an average of 23.8 per game. However, the Trail Blazers were 13th in opponent makes at the rim with 11.7 per game, which pencils out to a 49.2 opponent shooting percentage at the rim, which was the fourth-best mark in the NBA this season. So whatever issues the Blazers had on defense this season, rim protection wasn’t one of them.

REBOUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

When it comes to rebound chances per game (which the NBA defines as “the number of times a player was within 3.5 feet of a rebound”), LaMarcus Aldridge ended the season averaging 16.7 chances per game, which was ninth in the NBA this season. Many of those rebound opportunities were uncontested (which the NBA defines as “rebounds gathered where no opponent is within 3.5 feet) as Aldridge finished behind only DeAndre Jordan for the most uncontested rebounds in the league with year with 8.1 per game.

With Aldridge holding down the uncontested rebounds, Robin Lopez went to work on the contested rebounds. RoLo averaged 4.3 contested rebounds (with the NBA defines as “rebounds gathered with an opponent within 3.5 feet” naturally) per game, the sixth-best mark in the NBA this season.

The Trail Blazers led the NBA in rebounding this season with 3,808 and also led the league in rebound chances with 78.8 per game. They were also first in uncontested rebounds with 32.3 per game and ninth in contested rebounds with 14.1 per game.

DRIVES

Damian Lillard tallied 623 drives this season (which the NBA defines as “any touch that starts at least 20 feet from the hoop and is dribbled with 10 feet of the hoop, fastbreaks not included”), ninth-most in the NBA. Lillard scored 461 points on drives, which was fifth-best in the NBA.

CATCH AND SHOOT

The Trail Blazers are one of the most frequent uses of the catch and shoot, both from two and three. Wesley Matthews finished fifth in the NBA in points off of catch and shoot opportunities this season with 554 points. Matthews attempted 5.1 catch and shoot three-pointers per game, third-most in the NBA, and made an average of 2.1 per game, sixth-best in the NBA. HIs 6.8 points per game on catch and shoot attempts was good for 10th in the NBA this season. LaMarcus Aldridge was close behind with 6.2 catch and shoot points per game.

Matthews shot 41.9 percent on catch and shoot threes this season, which was the second best mark on the team (minimum three attempts per game) to Damian Lillard’s 42.2 percentage on catch and shoot threes.

As far as catch and shoot attempts from anywhere on the court, Aldridge finished fourth in the league this season in both attempts (6.7 per game) and makes (3.1 makes per game).

As a team, the Trail Blazers finished with 2,493 points on catch and shoot attempts this season for an average of 30.6 catch and shoot points per game. Both marks were second only to the Hawks this season.

The Trail Blazers were also second in catch and shoot attempts with 28.3 per game and shot 41.4 percent on those attempts, the fifth-best mark this season. Portland was second in catch and shoot three-pointers with 7.5 per game despite being 10th in catch and shoot three-point attempts.

PULL UP

After starting the season near the top of the pull up shot rankings, Damian Lillard finished the season attempting 5.9 pull ups per game, with was 14th most in the NBA this season. However, he did finish eighth in points on pull up shots this season with 480. That makes sense considering that Lillard’s 1.2 three-point pull up shots per game was the third-best mark in the NBA this season.

And just as was the case with catch and shoot shots, the Trail Blazers were one of the most prolific pull up shot-taking teams in the NBA this season. Their 1,664 points on pull ups shots this season was second only to Oklahoma City this season. The Trail Blazers were first in pull up shot attempts at 24.4 per game and third in three-point pull up attempts with 6.9 per game. Portland shot 37.1 percent on all pull ups, putting them at 15th in the NBA this season, and 31.7 percent on three-point pull up shots,  which ranked 11th this season.

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This Week In SportVU: Kings Of Catch And Shoot, Batum And Lillard’s Century Club

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 years ago

It’s been some time since we’ve looked at the available data from the network of motion-tracking cameras that have been installed in all 29 NBA arenas known as SportVU. The NBA describes the technology as, “Using six cameras installed in the catwalks of every NBA arena, SportVU software tracks the movements of every player on the court and the basketball 25 times per second. The data collected provides a plethora of innovative statistics based around speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.”

So let’s catch up on where the Trail Blazers are at in terms of their stats in SportVU. All statistics are current as of games played on Jan. 18.

Now, some of the interesting numbers …

Speed And Distance

Nicolas Batum is third in the NBA in total distance traveled at 105.5 miles so far this season and is fourth in distance traveled

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per game with an average at 2.6 miles. With an average speed of 4.4 miles per hour, Batum is tied with Thomas Robinson for the fastest player on the team, though he’s obviously clocking that average speed in far more minutes than T-Rob.

Damian Lillard joins Batum in the “Century Club” with 101.2 miles traveled this season, seventh-best in the NBA, while clocking in at an average speed of 4.2 miles per hour.

LaMarcus Aldridge is 13th in the NBA in distance traveled at 98.5 miles and Wesley Matthews is 16th at 97.3 miles.

Touches/Possession

Damian Lillard ranks sixth in the NBA in touches per game, which the NBA defines as “the number of times a player touches and possesses the ball,” at 87.4 behind Charlotte’s Kemba Walker (100.4), Washington’s John Wall (98.9), L.A.’s Chris Paul (97.1), Toronto’s Kyle Lowry (90.5) and Memphis’ Mike Conley (89.7). The majority of Lillard’s touches, 72.2 per game to be exact, come in the frontcourt, which is good for 11th in the NBA. Lillard possesses the ball for 6.8 minutes per game on average, which is eighth-best in the league.

The next highest Trail Blazer in touches per game is LaMarcus Aldridge, who, at 69.8 touches per game, ranks 44th in the NBA. But when it comes to touches per game from the elbow, which the NBA defines as “touches that originate within the five foot radius near the edge of the lane and free throw line,” Aldridge ranks fifth in the league at 9.8 touches.

Robin Lopez and Aldridge lead the Trail Blazers when it comes to points per touch in the half court with 0.56 points (minimum 20 minutes played per game), which is tied for 12th in the NBA.

Passing

Unselfishness when it come to ball movement has been one of the hallmarks of Portland’s success this season, as evidenced by the Trail Blazers ranking third in assists per game. Despite that, the Trail Blazers have only one player, Damian Lillard, in the top ten in passes per game. Lillard passes the ball 64.3 times per game, ninth-best in the NBA. Nicolas Batum is second on the team in passes per game with 53.6.

Lilard and Batum are tied for on the team in free throw assists, which the NBA defines as “the quantity of passes made by a player to a recipient who was fouls, missed the shot if shooting and made at least one free throw, with 0.5 per game. Lillard is first while Batum is second in the following passing categories: secondary assists per game (1.3 for Lillard, 1.1 for Batum), assist opportunity per game (11.4 for Lillard, 10.0 for Batum) and points created by assist per game (14.0 for Lillard, 13.1 for Batum).

Defensive Impact

Allowing points in the paint has arguably been the main defensive issue for the Trail Blazers this season. Given that, it is not at all surprising that Robin Lopez is 8th in the NBA in opponents field goals made at the rim per game with 4.5, which probably says more about his teammates’ defense than his. Being third in the league in opponents field goal attempts at the rim with 10.2 seems to support that thesis.

And to his credit, opponents are shooting just 44 percent at the rim against Lopez, which is good for 12th in the NBA (minimum of five opponent field goal attempts per game).

Aldridge is 15th in the NBA in opponent field goals attempted per game with 8.1 attempts, with opponents shooting 49 percent on those shots.

Rebounding Opportunities

The Trail Blazers lead the NBA in rebounds per game with 46.9 thanks in large part to Robin Lopez, who is ninth in the NBA in contested rebounds, which the

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league defines as “rebounds gathered where an opponent is within 3.5 feet,” with 4.1 per game. And he’s fourth in contested rebound percentage at 49 percent, (minimum 20 minutes per game) meaning that he has to fight, on average, for half of all his rebounds.

On the flip side, LaMarcus Aldridge is second in uncontested rebounds with 8.1 per game, behind only DeANdre Jordan (8.3). He’s also 11th in the NBA in rebound chances per game, which the NBA defines as “times player was within 3.5 feet of a rebounds,” with 17.1 chances.

Portland’ s most efficient rebounder is Nicolas Batum, who grabs 68 percent of the rebounds he has a chance to recover, which is good for 16th in the NBA (minimum 20 minutes per game).

Drives

The Trail Blazers have a reputation as a jump shooting team, and when you consider that they have only one player, Damian Lillard, in the Top 50 in total drives, which the NBA defines as “any touch that starts at least 20 feet form the hoop and is dribbled within 10

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feet of the hoop.” Lillard is sixth in the NBA in total drives with 311, though he’s shooting just 31 percent on those drives, resulting in 195 points on drives this season, with is 11th in the NBA. On average, Lillard scores 8.3 points per game on drives for the Blazers, which is 14th in the league.

Mo Williams is second on the team in total drives with 130 and scores 4.4 point per game on drives, also second among his teammates.

Nicolas Batum shoots 64 percent on drives, which is the best percentage on drives among Trail Blazers with at least 10 drives this season.

Catch and Shoot

In contrast to the drives statistics, the Trail Blazers are dominant when it comes to catch and shoot situations, so much so that four of their five starters are in the top 25 in points out of catch and shoot situations, which the NBA defines as “any jump shot outside of 10 feet where a player possessed the ball for two seconds or less and took no dribbles.”

Wesley Matthews is the leader in the clubhouse with 299 points on catch and shoots, which is fourth best in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge is right behind him in sixth league-wide with 286 points off catch and shoots. Nicolas Batum is 17th with 228 points off catch and shoots and Damian Lillard is 20th with 222 points.

Matthews is also tops on the teams in points per game off catch and shoot opportunities with 7.5 points per game, which is good for fifth in the NBA. Aldridge is again right behind him in ninth with 7.2 points per game. Batum comes in at 24th with 5.7 points per game and Lillard rounds out the starters with 5.5 points on catch and shoots, 28th in the NBA.

Aldridge makes 3.6 catch and shoot shots per game, which is tied for first in the league with Dirk Nowitzki and Klay Thompson. Matthews comes in at 13th with 2.6 attempts per game.

Looking at their catch and shoot percentages, it’s easy to see why the Trail Blazers take so many. Aldridge shoots 50 percent from the field on catch and shoot opportunities, which is fourth-best in the NBA (minimum four catch and shoot attempts per game). Lillard shoots 46 percent in those situations, ninth-best in the league and Matthews comes in at 11th by shooting 46 percent on catch and shoots.

Their effective field goal percentages on catch and shoots are even more impressive, with Lillard at fifth in the NBA at 67 percent and Matthews right behind him in sixth at 66 percent.

Then there’s the catch and shoot three-pointers, another area the Trail Blazers excel in. Matthews ranks fourth in the league in catch and shoot three-pointers with 2.3 per game. Lillard is 20th with 1.7 and Batum is 21st with 1.6 per game. Matthews shoots 46 percent on catch and shoot threes, the fifth-best percentage in the NBA. Lillard is right behind him in sixth at 45 percent.

Pull Up

Much has been made about the Trail Blazers being a midrange shooting team, which is also supported by the SportVU pull up shot tracking.

Damian Lillard has taken 260 pull up shots this season, eighth-most in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge has shot 203 pull ups, 16th-most in the league.

Lillard shoots the best percentage on the team on pull ups at 43 percent, which is 13th-best in the NBA among players taking at least three pull ups a game. Aldridge is the second-best pull up shooter on the team at 40 percent with Mo Williams right behind him at 39 percent.

Lillard just as good shooting pull ups from three as he is from the field, shooting 42 percent on pull ups beyond the arc, with is ranked fourth in the NBA among players who take one pull up three per game. Lillard is first in effective field goal percentage on pull ups at 55 percent (minimum one pull up per game). Wesley Matthews is second on the team with an effective field goal percentage of 46 percent, which puts him in the top 15 of the NBA (there’s a glitch on the NBA site that counts players who have been traded as different players, which throws off the rankings).

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This Week In SportVU: Kings Of Catch And Shoot, Batum And Lillard's Century Club

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 years ago

It’s been some time since we’ve looked at the available data from the network of motion-tracking cameras that have been installed in all 29 NBA arenas known as SportVU. The NBA describes the technology as, “Using six cameras installed in the catwalks of every NBA arena, SportVU software tracks the movements of every player on the court and the basketball 25 times per second. The data collected provides a plethora of innovative statistics based around speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.”

So let’s catch up on where the Trail Blazers are at in terms of their stats in SportVU. All statistics are current as of games played on Jan. 18.

Now, some of the interesting numbers …

Speed And Distance

Nicolas Batum is third in the NBA in total distance traveled at 105.5 miles so far this season and is fourth in distance traveled

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per game with an average at 2.6 miles. With an average speed of 4.4 miles per hour, Batum is tied with Thomas Robinson for the fastest player on the team, though he’s obviously clocking that average speed in far more minutes than T-Rob.

Damian Lillard joins Batum in the “Century Club” with 101.2 miles traveled this season, seventh-best in the NBA, while clocking in at an average speed of 4.2 miles per hour.

LaMarcus Aldridge is 13th in the NBA in distance traveled at 98.5 miles and Wesley Matthews is 16th at 97.3 miles.

Touches/Possession

Damian Lillard ranks sixth in the NBA in touches per game, which the NBA defines as “the number of times a player touches and possesses the ball,” at 87.4 behind Charlotte’s Kemba Walker (100.4), Washington’s John Wall (98.9), L.A.’s Chris Paul (97.1), Toronto’s Kyle Lowry (90.5) and Memphis’ Mike Conley (89.7). The majority of Lillard’s touches, 72.2 per game to be exact, come in the frontcourt, which is good for 11th in the NBA. Lillard possesses the ball for 6.8 minutes per game on average, which is eighth-best in the league.

The next highest Trail Blazer in touches per game is LaMarcus Aldridge, who, at 69.8 touches per game, ranks 44th in the NBA. But when it comes to touches per game from the elbow, which the NBA defines as “touches that originate within the five foot radius near the edge of the lane and free throw line,” Aldridge ranks fifth in the league at 9.8 touches.

Robin Lopez and Aldridge lead the Trail Blazers when it comes to points per touch in the half court with 0.56 points (minimum 20 minutes played per game), which is tied for 12th in the NBA.

Passing

Unselfishness when it come to ball movement has been one of the hallmarks of Portland’s success this season, as evidenced by the Trail Blazers ranking third in assists per game. Despite that, the Trail Blazers have only one player, Damian Lillard, in the top ten in passes per game. Lillard passes the ball 64.3 times per game, ninth-best in the NBA. Nicolas Batum is second on the team in passes per game with 53.6.

Lilard and Batum are tied for on the team in free throw assists, which the NBA defines as “the quantity of passes made by a player to a recipient who was fouls, missed the shot if shooting and made at least one free throw, with 0.5 per game. Lillard is first while Batum is second in the following passing categories: secondary assists per game (1.3 for Lillard, 1.1 for Batum), assist opportunity per game (11.4 for Lillard, 10.0 for Batum) and points created by assist per game (14.0 for Lillard, 13.1 for Batum).

Defensive Impact

Allowing points in the paint has arguably been the main defensive issue for the Trail Blazers this season. Given that, it is not at all surprising that Robin Lopez is 8th in the NBA in opponents field goals made at the rim per game with 4.5, which probably says more about his teammates’ defense than his. Being third in the league in opponents field goal attempts at the rim with 10.2 seems to support that thesis.

And to his credit, opponents are shooting just 44 percent at the rim against Lopez, which is good for 12th in the NBA (minimum of five opponent field goal attempts per game).

Aldridge is 15th in the NBA in opponent field goals attempted per game with 8.1 attempts, with opponents shooting 49 percent on those shots.

Rebounding Opportunities

The Trail Blazers lead the NBA in rebounds per game with 46.9 thanks in large part to Robin Lopez, who is ninth in the NBA in contested rebounds, which the

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league defines as “rebounds gathered where an opponent is within 3.5 feet,” with 4.1 per game. And he’s fourth in contested rebound percentage at 49 percent, (minimum 20 minutes per game) meaning that he has to fight, on average, for half of all his rebounds.

On the flip side, LaMarcus Aldridge is second in uncontested rebounds with 8.1 per game, behind only DeANdre Jordan (8.3). He’s also 11th in the NBA in rebound chances per game, which the NBA defines as “times player was within 3.5 feet of a rebounds,” with 17.1 chances.

Portland’ s most efficient rebounder is Nicolas Batum, who grabs 68 percent of the rebounds he has a chance to recover, which is good for 16th in the NBA (minimum 20 minutes per game).

Drives

The Trail Blazers have a reputation as a jump shooting team, and when you consider that they have only one player, Damian Lillard, in the Top 50 in total drives, which the NBA defines as “any touch that starts at least 20 feet form the hoop and is dribbled within 10

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feet of the hoop.” Lillard is sixth in the NBA in total drives with 311, though he’s shooting just 31 percent on those drives, resulting in 195 points on drives this season, with is 11th in the NBA. On average, Lillard scores 8.3 points per game on drives for the Blazers, which is 14th in the league.

Mo Williams is second on the team in total drives with 130 and scores 4.4 point per game on drives, also second among his teammates.

Nicolas Batum shoots 64 percent on drives, which is the best percentage on drives among Trail Blazers with at least 10 drives this season.

Catch and Shoot

In contrast to the drives statistics, the Trail Blazers are dominant when it comes to catch and shoot situations, so much so that four of their five starters are in the top 25 in points out of catch and shoot situations, which the NBA defines as “any jump shot outside of 10 feet where a player possessed the ball for two seconds or less and took no dribbles.”

Wesley Matthews is the leader in the clubhouse with 299 points on catch and shoots, which is fourth best in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge is right behind him in sixth league-wide with 286 points off catch and shoots. Nicolas Batum is 17th with 228 points off catch and shoots and Damian Lillard is 20th with 222 points.

Matthews is also tops on the teams in points per game off catch and shoot opportunities with 7.5 points per game, which is good for fifth in the NBA. Aldridge is again right behind him in ninth with 7.2 points per game. Batum comes in at 24th with 5.7 points per game and Lillard rounds out the starters with 5.5 points on catch and shoots, 28th in the NBA.

Aldridge makes 3.6 catch and shoot shots per game, which is tied for first in the league with Dirk Nowitzki and Klay Thompson. Matthews comes in at 13th with 2.6 attempts per game.

Looking at their catch and shoot percentages, it’s easy to see why the Trail Blazers take so many. Aldridge shoots 50 percent from the field on catch and shoot opportunities, which is fourth-best in the NBA (minimum four catch and shoot attempts per game). Lillard shoots 46 percent in those situations, ninth-best in the league and Matthews comes in at 11th by shooting 46 percent on catch and shoots.

Their effective field goal percentages on catch and shoots are even more impressive, with Lillard at fifth in the NBA at 67 percent and Matthews right behind him in sixth at 66 percent.

Then there’s the catch and shoot three-pointers, another area the Trail Blazers excel in. Matthews ranks fourth in the league in catch and shoot three-pointers with 2.3 per game. Lillard is 20th with 1.7 and Batum is 21st with 1.6 per game. Matthews shoots 46 percent on catch and shoot threes, the fifth-best percentage in the NBA. Lillard is right behind him in sixth at 45 percent.

Pull Up

Much has been made about the Trail Blazers being a midrange shooting team, which is also supported by the SportVU pull up shot tracking.

Damian Lillard has taken 260 pull up shots this season, eighth-most in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge has shot 203 pull ups, 16th-most in the league.

Lillard shoots the best percentage on the team on pull ups at 43 percent, which is 13th-best in the NBA among players taking at least three pull ups a game. Aldridge is the second-best pull up shooter on the team at 40 percent with Mo Williams right behind him at 39 percent.

Lillard just as good shooting pull ups from three as he is from the field, shooting 42 percent on pull ups beyond the arc, with is ranked fourth in the NBA among players who take one pull up three per game. Lillard is first in effective field goal percentage on pull ups at 55 percent (minimum one pull up per game). Wesley Matthews is second on the team with an effective field goal percentage of 46 percent, which puts him in the top 15 of the NBA (there’s a glitch on the NBA site that counts players who have been traded as different players, which throws off the rankings).

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This Week In SportVU: Lopez’s Rebounds Are Contested

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 years ago

This season, the NBA is making available data from the network of motion-tracking cameras that have been installed in all 29 NBA arenas known as SportVU. The NBA describes the technology as, “Using six cameras installed in the catwalks of every NBA arena, SportVU software tracks the movements of every player on the court and the basketball 25 times per second. The data collected provides a plethora of innovative statistics based around speed, distance, player separation and ball possession.”

Each week we’ll look at some of the interesting data spit out by the system, as well as some of the non-SportVU advanced statistics the NBA provides. It should be noted these statistics are currently susceptible to limitations associated with small sample sizes, but that won’t be an issue as the data accumulates through the season.

Now, some of the interesting numbers …

· Nicolas Batum continues to be the fastest Trail Blazer with an average speed of 4.5 miles per hour, which ranks him as the eighth-fastest player in the NBA among players averaging at least 20 minutes per game. The next fastest Blazer is Wesley Matthews, who clocks in at an average of 4.3 mph.

· While the Trail Blazers might not have the fastest players, they do have three players who are among the Top 25 players in distance traveled per game. Nicolas Batum leads the team with an average of 2.6 miles traveled per game, which is fifth-best in the NBA. Damian Lillard comes in at No. 8 in the NBA at 2.6 miles traveled per game while LaMarcus Aldridge comes in at No. 22 at 2.5 miles traveled per game.

· After Monday’s victory against the Pistons, LaMarcus Aldridge remarked that Portland’s offense hadn’t run as smoothly as it has this season since Andre Miller was running the point. Even so, it’s still impressive to see the Trail Blazers ranked third behind the Heat and Clippers in offensive efficiency, which the NBA defines as “the amount of points scored per 100 possessions by a team,” at 109.1 points per 100 possessions. That’s the great news. The not-so-great news is that Portland is ranked 25th in defensive efficiency, which the NBA defines as “the amount of points allowed per 100 possessions by a team,” at 105.7 points per game. But Portland’s net rating, which is the difference between their offensive efficiency and their defensive efficiency, is a +3.4, which is good enough for ninth in the NBA.

· As for individual offensive efficiency, Robin Lopez ranks eighth in the NBA with rating of 113.4 (minimum 20 minutes per game). Lopez is taking just over seven shots a game and is shooting 46 percent from the field, a very average percentage for a center, but when he’s on the floor, Portland’s entire offensive benefits.

· Damian Lillard continues to be the King of Touches on the Trail Blazers roster, which makes sense considering he’s the team’s starting point guard. Lillard ranks fifth in the NBA at 89.1 touches per game (note that Minnesota power forward is the ranked fourth and is the only non-point guard in the Top 15 in touches). The next Trail Blazer on the list is Nicolas Batum, who is leading the team in assists per game with 6.1, at 68.1 touches per game, 35th-best in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge is right behind Batum with 66.0 touches per game, good for 40th in the league.

Lillard gets most of his touches, 73.6 to be exact, in the front court, which is sixth-best in the NBA and is in possession of the ball for an average of 6.9 minutes per game, which is the third-best mark in the NBA. Aldridge ranks fourth in the NBA in touches per game at the elbow, which the NBA defines as “touches that originate within the 5 foot radius nearing the edge of the lane and free throw line, inside the 3-point line,” with 10.9 touches.

· Damian Lillard remains near the top of the NBA in passes per game with 67.7, which is fifth-best in the NBA. Nicolas Batum is second on the team in passes with 53.3 per game, which is 26th best in the league. Not surprising that the two guys who get the most touches on the team also pass the most.

· Some interesting trends are starting to form in regards to Batum’s passes leading to various type of assists. He’s ranked 11th in free throw assists per game, which the NBA defines as “quantity of passes made by a player to a recipient who was fouled, missed the shot if shooting, and made at least 1 free throw,” with 0.9 per game. Batum is the highest ranked non-point guard free throw assists. Batum is also the first Trail Blazers on the points created by assist per game statistic with 14.6 points, with is good for 14th in the NBA. For perspective, Lillard is the next Blazer on the list at 12.1 points created by assist per game, which is 23rd in the league.

· As for secondary assists per game, which the NBA defines as “quantity of passes made by a player to the player who earned an assist on a made shot” while noting that the “assister must make a pass within 2 seconds and 1 dribble for passer to earn a secondary assist,” the Trail Blazers are are led by Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard with 1.3 secondary assists per game, which is 26th in the NBA. Nicolas Batum is third on the team with 1.0 assists.

· And since we’re talking passing, seems like a good time to point out that the Trail Blazers are fourth in the NBA in assist to turnover ratio at 1.74 (meaning they hand out 1.74 assists for every 1 turnover). Teams ranked ahead of the Trail Blazers are the Hawks (2.09), the Heat (1.80) and the Spurs (1.77). The Trail Blazers are ranked sixth in assist ratio, which the NBA defines as “the number of assists a team a team averages per 100 of their own possessions, with 18.4 assists. And 62.2 percent of Portland’s field goals are assisted, which is the tenth-best mark in the NBA.

· Giving up points in the paint has been an issue for the Trail Blazers in the first seven games of the season, which is why it’s not a surprise to see that Robin Lopez is fifth both in the NBA in opponents field goal attempts at the rim with 10.1 per game and opponents made field goals at the rim with 5.0 per game. That isn’t a knock on Lopez’s defense, as he’s ranked near the likes of Roy Hibbert, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan. LaMarcus Aldridge is 10th in opponents field goals made at the rim with 4.6 per game and 16th in opponents field goal attempts at the rim with 8.0. The takeaway here is that Lopez and Aldridge play a lot of minutes and hence, defend a lot of plays at the rim.

· The Trail Blazers are about average when it comes to total rebounds, though they’re one of the better offensive rebounding teams so far this season at 12.6 offensive rebounds per game, sixth-best in the NBA. And when it comes to collecting those rebounds, Robin Lopez is having to fight the most for his, as 51.2 percent of his boards are contested, which is the sixth-highest mark in the NBA.

· Damian Lillard fell one spot this week to third in the NBA in pullup shots points per game with 10.0 (Kyrie Irving jumped into the two spot behind Stephen Curry, who no one is gonna touch in regards to pullups). Lillard is still second in pullup three-pointers per game with 4.0. And he’s making those pullup three-pointers at a 42.9 percent clip, which is seventh in the NBA among players who attempt at least 1.5 pullup three-pointers per game. Only three players, Lillard, Curry and Brandon Jennings, are attempting at least three pullup three-pointers per game.

· And finally, on the topic of shooting, we have to give some love to Wesley Matthews, who is currently fourth in the league in effective field goal percentage (minimum 20 minutes played per game), which the NBA defines as “a field goal percentage that is adjusted for made 3 pointers being 1.5 times more valuable than a 2 point shot,” with a percentage of 67.4 percent. Matthews is shooting 52 percent from three and 56 percent from the field, which are both well above his career averages. Let’s hope that never changes.

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