The first week of the NBA season has passed, with Chris Paul and Kevin Love starting off the season stronger than anyone else, while the Los Angeles Clippers on offense and the Indiana Pacers on defense are setting the tones in terms of excellence and efficiency.
The law of averages will win in the end – the Philadelphia 76ers will stop winning (they already have, in fact) and LeBron James will eventually hit the stride he usually does after a low start. What seems to be a guarantee, for now at least, is that the Boston Celtics, starting the season with four losses, are going to end up being the worst team in the NBA.
Chris Paul has had quite an impressive start to the season, averaging 26.5 points, 13.3 assists and 3.3 steals per game, leading the Clippers to a 3-1 start. Following him is Kevin Love, averaging 26.5 points and 14.5 rebounds with four consecutive double doubles to kick off the season. LeBron James hasn’t had a dreamy start to the season, but he’s in the top 10 among most efficiency ratings, averaging 23.3 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists per game so far.
The Los Angeles Clippers lead the NBA with 119 points per game, but that’s not the only measure. They’re also leading with 115.2 points per 100 possessions, way ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers (108.3), Dallas Mavericks (107.3), Houston Rockets (106.8) and the Miami Heat (106.7).
The Golden State Warriors are the team with the best effective field goal percentage in the NBA at 58.3%, followed by the Miami Heat with 58%. In this category as well, the Clippers are in a good place (third), shooting 56.9%.
As expected, the Indiana Pacers have the most efficient defense in the NBA so far, keeping teams at 85.1 points per 100 possessions, followed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (90.1), Minnesota Timberwolves (92.6) and the Golden State Warriors (93.6). The Pacers also lead the league in forcing bad shooting, keeping teams at 40.1% from the field, followed by the Timberwolves (43.5%) and the Cavs (43.6%).
Points – Kevin Durant (Thunder), 29.3; Chris Paul (Clippers), 26.5; Kevin Love (Timberwolves), 26.5.
Rebounds – Dwight Howard (Rockets), 15; Kevin Love (Timberwolves), 14.3; Al Horford (Hawks), 12.3; Anthony Davis (Pelicans), 12.3.
Assists – Chris Paul (Clippers), 13.3; Stephen Curry (Warriors), 9.8; Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves), 9.