By the numbers: Ryan Anderson atop NBA in free throws
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Over an eventful seven-day stretch, New Orleans split its four games, posting home victories over Denver and Portland, but losing on the road to Houston and Minnesota. As a result, the Pelicans remained two games under .500, at 14-16. They are in 10th place in the rugged Western Conference, but have lost some ground on eighth-place Dallas (19-13), winners of three straight games on a recent road trip. Here’s a closer look at some of the numbers related to Pelicans players this week:
Jrue Holiday: 3
Number of games in his five-year NBA career with at least 30 points and 10 assists, a feat he achieved in the Dec. 30 win vs. Portland. He also had seven rebounds against the Trail Blazers, the first time he’s done that in a 30-10 performance.
Eric Gordon: 48.7
Percentage for the shooting guard on three-point attempts from the right wing (18-for-37), his best spot on the floor by a significant margin (other than shots at the rim). His rate on shots in the restricted area is only slightly better at 49.7 percent. Elsewhere in three-point range, Gordon is 21-for-66 (31.8 percent).
Al-Farouq Aminu: 6
Total games in the small forward’s career of 15-plus rebounds. He accomplished the feat twice in December, on Dec. 4 vs. Dallas (20 rebounds) and Dec. 30 vs. Portland (15).
Ryan Anderson: 1
Free throws missed by the forward both at home and on the road in the entire season. Anderson is 29-for-30 in New Orleans and 28-for-29 in away games. His 96.7 percentage overall is No. 1 in the NBA.
Anthony Davis: 4
Davis’ NBA rank in offensive rebounds per game (3.9) if he had played in enough games to qualify for the league lead. The only players ranked ahead of Davis in the statistic are Andre Drummond (5.3), Nikola Pekovic (4.2) and DeAndre Jordan (4.1).
Tyreke Evans: 5.8
Assists per game for the wing player during December, up from the 3.6 he averaged in November. His scoring, shooting and rebounding also increased in the final month of 2013.
Anthony Morrow: 9
NBA rank in three-point percentage for the shooting guard. He’s one of just four players ranked in the top 10 of the stat who most frequently come off the bench. The others are Marco Belinelli, Courtney Lee and Mike Miller.
Brian Roberts: 51.6
Shooting percentage for the backup point guard in games against Eastern Conference opponents this season. Similar to the Pelicans as a team, Roberts has been much more effective against the East. He’s shooting 33.7 percent against the West.
Alexis Ajinca: 9.8
Fouls per 36 minutes for the recent free-agent signee, a rate that will need to decrease in order for him to stay on the floor for longer stretches. Ajinca also had foul difficulties in his previous NBA stint, but was never above 7.7 in the stat at the end of any of his three seasons.
Austin Rivers: 145
December minutes for the second-unit guard, an average of 14.5 over 10 games. Rivers also played exactly 10 games in November, but logged a total of 97 minutes.