Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Pelicans at Pistons (12/9/18)

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

A look at three key numbers related to Sunday’s game at Little Caesars Arena between New Orleans and Detroit (2:30 p.m. Central, Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM):

30.4: New Orleans five-time All-Star Anthony Davis’ career scoring average in 10 meetings with Detroit, the highest for “The Brow” against any of the other 29 NBA franchises (Charlotte and New York are next, tied at 27.8 ppg). Over his seven-year pro career, Davis has tallied three 50-point games, topped by the 59 he scored at Detroit on Feb. 21, 2016. Among his 26 games of 40-plus points, oddly he has only done that once vs. the Pistons, but has other games of 39 and 38 while facing Detroit. Since a one-point, 17-minute game at Detroit as a rookie, along with a 14-point game in Michigan the following season, Davis has never been held to fewer than 27 points by the Pistons.

1, 6: Ranking among all NBA players in rebounding for Detroit center Andre Drummond and Davis, respectively. Drummond pulls down an average of 15.3 boards per game, including a staggering 5.9 on the offensive end, a player many have considered to be the sport’s premier rebounder in recent years. Davis averages 12.5 caroms a game and virtually the same number of defensive rebounds as Drummond (9.2, slightly lower than Drummond’s 9.4), while seizing 3.3 O-boards a night. Team-wise, the Pistons and Pelicans also fare extremely well statistically, at sixth and fourth in rebounding percentage. New Orleans’ No. 4 rank comes from getting 52.3 percent of all available rebounds, a smidgen higher than sixth-place Detroit’s percentage of 52.2. In addition to Davis, New Orleans has two other top-20 individual rebounders, Nikola Mirotic (No. 18 at 9.7 rpg) and Julius Randle (No. 20 at 9.4 rpg).

83.1: New Orleans offensive efficiency in clutch time, as measured by NBA.com, the second-worst rating in the league (only Cleveland is poorer at 82.0). Compared to their overall effectiveness on the offensive end, the Pelicans’ late-game struggles stand out, because New Orleans is the fourth-best team at that end of the floor in the league (113.1 points per 100 possessions, behind only top-tier clubs in the standings Golden State, Milwaukee and Toronto). At least partly as a result, the Pelicans have a 3-8 record in what are defined by NBA.com as “clutch games,” one of the league’s worst records. New Orleans has lost each of its last five games that were decided by five points or less, not winning a tight affair since coming from behind Nov. 16 to overtake New York 129-124.