Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Raptors at Pelicans (11/15/17)
A look at three key numbers related to Wednesday’s game at the Smoothie King Center between Toronto and New Orleans (7 p.m., Fox Sports New Orleans, WRNO 99.5 FM). It is Superhero Night in the Crescent City:
3: Combined current members of the Pelicans and Raptors who won gold medals last year with USA Basketball during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry, along with then-Sacramento player DeMarcus Cousins, were deserving of All-Galaxy honors by contributing to Planet Earth’s premier hoops squad. Anthony Davis would’ve been a lock to represent Team America as well, but he was forced to miss the ‘16 Olympics while rehabbing from knee surgery. In the gold-medal game vs. Serbia, Cousins helped USAB defeat Serbia 96-66 by grabbing 15 rebounds. Lowry led the team with five assists.
4, 6: Rank among all NBA players in scoring average for New Orleans’ amazing duo of Batman and Batman. Cousins is averaging 28.2 points and in fourth place, only trailing a trio of superheroes in the Greek Freak, The Beard and The Unicorn. Davis is sixth at 26.2, with King James placing just behind Cousins in fifth with a 28.1 average. Golden State is the only other NBA team with two players ranked in the top 10 – Stephen Curry is seventh (25.2), while Kevin Durant is tied with DeRozan for eighth at 24.8.
38.8: The three-point line was Kryptonite for Toronto’s offense during October, as the Raptors finished last in the NBA at 29.9 percent from long distance that month. It’s been a far different tale since the calendar flipped to November, however. Toronto is ninth in the NBA in three-point percentage since Nov. 1, connecting on 38.8 percent of its attempts. That was almost exactly what the Raptors shot from long range (38.1 percent) in their narrow 122-118 victory over the Pelicans last week in Canada. Seven different Toronto players sank at least one trey vs. New Orleans, led by four makes by Lowry and three from Serge Ibaka.