The Numbers Say… Anthony Davis, Blake Griffin and Vitor Faverani Star on Nov. 1

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On a night in which 13 games transpired, three players managed to rise above the rest as the stars of the evening: Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Pelicans, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Vitor Faverani of the Boston Celtics.

Davis, Faverani and Griffin may not be the first names to come to mind when it comes to elite statistical production, but each of those rising big men found a way to dominate on Day 4 of the 2013-14 NBA regular season. Here’s what they did and why you need to know about it.

Anthony Davis’ Big Night

Since the 2007-08 regular season, only five players have put together games with at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots. Those players are Andrew Bynum, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard (six times), Zach Randolph and Amar’e Stoudemire.

On Friday, a new name was added to that list: Anthony Davis.

The No. 1 overall selection from the 2012 NBA draft dominated the Orlando Magic with 26 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots in 38 minutes of action. Davis became the 10th player since 2000 to achieve the feat while recording at least eight offensive rebounds.

It’s not a landscape-altering statistic, but it tells you just who the most dominant big men in the NBA have been. Cousins and Davis are the only two players on that list without at least one All-Star Game appearance, and that’s mainly due to the short lengths of their respective careers.

After a year in which the advanced statistics said he should’ve been the Rookie of the Year, Davis is back with a vengeance.

During the 2012-13 NBA regular season, Davis led all first-year players in rebounding, blocks, steals, Player Efficiency Rating, Estimated Wins Added and Value Added. Unfortunately, Davis also battled injuries and played for a team that didn’t generate nearly as much attention as Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers.

Davis appears to be picking up where he left off and elevating his game to a new level. For the first time in his young career, he has posted 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds in back-to-back games.

The hype was warranted.

Blake Griffin Responds to the CriticsClippers All-Star 2013 Portraits

Entering the 2013-14 regular season, Clippers power forward Blake Griffin was commonly referred to as a player under extraordinary levels of pressure. L.A. has legitimate championship dreams, but until Griffin is able to develop into a more complete player, there will be an undeniable void at Staples Center.

Last night, Griffin responded to the critics by erupting with 20 points, 17 rebounds, six assists and two blocks on 8-of-8 shooting from the free throw line during the Clippers’ 110-101 win at the Sacramento Kings.

This marks the eighth time since the beginning of the 2010-11 regular season—Griffin’s rookie year—that a player has gone off for at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. The players to achieve that feat are Kevin Durant, Griffin, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook.

Of all of those superstars, Griffin is the only one who has done it twice. Criticize that.

Vitor Faverani for Rookie of the Year?

Vitor Faverani. Before I tell you what you need to know about him, get the Brazilian rookie’s name embedded in your mind, because he’s going to be a force worth recknoning with..

Now that it’s in there, try this: Faverani did something that no Celtics big man has done since 1996.

Faverani was absolutely brilliant on Friday, going off for 12 points, 18 rebounds, one assist, six blocks and one steal. For an organization that has long been built around superstar big men, that’s a stat line that Celtics fans are used to seeing.

Right? Wrong.

Faverani is the first Celtics player since Dino Radja in 1996 to post at least 15 rebounds and five blocks in the same game. That 17-year layoff is surprising due to the historic nature of Boston’s interior players and the unwritten notion that a rim protector wearing Celtics green will one day end up in the Hall of Fame.

It’s only two games in, but Faverani is averaging 12.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.5 blocks. He could be a Rookie of the Year dark horse.

Notes

  • In 147 total games under Vinny Del Negro, Chris Paul posted at least 25 points and 10 assists in five outings. In three games under head coach Doc Rivers, CP3 has done it twice. Paul went off for 26 points and 10 assists just one night after his legendary 42, 15 and 6 performance.
  • DeMar DeRozan of the Toronto Raptors scored 31 points during a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. DeRozan topped 30 in two of his final three games in 2012-13, as well.
  • Kevin Durant scored 13 points in 27 minutes. That’s Durant’s lowest scoring total in a game in which he played at least 27 minutes since Dec. 19, 2009.
  • Zaza Pachulia of the Milwaukee Bucks scored 20 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and 10-of-10 from the free throw line. It’s the first time he’s scored 20 since April 10, 2007.
  • Tristan Thompson scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Cleveland Cavaliers. No. 1 overall draft choice Anthony Bennett was held scoreless in 13 minutes. It looks like Thompson doesn’t want to let go of his starting job.
  • Gordon Hayward deserves his praise after putting up 18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal during the Utah Jazz’s 87-84 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Maxwell Ogden is a regular contributor for Sheridan Hoops. Follow him on Twitter.

10 Fun Facts From Last Night’s NBA Games

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Phoenix Suns vs Maccabi HaifaThe first day of November featured 26 NBA teams in action in 13 games, 10 of which were decided by single digits. Three teams won by three points or less, and one game went to overtime.

There were game-winning 3-pointers, stunning upsets and uncharacteristically poor performances by some of the best players in the world. Here’s what you need to know about what transpired on November 1.

1. With a 101-100 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Miami Heat have dropped to 1-2. It’s the first time since Jan. 10, 2013 that the Heat have lost consecutive games and the first time since Oct. 26, 2010—the Big Three’s first game together—that Miami is below .500. Did we mention that it’s only been three games?

2. During the Nets’ win over the Heat, LeBron James was 2-of-8 with three turnovers when Paul Pierce was the primary defender and 9-of-11 with two turnovers when he wasn’t.

3. Kevin Durant scored 13 points in 27 minutes during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 100-81 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was his lowest scoring output in a game in which he played at least 27 minutes since December 19, 2009.

4. Kevin Love (24 points, 12 rebounds), Nikola Pekovic (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Ricky Rubio (14 points, 10 assists) all recorded double-doubles for the Timberwolves. It’s the first time that all three have recorded double-doubles in the same game.

5. Wesley Matthews of the Portland Trail Blazers has two career games with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. Both of those performances were against the Denver Nuggets, with the second coming last night. The former Marquette star scored 21 points and grabbed 12 boards in a 113-98 win.

6. Sacramento Kings backup point guard Isaiah Thomas scored 29 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the field, 3-of-3 from three-point range and 8-of-10 from the line. Starter Greivis Vasquez had eight points on 2-of-5 shooting.

7. Milwaukee Bucks reserve center Zaza Pachulia scored 20 points for the first time since April 10, 2007. That 2007 game was against the Boston Celtics—the same squad he torched last night.

8. DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points during the Toronto Raptors’ 102-95 loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Dating to 2012-13, DeRozan has topped 30 points in three of his past five games.

9. Xavier Henry of the Los Angeles Lakers required nine stitches to cover up a cut on his forehead.

10. Eric Bledsoe hit his first career game-winner to give the Phoenix Suns an 87-84 win over the Utah Jazz. Bledsoe hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 0.7 seconds remaining on the clock.

Bonus Fact: Both the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers are now 2-0.

LOOKING FOR CHICAGO BULLS TICKETS? LOOK NO FURTHER.

Maxwell Ogden is a regular contributor to SheridanHoops.com. Follow him on Twitter.

 

The Numbers Say… Favors Worth the Money; Lin perfect for Rockets; Center position is not dead

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favorsThe Utah Jazz have signed power forward Derrick Favors to a four-year contract extension worth $49 million. Favors, 22, was selected No. 3 overall in the 2010 NBA draft and was a critical piece in the infamous Deron Williams trade between Utah and the Brooklyn Nets.

There’s undeniable reason for skepticism, but the numbers say that Favors is worth the long-term investment.

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PODCAST: Thunder will be haunted again by Harden trade

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James Harden cropEver heard of the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City?

It is haunted, and a good number of NBA players have reported paranormal activity while staying there.

You know what else in Oklahoma City is haunted? The Thunder.

And you know why?

Because of the monumental act of stupidity known as the James Harden trade. That haunting will carry into the upcoming NBA season, and the Thunder will be nowhere near the top of the West, I state in this podcast with Sam Mayes and Colby Daniels of 107.7 The Franchise in OKC.

While you are listening, give a read to this column on the Thunder by Chris Bernucca. Safe to say he is not particularly fond of Clay Bennett.

(RELATED: THUNDER SEASON PREVIEW: FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR)
(RELATED: THUNDER SALARY CAP ANALYSIS)

Tweet of the Day: Players Take Issue with ESPN’s #NBARank

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Anytime expert analysts and writers are tasked with ranking the competitors within their industry, unless it is based solely on statistics and analytics, people will always find fault with them.

Such is life.

No one can perfectly judge a group of individuals—much less 500 of them—when weighing their value, ability, talent and skill when using a blend of factual numbers and subjective opinions and biases.

Yet, that seems to be the expectation.

Once again, while compiling its complete 1-500 NBA preseason player rankings, the four-letter network has people complaining.

Entering his 18th NBA season having finished second in total points at the age of 34 and coming off of a ruptured Achilles, Kobe Bryant was ranked 25th among all active players.

His ranking places him just behind Miami Heat big man Chris Bosh, which might be perceived as an insult by some.

Certainly, it ruffled the feathers of a few NBA players.