News » Numbers game: Who will lead NBA next season?


Numbers game: Who will lead NBA next season?


Numbers game: Who will lead NBA next season?

These numbers may be shaped by historical precedent or threatened maturity of the practitioners. They may be altered by the lineup-shaking protocols of the aforementioned free agency or the influence-shifting beauty of trades. The digits in question could be influenced by the draft, although it should be noted that most rookie contributions are limited to league-leading attempts on negative results.

Anyway, we categorically take responsibility for these predictions, believing there's a fightin' chance that the 2009-2010 NBA statistical leaders could end up like this:

Scoring

Last season's leader: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, 30.2 ppg

To successfully defend his scoring title, Wade probably needs to continue working without a potential shot-reducing crony such as Carlos Boozer as a teammate.

Even though rookie James Harden will become a fine scoring option for the Oklahoma City Thunder, our pick to lead the league is third-year pro Kevin Durant, who came in sixth (at 25.5) last year.

Rebounding

Last year's leader: Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic, 13.8 rpg

Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Kevin Love checked in with the third-best, per-48-minute ratio last season, and his anticipated rise from 28 minutes per game makes him a serious challenger for the per-game title.

Checking in as this year's rookie threat is Los Angeles Clipper Blake Griffin, whose candidacy could be sabotaged by fighting teammate Marcus Camby for rebounds.

Love or Griffin may contend, but Orlando's addition of Vince Carter will provide Howard with considerably more offensive-rebound opportunities and allow Dwight to finish first again.

Technical Fouls

Last year's leader: Rasheed Wallace, Detroit Pistons, 17

We have faith that the Celtics' ubuntu philosophy will keep 'Sheed down to about a dozen or so and allow Howard's increasing irritation (thanks to timely advice from Stan Van Gundy) to project the Orlando center as the winner with about 15.

Team Points Per Game

Last year's leader: Phoenix Suns, 109.4

Assuming Amare Stoudemire can see the hoop, Gentry's embrace of the D'Antoni system gives the Suns a great chance to repeat.

But with the addition of Curry added to Anthony Randolph's emergence, we'll go with the Golden State Warriors — who were second at 108.5 last season — to move past Phoenix.

Team Fewest Points Allowed Per Game

Last year's leader: Cleveland Cavaliers, 91.3

The team defense will remain salty in Cleveland, but the addition of Shaq to the screen-roll protection scheme makes it almost impossible for the Cavs to repeat.

Assuming a full season of Kevin Garnett and (relatively) solid comportment from Wallace, we're taking the Boston Celtics to hop from third back to first.

Silly Pre-Game Theatrics

Last year's leader: Cleveland Cavaliers

With the addition of Shaq, the Cavs win this category in a rout


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 6, 2009

 

 
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