HoopsHype Statistics rumors

December 14, 2014 Updates

Bill Oram: Byron confident Kobe will pass MJ on before halftime tonight. And th shot? "If I had to guess, it's going to be that patented fallaway." Twitter @billoram

When Lakers (7-16) play the Minnesota Timberwolves (5-17) today at Target Center, Bryant will need to score only nine points to eclipse Jordan’s 32,292 career points for third place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Unsurprisingly, Bryant’s upcoming milestone has fueled the never-ending comparisons to Jordan, something that has followed Bryant throughout his 19-year career. But Young’s uneasiness to Jordan’s question provided a snapshot on how the current generation of NBA players idolize Bryant the same way the Lakers’ 36-year-old star admires Jordan. “It’s so hard to compare anyone to Michael, but I think it’s fair to say Kobe is the second coming of MJ,” said Indiana Pacers forward Paul George, who grew up watching Bryant while playing for Knight High in Palmdale. “Kobe has transcended the league the same way I felt Michael did.” Los Angeles Daily News

Bryant is early in his 19th NBA season. He doesn't know whether he'll play after his current contract expires following next season, although Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak suspects Bryant will retire. If surpassing Jordan's career points total is Bryant's final milestone on his rise, he'll be grateful to sit alongside one of his heroes. "It's not like a distraction or anything," Bryant said. "It's not like it's (not) going to happen. I just take it all in stride." USA Today Sports

December 13, 2014 Updates

But with a stated intention of not playing beyond next season, reaching Abdul-Jabbar’s 38,387 is almost unimaginable for No. 24. In fact, Scott doesn’t see anyone catching Abdul-Jabbar. “I think that’s gonna stand for a while,” Scott said. “I don’t think in our lifetime we’re going to see it being broken. … It’s going to be hard for somebody to break that. They’re going to have to play 20-something years I think to get that one.” Karl Malone is second on the career scoring list with 36,928. Orange County Register

Target Center's video player tracking technology, STATS' SportVU, collects footage on the how much players run and tries to measure the energy level they exert. Muhammad often has an energy value that's at the top of the charts, but recently it's dipped in the second half. "We've seen lately where it dropped a little bit, and that's because his ankle seems to tighten up at halftime a little bit and gets a little tighter when we get into the second half," coach Flip Saunders said. St. Paul Pioneer Press

December 11, 2014 Updates
December 10, 2014 Updates

Mike Trudell: I asked Kobe if he expected to hear from Jordan after he passes him on the scoring list. Bryant said he and MJ communicate often. Twitter @LakersReporter

December 9, 2014 Updates

With a step-back, buzzer-beating 3-pointer against the Detroit Pistons, LaMarcus Aldridge netted his 11,333rd point in a Trail Blazers uniform, making him the second-leading scorer in franchise history. The basket moved him past Trail Blazers legend Terry Porter, who had held the No. 2 spot for nearly two decades with 11,330 points. Last season, Aldridge passed both Jerome Kersey (No. 5 with 10,067) and Cliff Robinson (No. 4 with 10,405) on the scoring list. NBA.com

Pierce couldn’t help but notice the applause congratulating him for passing Reggie Miller for 16th place on the all-time scoring list. He acknowledged the fans — both Wizards and Celtics supporters — with a wave and urged them to make more noise. “It’s great. I heard the crowd ovation,” said Pierce, who achieved the feat against the team that drafted him in 1998. “I think it’s all great, but I really don’t think it’s going to sink in until I’m done playing. I still have a lot of basketball left to play.” Washington Post

December 8, 2014 Updates

If Bryant stays near his current pace for the rest of this season and next, he'll not only pass Jordan before his current deal is done, he'll start getting within striking distance of Karl Malone's 36,928 points, second on the all-time list. It will take more work than Bryant is currently under contract for to approach Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's NBA record of 38,387 points. (Bryant shared his feelings about passing Jordan, with whom he has a close relationship, in a solid bit of reporting last week by Bleacher Report's Kevin Ding.) It has not been a topic of conversation in the locker room. "When he does pass it," Kupchak said, "it's a testimony to consistency and playing at a high level for a long time. I think that's nice, but I think we all know that he would trade that for a team that competes for the playoffs or a championship." NBA.com

December 7, 2014 Updates

Lately, James has had the ball in his hands more often, resulting in many more passes. Using SportVU player tracking data on NBA.com, we can see that in his first 15 games he was averaging 78 touches and 52 passes per game. In his last three games, he's averaging 102 touches and 72 passes per game. When James is more involved in the Cavs offense, it results in wins. He had 103 touches on Friday, and the Cavs are now 4-0 this season when he has 100 or more touches and 7-7 when he has fewer than 100. They're also 7-1 when he has 90 or more touches and 4-6 when he does not. ESPN.com

Michael Carter-Williams scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out 15 assists in the 76ers' overtime win over the Pistons. MCW has scored at least 16 points, hauled in at least seven rebounds and handed out seven or more assists in each of his last five games. Only one other player in the history of the 76ers/Nats had a streak like that. Wilt Chamberlain had three streaks like that in a 76ers uniform, with a career long of 14 consecutive games in 1967-68. ESPN.com

December 2, 2014 Updates

After Monday’s loss to the Spurs the Sixers sit at 0-17 to start the season; one game away from tying the NBA’s all-time record for worst start to a season, two away from breaking it. While the Sixers flirted with the history books last season by embarking on the record-tying 26-game winless streak, they were ultimately happy to avoid the distinction of longest losing streak. “It’s not something I wanted to be part of,” Michael Carter-Williams said at the time, “so it’s great we got that win.” Philadelphia Inquirer

December 1, 2014 Updates

Marc Stein: As for Kobe's triple-double with at least 30, 10 and 10 at age 36 ... Larry Legend was the previous oldest to pull that off in 1992 at 35 Twitter @ESPNSteinLine

For a cultural anthropology dork like me, this chart is really interesting. Look at the name "Shaquille": it's only been in the top 1,000 boys' names from 1991 through 1996. Shaquille O'Neal took over college basketball completely in 1990-91 and Kazaam was released in 1996. You do the math. Kobe was not in the top 1,000 boys' names until 1997, Kobe Bryant's rookie year. It remains in the top 500, dipping down to around No. 500 in 2005 when the Lakers' dynasty ended and picking back up in 2008 when it resumed. It is currently the most-popular, obviously NBA-infused baby name I can find. (If you find another I've missed, please share.) SB Nation

Melo's cohort Amar'e Stoudemire seems linked to the rise of that first name. Amare (no apostrophe, that is) went from unranked in 2004 to No. 631 in 2005, which happened to be Stoudemire's first All-Star season. He joined the Knicks midway through 2010. The name saw big bumps in popularity in 2010 and 2011. It peaked there and has since noticeably fallen in popularity. Kyrie is shooting up the charts in boys name popularity. In fact, it had the 10th-biggest popularity ranking increase from 2012 to 2013. Kyrie was not in the top 1,000 boys' names until 2012. Kyrie Irving was the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and the runaway 2011-12 NBA Rookie of the Year. SB Nation

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