With L.A.’s 7-0 start, predictably, comes a bunch of superlative statistics when compared to the rest of the NBA’s teams.
Here’s a breakdown of pertinent categories, with the disclaimer that it’s only seven games into the 82-game season, and the Lakers have played a relatively easy schedule:
Scoring: No. 1
The Lakers are averaging a healthy 114 points per game to lead the NBA. With Pau Gasol (24.1) and Kobe Bryant (22.9) leading the way, L.A. is also getting a healthy 15.9 poings from Lamar Odom, while four other players are averaging at least 9.1 points: Derek Fisher; Shannon Brown; Ron Artest; and Matt Barnes.
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage: No. 1
Behind four players that are shooting at least 50 percent from three-point range, the Lakers lead the league with a connection rate of 45.0 percent. Last season, the Lakers ranked just 24th in the NBA from three, connecting on 34.1 percent and boasting not a single player at the 40 percent mark. But Lamar Odom (69 percent), Derek Fisher (67), Shannon Brown (52) and Steve Blake (50) have all been hot.
Turnovers: No. 1
When shooting that well from distance and scoring so efficiently (see below), to also lead the league in fewest turnovers per game is telling. The Lakers were actually tied with Sacramento heading into Sunday evening’s games in the turnover category, and after a 15-turnover game against Portland L.A. was averaging 13.6 per game.
Rebounding: No. 3
The Lakers have grabbed the third most rebounds per game in the NBA at 46.71 per contest, and rank fourth in rebounding differential at +4.28 per game more than their seven opponents. Odom ranks ninth in the league with 11.1 boards per game, while Gasol is 12th at 10.9. The team’s offensive and defensive rebounding has been equally effective.
Free Throw Percentage: No. 5
The Lakers are making 81.7 percent of their free throws, good for fifth in the league. Eight of the 11 players who have attempted a free throw are making more than 80 percent, led by Kobe Bryant’s 87.9 percent success rate (51-for-58).
Assists: No. 5
The Lakers have shared the ball very well to start the season, ranking fifth in assists with an average of 24 per game. Current starting center Gasol actually leads the Lakers in assists with 5.0 per game after his 10-dime performance in his triple-double against Portland, while Bryant has added 4.6 in six fewer minutes of playing time than Gasol.
Field Goal Percentage: No. 6
It’s not just from distance that the Lakers are shooting well, as they come in ranked sixth from the field at 47.8 percent. In 2009-10, they ranked 18th at 45.7 percent. Odom’s 62.7 percent is good for fifth in the NBA, while Gasol’s 54.4 percent ranks 21st. Both are significant due to the collectively high volume of shots taken as Bryant eases into the season.
Steals: No. 9
With an average of 8.4 swipes per game, the Lakers come in ninth in the NBA. Ron Artest leads the way with 1.87 steals per game, while both Fisher and Brown have nabbed 1.29 per contest.