As I sit here and count down the hours until Game 4 tips off, I decided to do one of my favorite pastimes. Dive into a ton of random stats and see what helps paint the picture of the Finals up until this point. I know Lakers fans want to make it seem like the Lakers have completely dominated this series, but that's simply not the case. Sure they whooped that ass in Game 1 after the Heat had all those injuries, but things are actually a lot closer than you would think. There are a handful of stats that are downright shocking, so I put a bunch that I found interesting into a list for you all.
Am I weird for doing this? Maybe. But this is my life. This is what I spend my time caring about and so far it's worked out for me. Plus it's not like you're working or anything and you clicked this blog for a reason which tells me you are also interested so let's get to it.
1. The following players are shooting better from three than Duncan Robinson while taking at least 4.0 3PA a night: Markieff Morris (47%), Jae Crowder (44%), Kelly Olynyk (42%), Kyle Kuzma (38%), LeBron James (35%), Rajon Rondo (33%), Tyler Herro (27%). Given what we saw in the ECF, there is no way you would believe anyone who said guys like Crowder/LeBron/Rondo would shoot the three better than Robinson.
2. Danny Green is shooting 12.5% on wide open threes
3. Jimmy Butler is averaging more points on drives (13.3) than LeBron James (9.9)
4. With no Bam Adebayo, Anthony Davis is averaging the most post up FGA per game but is shooting just 37.5% in post up situations
5. A total of 4 Lakers lead the series in catch & shoot FGA per game (Morris/KCP/Green/Kuzma) and only 1 of them is shooting over 37% (Morris). In fact, 2 of the 4 are shooting under 27% in catch & shoot situations (KCP/Green).
6. Despite the Lakers having way more size, the Heat are averaging more points in the paint this series (48.0 vs 42.7). Conversely, the Lakers have a higher percentage of their points coming from deep (39% vs 31%). I think we all expected those to be flipped heading into this series.
7. Tyler Herro is averaging more rebounds than Dwight Howard while only averaging around 2 more rebounding opportunities a night.
8. Opponents are shooting 72% while being defended by Alex Caruso. If you remember, Lakers fans love talking about what a shut down defender Caruso is.
9. Despite only playing 59 minutes, Markieff Morris has contested more shots (30), than Danny Green, Jimmy Butler, and LeBron James. That number ties him with Anthony Davis for the most contested shots in the Finals while playing nearly half the minutes. Who saw that coming?
10. Kelly Olynyk's 119 Ortg would be the 3rd best rating on the Lakers, only trailing Rondo (125) and Kyle Kuzma (120). It would lead the Lakers if you looked at players who play at least 28 minutes (what Olynyk plays in this series). Admit it, that surprises you.
11. 50% of Rajon Rondo's FGA are 3PA. A total of 44% of his scoring is coming from behind the arc compared to 37% of his points being 2 point FGM. This is Rajon Rondo we're talking about. Imagine that being the case earlier in his career? No chance.
12. The Heat are actually averaging more second half points (55 vs 52) while shooting 50% compared to LA's 40%. Their issue has been slow starts, where the Lakers dominate (62 vs 53).
13. Despite what you might want to believe, FTA have been fairly even in this series. A total of 24.3 for the Lakers and 23.7 for the Heat.
Will any of this matter in Game 4? Time will tell. But admit it, as you went down that list there's no way you could have predicted all those. They are weird, they are surprising, and it'll be fascinating to see what changes over the remainder of this series. Who will come back down to earth, who will finally wake up and produce, despite the hardos that love commenting about how nobody is watching this series or whatever, those of us who have been watching are seeing some weird shit.