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NBA Casuals Club Vol 2: All Star Recap, What Teams/Player Are Worth Watching, A Positive Ben Simmons Stat, And Grayson Allen's Maturity As A Flagrant Fouler

Welcome back to this weekly check-in on the NBA for my fellow NBA casuals. A blog designed specifically for those who care about the NBA regular season as much as the players do. A place you can depend on every week (unless I'm load managing) to bring you random stats and updates tailored for us NBA Casuals. 

If you missed last week I encourage you to check out volume 1 where we break down which team is the best and which is the worst, how many days we've gone as a league without a flopping technical, most minutes played this season without scoring a point, and which player played the most games in NBA history without ever leading his team in points scored in a single game. 

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OK. On to volume 2.

Since the NBA was off last week for All Star Sunday (ASS) we have some time to catch up on some things to know. But let's talk about the All Star game real quick. What a masterclass of offense it was as the East scored the most points in ASS history while the West came in 4th.

Just kidding. The game was obviously awful and I could only stomach a couple minutes of it. Lucky for me I had to hit the road at halftime so I put the game on my phone which rested on the CD player phone holster to make sure I kept both eyes on the road at all times. 

There was zero reason to watch the All Star Game but the real question for us casuals as we head into the second half of the season is when should we be watching. The standard casual philosophy has always been to pop in at the end because "why should I watch the first 58 minutes of a game when only the last couple minutes matter?" 

The problem is this implies that all final two minutes of a game are worth watching. I broke down the numbers a few different ways and if you consider a game worth watching as one in which there's at least 50 percent of game time in the final two minutes to be within five points (clutch zone) only 217 games have met this requirement out of 821 in the first half of the season. And only 202 games have had at least 50 percent of the final minute be within five points. 

Hell, 53 percent of all games failed to have one second of elapsed clutch time in the final five minutes. And that doesn't include this god awful Lakers/Warriors blowout I'm watching right now as I type.

Hold up! BREAKING NEWS! BALL WEDGIE!!!

I guess this game wasn't so bad after all. That reminds me though: it's a damn shame they don't log ball wedgies in the play by play data because I'd have a field day with that. 

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Anyway, what were we talking about?

Right. How can us casuals count on being entertained by a game without having to depend on a ball wedgie? After crunching the numbers I have a couple thoughts. Tip #1: Dont be a Detroit Pistons fan. Big mistake casuals. The table below shows us that the Pistons have managed to spend 85 percent of all clutch time (defined by the NBA as final five minutes of a game in which the margin is five points or less) in games they would go on to lose. 

I'm definitely getting into my sad stats bag here but Pistons fans have only watched nine total minutes of suspenseful game action this season in which their team ended up winning. Nine minutes. On the plus side, at least they've had over an hour of total suspenseful end of game action. So there's that at least. 

Tip #2: Become a Dallas Mavericks fan. Here's the bandwagon you want. Total opposite of Detroit. Dallas has spent almost 80 percent of their clutch game time on games won. So you get to have fun watching with the payoff of winning. Side note - they're also on a seven game winning streak. 

On the other hand, there's no rule saying you have to be fan of a specific team. Why not look for a player that delivers in the clutch to root for instead? I found a guy that literally hasn't missed in clutch time yet this season. Ready for this? Because you're not gonna believe it but it's true…

Nathaniel S. Butler. Getty Images.

That's right. Ben Simmons. 1/1 from the field baby!!

OK maybe Ben Simmons is a bit too casual even for us causals so let's check out who's hot in the clutch with a minimum of ten clutch shot attempts. 

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fyi I just put 30 percent for "bunch of other guys" to trick my stats machine into putting it in the right order

Sabonis getting it done down in the low post when his team needs him and Kristaps sure is turning into every bit the player the Celtics could have hoped for. But I think Haliburton has been one of the most exciting up and comers and he's doing it in the clutch too. So we have some options here. As for the stragglers at the bottom of this list, it's surprisingly uncharacterstic to see Josh Giddey's balls haven't been connecting lately when the numbers are low. But one could argue this is a minor flaw. And shout out Cam Thomas. 31 clutch shots at just over 25 percent isn't slowing him down from chucking some more. He must have a certain Wayne Gretzy/Michael Scott slogan guiding him. 

Before we go I'd like to mention how proud I am of Grayson Allen. He was called for a flagrant foul just before the break on De'Aaron Fox in such a way that I feel is a step towards growth (for Grayson Allen).

What used to be a dirty assualting flagrant foul in his younger days has turned into a softer, caressing flagrant foul in his older days. But here's a fact I bet you didn't know. He only has five flagrant fouls in his career. That seems wildly low but then again I think my memory is lumping in the million others he got at Duke. But since he entered the league in 2019, he doesn't even sniff the top flagrant foul leaders.

CJ McCollum. SNEAKY bad boi. That's enough for now but I might have to come up with some sort of "bad boi" formula for next week so we can see what the analytics says about who's the baddest of them all. 

Until then, enjoy watching the games this week. Or enjoy not. 

- @stathole