Lakers By the Numbers: Kobe & Pau

The Lakers have been playing significantly better of late, so Triple Threat takes a closer look at the stats around Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

21.6 - Kobe Bryant’s average field goal attempts per game this season.

Along with those 21.6 attempts, Bryant is averaging 7.6 free throws per game. Since two free throws usually result from every fouled shot attempt, Bryant is averaging between three and four more shot attempts than are accounted for in that field-goal attempts average. So overall, Bryant has averaged about 25.4 shot attempts per game with an admittedly not perfect free-throw adjustment incorporated.

Over the past two games, Bryant has not been the player he was for the first 40 games of the season. He averaged 11 field-goal attempts and seven free-throw attempts per game in the wins over Oklahoma City and Utah. Although his free-throw attempts are only slightly lower, his field-goal attempts are nearly cut in half from his season average. 

Incorporating free throw attempts with field goal attempts, the Mamba is averaging about 14.5 shots in the last two games, significantly lower than his season average of 25.4. Even better, those extra 10 shots are being spread around with at least five Lakers hitting double digits in points over the last two games.

2The number of 3-pointers Pau Gasol has attempted in the six games since returning from a concussion.

The head injury ultimately moved Gasol to the bench, but the concussion may have also knocked some sense into the 7-foot Spaniard. Gasol has only attempted two 3-pointers since returning from a concussion that forced him to miss five games.

Gasol is working closer to the basket and taking 2-foot hook shots rather than stepping into 22-foot jump shots. Consequently, Gasol is averaging 16 points per game over the past six games, well above his season average of 12.9 points per game but still below his career average of 18.5 points per game. Also, Gasol is shooting 59.4 percent since returning to the team, well above his season average of 44.9 percent and his career average of 51.8 percent.

Gasol may not be happy off the bench, but he is productive and efficient in his new role. Also, he is averaging just fewer than 30 minutes per game since re-joining the team. Gasol’s season average is 33.3 minutes per game. Gasol’s minutes will likely continue to decrease, considering Dwight Howard was ejected in the game against Toronto, did not play the second half against Memphis, and was saddled with foul trouble against Oklahoma City.

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