Case Study

What I learned From Player Stats in 2021-22 Regular NBA Season

What I learned From Player Stats in 2021-22 Regular NBA Season

The 2021-22 NBA regular season which began on October 19, 2021 has ended on April 10, 2022. As an NBA fan, I would love to use Python programming skill to explore and find some interesting facts from the dataset which contains player stats per game.

Note: A team labeled as “TOT” means the player had played for multiple teams in a regular reason and the row of record will be used as player’s combined stats across all teams.

Below are 10 interesting facts that I found from the dataset using Python programming language.

1. Average age of NBA players in 2021-22 Regular season was 26.

2. Top 10 players with most 3-point field goals per game.

1Stephen CurryGSW4.511.70.38
2Fred VanVleetTOR3.79.90.377
3Klay ThompsonGSW3.69.30.385
4Donovan MitchellUTA3.59.80.355
5Kyrie IrvingBRK3.48.20.418
6Buddy HieldTOT3.28.80.366
7Damian LillardPOR3.29.80.324
8Lonzo BallCHI3.17.40.423
9Anfernee SimonsPOR3.17.80.405
10Trae YoungATL3.180.382

3. Top 10 players with most 2-point field goals per game.

1DeMar DeRozanCHI9.518.30.520
2Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL9.215.00.616
3Nikola JokićDEN913.80.652
4Anthony DavisLAL8.915.60.571
5LeBron JamesLAL8.613.80.620
6Ja MorantMEM8.616.20.534
7Kevin DurantBRK8.414.80.568
8Joel EmbiidPHI8.415.90.529
9Pascal SiakamTOR7.714.50.527
10Deandre AytonPHO7.511.70.642

4. Top 10 players with most free-throws per game.

1Joel EmbiidPHI9.611.80.814
2Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL8.311.40.722
3James HardenTOT7.28.20.877
4Jimmy ButlerMIA6.98.00.870
5Kevin DurantBRK6.87.40.910
6DeMar DeRozanCHI6.87.80.877
7Trae YoungATL6.67.30.904
8Shai Gilgeous-AlexanderOKC5.97.20.810
9Luka DončićDAL5.67.50.744
10Damian LillardPOR5.56.20.878

5. Top 10 players with most blocks per game.

1Myles TurnerIND2.8
2Jaren Jackson Jr.MEM2.3
3Anthony DavisLAL2.3
4Robert WilliamsBOS2.2
5Rudy GobertUTA2.1
6Mitchell RobinsonNYK1.8
7Mo BambaORL1.7
8Evan MobleyCLE1.7
9Jakob PoeltlSAS1.7
10Hassan WhitesideUTA1.6

6. Top 10 players with most rebounds per game.

1Rudy GobertUTA9.511.014.7
2Nikola JokićDEN2.811.013.8
3Domantas SabonisTOT3.28.912.1
4Clint CapelaATL3.88.111.9
5Joel EmbiidPHI2.19.611.7
6Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL2.09.611.6
7Jonas ValančiūnasNOP3.18.311.4
8Jusuf NurkićPOR3.08.111.1
9Nikola VučevićCHI1.99.111.0
10Jarrett AllenCLE3.47.310.8

7. Top 10 players with most assists per game.

1Chris PaulPHO10.8
2James HardenTOT10.3
3Trae YoungATL9.7
4Dejounte MurraySAS9.2
5Luka DončićDAL8.7
6Darius GarlandCLE8.6
7Tyrese HaliburtonTOT8.2
8Nikola JokićDEN7.9
9LaMelo BallCHO7.6
10Kyle LowryMIA7.5

8. Among the MVP finalists, Nikola Jokić came out on top in 3 out of 5 stats.
It’s definitely fair for Nikola Jokić to be named as a League MVP for 2021-22 regular season even though he had lower average points per game than Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo. We have to know that basketball is a team game and it is not just about individual score. Other stats like assists, rebounds and steals are important too for helping a team to win.

Nikola JokićDEN7413.
Joel EmbiidPHI6811.
Giannis AntetokounmpoMIL6711.

9. There are only 4 players older than 30 with +25 points

LeBron JamesLAL3730.3
Kevin DurantBRK3329.9
Stephen CurryGSW3325.5
DeMar DeRozanCHI3227.9

10. Clustering Golden State Warriors Players by Performance

I also played with a machine learning algorithm called K-Means Clustering, trying to divide players into clusters based on their similarity.

Image below shows the data points (which have been reduced to 2 dimensions using PCA method) are classified into three different clusters after applying the K-means algorithm with k=3 (determined by Elbow method).

Out of curiosity, I also tried to narrow down the data points to Golden State Warriors players to see which players are in the cluster 0, 1 and 2. And it turns out I am quite happy with the outcome produced by the unsupervised machine learning algorithm.

ClusterPlayers of Golden State Warriors
0Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney and Jordan Poole
1Chris Chiozza, Andre Iguodala and Quinndary Weatherspoon
2Nemanja Bjelica, Jonathan Kuminga, Damion Lee, Moses Moody, Gary Payton II, Otto Porter Jr., Klay Thompson and Juan Toscano-Anderson

I hope you like my case study on 2021-22 NBA Regular Season and you can click here to view my data works.

Published by Lee Hong

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