Every week (or so), we'll dive into the stat sheets and find five interesting or strange Raptors statistics and put them on front street for discussion. There will be a mix of both individual player and team statistics to explore, ranging from raw box score numbers to some interesting and funky advanced metrics.
So, let's get down to it. Here are this week's interesting digits:
The Raptors have a Simple Rating System mark of 4.15 so far this season, the best in the history of the franchise.
As per Basketball-Reference.com, Simple Rating System is a team rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. The rating is denominated in points above/below average, where zero is average. While no one's sure what to make of a Raptors team that's 14-9 and has beaten some great teams and lost to some terrible ones, take solace in this fact: they are on pace for their best season in franchise history per this metric. Their previous best was their 2.55 mark in 2013-14.
Kyle Lowry has the second-highest Real Plus-Minus (RPM) mark in the entire NBA at 9.94.
He's trailing only Stephen Curry's 10.90, and since everyone is trailing Curry in basically everything this year, that's really impressive. If you're not familiar, ESPN's RPM metric represents a player's estimated on-court impact on team performance, measured in net point differential per 100 offensive and defensive possessions, accounting for teammates, opponents, and additional factors.
Additionally, Lowry's Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 25.8 (eighth in the NBA), Win Shares Per 48 Minutes (WS/48) rate of .252 (fifth), and Box Plus-Minus (BPM) of 9.9 (third) are all on pace to set Raptors franchise records. Yeah, he's been fantastic.
Bismack Biyombo is only allowing opponents to shoot 42.7% at the rim this season.
We know Biyombo is a deterrent in the paint, but allowing a mere 42.7% on 5.7 shot attempts faced within five feet of the rim per game this season places him among the league's elite rim protectors. His mark is mere percentage points away from Hassan Whiteside at 42.4% (a guy who's blocking a ridiculous 4.4 shots per game) and it ranks him ahead of defensive stalwarts Tim Duncan (43.4%) and Anthony Davis (44.5%).
The Raptors record assists on 51.2% of their made baskets.
This low Assist Percentage ranks them 28th in the whole Association, only ahead of the Detroit Pistons (48.9%) and the Los Angeles Lakers (50.9%). The ball sticks even more in clutch situations (last five minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime with a point differential of five or less), where they have recorded an Assist Percentage of 33.3% in 54 clutch minutes (27th in the Association).
The Raptors are shooting 34.6% from midrange this season.
That mark places them 28th in the NBA, ahead of only the Milwaukee Bucks (32.8%) and the Philadelphia 76ers (33.7). While this fact will frustrate fans that abhor the inefficiency of shooting mid-range shots (when a few steps back is worth 50% more points and a few steps forward is a far easier shot to make), you might be surprised to know that the Raptors only attempt 18.6 shots from that distance per game (24th in the NBA).
While it might seem like DeMar DeRozan's midrange game dominates the offence at times, the team hangs it's hat far more on three-pointers (30.6% of their field goal attempts are from deep, seventh in the NBA), free throws (they attempt .329 free throws per field goal, fourth in the league), and drives (their 22.7 points per game on drives leads the NBA).
All stats courtesy of NBA.com/stats and Basketball-Reference.com.