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Dinos & Digits: Lowry and DeRozan are the best backcourt in the East

Another instalment of Dinos & Digits, where we look at five interesting Raptors stats.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Dinos & Digits, a place where we dive into the box scores 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:

Kyle Lowry (5.9) and DeMar DeRozan (5.0) have the second highest combined Win Share total of any starting backcourt in the NBA this season at 10.9, trailing only Stephen Curry (8.6) and Klay Thompson (3.8) at 12.4.

It's hard for any backcourt to match what Curry and Thompson are doing right now, but Lowry and DeRozan are the closest thing to them according to Win Shares, a cumulative metric that's meant to be an estimate of wins contributed by a player. #NBAVote the crap out of these guys, please.

If the season ended today, Kyle Lowry (23.0, 6th), DeMar DeRozan (21.1, 9th), and Jonas Valanciunas (20.7, 10th) would all rank in the Raptors' all-time top-10 in Player Efficiency Rating (PER).

There has only been one other season when three different Raptors finished with a PER north of 20, and that was in 2007-08, when Chris Bosh (23.8), Jose Calderon (20.5), and T.J. Ford (20.3) did it. Vince Carter and Chris Bosh are arguably one and two on the list of the best Raptors of all time (for now), but the Lowry, DeRozan, and Valanciunas trio might be the best top three the team has ever had (at least according to PER).

DeMar DeRozan is only shooting 22.7% of his field goal attempts from the mid-range this season.

That's a career low by 8.5% and a far cry from his career average of 32.9%. His average shot distance of 11.1 feet is the lowest mark since the 9.1 he posted in his rookie season, and his .484 Free Throw Attempt Rate (freebies per field goal attempt) is a career best. This has arguably been DeRozan's most efficient season ever, as evidenced by his 54.9% True Shooting Percentage (weighted twos, threes, and free throws), the best since his rookie season (when he was only attempting 6.5 field goals and 2.5 free throws per game, compared to 17.2 and 8.3, respectively, now).

According to, the Raptors are sixth in the NBA in Offensive Rating (107.1) and ninth in Defensive Rating (103.3).

If the season were to end today, that would mark only the second time in team history that they would finish inside the top 10 in both (they finished exactly 10th in each in 2013-14). This season, the only other teams cracking both top 10s are all clear contenders: the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Los Angeles Clippers. Those four teams make up 93% of the NBA Title Odds per ESPN's Basketball Power Index (BPI) Playoff Odds. Speaking of which...

The Raptors have a 1.5% chance of winning an NBA title this year, according to ESPN's BPI Playoff Odds.

That's the second-highest mark in the Eastern Conference and the fifth-highest mark in the entire Association, after the Spurs (46.4%), the Warriors (38.6%), the Cavaliers (7.5%), and the Oklahoma City Thunder (2.9%). Forget winning a first-round series, how about the chances of making the Eastern Conference Finals? The Finals? A championsh...ok, maybe we can focus on winning one round first.

All stats courtesy of, and

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is running a $200,000 fantasy basketball league tonight. It's $2 to enter and first place wins $15,000. Join now!