John Hollinger, the father of the Player Efficiency Rating (PER) has analyzed early trends this season in his article in the nysun. He does a good job of putting the early season statistics in perspective.
- Phoenix's Boris Diaw, for instance, is obviously not in basketball shape (in the spirit of seeing the glass half-full, let's just say he's "bulked up").That's going to be an issue for the Suns all season, not just in their 1–3 start.
- Rockets fans are bothered byTracy McGrady's early-season struggles, but check out his career stats and you'll notice a pattern here. The guy struggles every November, so seeing him get out of the gate so slowly this year shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.
- Similarly, the strong starts by Portland's Zach Randolph and Seattle's Ray Allen shouldn't come as a big shock to those in the know — we've seen this movie before.
- I use a measure called "Pace Factor" to track how many possessions each team uses in a 48-minute game. Last year, the average was 92.94; this year it's all the way up to 95.83.