With most of the NBA's teams on vacation, it's a perfect time to reflect on the wild 2021-22 regular season! As usual, we got to witness the good, the bad, the ugly, the incredible, and of course, the silly. Behind the unforgettable moments are raw numbers. As a nerd for stats and trivia, I thought it would be appropriate to put together a list of 100 interesting stats and facts from the 2021-22 season.
This is part three of a four-part season stats retrospective, and the beginning of what will become a weekly feature next season. We’ve already hit on career accomplishments and 3-point scoring, and this week we’ll move into the realm of non-scoring stats.
There were plenty of defensive specialists to get excited about from a fantasy perspective this season. An in-house favorite here at NBC Sports Edge, Jaren Jackson Jr. managed to stay healthy this season and delivered the type of eye-popping stats fantasy managers have been eagerly anticipating for years. Rookie Herb Jones also proved to be a waiver-wire hero thanks to his excellent defensive numbers, and there are plenty more examples in the list below.
If you love a good triple-double, last season was surely a treat. Nikola Jokic had a field day in that category, and 38 other NBA players joined in on the fun and there were a total of 130 triple-doubles across the Association. We’ll also cover shooting percentages, rebounds and minutes played. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!
- Herbert Jones finished T-4th in the NBA with 190 blocks + steals as a rookie. Future defensive star, am I right?
- Matisse Thybulle finished sixth in combined blocks-steals with 186 and remarkably did so as a guard. The next closest guard? Dejounte Murray at 161. Thybulle’s fantasy value was dulled by his lack of scoring or peripherals, but his stocks kept him relevant in 12-team leagues for most of the season.
- Thybulle and Chuma Okeke were the only players to record at least six steals in multiple games this season.
- The two players with the most total minutes this season have the same last name: Bridges. Mikal (2,854) edged out Miles (2,837) for the league lead.
- Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet (37.9 MPG each) tied for the most minutes per game this season. Three of the top-7 and four of the top-12 leaders in MPG were Raptors (Scottie Barnes, Gary Trent). Nick Nurse knows what he likes, apparently.
- Pascal Siakam played the most minutes in a single game this season with 57 in a triple OT win over the Heat on January 29. Next on the list? His teammates Scottie Barnes, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent who all had 56, and Fred VanVleet with 54 in the same contest.
- Steven Adams broke Zach Randolph’s single-season offensive rebounds record of 330 with 349 this season. Adams led the NBA comfortably in total offensive boards and offensive boards per game (4.6). It was no surprise that the Grizz led the NBA in second-chance points at 18.7.
- Jaren Jackson Jr. broke Pau Gasol’s 20-year-old single-season blocks record and finished the season with 177. A true three-and-D fantasy cheat code, JJJ also hit 145 triples, good for eighth-most in a single-season in Grizz history. He finished 38th in 9-cat scoring and some positive regression in FG% could push him into second-round value and beyond next season.
- JJJ’s 177 blocks led all players this season, and he rejected 40 more shots than the next man up, Rudy Gobert (137). They call him the B1ock Panth3r for a reason.
- Rudy Gobert set the all-time record for True Shooting percentage at 73.2 and became the first Jazz player to lead the league in rebounds (14.7 RPG).
- Two players (Chris Paul, James Harden) averaged double-digit assists, marking the first time that multiple players recorded at least 10 assists per game since 2016-17.
- Nikola Jokic led the league in double-doubles with 66 in 74 games played. The only non-bigs with at least 40 double-doubles were Luka Doncic, Trae Young and James Harden.
- Jokic also led the league in triple-doubles at 19. The next closest big? Domantas Sabonis with a quarter of those at five.
- Jokic is now two triple-doubles away from tying Wilt Chamberlain for most all-time by a center in the regular season and five away from tying him for most all-time by a center in the regular season/playoffs combined.
- He had a terrible season in his debut with the Lakers, but Russell Westbrook finished with 10 triple-doubles, the seventh time in his career he’s had at least 10 in a single season.
- Westbrook committed the most turnovers in a single game this season when he coughed it up 10 times against the Thunder on October 27. He also posted a 20/14/13 line, good for an unofficial quadruple-double.
- Conversely, Westbrook had a zero-turnover game this season, snapping a historically-bad 407-game streak dating back to 2016 when he was still teammates with Kevin Durant.
- Since the team moved to Oklahoma City, Serge Ibaka leads the Thunder in 20-rebound games with four. Steven Adams is next with three. Third on that list? Why, it’s none other than silly-season hero Jaylen Hoard who posted two of them in a four-game span in early April. Hoard averaged a ridiculous 19.8 points and 15.6 rebounds in five starts this season. Mark that one off your bingo cards, hoops aficionados!
- Four players took at least 10 shots without a miss in a single game this season: Brandon Clarke, Clint Capela, Richaun Holmes and Keita Bates-Diop.
- 39 different players had a triple-double this season, the most since 1989-90.
- Austin Reaves went for 31/16/10 against the Nuggets in the last game of the season. He’s the first Lakers rookie with a 30-point triple-double since Jerry West and just the fifth Lakers rookie in history with a triple-double of any kind.
- Immanuel Quickley posted two triple-doubles this season (both within a week), including a 34/10/12 performance against the Raptors to become the youngest player in Knicks history with a 30-point triple-double.
In case you've missed them, here are the past few weeks' editions of Zak's Stats!