The eyes see who’s got the ball and how a play unfolds. Advanced statistics, of course, can dig deeper and give us more thorough details of the game and trends that develop over weeks, months and years. Case in point: touches per game. This season, the top four players in this category are Luka Doncic, LeBron James, Nikola Jokic and Ben Simmons.
As detailed on NBA.com, they are all averaging more than 90 touches per game through Dec. 13.
Doncic – 96.0 touches per game
James – 94.6
Jokic – 91.9
Simmons – 90.9
The foursome’s teams had a combined record of 73 wins and 24 losses as of Friday, too.
It’s interesting to explore this topic further by viewing the many categories related to touches per game. Among the related topics are frontcourt touches, elbow touches, postups, paint touches, points per frontcourt touch, points per elbow touch, points per paint touch.
What’s more, the NBA tracks average dribbles per touch, and among the top four Doncic is No. 1 (5.16), with LeBron (3.82), Simmons (3.72) and Jokic (0.94) following his lead.
How about average seconds per touch?
Again, it’s Doncic at the top (5.58). LeBron is No. 2 at 4.81, with Simmons third (4.58) and Jokic fourth (2.11). But taking the whole league into account, there are five guys who top the 6-second average for touches: league leader Trae Young (6.30), Derrick Rose (6.14), D.J. Augustin (6.13), Damian Lillard (6.12) and James Harden (6.00).
Going back to the original item (touches per game), the next seven probably shouldn’t surprise you, either.
The stellar seven:
Kyle Lowry – 89.6
Harden – 88.4
Jrue Holiday – 86.5
Devonte’ Graham – 86.4
Young – 86.4
Fred VanVleet – 84.5
Giannis Antetokounmpo – 84.4