[4/1/2010 data from ESPN.com, Hoopdata.com, and basket-reference.com, players on pace for 70 games and 1400 points to qualify. FYI, Gil Arenas is the only top 25 player to not make the cut due to limited games played.]
What if Dwight shot the ball as much as the league's other scoring leaders?
Dwight is currently 26th in the league at 18.6 points per game (ppg).
Field Goal Attempts Per Game
- Dwight takes 10.3 fga per game. Lowest in the top 60! scorers. Efficient!
- Scorers #1-25 average 17.0 fga per game.
- That's an average difference of 6.7 fga per game less for Dwight.
Field Goal Percentages
- Dwight is 1st in FG% at .607
- 1st in eFG% at .607
- 2nd in TS% at .631 (trails Nene's .633, who is #66 in ppg at 13.9ppg)
- Players #1-25 average eFG% = .507
- Dwight makes a ridiculous 1.81 points per shot (C. Maggette is 2nd at 1.58pps).
The Big Men Who Score More Than Dwight
The PFs and Cs who rank above Dwight in ppg are, in order: Dirk, Bosh, Stoudemire, Z Randolph, NYK's D. Lee, Boozer, NJN's B. Lopez, & NOH's D. West.
What if Dwight took as many shots as the scoring leaders ahead of him on the list? What would his PPG be?
Calculation #1 - if Dwight shot the scoring leader average 17.0 fga per game:
If you use his .607 FG% for the extra 6.7 FGAs, it would be 26.7ppg.
Dwight's current 18.6ppg + (6.7 more shots * .607FG% * 2pts per basket) = 26.7ppg
Good for 5th behind LeBron & Durant (29.7ppg on 20.1fga), Carmelo (28.5ppg on 21.9fga), and Kobe (27.2ppg on 21.4fga).
Dwight would still be averaging at least 3 fewer shots per game than these other leaders and no 3-pointers to speak of. Pretty efficient scoring even with his lower free throw percentage.
Calculation #2 - if Dwight took LeBron's 20.1 fga per game:
If Dwight took the extra 9.8 shots per game to equal LeBron's 20.1 FGAs (note Dwight's USG% is not even in the top 20), Dwight would score 30.5ppg to lead the league! (And, on-air personalities would probably all call him a chucker.)
Dwight's current 18.6ppg + (9.8 more FGA * .607 FG% * 2pts per basket) = 30.5ppg
Calculation #3 - if Dwight's extra 6.7 fgas are shot at a lower percentage:
But let's assume that taking more shots might lower Dwight's shooting percentage a little. To be fair, let's use the average eFG% for the 25 players above Dwight (.507) for these extra 6.7 shots.
Dwight's current 18.6ppg + (6.7 more FGA * .507 eFG% * 2pts per basket) = 25.4ppg
Still good for 7th, just ahead of Dirk and just behind #5 D. Wade (26.2ppg on 19.6fga) and #6 M. Ellis(25.5ppg on 22.0fga). He'd still have the highest ppg for for all PF's and C's in the league.
Calculation #4 - if Dwight shot the same (lower) number of free throws as the top 25 average:
Dwight leads the league in FTA per game at 10.2. Players #1-25 average only 6.5 FTA per game. What if we lowered Dwight's FTA so that his scoring is calculated matching this lower average?
If Dwight shot his .603 FT% at 6.5 attempts per game, he'd score 2.25 points per game less. But, I'd say we really ought to ignore a deduction like that; because if Dwight shot 6.7 more FGA per game, then it is likely that he'd get fouled more (rather than less) and thereby get more (rather than less) FTA [UPDATE - especially since Dwight is 3rd in the league in FTA/FGA at 0.99]. But, even if we did take away those 2.25 free throw points, you get 25.4ppg - 2.25ftm = 23.1ppg. Good for 10th in the league; behind PFs Dirk & Bosh and ahead of Ama're.
Would those kind of numbers help his MVP campaign? Probably. It would be harder for the casual analyst (yes, I know that should be an oxymoron) to ignore his offensive contributions.