For the last several years I’ve been making monthly posts for baseball keeping track of who is leading each league in base production, (total batting bases +walks + steals) and run production, (runs scored + runs batted in minus home runs so they don’t get counted twice). I’ve also used those stats for my series on the history of the sport to identify the most historically productive players. I’m going to be starting a similar series for basketball soon and I thought I’d start doing monthly NBA posts using my “net points” formula: points + rebounds +assists + steals + blocks – missed field goals –missed free throws – turnovers – fouls. Since we don’t have two leagues, I’ll keep track of the top 25 players. I’ve also decided to break out the players averages per 48 minutes of play, (the length of an NBA game). Players don’t actually average 48 minutes per game, (BasketballRefernce.com keeps track of averages per 36 minutes as that’s closer to what a star player will average). But they could play that much in a tight game. These numbers represent what they are capable of doing when their team really needs them to produce. The players are ranked based on total net points. The averages are just a breakdown of their individual skills. Here is a breakdown of what I’ve typed in each case with LeBron James in November as an example: LeBron played 15 games and 539 minutes in those games, an average of 35.9 minutes per game (m). He scored 353 points (p), grabbed 121 rebounds (r ), passed for 140 assists (a), stole 16 balls (s) and blocked 7 shots (b). He attempted 257 field goals and made 128, so he missed 129 (mfg). He attempted 100 free throws and made 72, missing 28 (mft). He had 58 turnovers (to) and 25 personal fouls (pf). I add the positives and subtract the negatives to get 397 net points. I divide 48 by the 539 minutes and multiply each stat by the result. I come up with this: LeBron James CLE 35.9m 31.4p 10.8r 12.5a 1.4s 0.6b 11.5mfg 2.5mft 5.2to 2.2pf 397NP (35.5) AFTER NOVEMBER (from the stats as of the morning of December 1st) Russell Westbrook OKC 35.7m 41.9p 14.1r 15.1a 1.8s 0.5b 18.8mfg 2.4mft 7.3to 3.4pf 617NP (41.5) Anthony Davis NO……… 37.5m 41.1p 14.4r 2.8a 2.4s 3.6b 13.4mfg 2.6mft 3.0to 2.7pf 600NP (42.7) Kevin Durrant GS……….. 34.4m 37.7p 11.7r 6.6a 2.2s 2.2b 10.1mfg 1.4mft 3.2to 2.9pf 552NP (42.7) James Harden HOU……. 36.9m 37.4p 9.5r 15.5a 1.7s 0.4b 13.5mfg 2.2mft 7.2to 3.5pf 526NP (37.4) Damian Lillard POR…….. 35.7m 38.0p 6.6r 7.4a 1.3s 0.3b 13.7mfg 1.3mft 4.0to 3.5pf 460NP (31.0) DeMarcus Cousins SAC.. 34.1m 40.5p 14.7r 4.5a 1.7s 1.6b 15.5mfg 3.6mft 4.0to 5.7pf 437NP (34.2) Chris Paul LAC…………….. 31.5m 27.3p 7.9r 13.5a 4.2s 0.4b 10.7mfg 0.8mft 3.6to 3.4pf 435NP (34.9) Steph Curry GS……………. 33.6m 38.1p 5.9r 8.5a 2.1s 0.3b 12.9mfg 0.6mft 4.3to 3.3pf 424NP (33.7) Kawhi Leonard SA...……. 33.9m 31.5p 8.6r 4.2a 3.0s 0.7b 13.6mfg 1.0mft 2.7to 2.2pf 423NP (31.5) Hassan Whiteside MIA… 32.7m 26.0p 22.2r 1.1a 1.2s 3.7b 8.6mfg 3.5mft 3.2to 5.1pf 416NP (34.0) Jimmy Butler CHI.………. 35.5m 34.6p 8.7r 5.3a 2.2s 0.2b 11.6mfg 1.5mft 2.8to 2.4pf 411NP (32.7) DeMar DeRozen TOR….. 36.3m 38.2p 7.3r 5.6a 1.7s 0.1b 14.5mfg 2.2mft 3.7to 2.6pf 403NP (29.6) G. Antetokounmopo MIL 34.75m 31.4p 11.8r 8.2a 2.8s 2.8b 10.7mfg 2.0mft 5.1to 5.2pf 401NP (34.6) Karl-Anthony Towns MIN 35.1m 30.7p 13.7r 3.3a 1.1s 1.9b 11.9mfg 1.6mft 2.8to 4.2pf 398NP (30.2) LeBron James CLE………….35.9m 31.4p 10.8r 12.5a 1.4s 0.6b 11.5mfg 2.5mft 5.2to 2.2pf 397NP (35.5) Blake Griffin LAC…………… 33.1m 30.7p 12.7r 6.4a 1.8s 0.8b 11.5mfg 2.5mft 2.6to 3.8pf 397NP (32.0) Kemba Walker CHA………. 33.3m 34.9p 5.9r 7.1a 2.4s 0.5b 13.4mfg 1.7mft 2.9to 1.8pf 387NP (31.0) Andre Drummond DET….. 29.5m 23.3p 21.5r 2.1a 2.7s 1.7b 9.4mfg 3.3mft 3.1to 4.0pf 366NP (31.3) Kevin Love CLE………………. 31.7m 32.9p 16.5r 2.5a 1.5s 0.9b 12.5mfg 1.5mft 2.8to 2.9pf 364NP (34.5) Isaiah Thomas BOS………… 33.2m 37.6p 3.7r 9.1a 1.0s 0.2b 15.4mfg 1.4mft 3.4to 3.3pf 350NP (28.1) Kyle Lowry TOR……………… 37.9m 25.8p 6.3r 9.3a 2.1s 0.4b 11.5mfg 1.0mft 3.9to 3.8pf 338NP (23.75) C. J. McCollum POR……….. 34.6m 30.7p 5.3r 5.1a 1.8s 0.7b 12.9mfg 0.4mft 3.0to 4.4pf 331NP (23.0) Dwight Howard ATL………. 29.1m 23.9p 21.2r 1.8a 1.8s 2.6b 5.9mfg 5.2mft 4.4to 5.7pf 330NP (30.2) Rudy Gobert UTAH………… 31.0m 17.1p 17.2r 1.5a 0.9s 3.9b 3.3mfg 2.9mft 2.6to 5.0pf 330NP (26.9) DeAndre Jordan LAC………. 31.5m 17.6p 19.3r 1.0a 0.8s 2.6b 4.0mfg 3.8mft 2.6to 4.5pf 328NP (26.3) FWIW: Carmelo Anthony NY……… 33.9m 31.4p 8.9r 3.7a 1.5s 0.5b 15.1mfg 0.9mft 2.8to 4.2pf 293NP (23.0) Comments: Westbrook and Harden are triple-double machines but they also turn the ball over a lot. Cousins is a heck of a player but commits to many fouls. Durrant is as productive as ever, even though he has to share the ball with Curry and Thompson (who had 246 NP). Lebron seems to be kind of in low gear, (but not out of gas). Anthony Davis looks very much like the next “face of the game” type player. Would you rather have Steph Curry or Chris Paul? The bottom of the list shows there’s still a place for the old-fashioned center who can go and get the ball for you. Melo misses too many shots and doesn’t rebound enough to make the top 25. This project will enable me to appreciate NBA players more, as I most follow the college game. I think I’m going to be a big Giannis Antetokounmpo fan.