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, (BasketballReference.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. I do show the NP per 40 minutes at the end of each line but I’ll ranked them based on the total NP because that’s not a projection based on a rate of production.. 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 DECEMBER James Harden HOU……. 36.4m 37.6p 10.7r 15.8a 1.8s 0.4b 13.3mfg 2.1mft 7.5to 3.4pf 1065NP (40.1) Russell Westbrook OKC 34.6m 42.9p 14.6r 14.8a 1.8s 0.4b 18.7mfg 2.7mft 7.4to 3.1pf 1043NP (42.6) Kevin Durant GS….…….. 34.2m 36.3p 12.5r 6.7a 1.6s 2.2b 11.0mfg 1.3mft 3.2to 3.0pf 988NP (40.8) Anthony Davis NO……… 37.2m 41.1p 15.1r 2.8a 1.9s 3.3b 13.6mfg 2.5mft 3.3to 3.1pf 977NP (38.2) G. Antetokounmopo MIL 35.0m 32.6p 12.3r 8.1a 2.7s 2.7b 10.1mfg 2.2mft 4.1to 4.8pf 866NP (37.1) DeMarcus Cousins SAC.. 34.8m 39.9p 14.0r 5.1a 1.9s 2.0b 16.2mfg 3.0mft 4.3to 5.1pf 797NP (34.3) LeBron James CLE…………37.1m 33.1p 10.1r 10.1a 1.8s 0.8b 11.8mfg 2.9mft 5.0to 2.1pf 793NP (35.4) Jimmy Butler CHI.…………36.6m 32.2p 8.7r 5.7a 2.2s 0.4b 12.1mfg 1.5mft 2.8to 2.5pf 787NP (30.4) Karl-Anthony Towns MIN 35.3m 30.6p 15.5r 3.7a 0.7s 1.9b 12.0mfg 1.4mft 3.5to 4.1pf 744NP (30.5) Hassan Whiteside MIA… 33.9m 24.5p 20.2r 1.0a 1.1s 3.2b 8.5mfg 3.3mft 2.9to 4.5pf 738NP (30.7) Chris Paul LAC…………….. 31.5m 27.1p 8.1r 14.5a 3.3s 0.2b 10.4mfg 0.8mft 1.9to 4.1pf 730NP (35.9) Steph Curry GS……………. 33.2m 34.6p 6.1r 8.5a 2.5s 0.2b 12.9mfg 0.5mft 4.0to 3.6pf 729NP (31.0) Kawhi Leonard SA...……. 33.5m 34.9p 8.6r 4.5a 2.9s 0.8b 12.8mfg 0.8mft 2.9to 2.1pf 717NP (33.2) Damian Lillard POR…….. 35.8m 36.3p 6.0r 8.3a 1.2s 0.3b 14.1mfg 1.1mft 3.6to 3.2pf 714NP (29.9) John Wall WAS……………. 36.2m 31.2p 6.0r 13.2a 3.0s 0.8b 13.0mfg 1.6mft 5.9to 3.0pf 696NP (30.7) DeAndre Jordan LAC…… 31.6m 17.7p 20.0r 1.4a 0.9s 2.6b 3.4mfg 3.4mft 2.6to 4.1pf 691NP (29.2) DeMar DeRozen TOR…….. 35.4m 37.2p 7.0r 5.5a 1.8s 0.1b 14.9mfg 1.9mft 3.4to 2.5pf 684NP (28.9) Kyle Lowry TOR……………… 37.1m 28.6p 6.1r 9.4a 1.9s 0.4b 10.4mfg 1.1mft 3.8to 3.7pf 679NP (27.4) Rudy Gobert UTAH………… 33.0m 18.2p 17.4r 1.3a 0.9s 3.8b 2.7mfg 3.0mft 2.5to 4.5pf 675NP (28.9) Marc Gasol MEM…………… 33.5m 28.0p 8.7r 5.9a 1.4s 2.2b 12.6mfg 1.2mft 2.9to 3.2pf 674NP (28.4) Kevin Love CLE………………. 32.0m 33.3p 16.3r 2.5a 1.6s 0.7b 12.6mfg 1.1mft 3.2to 2.9pf 668NP (34.6) Kemba Walker CHA………. 33.4m 32.7p 5.8r 7.8a 1.8s 0.3b 13.6mfg 1.2mft 3.1to 2.2pf 649NP (28.3) Isaiah Thomas BOS………… 33.5m 39.8p 3.6r 8.8a 1.2s 0.2b 14.9mfg 1.2mft 3.3to 3.3pf 647NP (30.9) Andre Drummond DET….. 30.0m 22.5p 21.5r 1.9a 2.3s 1.6b 8.7mfg 4.0mft 3.3to 4.9pf 629NP (29.6) Draymond Green GS…….. 32.8m 15.8p 12.6r 10.7a 3.1s 1.8b 7.2mfg 1.2mft 3.3to 4.4pf 610NP (27.9) FWIW: Carmelo Anthony NY……… 33.3m 31.6p 8.7r 4.0a 1.3s 0.5b 15.3mfg 0.9mft 2.7to 4.0pf 515NP (23.1) Comments: James Harden has moved from 4th to first even though Russell Westbrook’s averages are still higher. A big difference is that Westbrook is getting more rest: his minutes went from 35.7 at the end of November to 34.6. Harden also increased his rebounds from 9.5-10.7. Kevin Durrant is has bene scoring less (37.7-36.3) but he’s also missing fewer shots (11.0-10.1). He’s realizing that he doesn’t have to be the guy to do it all the time for the Warriors. Anthony Davis is scoring less (41.4-37.2) and that’s reduced his NP to (42.7-38.2). He’s also much more of a “black hole” than the other top players with only 2.8 assists per 40 minutes. Giannis Antetokounmpo made a big move from 13th to 5th. It was mostly based on points (31.4-32.6) and turnovers (5.1 to 4.1). We may have to learn how to pronounce his name. LeBron James moved from 15th to 8th through consistency. He had 397 net points in November and 396 in December.