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Kawhi Leonard.

Three interesting team stats from the young 2016-17 NBA season

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The 2016-17 campaign is beginning to pick up pace with some interesting narratives developing before our very eyes.

Whether it is Russell Westbrook's drive to become the first player since Oscar Robertson in the early 1960's to average a triple-double through an entire regular season, watching James Harden grow into a polished point guard, or even the L.A. Lakers defying pessimists to sit at .500, this season has captured imaginations early doors.

As is so often the case within the league, the stats tell a story. We have taken a look at three teams that sit atop of some interesting stats as we approach the 20-game mark and evaluate what they mean.

Rebounds per game - Denver Nuggets: 50.2

Quite surprisingly, the European-heavy Denver Nuggets sit atop of the glass cleaners, primarily thanks to Kenneth Faried (9.2), Wilson Chandler (7.7), Jusuf Nurkic (7.6) and Nikola Jokic (6.7).

One would think a team led by Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan or Hassan Whiteside would have the greatest chance of leading the way, but Denver have a varied, yet talented assortment of big men who all seem to chip in.

With the Chicago Bulls second and Phoenix Suns third, it just goes to show it's more about teamwork than a handful of elite board grabbers. Denver have the forwards to make an impression in the NBA for years to come, and rebounds play a big part in winning basketball games.

Houston Rockets v Denver Nuggets

They currently sit at 7-11, but a run at the eighth seed in the west isn't out of the question.

Blocks per game - Golden State Warriors: 6.6

When the Warriors lost Andrew Bogut and Harrison Barnes to the Dallas Mavericks in the summer, even though they acquired Kevin Durant, many believed the Dubs' dynamic would suffer as a result of the reshuffle.

One of those areas would surely be defence. Without Bogut's rim protection, the Warriors were sure to give up more points than previously and struggle to patrol the paint.

However, ironically, KD has been one of their premiere shot-stoppers. The 2014 MVP has chipped in with 29 blocks so far this season, only one stop behind the team-leading Draymond Green.

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns

Bogut's replacement Zaza Pachulia has only managed a paltry eight blocks. Interestingly, Pachulia is averaging 17.7 minutes a night on the court at the pivot, but understudy JaVale McGee has recorded 10 blocks from an average of just 6.8 minutes.

Sitting in the midst of a 12-game winning streak, the Warriors have definitely adapted.

Three-point percentage - San Antonio Spurs: 40.0

For anyone that subscribes to the notion that three-point shooting is the be-all and end-all in the NBA, take a look at the top three teams in three-point shooting percentage.

The San Antonio Spurs, the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers. Where do they sit in their conference standings? Second in the west, first in the west and first in the east, respectively.

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers

Gregg Popovich's Spurs have climbed to the top of the pile behind Patty Mills and Kawhi Leonard. Of course, the latter is dropping an average 24.2 points a night and has registered 37 bombs from deep thus far.

However, Mills has proved invaluable from the bench with a team-high 38 threes this term with a percentage of 44.7. The depth of their shooters is probably their biggest strength in this department with Danny Green and Manu Ginobili also reliable contributors, and even Davis Bertans has weighed in during his limited minutes.

Could that be the difference come the season's end?

Topics:
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
NBA
Stephen Curry
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Kawhi Leonard
Denver Nuggets
Northwest Division
Kevin Durant
Oklahoma City Thunder

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