free NBA basketball picks
Home | Teams/Players | Commentary | NBA Predictions | Contact Us

Garbage Time Player Stats

We all know that there are times when an NBA game seems to be over even though there may be more than a few minutes left on the clock. Garbage Time is upon us, and for most coaches it's an opportunity to trot out the tail end of the twelve man roster and divvy up some minutes to the lesser players who battle hard during practice. It's also frequently a time for rookies to get an extended stretch of playing time.

Of course, when the outcome of a game is for all intents and purposes finalized, there's a good chance that the play becomes in some cases a matter of padding one's stats. Do players look to post a few extra numbers on the stat sheet when the defenses are relaxed and the opposition may be going through the motions?

We elected to use the following definition of "garbage time" moments: 4th quarter and overtime where either team has a lead of 10 points plus one point for each minute remaining. It's easier to see this in table form --

Minimum lead to qualify as "garbage time"
Min. Left
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Lead (Pts)
10+
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

It could be argued certainly that these thresholds are wrong, that teams have indeed clawed their way back from being 15 points down with six minutes to go. We're pretty comfortable thinking this is a reasonable definition when you consider that if the game tightens up it will no longer be judged as garbage time (and the starters are all rushed back into the game!)

The table below shows various accumulated stats for the current 2003-04 season, under our garbage time filter. We created a "Stats Padding" number that is Points + Rebounds + Assists + Blocks + Steals.

Most Prolific Garbage Time Players (as of 01/12)
Rk
Player
Tm
Min
Stat Pad
FG
FGA
FG%
Reb
Ast
Blk
Stl
Pts
1
 Garnett
MIN
92
112
26
55
47%
30
11
3
3
65
2
 Bell
UTA
87
95
16
37
43%
20
7
0
6
62
3
 Jackson
SAC
107
89
22
52
42%
18
15
0
3
53
4
 Odom
MIA
89
87
19
43
44%
20
8
1
5
53
5
 Crawford
CHI
77
86
23
51
45%
13
13
0
3
57
6
 Miller
SAC
78
84
16
24
67%
26
10
3
0
45
7
 Hayes
WAS
100
82
25
42
60%
15
3
0
5
59
8
 Harrington
IND
76
81
13
33
39%
31
6
2
3
39
9
 Thomas
WAS
74
80
11
25
44%
30
7
3
0
40
10
 Dixon
WAS
84
77
18
47
38%
5
9
0
9
54
11
 Daniels
DAL
74
75
22
39
56%
6
11
2
4
52
12
 Boykins
DEN
96
75
17
40
43%
13
17
0
3
42
13
 Mohammed
ATL
80
72
15
25
60%
26
1
3
2
40
14
 Fisher
LAL
103
71
15
38
39%
9
11
0
10
41
15
 Jones
MIA
91
71
17
35
49%
17
3
1
2
48
16
 Armstrong
NOH
85
71
14
34
41%
11
15
1
9
35
17
 Johnson
PHO
79
71
16
38
42%
14
9
0
5
43
18
 Murray
SEA
87
71
16
44
36%
8
9
2
5
47
19
 Jamison
DAL
85
68
13
27
48%
25
4
2
1
36
20
 Brown
SAS
79
68
15
26
58%
19
4
1
3
41

Now, we don't intend for these numbers to be used to denigrate players, after all there's nothing wrong with doing well in minutes that are "less than crucial" and we respect players who still play hard and give the fans their money's worth after the game is out of reach. So before you start trash talking about how Garnett is stockpiling numbers for his MVP claims, you would be wise to remember that he puts up similar levels of productivity throughout the full 48 minutes!

On the other hand, this may be a useful tool for evaluating some of the bench players -- break out their stats into "garbage time" and non-garbage time categories and then judge them by the performance in the minutes that really mattered.

Taking a similar troll through the garbage moments of the 2002-03 season comes in with the following top twenty "G-Men"

NBA 2002-03 Most Prolific Garbage Time Players
Rk
Player
Tm
Min
Stat Pad
FG
FGA
FG%
Reb
Ast
Blk
Stl
Pts
1
 Kirilenko
UTA
271
258
45
80
56%
52
15
31
24
136
2
 Jones
CLE
295
243
59
121
49%
57
17
5
10
154
3
 Rose
CHI
209
211
53
118
45%
19
23
2
7
160
4
 Davis
CLE
206
209
46
108
43%
26
31
3
11
138
5
 Garnett
MIN
183
197
34
81
42%
71
26
7
6
87
6
 Crawford
CHI
214
188
44
109
40%
22
31
4
12
119
7
 Randolph
POR
203
183
40
77
52%
59
9
3
4
108
8
 Padgett
UTA
253
181
40
83
48%
55
16
2
7
101
9
 Turkoglu
SAC
207
176
42
86
49%
43
17
4
4
108
10
 Hilario
DEN
196
174
31
53
58%
41
17
10
18
88
11
 White
DEN
191
171
46
96
48%
24
17
2
11
117
12
 Clark
SAC
247
170
27
49
55%
70
7
21
6
66
13
 Boozer
CLE
200
166
31
67
46%
60
11
4
11
80
14
 Jaric
LAC
181
166
28
61
46%
31
42
4
14
75
15
 Bryant
LAL
134
161
36
90
40%
21
20
1
9
110
16
 Redd
MIL
198
161
43
78
55%
37
9
1
7
107
17
 Stoudemire
PHO
144
158
26
48
54%
52
7
8
6
85
18
 Johnson
PHO
164
157
37
74
50%
24
28
0
9
96
19
 Marion
PHO
130
156
39
71
55%
34
7
2
9
104
20
 Okur
DET
176
154
29
59
49%
55
11
4
3
81

We have tons of respect for players numbered 1, 5, and 7 on this list for starters, so we don't take it as a slam on any of them that they show up as benefitting from some extra minutes that were far from crunch time. If anything, the guys padding their numbers a bit are the ones chasing the scoring title -- if you sort the numbers by field goals attempted per minute, the top three players are Bryant, McGrady, and Pierce!

Ah, but the heart of the question and the inspiration for this effort came from our friend Charlie B. who clearly has an ulterior motive in wanting to compare Garnett and Duncan's numbers since they were two of the main names in the MVP chase last year:

Rk
Player
Tm
Min
Stat Pad
FG
FGA
FG%
Reb
Ast
Blk
Stl
Pts
5
 Garnett
MIN
183
197
34
81
42%
71
26
7
6
87
179
 Duncan
SAS
90
79
9
27
33%
37
6
8
0
28

Go to school Charlie! At some point we'll take a pass through garbage time again, looking at things on a team by team basis.


Rate this Feature
Poor   Fair   Good   Excellent

Enter your comments in the box

Email (optional)

We want your feedback! Tell us your thoughts

Copyright 2003 by 82games.com, All Rights Reserved