All About Foul Stats
In a basketball game, especially in close one, fouls related statistics determine who will win the game. When the subject is fouls, you can also include the star treatment, official’ performances and hack-a-X’s into this debate.
In this analysis, we try to provide some interesting details about players foul statistics such as which NBA players get most foul drawn (shooting and non-shooting), what is the difference in number between foul committed and foul drawn by player basis, the percentage of free throw points in total points and finally free throw rates (FTA per FGA).
The data belongs 2013-14 NBA season; we will also give this season’s statistics (20.11.2014 games included).
Foul Drawn vs. Foul Committed
Kevin Durant was the league leader in shooting foul drawn at last season. Most probably he will continue to do so if he can start this season with full health. Durant was followed by big men Griffin, Howard and Cousins.
In this early season, James Harden leads the league getting the most shooting foul drawn calls. He finished 7th last season in this metric. Harden is followed by Kobe Bryant who missed entire 2013-14 season and returned to the courts in 2014-15 with sky-high usage rate.
Looking shooting foul drawn per minute stats, DeMarcus Cousins got more drawn calls than all other top 15 players both this season and last season with 0.23 and 0.26. Among the players who play at least 10 minutes per game, most shooting foul drawn leaders are in that order:
2013-14: DeMarcus Cousins (0.15), Dwight Howard (0.15), Blake Griffin (0.13), Kevin Durant (0.13) and Brook Lopez (0.12).
2014-15: Russell Westbrook (0.22), Dwight Howard (0.14), DeMarcus Cousins (0.14), James Harden (0.13), and Kobe Bryant (0.12).
For non-shooting foul drawn, Blake Griffin was on the top in 2013-14, followed by Kyle Lowry. Griffin is also at second place in this year behind DeMarcus Cousins. There are some surprising names in this early season top 15 list such as Ersan İlyasova and D.J. Augustin, both of which in facts find limited minutes with their teams.
On per minute statistics, among the players who play at least 10 minutes per game, most non-shooting fouls drawn leaders are in that order:
2013-14: DeMarcus Cousins (0.09), Blake Griffin (0.08), Marc Gasol (0.07), Dirk Nowitzki (0.07), and Brandon Knight (0.07).
2014-15: Rodney Stuckey (0.13), Ersan Ilyasova (0.12), DeMarcus Cousins (0.12), D.J. Augustin (0.10), and Kris Humphries (0.09).
Combining the foul drawing types, we can see that Blake Griffin led the league last year. But Cousins is the leader for this season. On per minute metrics, among the players who play at least 10 minutes per game, foul drawn leaders are:
2013-14: DeMarcus Cousins (0.23), Blake Griffin (0.20), Dwight Howard (0.20), Kevin Love (0.18) and Kevin Durant (0.17).
2014-15: DeMarcus Cousins (0.26), Russell Westbrook (0.24), Dwight Howard (0.23) Rodney Stuckey (0.20) and D.J. Augustin (0.20).
Despite the injury blown on the second game of the season, Russell Westbrook got 10 fouls drawn in total 41 minutes. Rodney Stuckey similarly got 16 fouls drawn in 79 minutes and D.J. Augustin deserves also the credit here with 1 foul drawn calls each of 5 minutes he played.
We talked the foul drawing leaders. But what about most foul committed players?
DeMarcus Cousins committed 293 total fouls on 71 games last year. He did 59 fouls on 12 games played this year, both the highest of the league. Therefore DeMarcus Cousins seems really nightmare for other players on both ends of the floor.
Maybe you also wonder the highest and lowest difference of player committed fouls and fouls drawn. Here are the answers:
Wesley Johnson committed 147 shooting fouls but only got 40 shooting foul drawn calls in 2013-14. He was also the league leader combining non-shooting fouls with total difference 146.
In 2014-15, top three players for most total foul differences are: Larry Sanders (33), Shawne Williams (32) and Tony Allen (30).
Kevin Love committed 139 total fouls but drew 496 of them in 2013-14. 232 of this difference came from shooting fouls, on for this category Kevin Durant led the league with 274 shooting foul difference.
In 2014-15, top three players for least total foul differences are: Kobe Bryant (50), James Harden (45) and DeMar DeRozan (44).
Getting foul drawn are important because they eventually permit players to go to free throw line which is the easiest way to score points (at least for majority of players). Here are the free throw attempted per game leaders of last two seasons:
2013-14: Kevin Durant (9.94), James Harden (9.11), Dwight Howard (8.99), Blake Griffin (8.43), and DeMarcus Cousins (8.38).
2014-15: James Harden (10.00), Dwight Howard (9.10), Kobe Bryant (8.75), DeMar DeRozan (8.09), and Russell Westbrook (8.00).
To go a lot deeper and to determine a foul drawn rating we can also look free throw attempts per shot metric. On this one, the leaders are:
If we ignore players which play very close to the paint or have difficulty on charity stripe (who are intentionally fouled), players like James Harden, Derrick Williams and Ramon Sessions might get a few more foul drawn calls in their favor in 2013-14.
Let’s also look this one in another perspective with the percentage of points from FTM:
Ramon Sessions found 31.9% of their points from free throws last year. James Harden was at second with 31.1% who also leads 2014-15 season in this category with 37.5%.
Clearly James Harden has some special gifts to get those calls and find points from free throws.