StatsCube: The No-Stats Playoff MVPs

If you were to name a playoffs MVP at this point, you would have to choose between Chris Paul, LeBron James and Kevin Durant … and maybe Derrick Rose. But beyond the stars with the big individual numbers, there are players who have made a big difference on the scoreboard without actually scoring points.

If Shane Battier could be heralded as a no-stats All-Star in The New York Times back in 2009, then Joel Anthony and Jason Collins, two guys that would have trouble scoring in an empty gym, deserve to be called no-stats playoff MVP candidates here on the Hang-Time Blog.

The Miami Heat‘s starting lineup has been outscored 131-102 in their series with the Philadelphia 76ers (and 97-60 when they’re on the floor with the Sixers’ starters). But they’re up 3-1 in large part because Anthony has helped shut down Philly’s offense once he’s entered the game.

According to StatsCube, the Sixers have scored 117.1 points per 100 possessions in 76 minutes with Anthony on the bench, but just 82.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor. Say what you want about his offensive game, but Anthony is a defensive force.

Collins has had a similar effect on the Orlando Magic‘s offense. They’ve scored just 76.6 points per 100 possessions in 72 minutes with him on the floor vs. 108.8 in 120 minutes with him on the bench, as the Atlanta Hawks have taken a 3-1 lead in the East’s 4-5 series.

Those numbers come close to matching The Collins Effect in the regular season: 72.9 on and 105.0 off. With Collins starting, the Hawks are 6-2 against the Magic this season. Compare that to Atlanta’s 1-7 record against Orlando last season, when Collins played just 16 total minutes in the eight games. (Don’t necessarily blame former Hawks coach Mike Woodson here. Collins is in much better shape this year.)

Collins, of course, is no stranger to postseason success. He played in two straight Finals for the New Jersey Nets, off the bench in 2002 and as a starter in 2003. And the last time he was a starter in the playoffs, he neutralized Chris Bosh (who shot less than 40 percent over six games) to allow the Nets to pull off a 3-6, first-round upset against the Toronto Raptors in 2007.

Four years later, Collins is one game away from keying another first-round upset. He’s frustrated Dwight Howard in this series, holding Howard to just 17.0 points per 48 minutes when he’s on the floor.

This isn’t the first time Collins has had success in defending Howard. In 591 career games in which he’s played at least 25 minutes (including postseason), his two lowest scoring games came against Collins and the Nets. Collins held Howard to two points on 1-for-5 shooting on March 13, 2005 and to one point on 0-for-6 shooting on Jan. 20, 2007.

The Collins Effect goes beyond Howard’s numbers. By defending Howard one-on-one, Collins allows his teammates to stay at home on the perimeter. The Magic are shooting a league-low 29.1 percent from five feet or beyond in the postseason, and just 26.5 percent when Collins is on the floor.

If the Magic are going to extend the series with a win tonight in Game 5 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV), they’ll need to start making some shots. But that’s proven to be difficult with the Hawks’ no-stats MVP on the floor.


John Schuhmann is a staff writer for Send him an e-mail or follow him on twitter.


  1. Maura says:

    Nahhhh. I still beleive that Magic will take the series in game 7 even though Collins play without rest.

  2. ENZO says:


  3. HEATSUCK #2 says:

    What do you think of those stats bandwagon Heat fans? I guess your arrogant big three aren’t as good as you thought they were. A lot of hype and a bunch of show offs! Nothing more!

  4. Fan says:

    No doubt in my mind Miami will not get a ring this year! None at all! Lmao!

  5. Notorious says:

    Well.. from looking at the ORL vs ATL series.. it seems pretty obvious that they are using 2 – 3 different big men to guard Howard 1 vs 1 and letting him get his numbers. Since they aren’t double teaming Howard and only bringing weak side help the ATL guards can stay home on ORL’s 3 point shooters. In doing this… when the ORL shooters actually do get open looks they are out of rythm which.. then correlates to a poor shooting percentage

  6. drosha says:

    Am I the only one watching these games or is everyone else blind? What Jason Collins effect? Do you realize that Jason Collins is not defending the slumping outside shooters of Orlando. Even if Hawks doubled Howard Magic would still lose because they can’t make wide open shots. Those 3s they took in the last game, half of them were wide open. If they sank 2 of those, they would’ve won the game despite the so called “Collins effect”

  7. Ruben says:

    Lebron James????!!!!

    what the heck! Schuhmann Lequeen’s Lover

    he is far from a “Playoffs MVP”

  8. Agathe says:

    I strongly think Derrick Rose will BE the MVP…..I really hope so

  9. Chasles Abimana says:

    i feel as if the numbers are being manipulated…

  10. Swisher says:

    With all the talk of Jason Collins, shouldn’t someone mention Zaza Pachulia. Collins is doing the same thing Pachulia is, piling up the fouls, while agitating Howard. Zaza sucks, but give him credit also.

  11. fish sticks says:

    HAHA those stats are soooo misleading. The trio of wade bosh and lebron has almost tripled the scoring of the entire philly starting lineup. Who actually expects the big three to outscore the entire philly team? Of course they are going to score less.

  12. Multi says:

    Does that really mean that Joel is a defensive force or that the Heat are better when Z and Bibby are not on the court? Id say the latter.

  13. Jesse says:

    sorry but I think this article is dumb. How is jason collins a mvp? Dwight Howard is dominating him and the hawks. The reason why they are losing is because the Orlando shooters are not hitting shots. Jason Collins was supposed to be D12 stopper. instead this guy is getting dominated and so are the other hawks big men. D12 32 ppg with 18 rpg. Jason collins is not doing anything. The hawks perimeter players are doing a good job of guarding orlando shooters. but that has nothing to do with collins. If the orlando shooters were hitting their shots and orlando was up or tied 2-2 this article would not even be here. D12 is shooting 67% in this series. nothing special about jason collins.

  14. Tenki says:

    I don’t see a problem with the Heat’s system now, especially with Joel Anthony anchoring the defense for Miami. Granted, Wade and James thrives in transition, but Miami is also as dangerous when they get defensive stops (i.e. defensive rebounds, blocked shots, shot clock violations). In other words, they live off opponent’s turnovers. Wade James and Bosh provides potent offense for Miami, and Anthony is doing a great job on the defensive end that Miami fans doesn’t even feel the absence of Haslem, another defensive specialist as well. I can’t wait to see Miami play all of them together at the same time. All of them would bring quickness, strength, agility and toughness on the floor, a nightmare matchup for most teams in the league.

  15. Heat trio says:

    i dont understand how the Miami starting line was outscored 97-60 in the series…
    game 1 trio scored 63
    game 2 64
    game 3 75
    game 4 65
    n thats just the trio…..

    • triptin says:

      its while the 5 other starters are on the court at the same time. not counting points wen even one of miami or one of the sixers are off the court. just sayn.

    • Diddy says:

      Although I am a Heat hater( More like Queen James hater), those stats make no sense. The Heat trio definitely get it done. Now to DW12 and Jason Collins. JC is just a great defender period. He’s proved that his whole career. It doesn’t matter if he was a rookie or a 3rd year player or whatever. Even now as his game has evolved, he can’t get it done against JC. And kudos to Atlanta for getting a very good set of defensive bigs. A bunch of castoffs are doing a great job. So I would like to send shout outs to Hilton Armstrong, Etan Thomas, Josh Powell, Al Horford and last but not least Jason Collins. LET’S GO ATL!!!

    • Mike says:

      It’s not ppg, it’s points per 100 possessions. Different kind of stat- requires some extrapolation and dividing out over time. It’s sort of like the basketball equivalent of an ERA.

  16. Carlo says:

    Sean only cares about marquee names and stuff that’s popular with all bandwagon fans it’s all good in the hood

  17. HEAT WILL GET RING says:

    No Doubt In My Mind That Miami Will Getta Ring This Year None At All!

  18. Gary says:

    John your stats are very deceiving. How can you base the entire Sixers team stats against just the Miami starters? Here’s a better look at the scoring between the two teams and their starters.

    Game one Heat 79 Sixers 53
    Game two Heat 76 Sixers 29
    Game three Heat 88 Sixers 69
    Game four Heat 66 Sixers 50

    Total Heat 309 Sixers 201

    • FFT says:

      LoL true though

    • triptin says:

      he said when the starters are on the court at the same time. pay attention people!!!!!!!!!!!! let me explain a bit better. that means that when all 10 starters are on the court the sixers out scored the heat. 97- 60. learn to read and comprehend.just sayn.

      • Gary says:

        I understand what he meant but think it’s deceiving. Here’s what I’m saying. He’s comparing the scoring of Heat starters vs the entire Sixers team to get the 131 to 109. And in the end what does it matter if they are outscored when all starters are on the floor? They’re still winning. So yeah you can splice this stuff together to get some stats but in the end what is it proving if the other team is losing?

  19. brendan says:

    the stat that Collins “holds” Howard to “only” 17ppg per 48 just shows how great Howard is. Considering Howard averaged 22 pts this season, 17 ppg is not bad at all. So is Collins really that good…most coaches wouldn’t be pleased that a starting center is “holding” the opposing center to 17 ppg. And I know its per 48 mins, but Howard plays 45 mins a game anyway, so kinda meaningless. All these StatsCube articles are really lame.

  20. Kulushi says:

    Collins has not only stepped up his game, but also improved the mentality of those around him by leading by example.He’s in the NBA for a reason, but hasn’t played too big a role in the Hawks lineup thus far in his career. The main thing the hawks have been missing is a big man who plays big. With him playing big against Howard (on the defensive end at least) he has not only give the Hawks a chance, but an advantage even. If he continues to perform well and other players fulfill their roles, the hawks have a greater chance of success in these playoffs than even I, a loyal fan, had given them.

  21. HS says:

    I acknowledge the stats, but I think one has to go beyond the stats, especially in this series. Dwight Howard has been virtually unstoppable this series, once he is not in foul trouble. True 17 ppg per 48mins when J Collins is guarding Howard, but he has not had a prolonged period of success guarding him without racking up fouls. The Magic is this position because apart from Howard, nobody from Orlando can shoot the ball in the ocean, especially Turk, who has just been downright awful this post-season

    • Scramble J says:

      yes, part of the reason the magic are in this position is because they haven’t shot well, but this is in large part to the hawks guards and forwards staying home on the shooters and providing aggressive perimeter defence, which is something that has only been possible due to Jason’s great defense (as displayed in his per48min stats) on Dwight

  22. Rim reaper says:

    Very good point Bruce Li

  23. Lakers Suck says:

    Chris Paul put moves on Kobe and now he’s looking at being out for the playoffs lmao.

  24. HEATSUCK says:

    Joel Anthony can defend less than average teams but good teams or Dwight would eat him alive. The Heat Suck!!!!

  25. Sean says:

    maybe you need to make a more interesting column because no one cares about this lol

  26. Bruce LI says:

    thankful to John’s great article. it’s a tribute to all diligent players who have incomparable fame to those superstar. It is a recognition to their performance.

    what’s my opinion is that John cited stats describing D.Howard performed especially poor when facing Collins and I reckoned it would be a bit unfair to Howard. Undoubtedly, Collins proved himself a good defender when he was in New Jersey. But my point is that Howard was just in his rookie age in NBA when 2005 and 2007. At that time, his offensive skills was proficient and polished like this season. Also, before recent seasons, Howard hasn’t be the pillar of Orlando, he couldn’t get field attempt more than 10. With just 5-10 field goal attempt, the score he got would be quite low. Thus, I think the stats John quoted may not accurately describe how Collins stopped Howard. I hope my opinions could give you some inspirations and write out more article in the future. Keep writing!!!

    • Sean says:

      yea howard as a rookie compared to now is definitly different so he needs to step up and won jason collins already

  27. D.Rose "most voted player " for media only says:

    Wow ! I just wonder if Joel can defend D.Howard ???
    Joel has A+ defense but F+ in scoring …but I still like him

    • dont think so says:

      i dont think joel could defend howard..
      he’s athletic and defends very well, but in a match up against howard.
      i think he is much too undersized
      anthony is 6-9 at 245, while howard is at 6-11 at 265

  28. HEATSUCK says:

    The Miami Heat‘s starting lineup has been outscored 131-102 in their series with the Philadelphia 76ers (and 97-60 when they’re on the floor with the Sixers’ starters). But they’re up 3-1 in large part because Anthony has helped shut down Philly’s offense once he’s entered the game. What a sad stat LOSERS!!!!!!!

    • Lakers Suck says:

      Key phrase “Heat up 3-1 despite being outscored” so they’re doing something right. Unlike LA hahahaha.