HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The NBA announced to its teams on Friday that it is tweaking the qualifications for league leaders in some statistical categories, starting this season.
Here’s a basic rundown…
Non-shooting categories (points per game, rebounds per game, etc.)
Old: A player must have played in 70 games or totaled a certain amount of points (1400), rebounds (800), assists (400), etc. That last part allowed Rajon Rondo to lead the league in assists per game last season, even though he played in just 38 games.
New: A player must play 70 percent of his team’s games (58) in order to be listed among the league leaders. The only exception to this rule will be if, at the end of the season, the player would have led the league in the category had he played the required number of games with his current category total.
Here’s a past example of the above exception: Gerald Wallace had 138 steals in 55 games (2.51 SPG) during the 2005-06 season. Wallace would have still led the league in steals because his average with 58 games (2.38 SPG) would have been greater than the 2.28 SPG of Brevin Knight, the leader among players who met the 58-game qualifier.
Rondo’s 420 assists last year would not have been enough. So call this “the Rondo Rule” if you wish.
Shooting percentage categories
Field-goal percentage leaders are determined the same way as they have been in the past. You need 300 made field goals (or 300/82 per team game if you’re calculating in-season) to qualify.
Free throw percentage leaders are also determined the same way as they have been in the past. You need 125 made free throws (or 125/82 per team game in-season) to qualify.
There is a change in how 3-point percentage leaders are determined. In the past, you needed just 55 made 3s (0.7 per team game) to qualify. Now, you need 82 (or one per team game in-season).