The obligatory cupcakes are always sprinkled into the early-season basketball schedule, as warm ups for the meat of the schedule. We’re nearing the end of this two week span of nobody’s and gearing up for the Louisville Cardinals on New Year’s Eve. I do a lot of player analysis, because to me it’s the only foolproof way of determining how a player is performing. Here’s a quick recap on where the guys stand after the first six and last six games of the season.
I’ve compiled the stats for closer inspection! Below and after the break are the stat columns for each player with significant minutes. The first six games of the season are listed with their averages, followed by the last six games and their averages. See? Now you compare and contrast. I hope you like numbers… Let’s get to it.
Marquis Teague has shown improvements in the turnover department, decreasing his margin by a little more than one per game. His scoring output has remained consistent, averaging double figures. Another consistent figure is his piss poor free throw shooting where it’s hovering at a 49% rate. Can it get any worse for a point guard? A top ball handler cannot be that bad in crunch time – late game foul situations.
Doron Lamb has shown even more improvement from his hot start, steadily increasing in all major statistics. His field goal percentage, both inside and outside the arc has increased; his scoring output has increased, while decreasing his turnovers. Lamb has been and should continue to be a hot hand. He’s only failed to score double figures three times, including today’s game against Loyola.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, to the surprise of no one has been Mr. Do-everything from the get-go. (See all those hyphens? I did that on purpose.) His stats show he has been as consistent late as he was early. He is still scoring in double figures, committing limited turnovers, recording blocks, steals and rebounds. One significant area of improvement Kidd-Gilchrist has shown is at the free throw line, where the rest of the team as a whole is still struggling. Keep it up Michael, your efforts are not going unnoticed.
Terrence Jones is hard to figure out recently. Where that McDonalds All-American form has gone, no one knows. Taking a look at his stats for the last four games he’s played, you can see a steady decrease in scoring output and minutes played. It’s probably just a coincidence, so hopefully he’ll bounce back from his pinky injury a new rejuvenated man and return to his early season form. I don’t see any reason to panic over Jones yet. The guy has talent, that doesn’t go away overnight.
Anthony Davis has been much like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: consistent throughout. What you see is what you get. Davis’ blocking figures have remained spot-on while his rebounding has actually improved to averaging a double-double in the last six games. What came as a surprise to me is how he almost never turns the ball over. Maybe growing up as a guard, then growing ten inches really does have its benefits. Then again, he hardly ever has a chance to cough it up with as many lobs as he throws down. His game today against Loyola no exception, where he collected another double-double.
Darius Miller is really looking more consistent and comfortable on the floor. Outside what he calls his slump from behind the arc, Miller has been a great slasher in the paint and has been able to find his teammates in the wings after penetrating. Once he finds a groove from three Miller might be finding even more time on the floor. I was a little disappointed to see only three deep-shot attempts from Miller today against Loyola, with only one more game between now and Louisville.
And if for some strange reason you want to look at this chart in more detail, I will allow you that option. Simply click here.
Merry Christmas Eve eve eve.