Bucks Diary

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ten who have lifted their games

Here are ten players who are thus far performing above expectations, or who have taken their games to another level:

1 Andrew Bynum

Is this guy all Kareem’s doing? If so, Jabbar needs to be hired somewhere because he has transformed Bynum from a baby fat stiff to a surprisingly skilled big man in one season. His progress has been remarkable. Polished moves have replaced clumsy feet. His production leap has been astronomical (14.18 to 28.23).

2. David Lee

I must confess, I don’t know much about this guy. But among all those averaging at least 25 minutes a game, he is the eighth most productive player in the Association (Eff48: 33.54), and he's done it over 17 games this season so it doesn’t appear to be a fluke. Looking at his stat lines, he rebounds exceptionally well (averaging almost 17 rebounds/48 mins), and he shoots extremely well from the field (eFG: 63.4%).

3. Zach Randolph

The Zach attack is back. Last season he kind of muddled through with an Eff48 that was below average for his position (22.27). This year he is producing at an elite level (33.12).

4. Emeka Okafor

Okafor has bounced back nicely from his injury plagued 2005-06 season. He has pushed his production numbers from 23.45 to 30.57, and he’s looked very good doing it.

5. Carmelo Anthony

He’s on here because he boosted himself from an above average player to a superstar. He's doing it by getting inside with regularity. 44% of his shots are inside shots, and when he gets in there he finishes. His 33.98 is top ten in the Association, and exceptionally good for a small forward. He’s a scoring machine.

6. Deron Williams

I thought this guy might be a bust after his awful rookie season (17.48). Instead he got himself in shape and returned with a vengeance, pushing himself up near the top rung of point guards (25.48). Excellent turn around.

7. Leonardo Barbosa

He performed pretty well in the playoffs last year and he carried it over to this year. His productivity this year (26.13) is up substanitally from last year (20.12). He is currently the eighth most productive guard in the Western Conference, ahead of better known players like Ray Allen (24.03) and Jason Richardson (18.88) .

8. Dwight Howard

Another player who has blossomed from above average to borderline superstar. His numbers this season (32.78) are probably what we can expect from him from here on out. The next dominant big man in the game.

9. Luol Deng

I thought Deng sort of peaked at around the 22.3 mark he had last year. I saw him as being in the Bobby Simmons, run-of-the-mill small forward mold. But this year he has pushed his numbers up another level and proven me wrong (26.75). Thus far.

10. Kwame Brown

He’s not actually doing great, but for all the abuse he has taken since entering the Association, the respectable numbers (24.79) he is currently producing have to be considered surprising. He may yet turn out to be a productive professional.


At December 2, 2006 at 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked Leonardo in The Departed, too, I was stunned when that guy killed him in the elevator. I don't know about that Blood Diamond though.


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