Last night, Kevin Martin scored 22 points on eight shots.
Last night, Kobe Bryant scored 24 points on 22 shots.
Obviously, Martin had a terrific game and Kobe had a poor game. But with the ridiculuous hot streak Speed has going lately (77 points on just 34 shots in the last four games, three of which were Kings wins), you wonder what the kid's ceiling is.
Is it Mitch Richmond? It was Rock's sophomore season when he turned into a great NBA shooter, hitting 49.7% from the floor and putting up a true shooting percentage of 57.6%. His usage rate was high at 23.5 (meaning he used 23.5% of the Warriors' possessions when he was on the floor - 20 is average, as five players each taking up 20% of the possessions would equal 100%).
Richmond peaked during the 1996 and 1997 season, at ages 30 and 31. The peak saw his three-point shooting get better, and saw him get to the line more. At his peak, Mitch hit 43.7% from three.
This season to date, Kevin Martin is hitting 40.2 percent of his threes. That's coming in the midst of a hot streak, sure. But remember that Speed started off terrible this season, missing 19 of his first 23 three-balls. He's had a bad stretch and a good stretch, and he's standing above the 40% mark.
Martin is getting 5.2 free throw attempts per 40 minutes this season, while Mitch's lowest season-average was the same. For his career, Mitch got to the line 6.3 times per 40.
What about another sweet-shooting off-guard? What about Walter Ray Allen?
Mr. Shuttlesworth's age 23 season was the strike-shortened 98-99 year, so let's look at Allen's age 24 season instead, for comparison's sake.
That year, Ray hit 45.5% from the floor, including an incredible 42.3% from three, for a true shooting percentage of 57.0%. His usage rate was 24.4, and he got 5.2 FTAs per 40.
We all know what Ray has done since: become a top-three NBA shooter and a franchise cornerstone.
Can Kevin do the same? The numbers look good - Martin is leading the league (!) in true shooting after Tuesday's display, with 63%. He's shooting very close to 50% from the floor, and 86% from the line. He's #12 in the NBA on free throws made per field goals attempts, which shows that his FTAs per 40 should go up as his FGAs per 40 rise. The indications are all very good.
But the biggest problem is that we won't be able to find out Kevin Martin's ceiling if he's only getting six shots a game. I know that winning is the only goal, but doesn't it seem ridiculous that a guy that goes for 17 points on literally perfect shooting and plays the entire second half only gets three shots up in the final two periods?
It's on Rick Adelman, it's on Mike Bibby and it's on Kevin Martin himself. He's getting the minutes. Now, he must get the shots.
Your turn - what do you think Kevin Martin's ceiling as an NBA player is? Ignoring his Hideo Nomo stroke, which past or current off-guard does he remind you of?