Let me preference this by saying, I like both players and think both should be getting PT. Also, this isn't a post directed at any one or two people, but a response to what I see as a prevailing trend.
That said, I'm baffled by some people's responses to these two players. One player can do no wrong and is a future star and the other is questioned as to his place in the league. I find it very strange, considering:
- They are basically the same age(Donté is 4 months older: 2-21-88 to 6-22-88).
- They have similar experience. Donté has one year of NBA and one year of NCAA experience and Omri has been playing professionally overseas since he was 17(Joined Maccabi Tel Aviv during the 05-06 season).
- Both play defense
- They have similar stats: (Comparison after the jump).
Stats Comparison: Omri has played 23.9 minutes per game and Donté 16.5 thru 18 games so I will use per 36 minute stats for comparison purposes(From Basketball Reference):
- Omri(per36): 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks, 2.1 turnovers 50.8% shooting, 45.9% 3pt, 52.1% FT, 14.4 PER.
- Donté(per36): 17.9 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.5 blocks, 2.9 turnovers 51.7% shooting, 44.4% 3pt, 57.7% FT, 16.0 PER.
That's pretty similar, Donté is scoring a bit better, Omri is rebounding a bit better, Donté has more blocks, steals, a slightly better PER and more turnovers. Shooting is nearly identical.
I think we should be very happy with the progress of both players. They both have shown that they have good futures. I think it's fine to be excited about Omri(I'm excited about Omri), but I think it's unfair to be excited about Omri and tighten the leash on Donté at the same time. Both are doing just fine, and it's time to cut one of them some slack and not get pissed every time he makes on ill-advised shot, or an out of control drive. Both of these young players are guilty of these transgressions, it's part of the learning process.
I'm excited about both of these talented young players, I hope you can be too.