In last's edition of Rookie Watch on ESPN, Jemele Hill (as we found out in this week's edition) listed Golden State PG Stephen Curry as the #1 ROY candidate--ahead of Tyreke Evans. NBA.com writer Drew Packham followed suit. Since the beginning of the new year, there have been whispers that Curry was overtaking the Kings' rookie. And since the beginning of February, there have been whispers that New Orleans guard Darren Collison was having a bigger impact than Evans. And of course there's Brandon Jennings who has been talked about since his 55-point outburst on November 14 (against Curry's Warriors)
Is the race really that close? Has Evans simply been skating by on the good numbers of his first 2 months? Has he fallen off the horse? Are Curry and Collison really outplaying the Kings' rookie?
A look at the numbers after the jump.
Let's take a look at the January stats from the prominent PGs
(keep in mind that each Player is not guaranteed to be the labeled the same month-to-month. Vote for each player by the month)
So who would you take out of these 2 PGs? Player A has a better shooting percentage and more rebounds. Meanwhile Player B has fewer minutes, 1.6 points more than Player A, fewer rebounds and a better A/TO ratio.
Who do you vote as a better rookie? A or B?
Let's take a look at February.
Player C has more minutes, but also averages a full assist per game more than the other two. He also has averages more points and has the 2nd highest FG%. Yet he also has far more TOs than the other 2, sporting the worst A/TO ratio of the three despite having the high assist statistics.
Player B logged significantly fewer minutes than either of the other two players yet leads in rebounds. He is competitive with Player A for 2nd in assists, sports the best FG% and the best A/TO ratio (by a fair margin). However he has the fewest points of the bunch.
Player A seems has something that neither of the other two have--consistency. In only one category is he ranked last (FG%). He doesn't lead the pack in any statistical category, but he is 2nd among the group in every other category--averaging the envied 20/5/5 with ease (especially with the 7.3 assists per game).
So who do you think is most impressive as a rookie for the month of February? A, B or C?
Finally, let's look at the month of March--halfway through.
What do we notice here?
Player C sports a very high average on points per game with some incredible assist numbers to go along with a solid FG%. He doesn't have incredible rebound numbers, but they aren't bad and his A/TO ratio is fair.
Player B can flex his muscles over a double-double average with 11.8 APG to go along with his 16.4 points. He also has the best FG%. However, he does not have very many rebounds at all and he leads the pack with 3.8 TOs--a full 1.1 per game more than Player A. Even so, he has the best A/TO ratio to go along with the most minutes per game.
Player A shows of a very impressive all-around game with the fewest TOs, the most rebounds (2.9 per game more than the next contender) and very good assist, point and A/TO numbers. The glaring hole in his game is the 42.2% FG% which is less than stellar. Player A has logged the fewest minutes in March to this point.
Who would you say is the most dominant in this month? A? B? C?
Here are the results. I hope the players were not too transparent.
Player A = Stephen Curry
Player B = Tyreke Evans
Player A = Stephen Curry
Player B = Tyreke Evans
Player C = Darren Collison
Player A = Tyreke Evans
Player B = Darren Collison
Player C = Stephen Curry
**Notes: I know that this is purely statistically based and it does not even have any pace-adjusted stats. I know that pace/system is a big part of the context in the argument. This also does not even mention October-December, but that is because we all know who was most dominant statistically in those months. This is what it is--a fairly two-dimensional way of looking at the statistics in order to give just some little bit of empirical point of view on the debate. A debate in which sensationalists will try to make claims that Player A has now gained the #1 spot after a 20-assist game or Player B has now gained the #1 spot due to a triple-double in which he hit seven 3-pointers.
Finally, I know that the award is called "Rookie of the YEAR". I know that this is only looking at a portion of the year. This post is simply meant to address the debate of Collison/Curry/Evans from January-March. It is also meant to address the idea that Evans is simply riding on the coattails of a hot November and the argument he is not nearly as hot as Curry/Collison are right now.
All things considered, who has performed best since January (or February in Collison's case)?
Stephen Curry (10 votes)
Tyreke Evans (65 votes)
Darren Collison (6 votes)
Jon Brockman (35 votes)
116 total votes