Jason Thompson: The New Carl Landry

In 50 starts this season, Jason Thompson average 12.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in 32.4 minutes. In 12 bench appearances, he has averaged 11.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in 25.9 minutes.

So clearly, J.T. gives you about the same as a starter or reserve. But those 6-1/2 minutes matter -- Thompson is giving you just 1.5 less points and 1.1 fewer rebounds in 6-1/2 fewer minutes. This is why we use per-minute statistics: to give us apple-to-apples comparisons.

If you adjust Thompson's bench performance up to 32.4 minutes, Bench J.T. would produce 14.3 points and 9.4 rebounds. That's improved performance off the bench.

Why?

Watching the Milwaukee game (in which Thompson had just 9/3 in 28 minutes), it seemed as though having fewer offensive options on the court improved the flow of the game in which Thompson participated. Playing with Tyreke Evans, Beno Udrih and Spencer Hawes, it almost looked as if Thompson had to shoot every time he received the ball in scoring range -- otherwise, he'd only get three FGAs a game. Off the bench, playing with Francisco Garcia and Ime Udoka and usually Sean May but sometimes Andres Nocioni ... there are shots, there are plays available for Thompson. And this isn't always necessarily a good thing -- he remains the least refined offensively of the rotation bigs. But it seems like it calms Thompson down, like he values the basketball and each possession more when he knows he'll get another chance, that he doesn't have to take the baseline jumper or pull a spin move out of thin air.

This theory could be worth nothing, and even the bench production data could be subject to sample size noise. But it seems like the bench is a better fit for Thompson, and I'm at a loss to find other potential reasons why.

***

If Thompson can keep it up, that's really great bench production, 11/7+ in 26 minutes. Landry averaged 16/5 off the bench this season in 27 minutes. For his career the excellent Udonis Haslem is 8/7 in 24 minutes off the bench. J.T. serves as a middle path of sorts -- a good rebounder like Haslem, a good scorer like Landry (though not as good at either as the respective skills). Thompson could end up as a really good third big man, whether Landry/Hawes works out or whether the Kings go and get another big man to add.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Sactown Royalty

You must be a member of Sactown Royalty to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Sactown Royalty. You should read them.

Join Sactown Royalty

You must be a member of Sactown Royalty to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Sactown Royalty. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker