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Peja '01 vs Martin '07

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Kevin Martin's fantastic breakout might remind some of us of Peja Stojakovic's well-timed explosion six seasons ago. Between 2000 and 2001, Peja went from spot-starting 24 min/game, 10-point scorer to a fulltime starter, playing 38 min/game and scoring 20+ on some really nice shooting numbers. Sound familiar?

How does Martin's first full season as a starter stack up so far?

Let's look at the per-game numbers first:

NAME     MIN   PTS   FGA   FTA   REB   AST   STL   TO
Peja01  38.7  20.4  15.9   3.6   5.8   2.2   1.2   1.9
Kev07   36.1  21.9  14.0   6.8   4.3   1.9   1.4   2.1

Very comparable, with Martin pulling ahead on scoring, thanks in large part to his great foul-drawing ability.

Let's look at the shooting numbers:

NAME     2P%   3P%   FT%  LONG%   eFG   TS%
Peja01  .500  .400  .856   30.2  .531  .576
Kev07   .534  .426  .901   30.1  .566  .646

Martin gets the big advantage here, thus far. He's shooting better than Peja did from every distance, and is taking roughly the same percentage of his shots from behind the arc (LONG%=3PA/FGA) as Peja did in '01. In truth, most of Martin's drawn shooting fouls are coming on two-point attempts, so that number (LONG%) is inflated somewhat as those foul-drawing twos aren't counted in the attempts unless they go in. Regardless, the shooting efficiency Martin is delivering surpasses Peja at his peak, which we'll see next:

NAME     2P%   3P%   FT%  LONG%   eFG   TS%
Peja04  .510  .433  .927   40.0  .566  .624
Kev07   .534  .426  .901   30.1  .566  .646

Peja Stojakovic 2004 shot slightly better than Kevin Martin 2007 from three-point range and the free throw line, and slightly worse in two-point range.

Peja Stojakovic 2004 was voted onto the All-NBA second team, and was an All-Star.

What's the difference between Peja '04 and Martin '07?

Field goal attempts. Peja, as the top dog in Chris Webber's injury absence, shot 17 times a game. Martin, as the third dog, shoots 14 times a game.

Remember, too: That offense was practically built for Peja and Mike Bibby to come off screens and get the open look from Brad Miller or Vlade Divac. And that was a fantastic offensive team - the best shooting team in the league, even with the massive post-Webbocolypse slide.

Incredibly, Martin is still the third option on this Sacramento Kings team. Both Bibby and Ron Artest are getting more shots per game, largely due to the fact they are the de-facto point guards and they decide when to do it themselves. (Remarkably, only 38% of Artest's shots are assisted. For the Kings as a whole, that number is 56%. Need any more proof the guy is freelancing a little too much?)

This Kevin Martin thing, it's exciting, no?