Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blatche has huge game in Wizards loss

In a crazy/exciting game, the Wizards lost in overtime 118-116 to the New York Knicks. Down three points with 12 seconds left in overtime, Nick Young maneuvered around two New York defenders and hit a contested three-pointer to tie the game with 6.4 seconds to go. But after calling a timeout to get organized, the Knicks simply cleared out and gave the ball to David Lee, who drove right past JaVale McGee for a rather easy left-handed layup over McGee's outstretched right arm that looked way too easy.

Several Wizards players put together strong performances in the loss. Randy Foye scored 22 points (8-11 from the field) and dished out 10 assists in 41 minutes. Mike Miller had 12 points and two-three pointers to go along with six rebounds and five assists. And Al Thornton, in his second start since Josh Howard was lost for the season with a torn ACL, played 30 minutes and had 11 points, four rebounds, and five assists. McGee also played well -- 18 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks -- despite not starting because he was late to the team's shootaround.

But Andray Blatche played better than all of them, scoring 26 points (on 11-21 shooting), grabbing 18 rebounds, and even dishing out six assists in 51(!) minutes. According to Basketball-Reference.com, since 1986-1987, only seven other players have put together games of at least 26-18-6 while playing at least 50 minutes: Michael Jordan, Joe Barry Carroll, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming, and Richard Jefferson. To narrow the list even more, only two players on that list (besides Blatche) shot over 50 percent in their respective games: Jordan and Shaq.

If you check out that list, you'll probably notice at least two things: 1) That's a pretty impressive group of players to be mentioned with, and 2) Blatche is the youngest player to put up a game like that.

Exactly how good can Blatche be? No one really knows the answer to that question. But let's take a look at his numbers since Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and Antawn Jamison were traded away six games ago.

Opponent Points Rebounds Assists FG% Turnovers
Minnesota 33 13 1 63.6 3
Denver 18 11 3 61.5 3
Toronto 24 6 3 52.4 1
Chicago 25 11 2 61.5 3
Memphis 24 8 5 52.6 4
New York 26 18 6 52.4 8

And here are the averages in those six games: 25.0 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 57.3 field goal percentage, and 3.7 turnovers. Turning the ball over 3.7 times is way too many, but that number is basically skewed by the eight Blatche committed against the Knicks. Then again, for basically the first time in his NBA career, he's essentially the team's first option on offense, so I'll cut him some slack. Also, for what it's worth, Blatche has averaged about 38 minutes per game over this stretch as well.

Blatche has been awesome lately. Can he keep it up?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment