Unnecessary stat of the week: I saw on a tweet today, I don’t remember from whom, noting that Tim Duncan has double-doubles in nearly two thirds of his career games. Uh, so? There are about 15 better ways to note Duncan’s greatness. Duncan’s career averages are for 15.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, so isn’t 2/3 kind of a low number? And lastly, isn’t it time we stop pretending to be impressed by double digits in points? There are about 270 rotation players in the NBA this season; 95 of them or more than one third average more than ten points a game. I think it’s good to have standards, but if your standard is what separates Raymond Felton (10.1 ppg) from Emeka Okafor (9.9 ppg), then your bar is too low to consider it a mark of excellence.
I wrote this two years ago when Michael Jordan bought the Bobcats. It seems just as urgent now.
It isn’t hard to see the cause of the Philadelphia 76ers recent struggles. After an impressive 16-6 start, the team has lost six of ten. The culprit is the offense which hasn’t seen the century mark since January 23rd and in five of their last seven games, they haven’t even reached their season average of 94.8 ppg. Perhaps it’s time to start giving Nicola Vucevic some of Elton Brand’s minutes. Brand is shooting 39.5% in February and scoring only 8.8 ppg. During that same time Vucevic is shooting 53.5% and averaging 7.7 ppg in eight minutes per game less burn.
Martin Johnson wrote a weekly NBA column for the New York Sun from 2003-’08, and for http://www.theroot.com from 2008-’10. His sportswriting has also appeared in the NY Times, Wall St. Journal and the Atlantic Monthly.