Blogcat’s Take, 12/1
I pride myself on not being a wild-eyed crazy when it comes to my opinions on the Bobcats—or, at least not wild-eyed. But David Thorpe’s November 26th article on the best sophomores in the league forced me to take a long look in the mirror…and the face staring back at me was that of a coked-up Michael Shannon. That’s because Thorpe had Michael Kidd-Gilchrist all the way down to 15th among second-year pros—15th! It’s no secret Gilchrist is a budding love interest of mine, and for a very good reason: MKG sticks his finger in his nose and picks out awesomeness. It feels like he averages at least one amazing play every game, admittedly one that’s also usually of the fantastic offensive-rebound type. Still, except for his shooting, he’s a joy to watch, and I gush about him nonstop to friends, family, and puking drunks on the subway alike. Thus I’m hurt and confused by how he could be ranked so low.
And yet, when I have to qualify my love for a basketball player with the phrase, “except for his shooting,” it’s probably time for some soul-searching. So let’s look at the fourteen sophs that Thorpe has above MKG, and hopefully I can shoot it full of errors and get some peace of mind, secure in the knowledge that I haven’t been bowing to astatistical leper messiah. Also let’s just look at the sophomores from an offensive standpoint, because there’s no way on God’s green Earth or Superman’s red Krypton or Luke’s yellow Tatooine that any more than 4 of those clowns are better than MKG on defense. Here are the PER and Win Share ratings for the top 15 sophomores as ranked by Thorpe, per BasketballReference.com: