The table of top flight rookie defenders in my previous post shows Kurt Rambis, Anderson Varejao and Renaldo Balkman were the only rookies with Defensive Rebounding hauls of 20% and Steal & Block rates of 2.5%.
Great video below and a classic Balkman line score here. In the Knicks/Raptors game he led all players in Reb, Stl & Blk while playing 32 mins. Also take note of the FGAs & FTAs…yup that’s him.
It’s only 34 NBA games but Markieff Morris is proving to be a wonderful PoP* for the Phoenix Suns. In fact he’s been one of the dozen best all-around first year defenders since the merger (table below).
During his three years at Kansas, Morris posted 8 Def Reb, 1 Steal & 2 Blocks per 36 minutes. Based on his record in the Big 12 and early success in The League I would bet the 13th pick in the draft will pay big dividends for Alvin Gentry and the Suns for the decade to come.
*Preventer of Points
The 2012 version of the Miami Heatles are leading the NBA in FG%, 3PT FG%, FTM and PPG (104). They are no doubt the best offensive team in the league (110 Off Rating through 31 games).
The usual suspects have been tremendous for them but so has the oft overlooked swingman Mike Miller. In the 19 games he’s appeared Miami is 16-3. Digging deeper into his playing time further proves his value. In the 10 games Miller has played 20+ minutes the Heat are undefeated. In the 10 games Mike has taken 4+ shots the Heat are undefeated.
One example of getting Miller involved in the offense was the Jan 17 victory over the Spurs. South Dakota’s native son played 15 mins and hoisted 6 shots. 6 shots from beyond the arc, 6 makes from beyond the arc, 18 points.
Of course LeBron drawing attention helps Miller immensely but I believe that was the entire game-plan Riley envisioned when he signed the sharpshooter.
The Heat are the best team in the NBA but of course no one will care unless they sweep the league in the playoffs.
After averaging 20 PPG and shooting 65% from the field in the ACC Brad Daugherty was selected before the great Len Bias in the ’86 NBA draft. He went on to a super sweet yet short-lived career in the league. The big man led the Cavs to 5 playoffs in 8 years while posting 19/10/52% FG and 6 free-throws made/game over 41 contests.
Daugherty also shows up 8th on the all-time list of most seasons with 600 REB, 300 AST & 50%+ FG. He’s tied with two hall-of-famers with 3 qualifying years each.