For the umpteenth time, I tried. I’m a puns guy, I can’t help it.
Paul George is averaging 21.8 PPG on the season, a decent mark for a player of his caliber… but then you look at the list of leading scorers in the NBA and find that favorite 6MOTY candidate Louuuuuuuu Williams is averaging 18.9 PPG.
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Now, as always, stats should be taken with a grain of salt. Coaching philosophies, said coach’s general trust of the bench, whether or not their starting 5 is good on paper or actually serviceable on the court all factor into teams’ rotations. It’s also hard to compare a phenomenal scorer in Lou to a phenomenal player like Paul George, but there is only a 2.7 PPG difference in their scoring. Let’s take a closer look at the Pacers’ roster to see if I’m totally off my rocker or not.
Indiana’s next highest leading scorer (15.6 PPG) is Myles Turner, a center. A young and promising stretch 5 is Turner, but a center nonetheless. Moving on.
Then you have big offseason acquisition (and Indiana native) Jeff Teague pouring in 15.3 points a night, followed by other big offseason acquisition Thaddeus Young putting up… oh. 11.3 PPG? Oh, don’t worry reader, it gets worse.
C.J. Miles averages 10.7 PPG (and has recently moved into the starting lineup with mixed results) and a blistering 42.4% from deep, but he relies on being fed, not feeding himself like George or Teague can. The same is more or less true about Rodney Stuckey, but he’s only played in 27 games this year; and longtime flamethrower off the bench ‘Big Al’ Jefferson is averaging a measly 8.5 PPG, well off his 16.5 PPG career average. The list goes on.
The point is that while superstars can take 17.2 FGA per game like George does, but it doesn’t mean it’ll translate into wins. (The Pacers are 2-8 over their last 10 as I write this; and suffered a blowout loss to Miami. To be fair though, they did play Washington and Cleveland twice during that stretch, but outside of the first blowout loss to Cleveland, all seemed like winnable games).
This brings me to my next point…