Rookie Report: Inside the Numbers

Published: February 17, 2010

To start with let’s run down the recent happenings regarding the Hornets.

Chris Paul had successful surgery on his torn meniscus, and has been rehabbing the injury twice a day. He claims his therapy is going as planned, so expect to see him back before too long.

As far as the actual injury goes, I’ve done a little bit of digging and found out that instead of repairing the torn meniscus, which can increase the rehab time substantially and is often impossible, Doctor James Andrews removed the torn part of Chris’s meniscus. The benefit of this operation, as opposed to repairing it, is the recovery time. The average recovery time for an NBA player undergoing the removal of a partially torn meniscus is four to six weeks. I was unable to get an exact recovery timeline for repairing a meniscus, but it is certainly longer than removing it.

The cons of removing part of the meniscus are that the remaining meniscus is overstressed, shortening it’s usable lifespan. Without a meniscus, even the average person is burdened and often in pain for the entirety of their life because the bones are essentially just grinding and rubbing up against each other. In a game of 40 inch vertical leaps and constant running, you can see why this is a bit of a concern to players

So putting my worst fears aside in favor of optimistic speculation, I tend to think that Chris Paul would put his long term health in front of a probable first round playoff exit. It seems likely to me that the tear was so small that removal was simply a better option than repair, or possibly the only course of action. Anyway, that’s what I think and I’m sticking to it.

Last week we took a look at how Collison’s statistics look compared with other point guards in the league. Despite his valiant performances, the statistics show that he isn’t quite yet at the level of his colleagues.

Today we will be looking at the same group of statistics for Collison’s rookie back court mate, Marcus Thornton, also know around here as “Lil’ Buckets.” As a Mardi Gras bonus, I’ve included updated statistics for Darren Collison.

ASG will refer to the average shooting guard who has averaged at least 20 minutes per game, in at least 30 games.

Shooting and Scoring

Stat Collison Thornton ASG Notes
FG% .437 .432 .441 Thornton was a good shooter in college and it appears it has translated well into the NBA
3P% .340 .378 .357 Marcus is already well above league average, and is third  among rookies in three-pointers made per game
FT% .854 .784 .789
Points per 40 16.8 20.2 17.1 Per game, his 10.7 points is good for sixth among rookies
Points per shot 1.12 1.15 1.21
FTA per 40 3.5 3.2 3.9 Marcus drives the lane and draws contact, but rarely gets foul calls. They will come in time.

Passing/Ball Handling

Stat Collison Thornton ASG Notes
Assists per 40 7.6 1.9 3.5 He’s not a great passer, but can handle the ball when needed.
Turnover per 40 4.0 1.5 2.1 Marcus rarely turns the ball over, unlike his teammate Darren Collison, who turns the ball more than everyone but Steve Nash.
Assist/TO 1.9 1.32 1.67


Stat Collison Thornton ASG Notes
PER 14.5 15.00 14.34 sixth and ninth among rookies respectively.
Win Shares/40 4.52 4.57 5.51
On/Off Team Offense per 100 possessions -6.0 +2.3 0 The offense improves when Thornton is out there


Stat Collison Thornton ASG Notes
Steals per 40 1.6 1.2 1.4
Blocks per 40 .1 .22 .5 Though rare, they always seem to be highlight reel quality.
Charges taken per 40 .08 .22 .3
Fouls per 40 2.1 3.1 2.8
Opposing SG PER N/A 17.3 14.9 Rookies tend to struggle on defense. Marcus is no exception.
Opposing SG eFG% N/A .509 .497 But surprisingly the opposition shoots below average against him.
On/Off Team D per 100 possessions +1.7 -1.2 pts 0 Apparently he’s better defensively than the combo of Devin Brown and Morris Peterson
Rebounds per 40 4.0 4.2 4.6

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