Aaron Gray is a Monster

If you’re looking for the Hornets player whose presence is most likely to lead to success*, your search is over. No, I’m not talking about Chris Paul, but instead a somewhat lesser known warrior.

When one thinks of Aaron Gray, dominant play probably isn’t the first term that come to mind, especially since in the past he’s been known as a bit of an underachiever. Despite being a true seven footer in socks and weighing in at 270 pounds butt-naked holding some helium baloons, Gray hasn’t been the physical force that a few people thought he might develop into.

Until now that is. With The Hornets, Aaron Gray has been spectacular. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at a few key numbers.

The regular stuff

Stat Gray Notes
FG% .696 Third highest in the league, behind only Ryan Bower and Try Gilder. Both have taken only one shot this season.
Points per shot 1.52 Numero dos on the team amigos, if you count Jason Hart’s stint. Otherwise he’s the leader.
Rebounds per 36 10.8 That’s good for number two also, behind only Okafor.

The Advanced Stuff

Stat Hornets with Gray Hornets without Gray Notes
total plus/minus +27 -189 Second best on the team, behind Paul
plus/minus per 100 possessions +14.7 -2.5 *Number one on the team!
Stat Gray Notes
PER 16.1 Average is 15.0

The Observable Stuff

Being huge has it’s advantages in the NBA, and that was never more apparent than when Gray relieved Emeka Okafor against Orlando. Okafor was having his usual troubles with Dwight Howard, so with Gray being as large as he is, Bower gave him a shot. The Monster would wind up shutting down Howard the from the third quarter until the finish, allowing him to make only 2 field goals in the final 19 minutes.

There aren’t many guys who can come in and shut down Dwight Howard, so that in itself was an accomplishment. The win that resulted from it was just icing on the cake.

The Bad Stuff

Not today. Since the recent slide I’ve been drinking the Hornets Kool-Aid, and with that comes a refusal to post anything bad about about The Incredible Bulk, who happens to be from my birthplace of Tarzana, California.

Let’s hope we see a little more of Gray in the closing months so an actual judgment about his future here can be made, instead of focusing on his numbers from 127 minutes of play. At this point it seems like a good move to bring him back, especially if he’s willing to take the minimum.

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