Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Is Raymond Felton an All-Star?
By Ian Begley
Raymond Felton thinks he's having the best season of his five-year career.
But are his numbers good enough to earn a spot on the All-Star team?
With the announcement for All-Star reserves scheduled for Thursday night, let’s take a look at where Felton, a first-year Knick, ranks among Eastern Conference point guards in some statistical categories (through games of Jan. 31):
He's scoring 17.2 ppg, second to only Derrick Rose's 24.4.
His 1.85 steals are second to Boston's Rajon Rondo (2.39).
He ranks third in the conference in assists per game (8.9) behind Rondo and John Wall.
Felton is pulling down 3.7 rebounds per game, the third-highest total.
He's the leader with 20 double-doubles and 38.7 minutes per game.
Those are the favorable numbers. Now, here are some knocks on Felton:
He is turning the ball over an average of 3.32 times per game, the fourth-highest total in the East.
His assist-to-turnover ratio is 2.67, tied for sixth among point guards in the conference.
He's shooting just 42.2 percent from the field, ranking him eighth, just ahead of the rookie Wall.
His 3-point field goal percentage is a paltry 32.2 percent, the third lowest among the 16 point guards in the conference who qualify. His 4.9 3-pointers attempted are tied for the second-highest total in the conference, behind combo guard Gilbert Arenas.
His scoring average has dropped a full point in the past 14 games and shooting percentage has dropped nearly .27% in the same stretch.
Still, Felton posted six straight games with at least 10 assists in mid- to late December, the third-longest streak in Knicks history. He also tied a franchise record with 14 assists and no turnovers in a Jan. 11 win over Portland.
The coaches will decide whether Felton is worthy when they vote on the seven reserve spots in the East. Rose and Dwyane Wade have been voted in as the starting guards, so Felton's main competition will come from Rondo, Atlanta's Joe Johnson and Boston's Ray Allen.
Many are predicting that four Celtics (Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Allen) will get an invite to the game (Feb. 20 in Los Angeles). Johnson has also made a strong case to be included as a guard, heating up this month just as Felton has cooled off a bit.
If he gets the nod, Felton will be the first Knicks guard to be earn a spot since 2001, when Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell played at the game in Washington.
He'd also join teammate Amare Stoudemire, who was voted an All-Star starter last Thursday, the franchise’s first starter since Patrick Ewing in 1992.
Felton insists that he hasn’t looked at his rankings among the other guards in the Eastern Conference. He’ll be elated if he makes the team, of course. But he’s not going to get stressed out over it.
"It's one of those things where I’ve thought about it, but I don't think about it too much because you don't want to think about it too much then get disappointed," he said on Sunday night. "... If they call me, great. I’ll be the happiest man there is. If they don't, I'll still be the happiest man there is."