Monday, January 27, 2014
All-Star cast: The case for Wall and Davis
By ESPN Stats & Information
Maddie Meyer/Getty ImagesThe NBA will announce its full All-Star Game rosters on Thursday, and a number of players have made a case to make their first appearance in the game. ESPN Stats & Information is taking a five-part look at these players.
John Wall is among the young stars looking for his first All-Star selection.
1. The Future, Part I (John Wall and Anthony Davis)
2. The Future, Part II (DeMarcus Cousins, Lance Stephenson, Damian Lillard)
3. Emerging Talent, Part I (DeMar DeRozan, Ty Lawson)
4. Emerging Talent, Part II (Serge Ibaka, DeAndre Jordan)
5. The Veterans (Mike Conley, Arron Afflalo, Kyle Lowry)
Here is the first look at a pair of players who could receive the first of many All-Star selections: John Wall and Anthony Davis. All statistics are entering Monday’s games.
Wall, the first pick in the 2010 NBA draft, is in his fourth season with the Washington Wizards and is averaging a career-best 20.0 points and 8.5 assists per game entering Monday.
Wall’s shooting has improved this season, especially from long distance. He’s shooting 32.5 from the 3-point line this season, up from 24.3 percent in his first three seasons. He’s already made more 3-point field goals this season (50) than in any of his previous three seasons.
There are only two players in the NBA averaging at least 20 points and eight assists per game this season: Wall and Stephen Curry. Wall is also fourth in the league in points created off assists per game this season (minimum 20 games).
Wall’s health is one reason he’s been able to succeed this season. He has already started more games this year (43) than all of last season (42).
Having Wall on the court has helped the Wizards. He is playing 37.0 minutes per game this season and the Wizards are plus-99 with him on the court, compared to minus-125 without him.
Since the 1985-86 season, only four players have recorded at least 1,500 points, 200 blocks and 100 assists in their first 100 career games: Davis, Chris Webber, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing.
Davis has averaged 20.1 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game this season for the New Orleans Pelicans. The last player to average at least 20 PPG, 10 RPG and three blocks per game in a season was Shaquille O’Neal in the 1999-2000 season for the Lakers.
It’s not just what Davis has accomplished this season, but the age at which he’s doing it. He would be the second player since the NBA began tracking blocks in the 1973-74 season to average at least three blocks per game in his age-20 or younger season, joining O’Neal’s 1992-93 season.
Davis is sixth in the NBA with a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 26.2. If it holds up for the entire season, his PER would be the highest by a player age 20 or younger since 1951-52.
His shot-blocking ability makes him a game-changer for the Pelicans. According to player tracking on NBA.com, Davis is tied for the fewest field goals allowed at the rim per game (2.9) among 41 players who have played 30 games and average at least six opponent field goal attempts at the rim per game.