Now that's progress (cont.)
Posted: Thursday March 8, 2007 4:07PM; Updated: Thursday March 8, 2007 6:25PM
2. David Lee: 60.6 field goal percentage
Sure, 78 percent of his shots may come from close range, according to 82games.com, but he's hitting them, which is a lot more than you can say for plenty of other players. We'd ask why he isn't starting, but with the Knicks sniffing at the playoffs, we won't argue with whatever magic spell Isiah Thomas has over his team.
1. Detroit Pistons: 11.7 turnovers per game
One of the most underrated statistics in the game is turnovers. Each of the 10 least turnover-prone teams this season is either in or on the edge of the playoffs. And no team is more careful with the ball than the Pistons. Call it experience. Call it chemistry. Whatever you call it, you may well be calling the Pistons Eastern Conference champs come May.
What a waste
5. Zach Randolph: .17 blocks per 48 minutes
When 6-foot-1 point guard Earl Watson is blocking more shots than you, and you're 8 inches taller, it's obvious you are not even trying.
4. Tayshaun Prince: .71 steals per game
Surprising that a player so well-regarded as one of the league's best defenders, and with such long arms, makes so few thefts, isn't it? One block of Reggie Miller can go a long way.
3. Drew Gooden: 1.4 assists per 48 minutes
Black hole, thy name is Gooden. It's one thing not to move the ball when you are shooting close to 60 percent, such as Amaré Stoudemire or Emeka Okafor. It's another when you are shooting 46.7 percent and you are a power forward.
2. Speedy Claxton: 32.7 field goal percentage
There comes a point in every fan's life when he can say that he could perform as well as a particular player. This year, that player is Speedy Claxton.
1. Denver Nuggets: 16.4 turnovers per game
Think of it this way: Each time Denver takes the floor, it is offering its opponents an opportunity to gain almost additional 50 points. Not even Allen Iverson can make up that much every night.
If I were ... Geoff Petrie, Kings president
I'd sit Artest the rest of the regular season. The indefinite leave of absence the Kings handed Artest in the wake of his arrest on domestic violence charges is a good first step, but it keeps the door ajar for a return this season. Petrie should close that door.
This isn't about punishment for committing an allegedly foul act or for dragging the organization's name into the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Artest needs time to, put simply, get his life right. The broken cameras, the fighting with fans, the alleged domestic violence all scream that this is a person who has some deep-seated problems. After demonstrating this time after time after time, Artest needs to take some time of his own -- and not to promote a CD, but to figure himself out. And that sort of work -- with counselors, family, who have you -- will take a lot more time than a schedule of games will allow.