The three-month mark is an important one in the NBA calendar, as it means the season is half done. For our Doubting Thomas candidates, it means they’re halfway through their mission of proving the doubters wrong (go back to early November to reacquaint yourselves with each player’s mission). So while providing a good status check, January is also the month where we can start trimming the fat. If you’re still stuck in 1st gear at this point (not looking at anyone in particular Kwame), then your chances of holding the Golden T aloft are virtually dashed. Having said that, the NBA is full of surprises, and just when we were getting comfortable relegating Chris Quinn to the cellar every month, he comes springing back into contention.
By far the toughest decision this month was who to award the #1 spot. It has been owned by Gallo all season long, but in January he slipped just enough to leave the door ajar. Taking full advantage was none other than Goran Dragic. Through January I have watched Chucko turn from the most anti-Dragic supporter you’ll find to a man seriously suggesting he’s the future of their backcourt. The transformation has been shocking and wonderful. Ultimately though, Dragic’s contributions simply count for less than Gallo’s, who at times is left to carry his team and can single-handedly ignite the MSG crowd like few others. Of course, Gallo has the luxury of starting minutes which very few of the DTA candidates have. But rest assured this does not make him a lock for the award. The distance between the Cock and the pack is slimming, and another slip could see the Italian Stallion overtaken on the home straight.
Check out last month’s rankings (in brackets below)
|Games played (through January): 15 Games started: 15
Minutes per game: 35.0 DNP’s: 0
Best game: 20 points, 8 rebounds, 7-9 shooting, 3 assists (vs IND 3/1)
Averages: 14.9ppg, 5.8rpg, 1.7apg, 0.9spg, 0.7bpg, 41.6% FG, 38.7% 3PT
Dare you Doubt?: Is The Cock losing grip? For the first time all season, he’s looking mortal.
Highlight of the month: This photo shoot with Roy Hibbert! Danilo Gallinari Dunks on Roy Hibbert (1-03-10)
Best sign he should not be doubted? He’s at the top of NBAmate.com’s Doubting Thomas Awards
10 Reasons why Gallo is proving doubters wrong
1. In January he recorded four 20+ point games. I was going to say Goran Dragic only dreams of 20+ nights but then I see he dropped 32, what the hell?
2. Has been invited to participate in All-Star weekend in the Rooks-Sophs game. Perhaps he will take after David Lee and take out the MVP award?
3. JJ Reddick has a rap group? Well Danilo is Galloiscious and sings like an angel.
“Sup booooi, u wanna be down?”
“To the left to the left…!”
4. Dirk recently commented that he is a big fan of Danilo’s and that his English has improved a lot since he joined the league. “Roko make basket?”
5. According to the NYPost he was named one of New York’s top 12 most eligible bachelors.
6. The Rooster donated $1k for every point he scored against the Lakers in a game this month, donating $21k for Haiti relief. That’s 21,000 more dollars than words Corey Brewer’s own guy has bothered to write about him. I doubt both of them at this stage of the season!
7. My fiancé got me his jersey for Christmas!
8. Still leads the league in 3-point field goals in just his second year in the league (by 2 over Channing “Urkel” Frye who recently featured in such comedies as “Hit the bench” and “0-5”)
9. Got all gansta wit’ it and chewed the fat with Crazy Ass Ron Ron!
10. In a highly anticipated January DTA match up Gallo outdueled Kwame Brown 43pts to 0pts in their two meetings. Way to tough it out Kwame!
Gallo has also recorded his 6th game with at least 4 “stocks” this season, which goes a long way to showing the NBA he is more than a spot up… cough… JJ Reddick… shooter. Although it hasn’t been announced yet, I will announce he is in the 3pt shoot out this year. And although it hasn’t occurred yet, I will announce he won it.
Times are still tough in New York, but if we can take something away from 09-10 (besides 100000 hypothetical LeBron/Wade/Bosh questions and stories) it is that The Cock has balls. Flat out.
|Games played: 16 Games started: 0
Minutes per game: 17.1 DNP’s: 0
Best game: 32 points (6-7 threes), 3 assists, 3 rebounds vs UTA (25/1)
Averages: 10.1ppg, 2.0rpg, 2.2apg, 0.9spg, 0.1bpg, 49.5% FG, 46.5% 3PT
Dare you Doubt?: This is genuinely stunning. After years stumbling in the dark, have the Suns finally found their backup point guard?
Dragic started off this month in what can only be described as a slump. Against the Nets – yes the same team that is on track for a 6-win season – Coach Alvin Gentry decided to take a chance and put Dragic in when the game was still in contention in the first quarter. At that stage Phoenix had built a small lead, but before he could say, “It’s the 3 win Nets, what could possibly go wro…. Oh.” Dragic had peed all over Gentry’s hopes and dreams and allowed the Nets to take the lead. By the time Gentry came to his senses and benched Dragic, Phoenix were losing, at home, to the worst team in NBA history. Understandably, Dragic was not allowed to even look at the court until late in the 3rd when the game was beyond doubt. The following night, Gentry tried to put Dragic in to stop Rose, and this happened.
Goran Dragic – Poster Boy
Being posterized by the #1 pick in his draft year must’ve lit a fire under Goran’s ass because the next game he scored 20 on 5-9 shooting, and then the following game against the league’s best defense, in Utah, Goran went off for a career high 32 points on 10-13 shooting including 6-7 3’s! With these performances which, if consistent, would land him in the 6th man of the year contention, Dragic is definitely making a strong case to collect the Doubting Thomas Award. If he keeps this momentum the Suns front office will have no choice but to decide to ship Amare off so they can build a team around Goran Dragic.
The refs say Goran rocks. We all agree
|Games played: 16 Games started: 16
Minutes per game: 31.1 DNP’s: 0
Best game: 25 points, 6 assists, 5 steals, 5 rebounds vs OKC (20/1)
Averages: 15.6ppg, 3.8rpg, 2.0apg, 0.9spg, 0.7bpg, 47.0 FG%, 45.0 3PT%
Dare you Doubt?: Without doubt the biggest transformation of any DTA candidate: 18% on threes in November – compared to 45% in January.
It’s not a good sign that the guy who was supposed to write this monthly column has completely given up on his own player. And I don’t blame him after Brewer’s woeful start to the season. But when I considered dropping Brewer from the DTA race mid-season, I had to stop and realise one thing: this guy could win it all. Of all the DTA candidates, Brewer is the only one who has steadily picked it up every single month. He had a streak of three 20+ games near the end of January which put him in equal second place for the Wolves leading scorer through the month. You know how a lot of people have been pumping up Kevin Love over the last month? Well Brewer averaged exactly the same amount of points per game as Big Kev through January. Think about that.
So if you’re like me and only think of the below dunk when you hear Corey Brewer’s name, stop to realise that this kid is having BY FAR the best season of his young career. And more importantly, realise that he is very much in the running to be the inaugural Doubting Thomas Award winner. Who thought I’d be saying that two months ago?
– Rob D, NBAMate
|Games played: 17 Games started: 3
Minutes per game: 24.5 DNP’s: 0
Best game: 17 points (3-6 threes), 4 rebounds, 2 assists vs ATL (9/1)
Averages: 11.1ppg, 2.0apg, 1.7rpg, 0.5spg, 0.1bpg. 42.4% FG, 37.2% 3PT
Dare you Doubt?: Stepped up his minutes big time through January thanks to injuries to Vince. A definite DTA dark horse here.
Well J.J. is finally playing to more of his potential, with his scoring average for this year jumping 5 points over his career numbers. With Carter struggling through an injured shoulder (and a chronic lack of heart!) Redick has stepped up to breach for the Magic, getting crunch time minutes against Boston and playing very well in a win. Following that he also played a big role in a huge victory against Atlanta (27 mins, 8 points, 7 assists) as he shows that he is much more than just a shooter and all that hard work is paying off.
Still no news on the rap supergroup or their first single, but for all your juice on the boy from Cookeville, Tennessee, check back here for all the hot news and to watch J.J. capture his first Doubting Thomas Award.
|Games played: 13 Games started: 0
Minutes per game: 18.6 DNP’s: 2
Best game: 16 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists vs MIL (22/1)
Averages: 8.2ppg, 1.9rpg, 2.0apg, 0.6spg, 0.1bpg, 43.6%FG, 36.7% 3PT
Dare you Doubt?: Statistically his best month, but will Beli ever crack the DTA’s Top 4? I doubt it.
Beli is back! That’s right, Marco Belinelli is back and better than ever. I’ve been trying to tell you all that he was ready to become a solid NBA contributor and January has been that month where he has shown that he can be that guy.
Specifically, the second half of January, after Beli recovered from his big Italian Christmas, has been a party for the Bolognese Beast. He had six double-figure scoring games during the month, including four between January 19-27. He has become a huge weapon off the bench for coach Jay Triano, leading the second unit and finding himself on the floor at the end of games.
Perhaps Beli’s biggest moment in an NBA game came on January 24 against the Lakers. Beli was matched up with Kobe down the stretch and scored 15 points for the Raptors in a huge one point win, including 10 key points in the second half. This came one game after he put up 16 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists against Milwaukee. Beli has arrived as a key bench player.
His 8.9ppg, 2.0apg and 1.9rpg for January are all season highs. More than this, he is establishing himself as an important player on this team — a team that has won four straight through 29 January and finds itself in second place in the Atlantic. Heading into the second half of the season, Rocky Balboa is on the up and up. There are many more double-figure point scoring games ahead for Beli during the rest of this year.
Look out DTA competitors, Marco Belinelli is coming for you.
|Games played: 16 Games started: 8
Minutes per game: 26.6 DNP’s: 0
Best game: 22 points, 9 rebounds, 6-12 threes vs HOU (6/1)
Averages: 10.1ppg, 5.1rpg, 1.3apg, 0.8spg, 1.3bpg, 41.4% FG, 42.9% 3PT
Dare you Doubt?: At this rate of decline, Frye may well be sitting in the CQP by the end of the season.
Ah January, the time of year when a few extra Christmas pounds are trendy, smoking is at an all-time low and people haven’t declined back into their old habits just yet. Everyone is feeling upbeat at the prospect of a new year and new opportunities. Oh yeah, and it’s the most grinding period of the NBA season.
Channing Frye has been covered off by me a few times already as you have read here at nbamate.com, and I’ve been feeling quite confident that the cheesy-grinned three-ball merchant could take out the inaugural Doubting Thomas Award… until now. Oh how things have changed in January as Frye has failed to wipe the Christmas ham grease from his paws and has subsequently “dropped the ball” on numerous occasions. Memories of some of these performances should be buried so deep within his soul that only post-career therapy will be able to locate them.
Seeing as Channing has let his game wander a little post-Christmas, here’s three “rotten turkey’s” of interest:
Turkey 1: January 11th – Frye manages to only take 5 shots in 37 minutes vs Milwaukee. He doesn’t hit any of them.
Turkey 2: January 18 & 20 – Frye plays a combined total of 28 mins and contributes 5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and a block. One of these games was against the New Jersey Nets. *crime*
Turkey 3: January 28th – After playing two solid games against Charlotte and Utah in which he hit 9 three’s combined, Frye puts up a pedestrian 7 points with one three-ball and gets upstaged by Vigo Amundson.
I think the most intriguing element to Channing Frye’s season so far is his inability to harness any sort of consistency. Some blame the player and others blame the coach but I see box score after box score and game after game involving this guy and the same thing keeps cropping up. When he plays well, the Suns generally win. In games where he is allowed to get some space on the perimeter and set his feet, his three-ball is deadly. However, any team with even a Jackie Moon-like scouting staff crowd him and he goes to water. It’s not like Channing’s lazy, he’s really trying out there but hey, Brian Scalabrine tries too and let’s face it, he would be better suited to doing stunts for Michael Rapaport on Prison Break than stealing $3.4m from the Celtics. (Note: They’re also paying PO’B $800k this year. Ouch… but represent the DTA! *fist pump*)
Overall, Frye has averaged 26 minutes, 10 points, 2 threes, 5 rebounds and a block in January. The Suns have gone 6-9 (Houston game pending) and have really dropped their pants and exposed their sunburnt, front-running balls. If Channing Frye doesn’t pick up the pace, he’ll be doing some stunt-double work of his own for Winston in the upcoming Ghostbusters III movie.
And no, I didn’t have to edit Winston!
Channing… Who you gonna call?
|Games played: 11 Games started: 0
Minutes per game: 8.8 DNP’s: 4
Best game: 9 points, 3 assists, 3-4 threes vs UTA (23/1)
Averages: 2.3ppg, 0.4rpg, 1.6apg, 0.5spg, 0.0bpg 32 FG%, 41.2 3PT%
Dare you Doubt? Hey, I didn’t think he’d even get on the court this season, so he’s proven me wrong. Who’s next?
Editor’s note: Can you believe they took away that stupid pic of Chris Quinn dressed as a gangsta on his NBA.com profile and replaced it with a photo of him actually playing basketball? Yeah, me neither. Luckily I saved the image for your eternal viewing pleasure.
Chris Quinn has had a huge month of January. From being under-appreciated and under-played in Miami, he got traded to the talentless New Jersey Nets where he continues to be under-appreciated and under-played. But there are some positives in this trade; namely, that Quinny is getting some PT and could lift himself up from last spot in the Doubting Thomas Award.
Lets look at this statistically:
At Miami, Chris Quinn averaged : 0.0 points, 0.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists and 0.0 steals.
At New Jersey, the Quinnstar is averaging: 2.2 points, 0.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.1 steals. It’s a good starting point for the season. And since being in New Jersey, he is averaging 8:24 minutes a game. And in that, he has a total of 14 assists, and only 2 turnovers. That is a 7 assist/ turnover ratio.
Lastly check this out, the Nets are unbeaten when Quinntastic gets a block, a rebound and makes two 2 point shots. When Chris Quinn does this, the Nets are 1-0. Pretty exciting stuff if your a Nets fan looking for the the future.
|Games played: 4 Games started: 0
Minutes per game: 11.4 DNP’s: 10
Best game: 5 points, 4 rebounds vs CHI (11/1) which was also his worst game (shot 1/6 from FT line, Pistons got beat by 33 points)
Averages: 2.8ppg, 1.8rpg, 0.5apg, 0.5spg, 0.3bpg, 50%FG
Dare you Doubt?: The ‘Kwame in Detroit’ experiment is officially fucked.
At the start of this season I asked three questions that I thought could measure Kwame’s progress in proving the doubters wrong. Let’s do a health-check shall we?
1) Can Kwame prove that he deserves that starting spot ahead of Grandpa Wallace?
Shot answer: No. Long answer: Not only has Kwame failed to grab the starting spot ahead of Old Ben, but he’s actually regressed three spots on the rotation. Even my farts linger on the court longer than Kwame.
2) Is this the season he proves MJ, Kobe and everyone else wrong for ever doubting him?
Unfortunately for Kwame, no. And I do mean unfortunately. I have always bought into the fact that Kwame is a decent talent who just needs an abnormal amount of TLC and the right supporting environment. I thought that with low expectations on the Pistons this season, and with a frontcourt that is almost non-existent, that Kwame might finally be ready to embrace a bigger role. So what puzzles me more than anything is not Kwame’s lack of skill/effort, but the fact that I can’t imagine a team or environment where he might be able to finally break through. I just can’t envisage where or how this would happen. Not in the NBA anyway.
3) Is this the season he learns to catch?
I actually saw Kwame catch the ball once, in December. So I’m going to go with “Yes” on this question. Of course, I was hoping this would be the throw-away question to provide comic relief, so this is still a very very bad result for Kwame.
– Rob D, NBAMate
|Games played: 2 Games started: 0
Minutes per game: 3.5 DNP’s: 13
Best game: Don’t deserve one when you only play two
Averages: 0.5ppg, 1.5rpg, 0.5apg, 0.0spg, didn’t take a shot!
Dare you Doubt?: His field goals are now less frequent than the female menstrual cycle. Still doubting.
11:38:00am (start time)
I am starting this post at 11:38:00am on Saturday, 01/30/10. Why am I telling you my start time before you read about our boy Patrick O’Bryant? You shall find out.
Let’s hit up the basics: in the last month, Project O’Bryant has only played in 2 games. POB sported a fantastic 3:55 of playing time against Dallas on January 17th. He finished with 1 point and 2 rebounds. And wouldn’t you know, Toronto leaves the Lone-Star State with a victory (110-88). POB then touted a solid 3:27 worth of playing time against Milwaukee on January 20th. POB finished with an unenthusiastic stat line of 1 rebound and 1 personal foul. But, his rebound and foul were enough to help push Toronto over the top for another victory in a close game (101-96). Hey Toronto: is it a coincidence that in the 2 games that POB appears in you get a win out of your favorite (and only) Canadian team? Actually, yeah… it probably is just a coincidence. Toronto is on a roll: they’re 9-4 in January. With so many things going well for the Raps, why not put POB in more? I’ll let you in on a little secret…
Sorry. But we are out of time. The secret will have to wait. It is now 11:45:22am and my time is up. I decided that I would only allow myself to write for the same amount of time that POB has played in the last 20+ games (7 minutes and 22 seconds).
|Games played: 0 (Deported) Games started: N/A
Minutes per game: N/A DNP’s: N/A
Best game: N/A – but still better than any game by Kwame or POB
Dare you Doubt? Roko has committed the ultimate DTA sin – pulling out of the NBA because he doubted himself too much. How ironic.
On January 4th, Roko’s running for the Doubting Thomas Award took a turn for the worst. Roko requested for his contract to be voided so he could explore other playing opportunities. Stuck behind Jennings and Ridnour in the “American” city of Milwaukee, Roko took the initiative to leave the Bucks. Obviously, Roko was unhappy in Milwaukee and this gave him an opportunity to get more playing time in Europe where he had previous experience. Roko now plays with the Fenerbahce Ulker in Turkey. In one game for the Turkish team, Roko scored 20 pts to go along with his 6 rebounds and 4 assists. He now plays with former Toronto Raptor teammate, Will Solomon.
The move ultimately takes him out of the running for the award but we’ll keep an eye on his progress in Turkey the rest of the way.
We’ll miss you Roko B. Ware!
Photo via Ball Don’t Lie