By Hocine LOUKKAF on 4/3/2021
The guards keep dominating as Anthony Edwards has joined his draftmates Lamelo Ball and Tyrese Haliburton thanks to his impressive play in March.
Lamelo Ball, 6-7 PG/SG Charlotte
Stats : 18.5pts 5.4as 5.3rbds 1.8st 48% 3pt in March (15.9pts 6.1as 5.9rbds)
Before he broke his wrist, Lamelo was becoming more and more consistent as he shot 48.6% FG and 46.5% 3pt in March while he had only two out of eight games under 45% FG. He ended up on a bad note with three losses, albeit against three contenders for the title, and only 13pts 2as against the Clippers. Hopefully, he will be back before the end of the season and maybe even for the playoffs if the Hornets get there.
Anthony Edwards, 6-5 SG Minnesota
Stats : 24.2pts 5.5rbds 2.5as in March (17.3pts 4.4rbds 2.5as)
With 24.2pts per game in March, Edwards had one of the most prolific scoring month for a teenager, helping the Wolves win against Phoenix, Portland or the Knicks. Now, he really needs to work on his consistency as his streak of five games above 44% FG (four of them above 40% 3pt including his record 42pts against Phoenix) has been followed by four games under 41% FG (including 11pts 7tos on 4/18 FG against the same Suns). At least, Edwards has proved he was no fluke and could become that elite scorer in the NBA.
Tyrese Haliburton, PG/SG Sacramento
Stats : 13.4pts 3.9as 39% 3pt in March (13.3pts 5as 42% 3pt)
The stats may be less impressive than Lamelo’s but the efficiency is there, and the wins too with a five-win streak to end March. After starting slow with six games under 42% FG and only one 12+pt game, Haliburton averaged 18.8pts during the winning streak shooting at least 46% FG with a combined 14/27 from three and only one game with more than 1to (including 10as 1to vs the Spurs).
Immanuel Quickley, 6-3 PG/SG New York
Stats : 13.4pts 2.2as 35% 3pt in March (12.5pts 2.3as 37% 37% 3pt 93% FT)
Quickley has been struggling with his shooting efficiency for two months now averaging only 37% FG and even falling from the FT line with a poor 73.5% compared to the 93.5% he averaged in february. Yet, he only had one game under 10pts and was super careful with the ball with only two games where he had more than 1to (two in those two games). The Kentucky alumni has not lost too much playing time despite Rose’s trade and could hemp the Knicks reach the playoffs he keeps performing like that.
Jae’Sean tate, 6-5 SF Houston
Stats : 11.9pts 5.9rbds 2.3as 1.6st in March (10.6pts 5.4rbds 1.9as 1.1st)
Despite playing for one of the worst teams in the loaded West, the 25 years old rookie has been versatile and brought much needed toughness in the Rockets’ roster. He has room to improve, above all his 3pt %, and had multiple 2 bl/st games while limiting his turnover to 1 per game in March. He’s also a good rebounder and a switchable defender, a sought after role in the league.
Theo Maledon, 6-4 PG Oklahoma City
Stats : 11.3pts 4.8rbds 3.7as 37% 3pt (8.7pts 3.4rbds 3.4as 36% 3pt)
As a Frenchman, I had Maledon at 14 in my ultimate 2020 mock draft but he may end up the 3rd best PG behind Haliburton and Ball. In March, The 2nd rounder had at least 7pts in every game while shooting 37% from three. The bad point is that he shot 32% inside the 3pt line, an awful stat, even more considering his height at his position. Malédon also needs to improve his a/to ratio as his 3.4as in 31min are very poor compared to his decent 2.4tos.
Aleksej Pokucevski 7-0 PF/SF Oklahoma City
Stats : 11.3pts 6.8rbds 2.8as (6.3pts 4.7rbd 1.8as 1bl)
Another steal for the Thunder, Poku is getting more and more accustomed to the NBA game. He had five 10+pt game and eight games with 6rbds or more but, at the same time, he had four 4pt games and shot 30% or below five times. It’s still honorable to have the raw Serbian playing that much without pressure.
Patrick Williams 6-8 SF/PF Chicago
Stats : 9.4pts 4.9rbds 0.9bl 38% 3pt (9.8pts 4.9rbds 38% 3pt)
Another young rookie, Williams looks like a less talented and smaller (albeit far stronger) Pokusevski. His 49% FG and 38% 3pt look promising but he has also been inconsistent (seven games with 6pts or less).
Saddiq Bey, 6-8 SF Detroit
Stats : 10.7pts 4.1rbds 38% 3pt
Despite his team’s struggles, Bey had eight games with at least 13pts, albeit being inconsistent from the floor (four games with 40% FG or below). He still has room to improve his outside shooting too with 34.7% in March. More is also waited from him on the defensive end as his 0.3bl and 0.6st are pretty poor considering his 31min per game.
James Wiseman, 7-1 C Golden State
Stats : 11.2pts 6rbds 0.8bl (11.5pts 5.8rbds 1bl)
Four games under 40% FG, only four games with a block, including one with 4bl which misleads his poor 0.8bl, 1/8 from three for the month, Wiseman has been very disappointing in March. He has struggled since his come back from wrist injury and even got Kerr angry as he missed a Covid19 test. More is waited from Wiseman by the end of the season.
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