In any argument, statistics shouldn't be the be-all-end-all. But it's a great starting point, and if nothing else it'll show that Isaiah Thomas deserves to at least be in the argument for sixth man of the year. Below are the minute per game averages of the two leading sixth of the year candidates, Clippers' Jamal Crawford and Toronto's Lou Williams alongside IT4. I'll leave out their names first.
That is to say that they're all very, very close in virtually every category. Close enough to pretty conclusively say that if a voter isn't at least considering Isaiah Thomas they're not really taking the award too seriously, or, they've been too swayed by the Raptors' Lou Williams/Drake campaign.
Here's the same chart, but with the players names included, and adding bold to each category leader:
In case it's not evident, here's the breakdown of who leads each category* -
Williams: Games, 3 points made (tie), steals, turnovers, personal fouls
Crawford: Minutes per game, field goals made, field goals attempted, three points made (tie), three points attempted, two points made, two points attempted, free throw percentage, blocks
Thomas: Field goal percentage, three points made (tie), three point percentage, two point percentage, free throws attempted, free throws made, rebounds, assists, points
Thomas and Crawford lead with the most categories won with nine, though it's pretty clear Thomas has the edge in categories that matter; field goal percentage, three point percentage, points, rebounds, assists whereas Crawford gets his spike through less important categories like field goals and three pointers attempted.
While Williams has much less categories won, his games played this season are significantly better than Crawford and Thomas, and that's one of the very few categories where there's a substantial difference between the three. Williams is also a much better defender than Thomas and Crawford, something that's more difficult to display through stats (his on/off opponents offensive rating is much better than Thomas and Crawford's).
As I said to start, stats aren't everything, and that's where I, a lifelong Celtics fan and daily contributor to a Celtics-based blog, think Thomas gets a bit of an edge:
As a member of the Celtics (18 games), Isaiah Thomas goes through heavy stretches where the team completely relies on him offensively, almost similar to how the Rockets use James Harden (but against second units). They need him to initiate the offense, create and distribute. That can be their detriment occasionally, but when he's playing well the Celtics are playing their best basketball. He's the difference between wins and losses, and that's not something that can really be said about Williams or Crawford.
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authored by tb727
After getting his grades where he needed them to, he was accepted into prestigious Dartmouth College where he graduated in 1991.
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*I left out games started because it's relatively worthless MattDotRich 4/10/2015 09:50:00 AM Tweet Edit