There have been some lively debates on game threads regarding Baron Davis from time to time, including last night against the Nuggets. Baron is a bit of a lightning rod for both praise and criticism. I think most people agree that he's playing better this year than he did last year, but that he's not exactly worthy of an All Star bid. Beyond that, there's not a lot of agreement.
Now, I don't feel great about calling out an individual Citizen, but I read something on the thread that caught my eye, and I decided to follow up on it. Citizen NBAFAN8, an incredibly knowledgeable basketball fan who is among Baron's strongest critics, had this to say about the Clippers' highest paid player:
Baron has only 4 (FOUR!) 20+ point and 8+ assists games this year!!!!! Hahahahaha, what a pathetic excuse for a point guard!
Now, that got me thinking. Truthfully, four doesn't seem like that ridiculously low a number to me. In fact, it seemed pretty solid. So I decided to check.
Click here for the ordered list of players with games of 20 or more points and 8 or more assists this season.
First of all, Baron has six such games, not four. So that's a bit of a problem with the comment right there. Secondly, Baron is tied for 8th in the league in such games. And two of the players ahead of him (LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) aren't actually point guards. (Monta Ellis is also ahead of Baron, but I don't know what to call Monta.) So if not placing in the top five in the league in this category makes you a "pathetic excuse for a point guard" then fair enough. Oh, and the point guards ahead of him on the list? Steve Nash, Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Gilbert Arenas. He's tied with Chauncey Billups. That's pretty good company, I'd say.
Here's a small sampling of players behind him on the list, along with their count of 20/8 games halfway through the season. Rajon Rondo (4), Derrick Rose (4), Tyreke Evans (3), Brandon Jennings (2), Russell Westbrook (2), Jason Kidd (1), Tony Parker (1). What a bunch of pathetic losers!
Now, in the interest of fairness, I'm going to break out another cool stat for you. NBAFAN8's other key point was that Baron has had way too many dreadful shooting nights this season. And in that regard, he's spot on. In fact, Baron leads the league by a wide margin in abysmal shooting nights. Those nights when you can't make anything, but you still can't stop shooting. I defined them as 10 or more shots, with a shooting percentage less than or equal to 20%. So a 2 for 10 night or something worse would get you on the list.
As of right now, about halfway through the season, Baron has seven such nights and no other NBA player has more than five. (By the way, Rasual Butler is tied for fourth with three - ladies and gentlemen, your Los Angeles Clippers). Here's an interesting factoid about those seven games - the Clippers are 4 and 3 in them. I know - weird.
So there are some actual statistics on this question. Dr. Rohrshach will be available to field your questions.