I'm hoping that Monta's ankle sprain means one thing: a starting job for Kelenna Azubuike.
We all know that stats can be deceiving, but let's look at some anyway. Kabuki's stats look like this:
PPG per 48 minutes: 24.6 on 15.7 attempts
RPG per 48 minute: 7.3
SPG per 48 minutes: 2.24
TO per 48 mnutes: 1.82
Looking damn good. Again, deceptive in that he may just be an efficient bench player and he's learned to make the most of his brief time out on the court; he may not be able to produce that nicely in big minute situations. Of course, it's interesting to look at his stats for the game this season that he DID play 48 minutes: 28 points, 7 rebounds, 47% FG, 50% 3FG, 1 TO, 2 steals. Matches up pretty damn nicely (though he only made 66% of his FTs).
Let's briefly compare to Monta Ellis's stats:
PPG per 48 minutes: 24.5 on 19.5 attempts
RPG per 48 minutes: 4.04
SPG per 48 minutes: 1.92
TO per 48 minutes: 4.74
Slightly better FG%, but otherwise, he's below Kabuki's efficiency level pretty much across the board--even defensively, as his steals are lower. The biggest stats that jump out to me are rebounds, turnovers, and 3-pointers. See duggie25's diary today regarding what's wrong with the W's, but if you ask me, the above three categories are huge for us. And Azubuike handles his business in those categories.
Now, I'm not trying to claim that Kabuki is actually a better player, or even a more effective player, than Monta. Boy Wonder is the future, no doubt. But, I think that Kelenna deserves an extended look at the SG position, especially when Monta's sidelined. He has better size for a SG, better outside shooting, better rebounding, and good decision-making.
Lastly, I know he hasn't yet proven himself. But neither had Barnes, and he worked his damn tail off to do so. Now that he's "proven" (to a degree), he's slacked a bit. It might be time for Kelenna to get a few more minutes to prove himself, as he might still be in "work-tail-off" mode to gain Nellie's confidence. We need somebody like that, especially on the road when most of our players play like newly-awakened coma victims.
Nellie, put him in the starting lineup tonight and see what he can do.