There are enough parallels between what Quinn Cook has done for the Warriors recently and what Jeremy Lin did for the New York Knicks during the Linsanity phase to warrant a discussion.
While this idea has been floating in my head for a while, the monthly review of Golden State of Mind’s Warrior Wonder polls really caught my eye. With over 1,300 votes, he garnered more than three times as many votes as any other winning player.
Comparing two epic runs
Big thanks to MaxDusty, who provided these raw numbers in response to a comment earlier:
In February 2012 (the height of Linsanity before Melo came back)
Jeremy Lin (13 games – where he played starting guard)- he averaged 22.3 ppg/9 Assists/5.3 turnovers) in 37.3 minutes played per game.
In the last 10 games, Cook has been averaging 18.6 ppg/4.6 Assists/1.7 Turnovers in 34.2 minutes played per game.
In other words, the impact is close, and yet we see little to no national media attention on this. Here’s a kid that was struggling to even find a place in the NBA a few months ago, and has not just become the starting point guard but has actually excelled in the role. This should be a bigger story.
The Warriors have dominated with such frequency, and their continuing excellence is so omnipresent, that it’s all too easy to allow the absurdity of Cook’s story to fly under the radar. Compare that to the Knicks, who were struggling to figure out what to do with an over-priced and under-performing Carmelo Anthony and it’s not all that difficult to understand why the appetite for QUINNSANITY has not quite reached the fever pitch enjoyed by Linsanity back in 2012.
Our very own Sous Chef
Without Chef Curry around, things just don’t work as well on the court. For a time, the Warriors were able to survive without him, but once the injury gods claimed all of our other All-Stars as well, there wasn’t much joy left in the month of March.
But then Quinn Cook happened. In his ten starts last month, Cook finally found his three ball. He shot 23 of 57 in the month, just over 40%. In fact, his efficiency is now just behind that of Klay Thompson (.591 to .602) — sorry for the advanced stats KD, but even us blog boys have to figure out how to talk about these things.
Efficiency matters in the game of basketball; in fact, coach Steve Kerr often starts of his post-game press conference answers by comparing the teams’ shooting percentages. Quinn Cook’s impact has been efficient, and it goes well beyond just shooting.
Looking at the assist to turnover ratio, you can again see that Cook was not just borderline elite, he was borderline elite in the month of March he dished out 43 assists and coughed up the ball just 20 times — a ratio of 2.15, which is slightly ahead of Steph Curry’s season mark of 2.0.
And it’s not like Cook is being handled with kid’s gloves — his usage rate during this stretch has surpassed Draymond Green’s season average.
Fans have noticed. Local media has noticed. The team has certainly noticed (because they’re going to have to cut someone to make room for Cook on the playoff roster).
The only thing is that after what he did in March, it’s because we actually want Quinn Cook in the playoffs. It’s not so much that we need him to fill a roster hole (which we do), the issue is now more that we can ill afford to lose what Cook brings to the table.
And that, my friends, is why Quinn Cook is the Warriors Wonder for the month of March.