So I’m scrolling through the top big man lists, trying to find Kevon Looney’s new place in the hierarchy. I pulled open Bleacher Report’s “Top 25 bigs for 2022-2023 NBA season” prediction, and lazily scanned over the top 5.
At #1 was Giannis Antetokoummpo? Sure, he’s a monster, although I wonder if he’s truly better than #2 on the list, Nikola Jokic. Jokic is the current reigning champion and NBA Finals MVP, and probably should have won his third MVP in a row last season. Anyways 3-5 were Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Anthony Davis, which makes perfect sense.
But I’m a busy man and don’t have time to read everything, so I tried to speed up the process by CMD + F the page and searching for Looney specifically.
To my shock, there were 0 results found. Yes that’s right folks, Looney didn’t make the top-25 bigs list. And that’s despite leading the league in offensive rebounds during the regular season!
“When you first came to the league, usually when you get an offensive rebound, you are taught to just go back up and try to get your own points. But I remember Ron Adams kept yelling at me to kick it out, we have Steph Curry and Klay on our team, pass it to them. And it’s been working for me and gives them a lot of opportunities to give them open shots.”
Looney led the league in offensive rebounds during the regular season (274) and the Warriors scored a league-best 349 points off the second-chance opportunities he created.
And in the playoffs that boardwork got even more ridiculous, averaging 13.1 rebounds per game and only trailing Jokic and Davis. What’s hilarious is that they slotted Sabonis at 14th overall in the big man rankings, a man Looney absolutely bested in a grueling first round 7-game series.
Don’t forget that Looney swarmed Sabonis at every turn, limiting the All-Star to 26-of-55 shooting (47%) and 11 turnovers in their matchup.
Looney averaged 15.1 rebounds (!) in that series while Sabonis could only muster up 11 boards per game. Sabonis was routinely on the wrong end of the fight on the glass when Loon was around. Here’s what Sacramento fan favorite publication The Kings Herald had to say:
Domas will be the subject of a lot of scrutiny in the days and weeks to come. He finished with a respectable stat line of 22 points, 7 assists, and 8 rebounds, but most of that production came in the first half and in garbage time with the game already out of reach. Sabonis struggled this entire series against Kevon Looney.
It’s a difficult line to walk when discussing Sabonis, because his shortcomings were a big reason the Kings lost this series. But Sabonis’ play this year is also a huge part of why the Kings were the 3 seed to begin with. Sabonis is critical to Sacramento’s success, this was just a terrible matchup and a terrible series for him.
We haven’t even mentioned how Looney can switch out to ball handlers and harrass them into bad possessions. Check out the matchup data from the regular season when Looney was a primary defender on these stars:
- Damian Lillard 7-of-19
- Trae Young 7-of-17
- Luka Doncic 7-of-17
- Giannis Antetokounmpo 4-of-13
But he can’t make top 25, huh? SMH
Is Kevon Looney a top 25 big man or nah?
This poll is closed
DID YOU SEE WHAT HE DID TO SABONIS?!?! OF COURSE
Good player, but he’s not that good