How Jason Thompson ranks in the Pacific Division
When Jason Thompson isn’t at the saloon, he’s honing the aim of his 3-shooter (a weapon which we covered in detail here). It remains to be seen if the man is now the quickest trigger in the West from the outside, but you can’t fault a guy for trying to improve his game. The Pacific Division’s starting fours are crafty and versatile and can pop a 20-footer if the occasion calls.
Here’s how Jason Thompson stands next to the starting power forwards in the Pacific.
*MPG = minutes per game, PPG = points per game, APG, assists per game, RPG = rebounds per game, BPG = blocks per game, TPG = turnovers per game, PER = player efficiency rating
**Statistics in italics are Pacific Division leaders.
Jason Thompson – SAC
Career stats: 26.9 MPG, 9.9 PPG, 1.1 APG, 7.0 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 1.4 TPG, 14.0 PER
2013-14 stats: 24.5 MGP, 7.1 PPG, 0.6 APG, 6.4 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 1.2 TPG, 11.1 PER
Outlook: The longest tenured active King is ready to regain his spot in the lineup and focus on fun again. Thompson never panned out as the next Chris Webber, but the former 12th pick is a talented role piece and respected energy guy. The Kings rarely run the offense through the 28-year-old, in part to DeMarcus Cousins’ presence, so the 6-foot-11 big cleans the glass and can score from the free throw line. Thompson gets leveraged out down low when guarding the hoop, but he’s capable of blocking a shot from time to time.
Carlos Boozer – LAL
Career stats: 31.9 MPG, 16.6 PPG, 2.3 APG, 9.8 RPG, 0.4 BPG, 2.2 TPG, 19.7 PER
2013-14 stats (CHI): 28.2 MPG, 13.7 PPG, 1.6 APG, 8.3 RPG, 0.3 BPG, 2.0 TPG, 14.4 PER
Outlook: With over 25,000 regular season minutes played, Boozer is hoping for a bounce-back campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers after being amnestied by the Chicago Bulls in July. The 32-year-old remains a force in the paint, capable of using both hands to score and vacuuming offensive boards. He also features a fairly effective 17-footer. As for defense, Boozer is not a ball-stopper but a ball-allower, which primarily factored in his benching last season.
Blake Griffin – LAC
Career stats: 35.6 MPG, 21.4 PPG, 3.7 APG, 10.1 RPG, 0.6 BPG, 2.5 TPG, 22.9 PER
2013-14 stats: 35.8 MPG, 24.1 PPG, 3.9 APG, 9.5 RPG, 0.6 BPG, 2.8 TPG, 23.9 PER
Outlook: Griffin is Exhibit A of what a freakish athlete with guard skills in a pivot’s body is. In addition to his back-to-the-basket game, midrange jumper, highlight finishes and propensity for drawing fouls (8.4 free throw attempts per game last season), the 25-year-old has reportedly added a deep ball to his arsenal, to the dismay of 29 teams in the NBA. Griffin is hardly a slouch on defense either, and pretty adept at steals (1.2 since 2012-13).
David Lee – GSW
Career stats: 32.5 MPG, 15.2 PPG, 2.4 APG, 9.8 RPG, 0.4 BPG, 1.9 TPG, 19.2 PER
2013-14 stats: 33.2 MPG, 18.2 PPG, 2.1 APG, 9.3 RPG, 0.4 BPG, 2.2 TPG, 19.1 PER
Outlook: Perhaps Isiah Thomas’ crowning achievement as a general manager, the 30th pick in the 2005 draft exploded on the scene with the New Yorks Knicks and never looked back. In four seasons with the Golden State Warriors, Lee has demonstrated he can pick-and-shoot from midrange, post up, and drive or dish from the elbow. The 6-foot-9 big has also garnered a reputation for being lackadaisical on defense.
Markieff Morris – PHO
Career stats: 23.1 MPG, 10.0 PPG, 1.4 APG, 5.1 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 1.4 TPG, 14.9 PER
2013-14 stats: 26.6 MPG, 13.8 PPG, 1.8 APG, 6.0 RPG, 0.6 BPG, 1.8 TPG, 12.6 PER
Outlook: The older Morris twin is set for a breakout year as a starter after coming off the bench for all 81 appearances last season. Morris’ midrange is lethal (47.8 percent between 10-16 feet in 2013-14) and he possesses the touch to finish at the rim and the hops to dunk. Throw in his passing and dribbling skills and a strong understanding for the game, and you have a very underrated 6-foot-10 forward.
The fours in the West are formidable. Where do you rank Thompson?
Statistical data provided by basketball-reference.com