Chauncey & Kenyon Playing All-Star Ball For Denver Nuggets In 2010

[Note: Originally Posted 02-03-2010 at 09:57 AM by DenButsu]

In 2010, Carmelo Anthony has played only 6 games, while missing 10 due to injury.

In that same stretch, the Nuggets have gone 13-3, with 7 of the wins and all 3 losses occurring during Melo’s absence,

So how have the Nuggets weathered the storm while the league’s leading scorer has been mostly M.I.A.?

Two of the biggest reasons are the aging (and themselves oft injured) veterans Chauncey Billups and Kenyon Martin, who are both performing at career high levels in this new decade. Billups’ statistical evidence is more compelling than K-Mart’s, but if you’ve been watching Nuggets games, you will know that Kenyon has been nothing short of heroic over the last 5 weeks (and you’ll know just how much of his defensive contributions do not show up in the box).

For the sake of brevity, I’m pretty much going to let the stats speak for themselves here. If need be, we can sort them out through the comments. But to my eyes this is one case where the numbers themselves illustrate a pretty clear picture.

Chauncey’s 3 best seasons in PER (excluding 2009-10, which is currently 3rd in his career), were from 2005-2008. Below is the average of those 3 seasons (per 36 minutes) compared with his average in his 13 games since January 8, 2010 (also per 36).

Similarly, Kenyon’s best 3 PER seasons – from 2002-2005 – are also followed by his numbers since January 2, 2010 (all are per 36 here as well).

So, peruse the numbers below, surf the internet tubes for individual box score lines, review the tapes, and let it be known whether you agree or not.

But I’ll be damned if the Nuggets don’t have 3 players who are playing at a legitimate All-Star level, even if only one was named to the team.

Code:
Chauncey Billups
Season		FG	FGA	FG%	3P	3PA	3P%	FT	FTA	FT%	ORB	DRB	TRB	AST	STL	BLK	TOV	PF	PTS
2005-06		5.2	12.5	.416	2.3	5.2	.442	5.7	6.4	.891	0.5	2.6	3.1	8.6	0.9	0.1	2.1	2	18.4
2006-07		4.9	11.6	.422	1.5	4.5	.333	5.5	6.2	.887	0.3	3	3.4	7.1	1.2	0.2	2	2.3	16.9
2007-08		5.6	12.5	.448	2	4.9	.408	5.7	6.2	.919	0.6	2.4	3	7.6	1.4	0.2	2.3	1.9	18.9

average		5.23	12.2	.429	1.93	4.87	.397	5.63	6.27	.899	0.47	2.67	3.17	7.77	1.17	0.17	2.13	2.07	18.07

2010 (only)	6.59	14.79	.446	2.76	6.05	.456	8.04	8.96	.897	0.23	3.68	3.91	7.05	1.3	0	2.99	2.3	23.98

difference	1.36	2.59	.017	0.83	1.18	.059	2.41	2.69	-.002	-0.24	1.01	0.74	-0.72	0.13	-0.17	0.86	0.23	5.91

Kenyon Martin
Season		FG	FGA	FG%	3P	3PA	3P%	FT	FTA	FT%	ORB	DRB	TRB	AST	STL	BLK	TOV	PF	PTS
2002-03		7	14.8	.473	0.1	0.6	.167	3.5	5.4	.648	2.2	6.5	8.8	2.5	1.3	1	2.6	4	17.6
2003-04		7	14.4	.486	0.1	0.4	.250	3.2	4.7	.681	2.1	7.7	9.9	2.6	1.5	1.3	2.7	3.7	17.4
2004-05		7	14.4	.486	0	0.2	.000	3.2	4.9	.653	2.3	5.8	8.1	2.7	1.6	1.2	2.4	3.6	17.2

Average		7	14.53	.482	0.07	0.4	.167	3.3	5	.660	2.2	6.67	8.93	2.6	1.47	1.17	2.57	3.77	17.4

2010 (only)	6.63	12.71	.522	0.24	0.49	.490	1.58	3.28	.482	2.55	8.45	11.01	2.31	0.97	0.85	1.64	2.86	15.08

Difference	-0.37	-1.82	.040	0.17	0.09	.323	-1.72	-1.72	-.178	0.35	1.78	2.08	-0.29	-0.5	-0.32	-0.93	-0.91	-2.32

It should be noted as a postscript that this level of production can’t possibly hold once Melo returns. But if they continue playing with a similar efficiency, then these Nuggets will likely have become their best squad in franchise history.

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