When one thinks of the great power forwards in the league today, the names that come up are usually Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, and Carlos Boozer. It’s time to add David Lee to that list. Lee is having the best season of his career, and it’s been an amazing one so far. Let’s dive into the numbers* and see why he deserves to be an All Star in 2010.
Offensively, Lee is highly efficient. Few players can match his shooting pedigree. Lee is currently averaging 18 points per game on a mere 13 shots. His 57% shooting is 4th in the Association. In addition, Lee is an excellent free throw shooter. Among the top ten players in FG%, only Kevin Garnett shoots a higher percentage at the line (Lee is at 78% and KG at 84%). Out of the top five leaders in FG% (Dwight Howard, Marc Gasol, Al Horford, David Lee, and Nene) Lee flaunts the highest scoring average at 18.4 – a full point per game ahead of Howard. On top of that, among the leading five in FG%, Lee is the only player averaging more than 10 shots per game. Out of the top 10 in FG%, David Lee’s assist per game average (2.7) is only surpassed by Tim Duncan (3.2) and Carlos Boozer (3.5).
Defensively, Lee is posting top numbers among his peers as well. His 10.8 rebounds per game surpass all other top 10 FG% shooters except for Howard (13.4) and place him ninth on the overall rebounds per game list. In addition, out of the top 10 shooters, only Nene generates more steals per game, averaging 1.5 to Lee’s 1.1.
A lot of All Star voting, particularly when it comes to the bench, does rely on team success. While Knicks are not setting the league on fire, they are a mere game and a half outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Not bad for a team that has been looking past this season for the last 3 years. I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say Lee’s efficiency and consistency has been a large part of that. It would be nice to see a player of his caliber receive the acclaim he deserves. Coaches! Fans! Let’s make it happen. Lee in Oh-Ten!
* players logging at least 30 minutes per game