Posted by: Kingsguru21 | December 2, 2009

The Final Word on “this” Brandon Jennings/Tyreke Evans debate

Yesterday, I posted a link to Harper’s article on why Evans is getting jipped by the national talking heads somethings in terms of hype.

But, I think that’s missing the story of how good both Jennings and Evans has been.

The Bucks are 9-7. The Kings are 8-8. These are great stories for a league that has so much media time spent about next summer AND LEBRON JAMES AND OH MY GOD HE MIGHT GO TO THE KNICKS SO HE CAN SPEND MORE TIME WITH NEW YORK SCHOOLCHILDREN AND JAY-Z! I realize that Tyreke Evans is not getting his share of media hype, but really, who cares? Seriously. It’s just the national media. When do they ever get a story right?

One of my favorite aspects of this story about Jennings and Evans is how integral both are (and I’ve watched a majority of the Bucks games) to their teams success. It’s true that Evans & Jennings are in a statistical dead heat as players, and there’s no denying this. But here’s the kicker: Neither team can win without either player!

While I don’t think Bucks fans are stupid, I do think they know who is the real reason behind the Bucks success: The return of Andrew bogut. It’s not that Jennings hasn’t had a hand in the success of the Bucks up to this point. I don’t think any Bucks fan would say Jennings isn’t important, but in terms of importance to the Bucks success Jennings is behind Bogut right now. Given that Jennings wasn’t a #1 pick in his draft or anything, I think that’s a worthwhile statement right there. (This is especially true as Jennings success has all but obliterated the news of Joe Alexander’s 3rd year not being picked up by the Bucks. It’s funny how one skinny kid from Compton can changes a fan’s view of the franchise.)

So forgive me if I ignore the national media in their insistence to hype up Brandon Jennings and ignore Tyreke Evans. If the national media wishes to ignore the real success of Jennings and Evans, which is the fact that every team game plans, and has adjusted their game plans accordingly, to each player–although with Evans this started during the pre-season because of his size–at this point, then so be it. Let them. The real fans know how the NBA works, and the real fans will tell you what’s up.

Everything that has gone into the Brandon Jennings Yay! campaign has been mostly hype surrounding a single game, and a brilliant game no less, but a single game. Evans brilliance has been how consistently good he is already. There isn’t one game that captivates an imagination, but I think Evans game at Utah qualifies (32 points, and 16-19 from the line, captures MY imagination) qualifies here.

The reason i bring this up because Jared Wade of Eight Points, Nine Seconds (It’s a Pacers blog–yes it’s a Reggie Miller reference) can get it right, eventually others will too.

Others like Britt Robson, of SI, and Secrets of the City, already have figured this out, and Robson had a great way of describing this media race between Jennings & Evans:

The gap between Evans and fellow rookie Jennings is wider on charisma than on performance. With his whippet-thin frame flicking treys and gliding across the court with an ambidextrous dribble, Jennings is like a bead of mercury rolling on silk. By contrast, the muscular Evans has the panache and savoir faire of a John Deere uprooting tree stumps. Grace trumps grit at the box office, though, and that has made Jennings the early Rookie of the Year favorite.

A closer look at the numbers, however, illustrates how similar the two have been this season. Evans averages 4.7 assists and 3.2 turnovers compared with 5.7 and 3.3 for Jennings. And while Jennings is scoring three points more per game (21.8 versus Evans’ 18.8), it is largely because he has attempted 66 more shots. No matter the numbers, it’s no coincidence that the league’s two best rookies are playing for the NBA’s two most surprising overachievers.

(I love the “bead of mercury rolling on silk” line. For those who haven’t read much of Robson’s work, I hope you continue to do so.) Either way, if Robson gets it, and he gets it, then eventually others will too. Right now, as many are saying, this is about Jennings 55 point game. I know that, and so does everyone else, too.

Really, though, while Jennings hasn’t been as critical to every Bucks victory as Bogut has, Jennings has been critical to the Bucks in giving them a quality perimeter threat that opponents have to game plan for! And because of such you would expect a drop in Jennings perimeter numbers.

Likewise with Evans, you already saw that game plan threat come into play in the pre-season! And, that’s incredible in of itself. The fact that Evans has adjusted somewhat (and is still adjusting) says something about him as well.

If you feel like getting pissy because a few people in the national outlets aren’t getting the point that Tyreke Evans is having a great rookie season so far, than I can’t help you. If you’re pissy that Brandon Jennings is good for the NBA and the city of Milwaukee I can’t help you. All I’ll say is that if you’re so worried about rookie of the year that you can’t watch either player with some measure of satisfaction with regards to their success, I really can’t help you. I can admit it right now: I’m a fan of both Brandon Jennings and Tyreke Evans. If both are playing well, I fail to see how I lose as a fan. Right now it isn’t about awards; it’s about watching 2 exciting young players take the court every night.

If watching 2 young players, who are each extremely critical to the future success of their markets in terms of basketball staying power, succeed early on their careers doesn’t excite you, apparently you are in a different orbit than I am.


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