Feb 28, 2010, 11:41 AM EST
Wes Matthews fails to appear on most people’s lists of rookies making an impact this season. But Matthews has moved into the starting role, and shined in the Jazz’ beatdown of the Rockets Saturday night, scoring 18 points. His contributions off the box score are what have put him in this position.
Matthews plays smart basketball in the flow of the Jazz offense. For rookie guards playing at least 20 minutes, he has the third lowest percentage of possessions resulting in a turnover (via Basketball Reference). He handles the ball much less than the other guards on that list (primarily point guards), but his contributions still come with the benefits and without costly turnovers.
Jerry Sloan is notoriously tough on rookies, which makes Matthews development, as an undrafted rookie all the more impressive. Combine that with the work Sloan has given D-League call-up Sundiata Gaines, and you have to ask: Are we seeing the beginning of a new, gentler Sloan?
- DeMarcus Cousins replaces Kobe Bryant in All-Star game 3
- Tyson Chandler, better than ever, thinking legacy 5
- Report: Magic close to firing Jacque Vaughn 10
- Three Things We Learned in NBA Thursday: The All-Star Rosters need to be expanded 23
- One day after having surgery, Kobe Bryant came to see Pau Gasol 6
- Report: Dwight Howard could miss “extended time” with knee injury 4
- The three biggest All-Star snubs in each conference 25
- James Harden, three Hawks players lead list of NBA All-Star Game reserves 10