All-Star 2012 Rising Stars Challenge: Where Tristan Thompson robbed Enes Kanter

Let me preface this, fully, at the beginning, with the fact that I was one of the biggest Enes Kanter detractors in the history of the universe. I made fun of him even after the season started. Furthermore, I was born in Canada, and continue to claim her citizenship. (Dude, we get free MRI's on our birthday) That said, this season -- the Cleveland Cavaliers Canadian bigman Tristan Thompson is the lesser of the two players when it comes down to quantitative contributions towards his team winning games. And, even further furthermore, Enes Kanter was flat out robbed.

Without going into the advanced stats at all you can clearly see this:

Per Game Averages:

Rk Player From To G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Enes Kanter 2012 2012 24 0 14.5 1.9 4.0 .474 0.0 0.0 1.3 1.8 .714 1.8 3.1 4.9 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.8 1.4 5.1
2 Tristan Thompson 2012 2012 18 0 17.4 3.0 6.6 .458 0.0 0.0 1.2 2.8 .431 1.9 2.8 4.7 0.1 0.3 1.1 1.3 1.7 7.2
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/8/2012.

[N.B. If the full tables aren't showing up click on the full link to this post here, instead of just reading it from the front page]

So T-squared scores two more points? Kanter is way more efficient at scoring, and plays three less minutes per game. Oh, and Kanter has played in 6 more games than Tristan has. And another thing -- Kanter is a beast on the boards. He gets more than Thompson does, and he is a more efficient scorer. And he plays in more games. He's also a bigman who, in his rookie season, is shooting above 70 ft% on a WINNING team. Tim Duncan's career average over his super long lifespan in the NBA is 68 ft%. Let's normalize their production for the same amount of playing time.

Per 36 minute Averages:

Rk Player From To G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1 Enes Kanter 2012 2012 24 0 348 4.8 10.0 .474 0.0 0.0 3.1 4.3 .714 4.4 7.8 12.2 0.3 0.8 1.2 2.1 3.4 12.6
2 Tristan Thompson 2012 2012 18 0 313 6.2 13.6 .458 0.0 0.0 2.5 5.9 .431 3.9 5.8 9.7 0.2 0.6 2.2 2.6 3.5 15.0
Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 2/8/2012.

Wow, Kanter gets a double double with room to spare, while Thompson doesn't. He does score +2.4 ppg than Kanter though. So that's great, over the course of a 36 min stretch, right? Sorry, I'd rather have the +2.5 rpg instead. Both can't really pass, or steal, but that's not what I'm looking for in a bigman. Thompson blocks more shots, but you just can't keep him on the floor in crunch time when he's shooting 43.1 ft%.

Clearly, if you are objective and honest in your heart, Kanter is the better choice. He was even picked higher -- so if you at all look at hype and marketing and giving stuff to rookie who don't deserve anything, then Kanter wins there. He's also younger. And playing on a team winning in the Western conference.

Robbed. Robbed I tell you!

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