That's probably one of my favorite Brandon Jennings' highlights of the season, if for nothing else than John McGlocklin's reaction. But you have to admit, you were probably doing the same thing when you saw that the first time. Lots of people are mentioning Jennings for Rookie of the Year, but exactly how good has he been?
Let's start off with the leader boards. Jennings has poured in the points, as he's 14th in the NBA in made field goals (173), 6th in the NBA in made 3-pointers (50), 14th in the NBA in 3P FG% (44.6%), and 12th in the NBA in scoring (21.2 ppg). But Jennings isn't just racking up the points, he's making his teammates better as well. He's 13th in the league in assists per game (6.0). His assist to turnover ratio isn't in the top 20 (Ridnour's is though, he's #7), but it is a healthy and respectable 1.96. If you consider the traditional triple-double stats (points, assists, and rebounds) and sum those up, you get a pretty good idea for who the most complete players in the league are. Jennings is 22nd in the league in this category with 30.9 points, rebounds, and assists per game.
But there are some other metrics that show just how good Jennings has been. I'll take a look at those after the jump!
"Clutch Time" is defined by the site 82games.com as 4th quarter or overtime, less than 5 minutes left, and neither team ahead by more than 5 points. You can take a look at how a player has performed in such situations, and then project that out to 48 minutes worth of production, to take away things like pace and advantages to players who have been in those situations more frequently.
Brandon Jennings is shooting an effective FG% of 62.1% in the clutch times so far this season, an insanely high margin, especially for a guard. If you consider clutch points scored per 48 minutes, young Brandon is putting up an average of 58.1, which is better than anyone on the list from 2008-2009 - including Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Anyone who saw the Golden State game knows just how clutch Jennings can be. Before we go crowning him though, I'd like to see him continue this production through the entire year. As a Bucks fan, I've grown accustomed to being skeptical of how good the Bucks as a whole, or any individual players on the Bucks can be.
But as I heard several announcers say following Jennings' 55 point performance, you don't just drop a double nickel and then fade away. Jennings was in pretty good company with that performance (by a rookie) .
Brandon Jennings’ 55 points are the most by an NBA rookie since Earl Monroe had 56 on February 13, 1968. They’re also the second-most by a player under 21. The most was 56 scored by LeBron James on March 20, 2005.
Any time you can be grouped with LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Earl Monroe, chances are you've got at least a little talent.
The Bucks have a chance to be good. They have two PG in the top 13 in player efficiency ratings (PER) - Luke Ridnour with a PER of 20.15 (#5 among PG), and Brandon Jennings with a PER of 17.88 (#13 among PG). Andrew Bogut is certainly having an All Star caliber season. Only 4 of the Bucks' 11 losses have been blowouts (greater than 10 point losses).
There's a lot of promise there. They have solid young players who put forth a lot of effort in Ilyasova and Mbah-a-Moute. Delfino is playing fairly solid as well, and Michael Redd, despite all the flak that he gets, flies under the radar and is a necessary scoring threat to have on the team. I don't think Redd plays into the plans for the future, though. The Bucks stumbled upon an extremely talented player in Jennings, and will probably build around him and Bogut.
I know I made a case for the Bucks to hang on to Ramon Sessions, just like Mo Williams before him, but I'll make the same plea for Jennings now. Please John Hammond, please keep him around. This kid is putting butts in the seats (along with Bogut). He is clearly a special talent. He is making people around the NBA actually care about the Bucks. When was the last time that happened?