Home Latest News The Longley-Marks Medal: March Review

The Longley-Marks Medal: March Review

Let us get to some general house cleaning straight off the bat and squash the rumours that have been floating around the World Wide Web. No, I have not been fired from NZhoops. But yes, I have been undergoing my Jordan-trying-my-hand-at-baseball-but-really-being-suspended period in my life. The powers to be at NZhoops believe I abused the power invested in me to provide an unbiased award to the Australians and New Zealand players applying their trade in the NBA, the Longley-Marks medal. From my understanding it had something to do with the “made up” rule that came into effect to see Patty Mills pretty much run away with the award for the 2013-14 campaign.

So to keep me in check after my ‘vacation’ the suits at NZhoops have injected another member to the Longley-Marks voting panel. As much as I tried to fight the big dogs at NZhoops, in the end it was difficult to argue with their decision to put none other than one of NZhoops Mount Rushmore writers, Niall Anderson on the voting panel. But don’t worry folks, Niall has been given the brief in regards to the Shabazz Muhammad rule.

Before we get into the review of March and the much-anticipated votes, we will take a moment to remind ourselves of the overall standings.

Leader board

Patty Mills – 58 Votes

Andrew Bogut – 35 Votes

Steven Adams – 32 Votes

Matthew Dellavedova – 27 votes

Aron Baynes – 25 Votes

Now onto the penultimate month of the regular season and the March stat lines

March Stat Lines

Steven Adams

14 games, 16.2 MPG, 64.3% FG, 4.4 RPG, 0.5 AST, 0.9 TO, 0.6 STL, 0.5 BPG, 2.9 PPG

Aron Baynes

15 games, 8.9 MPG, 44.9% FG, 2.7 RPG, 0.7 AST, 0.7 TO, 0 STL, 0.1 BPG, 3.3 PPG 

Andrew Bogut

12 games, 23.4 MPG, 58.2% FG, 8.3 RPG, 2.0 AST, 0.8 TO, 0.7 STL, 1.9 BPG, 5.5 PPG

Matthew Dellavedova

15 games, 22.6 MPG, 48.6% FG, 52.6% 3FG, 2.7 RPG, 4.3 AST, 1.5 TO, 0.3 STL, 6.9 PPG

Patty Mills

16 games, 18.5 MPG, 42.7%FG, 43.3% 3FG, 2.3RPG, 2.1 AST, 0.6 TO, 0.9 STL, 9.6 PPG

March Review

The only player to be representing New Zealand in the Longley-Marks medal, Steven Adams had a comeback month in terms of his minutes and shooting percentage, in fact during the month of March the young Kiwi had his best shooting percentage for his short career (64.3%). In terms of minutes, the rookie centre increased his court time by close to three minutes per game over his January and February averages. On the boards, Adams recorded his equal second highest average per month during March, averaging 4.4 rebounds. His assists, steals, turnovers and blocks were all around his average to date. Thankfully the former Pitt Panther was able to provide the Thunder with more points during March but it was still his second lowest average per month in terms of scoring

Unlike February, Adams played double digit minutes in every one of his March outings, playing three games over 20 minutes. Stat sheet wise his two best games for the month came in wins over the Nuggets and Jazz at home. Against the Nuggets Adams managed 23 minutes of court time, shooting 4-of-6 from the field, grabbing six rebounds, one assist, six steals and 10 points. Wait… six steals, yes, SIX STEALS! An NBA record for rookie centres. Although the last few came in absolute garbage time, it is still an NBA record that now resides in New Zealand. Break out the celebratory Pavlova’s.

The other game of not was that against the Jazz where once again he went 4-of-6 from the field, in particular 4-of-6 from the paint. Adams knows his strengths and knows his weaknesses. Below is Adams shot chart for his short career.

Shotchart_1396833337437

The best side part in the game also added eight rebounds and two steals against the Jazz, finishing with a total of eight points in his 18 minutes of game time. 

Banger Baynes, born in Gisborne, played 15 games in March, the most in a single month of his career. The second year Spur averaged 8.9 minutes per game whilst shooting at a 45% clip from the field. The current Boomer also grabbed 2.7 rebounds per game whilst adding 3.3 points per game, which was 0.2 above his season average. Baynes had a stretch of five out of his six games playing double digit minutes during the middle of March. Undeniably his standout game for the month came in a blowout victory against the Lakers. Baynes played over 18 minutes in the contest (his highest for the month), going 6-of-11 from the field, grabbing eight boards, two assists whilst contributing 12 points to the Spurs total.

Banger Baynes featured in two critical Longley-Marks medal games during March, facing off against Matthew Dellavedova in the Spurs second game for the month whilst coming up against the Bogeyman and his Warriors outfit later on. Baynes saw limited action in both games and unfortunately couldn’t take the spotlight away from his medal opponents including his own teammate of which we will get to later.

But speaking of the previously mention Bogeyman, he was able to get his 2013-14 campaign back on track after injury plagued his February. Bogut played 12 games for the month, averaging 23.4 MPG, which was his lowest average thus far. The former number one draft pick went 58.2% from the field but also provided his lowest rebound averages for the year, 8.3 per game. Of note for Bogut was the fact he had his highest assist totals since the beginning of the season in conjunction with having his lowest turnover average for the year, the man knows efficiency.

The Warriors centre managed five double-digit rebound games but only the one dub-dub in March. His two best performances came against Atlanta and Dallas, both games featured in a five game winning streak for Golden State. Against the Hawks, Bogut played 22 minutes, shot 5-of-6 from the field, nine rebounds, three assist, two steals, one block and finishing with 10 points. Two games later against my boy Shane Larkin and his Mavericks, the former Utah Ute played 30 minutes, shot 7-of-9 from the field, grabbed 10 boards, one assist, one block and finished with 15 points.

Following the Dallas match-up, Bogut welcomed Dellavedova and his Cavaliers to the Bay area. Although Delly was able to escape with the team win it was Bogut who had the better performance of the medal candidates. The Bogeyman finished the game with four points, 12 rebounds and three assists from his 28 minutes on court. In contrast Delly managed six points and three assists from his 16 minutes of play.

Before we move on from the Bogeyman, there was an important medal matchup late in March between Bogut’s Warriors and the Spurs featuring Patty Mills and Aron Baynes. Banger would only play the eight minutes, finishing with four rebounds and one point. His teammate Patrick Mills played 20 minutes adding five assists and four points but his was Bogut who took the votes in this game. The one-time Milwaukee Buck played close to 27 minutes, absolutely cleaned the glass grabbing a total of 17 rebbies, swatting four shots and finishing with two points. You know what they say about the Longley-Marks medal… defence wins Longley-Marks medals. You have to reward how much Bogut’s wants this honour; the hustle here to rob Mills of an assist must be commended.

The previously mentioned Dellavedova is the next player in our March review. The Bendigo Advertiser columnist improved every one of his stat categories except his charity stripe percentage during March. In particular Delly saw a close to seven-minute increase in his court time (which no doubt helped him increase all of his numbers). The boy from country Victoria was far more efficient when shooting the rock during March. His field goal attempts remained the exact same but his percentage rose by close to 15%. He grabbed almost a rebound more per game and added near to two assists more during March.

But let us dive a bit further into the Delly numbers. The rookie played double digit minutes in every one of his outings. He provided Cleveland with back to back dub-dubs, those coming against Western Conference playoff bound teams in Houston and Oklahoma City.  Of course we must dive even further into the Thunder matchup (we must be three levels deep of inception right now with all this diving we are doing) because it was an all important medal matchup between Delly and the big Funaki.  As mentioned, Delly had a double-double in his 33 minutes of action. He finished with four rebounds, 10 assists and 11 points.  His medal opponent played 18 minutes, grabbed six boards and finished with four points in the matchup.

Rounding out March, the former St Mary’s Gael had two more solid performances including a career high 21 points against the DEEEEETRRRRROOOITTT BASKETBALL PISTONS. Two games later he would provide 11 points and six assists in a surprise win over the flailing Indiana Pacers.

Lastly we must check in with our runaway leader in the voting, Patty Mills. The Canberra born Mills suffered a decrease right across his stat line (except 3FG%) from February to March, but using the term “suffered” is probably the wrong word. The second quickest player in the league still played the second best month of his 2013-14 medal campaign and averaging 18.5MPG, 2.3RPG, 2.1AST and 9.6PPG is certainly not ‘suffering’. It more speaks louder to his impressive February, which allowed him to build an insurmountable lead in the Longley-Marks medal.

Mills had eight double-digit point games in March along with narrowly missing a double-double in the NBA finals rematch with the Heat, in that game he grabbed 10 rebounds but could only add 9 points to the scoreboard. A final word on Mills, just have a look at his shot chart from this season, you have to love Patty deep from the left side of the basket.

Shotchart_1397101495726

On to the all important votes for March.

Firstly we must have a look at the first ever votes by Niall:

Patty Mills – 12 Votes

Andrew Bogut – 10 Votes

Matthew Dellavedova – 8 Votes

Steven Adams – 6 Votes

Aron Baynes – 4

My votes were very close to Niall’s but the candidates managed to sway me a little, but more on that after my votes:

Patty Mills – 11 Votes

Andrew Bogut  – 10 Votes

Matthew Dellavedova – 9 Votes

Steven Adams – 6 Votes

Aron Baynes – 4 Votes

So the final votes for March are as followed (average of the voting panel);

Patty Mills – 11.5 Votes

Andrew Bogut – 10 Votes

Matthew Dellavedova – 8.5 Votes

Steven Adams – 6 Votes

Aron Baynes – 4 Votes

March Voting Review

It was really tough not to give Patty the maximum votes again. It was not so much for his on court performance, although playing hard at both ends like linked video below certainly helps (although Patty needs to have a quiet little word to the commentator the nickname he is giving Pattycakes).

http://www.nba.com/video/games/spurs/2014/03/26/0021301068-den-sas-play2.nba

It was more so for the next three photos;

 

Bogut bounced back in March and deserved the second highest votes. His performances in crucial medal games probably edged him above Delly who is charging home trying to earn a top three medal placing.   Adams on the other hand is simply trying to hang on to a top three place.  Happy snaps with a Grammy award winner will certainly help

 

Banger really deserved more votes this month but is hurt by the 13 maximum votes rule in honour of Lucien Longley. Baynes is trying every possible angle to gain votes in the medal chase, even appealing to my great love of socks;

http://instagram.com/p/l-gd1QmoJD/

He followed that up with the honour of having the top play of the week during mid March for the Spurs (of which Mills also featured in).

http://www.nba.com/spurs/video/2014/03/17/140217top52mp4-3200310

Finally Baynes had a moment with the Big Fundamental Timmy D following a hook shot that dropped from Boomer! Keep it up Banger, we appreciate you trying so hard.

 

With 16 days of regular season games left in April to decide the Longley-Marks medal we take a final look at the leaderboard;

Patty Mills – 69.5 Votes

Andrew Bogut – 45 Votes

Steven Adams – 38 Votes

Matthew Dellavedova – 35.5 Votes

Aron Baynes – 29 Votes

Who is going to makes the charge home to secure a top three place? Can Banger Baynes lift himself up off the bottom of the votes? Can the only Kiwi in the Longley-Marks medal hang onto third place? All the answers will be revealed after April 16!

Todd is an unrestricted free agent point guard in the local division two Tuesday night social league. Coming off an ACL injury suffered on the eve of last years playoffs he is currently on a Derrick Rose style #thereturn journey. The majority of the his 2012-13 season was spent trying to grow a Iman Shumpert flat top. Whilst rehabbing he is driving the Steven Adams hype train. Choo Choo! @toddjonessc