After a string of low-scoring games before this one, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has officially dropped below 10 PPG on the season. Ten points per game is an arbitrary measure, sure, but it’s sort of a quick and handy reference to distinguish between “guys who will definitely be good in the league” and “guys who could be good in the league, but we’re not sure yet”. There’s only eight players in the former category, but there should be nine, because I’m pretty sure that SGA is going to do just fine in the NBA.
This is the same measure that informed me that Andre Ingram would be good in the NBA after he averaged twelve points per game as a rookie last year. Now he’s not even playing. So the stat is fallible, but it’s not so fallible that I’m going to stop using it to judge rookies. I need a stat that’s easy to look at so I can know what to think about a player, and using raw PPG without taking into consideration roster construction or efficiency is perfect for that need.
Jerome Robinson, the other Clippers rookie (who makes a bonus cameo in this video), is only averaging 3.6 points per game, and therefore falls into the latter category. See how good my system works?