By Ron Chambers
Most of the press about Brooklyn this year has been about how disappointing it is that they are trailing to Toronto.
Despite having the Third best record in the East and being tied with five other teams for the second fewest losses in the league, all the Brooklyn fans care about is that they are not currently the best team in the league. No one cares that they are the second best scoring team in the league or the top passing team. They are also now the second best rebounding team in the league and fourth in steals.
What has gotten lost ishow beautiful of a game the Rage play. They are a fast paced efficient offense. Star point guard Omar Jefferson gets a lot of credit for this. He is seventh in the league in assists so he certainly does his part. But, what often doesn’t get noticed is how good of passers the entire team is. All five staters average at least 3.0 assists. Sure that is impressive. But, I took a moment to look at other teams in the league. In the WBA there are two teams that have no players averaging over 3.0 assists. There are five with one playe averaging 3.0 or better. The most common position is two players averaging 3.0 or better, there are 18 of those. Three teams (Albacete, Oregon, & London) have three players who average 3.0 or better. One team, Capetown, has four players who average 3.0 or better but their top passer is only at 4.1. Only Brooklyn five players, all starters averaging 3.0 or better.
Omar Jefferson averages 7.1 assists a game and is #7 in the league in assists, Mario Bailey averages 3.0 and is #9 in the league among shooting guards. But, where it really gets impressive is when we move to the big men. Shane Strom has long been known as a very good passer. In fact, his 3.6 assists per game is his worst sine his rookie year (he is also playinghis lowest minutes since his rookie year). But, is still puts him at #5 in the league among small forwards. Young Jarius Miles is averaging 3.0 assists at the power forward position. This places him #2 among power forwards only behind the iconic big man passer Heiko Van Brandt who has a career average of 6.0 assists a game. Miles has also been averaging less than 30 minutes a game. Thouugh his minutes have risen recently so expect his totals to also rise. Finally, Al Herbert is also averaging 3.0 assists and is second behind Abdiel Gordon. Gordon has played one more game and has four more assists so it is very close.
An entire starting line-up where every player is among the top 10 at their position in passing. This leads to some pretty basketball and a lot of wins…but ask any Brooklyn fan and they will remind you that so far it hasn’t been enough wins to pass the Dinos.