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NBAHawks (1/08-1/28)

A look at the Jayhawks who now ply their trade in The Association.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go again! This edition is going to be all about the games within the window in the post's title, so unless I explicitly state a time-frame for a stat, assume all figures are from that three-week window. All rankings are determined by the RCT NBAHawks czar and are to be considered the direct voice of the Basketball Gods for whom he is the direct conduit on Earth. Please address all qualms to those deities with your next sacrifice of an unblemished lamb (or two doves if you're struggling to find a lamb) and they'll get back to you (through me) after the NBA playoffs when they finally have time to answer fan mail. With all that said, let's go ahead and tip it off.

High Fliers:

Andrew Wiggins (Wolves)- The three-ball hasn't quite been there recently (28%) but just about everything else has as Wiggins has put up nearly 18 points per contest to go with 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, a steal, and a block. I don't need to tell you that that's impressive, but I will. That's impressive. Even more so are the flashes of brilliance almost daily, and the occasional line like Wiggins had in Denver, going 11-17, 4-5 from 3, and 5-6 from the line on his way to 31 points (oh, and he grabbed 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks too).

Markieff Morris (Suns)/Marcus Morris (Suns)- TWIN REPORT PART THREE- In this stretch the twins have been especially twinny, with Markieff shooting 47.1% and 33.3% from three while Marcus hit at a 48.6% clip with 34.4% falling from deep. Markieff is winning the scoring race with his 15 points per game to Marcus' 9, but that's almost entirely opportunity-related (13.4 FGA vs 7.8 for Marcus). The Suns continue to be a very fun to watch team, so if you get a chance to check them out I'd highly recommend it.

Less-High Fliers:

Paul Pierce (Wizards)- 45%/40%/78% on FGs/3s/FTs while adding 12 points to the Wizards attack is not shabby at all. If you watch the Wizards enough you might even see a vintage Truth dagger in the late game. The veteran  has seen his minutes decrease a bit, but in close games the Wiz seem to go ahead and ditch their artificial limits and PP will see minute totals into the mid-30s and still bring it. It'll be interesting to see how the minutes-management over the course of the season will pay off (or not) during the postseason.

Tarik Black (Lakers)- What a guy. Despite his undrafted pedigree, Tarik is playing about 17 minutes per game for the Tankshow... err, Lakeshow, and in those minutes he's adding 7 points per game on 68% shooting... that's higher than his Free Throw percentage in the same timeframe. Those stats may be a bit inflated from the Lakers' losing situation and willingness to play rookies more than other teams would, but even with that said, the players Black has faced off against certainly aren't tanking but he's beating them up anyway.

Ben McLemore (Kings)- A little bit of regression for Benny Mac here as he continued playing the lions share of the SG minutes for the Kings but struggled with his stroke to the tune of 26% from three. For the season he's still shooting 46% overall and a respectable 36% from downtown, so by no means is there any panic in the air in Sacto... Well, other than what's related to the Kings having lost their last 7 games.

Technically It's Still Flying:

Thomas Robinson (Blazers)- Consistent minutes, however limited, have been a boon for Thomas as he has shot nearly 60% from the field while adding a smattering of other stats including 4.6 rebounds per game in just 12.4 minutes per. LMA has picked up an injury that might keep him sidelined for a decent chunk of time, but he has delayed his surgery, as a result there have been some wild swings in T-Rob utilization. For example, Thomas saw a start and 28 minutes, going for 9 points and 12 rebounds, and then two games later saw 5 token minutes where he still gathered 3 rebounds somehow. Needless to say I'd love to see more of the former and less of the latter...

Darrell Arthur (Nuggets)- A solid showing from Shady here, as he's averaging 7.5 points per contest in about 20 minutes per game. 46% from the field will work, though with the increasing amount of time spent as a stretch big or wing player his rebounding contributions seem to have all but disappeared (1.9 per game).

Kirk Hinrich (Bulls)- I think I should just not even attempt to analyze Kirk. (Since this holds true I'm actually just using the section from last time again, it's an allegory for the time Kirk went back to Chicago and was identical to how he was before... Get it?) He'll get minutes forever in Thibs' system and will vary wildly in his performance, moving from above-average to goat (the bad kind, not the G.O.A.T. kind) just about every other game. That said, the Bulls win a lot and Hinrich plays a lot, so that must say *something* about the man.

Mario Chalmers (Heat)- Mario can't shoot the 3 ball anymore... I mean, this is getting ridiculous. He's shooting <20% in this stretch to cool off an already frigid year, and this is from a guy who has shot nearly 40% for his career. It's tough to look good with ice cubes for hands, and he's contributing a bit more to the cold than the hot for the hot and cold Heat.

I'd Rather Walk:

Nick Collison (Thunder)- Shooting 56% from the field is always a bit less impressive when it's on just 2 field goal attempts per game, so that's a bit of an issue for Nick, but even if you're destined to be underutilized it's better to be an overachiever than an underachiever.

Cole Aldrich (Knicks)- Cole has had a mediocre last couple of weeks, after a strong showing the previous month he's had slightly decreased minutes and his FG% in the time-span we're looking at has been abysmal at 32%. That said, in 17 minutes per game he's also averaging 7+ rebounds and an assist, so there are some positives to be gleaned, just not enough to get him out of the cellar of these rankings.

Drew Gooden (Wizards)- Drew Gooden is an illusion. He has replaced himself with a hologram version so that he can keep on getting checks while relaxing at home. At the rate that he's actually being utilized of-late nobody will even notice that he is not a physical being until the playoffs.

Haven't Left the Nest:

Jeff Withey (Pelicans)- #FreeWithey because even if you play awful in your 10 total minutes, when that's 8-games-worth of play it's completely meaningless.

Brandon Rush (Warriors)- B-Rush has actually seen minutes in each of the last 5 games for the Warriors (good!) as they've either blown out or lost to opponents by large margins (not as good). Compared with the alternative of sitting out most games, this is definitely preferable.

Xavier Henry (FA)- Xavier was cut by the Lakers as he is rehabbing from yet another injury. They have been very classy about the whole thing as well, allowing him to continue to use their facilities as he recovers.

Joel Embiid (76ers)- Please Jojo