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NBAHawks 3/5-4/8

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

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

We're entering the home stretch for the NBA season, and this will likely be the last installment of NBAHawks before the end-of-season retrospective. I know you're all torn up contemplating the last normal edition of this column, but save those tears little one, it'll all be just fine, because we've got a lot of vines and whatnot in this here article that'll help you through this dark time.

High Fliers:

Andrew Wiggins (Wolves)- If you're anywhere near the NBA realms of sports entertainment or social media then you have already been told a thousand times that this kid is 100% for real, but I'll emphasize it again. He's barely 20 years old and averaging 19.5 points per game this past month while meriting 8 free throws per contest (oh, and he's also adding 5 rebounds per too). The three isn't yet part of his NBA game, as he's taking less than 1 per game and hitting it just 18% of the time, but that will come with time... and who needs the three anyway when you can do this:

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Markieff Morris (Suns)- The twins are separated in this edition, because Markieff has maintained excellent production where his brother has not. This month has seen Markieff contribute 17 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and a steal and a half per game to the Suns' efforts. Not bad at all. If Kieff plays like this consistently moving forward the Suns won't have to worry a bit about the PF position in future playoff-bound seasons.

Tarik Black (Lakers)- Tarik has been killing it this month, shooting 56% from the field and contributing 8-plus points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He leads the rookie class in FG% by nearly 10 points, and has been dunking and blocking up a storm.

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Less-High Fliers:

Paul Pierce (Wizards)- The Truth has experienced a bit of a minutes cutback this month, which, in my view, is a very good thing. The Wizards, by virtue of existing in the anemic Eastern Conference, have no real impetus to wear anyone out in search of playoff position other than to avoid the Hawks and the Cavs (who would've seen that sentence coming at the end of last season?) so getting the player with the most miles on his odometer a relative rest is a shrewd play. In his time on the court he has been consistent if unspectacular, and is converting 43% from the field, 37% from deep on his way to 10 points per game.

Ben McLemore (Kings)- This month has seen Ben perform at about an average NBA starter level, he has averaged 11.5 ppg and kept a league-average 43% from the field, though that includes 4.2 threes hoisted per game which he is hitting at a 37.5% clip. The next step is to eliminate the 0-for-5 games and make the 7-for-11'ss and 8-for-12's a bit more commonplace.

Thomas Robinson (Sixers)- 9 points and 7.6 rebounds in just 18 minutes a game is a stunningly good pace, made better by the smattering of other statsheet contributions Thomas is making. Not only that, but he's doing it shooting 50% from the floor. The next step for the young PF is to get his free throw shooting in-order as he's converting just 54.5% from the line, which limits his utility in any late game situations. Note too that the man is a human highlight reel (the second vine might give you the warm-fuzzies):

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Technically It's Still Flying:

Marcus Morris (Suns)- Not a great month for Marcus as the Suns have fallen back in the Western Conference playoff race. It's not a good look to shoot under 27% from 3 on more than 5 attempts per game... That alone will push a player down a level in this column, as much for judgment as the percentage itself.

Nick Collison (Thunder)- The Collision has had a sprained ankle and missed the Thunder's last 8 games, luckily for them they brought in some depth in the frontcourt at the trade deadline. I'd expect Nick to be back by playoff time so long as the Thunder earn a spot.

Darrell Arthur (Nuggets)- A calf injury has derailed Darrell lately, though it seems he may have had something bothering him even before missing time as he was shooting just 26% from the field in the string of 8 games prior to his being ruled out.

Mario Chalmers (Heat)- The Jayhawk delegate to the Miami heat has looked like a real NBA player once again, nearing his career averages in the mid 40%'s in overall shooting percentage and 35+% from three this month, but has been dealing with illness over the past week, which has limited his play.

I'd Rather Walk (If I Wasn't Injured):

Nick Collison (Thunder)- The Collision has had a sprained ankle and missed the Thunder's last 8 games, luckily for them they brought in some depth in the frontcourt at the trade deadline. I'd expect Nick to be back by playoff time so long as the Thunder earn a spot.

Darrell Arthur (Nuggets)- A calf injury has derailed Darrell lately, though it seems he may have had something bothering him even before missing time as he was shooting just 26% from the field in the string of 8 games prior to his being ruled out.

Cole Aldrich (Knicks)- The Knicks are a tanking machine, and Cole has at times assisted in their losing efforts, but also has had a solid performance or two when given game time like his 17 point 13 rebound performance against Utah this month on just 12 shot attempts.

Drew Gooden (Wizards)- Gooden has played in every game for the Wizards this month and done very well, going for 8 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes per game. He is shooting an amazing 46.7% from 3 on 2 attempts per game over the time period in question.

Kirk Hinrich (Bulls)- Kirk is back to looking like Kirk, but late-career Kirk... i.e. he has missed the last few games with a knee injury.

Haven't Left the Nest:

Jeff Withey (Pelicans)- Withey played one game this month in which he played significant minutes, a blowout loss where he was able to tally 14 points on 9 shots, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal and a rebound... #FreeWithey

Brandon Rush (Warriors)- Maybe someday Brandon will return to playing real minutes and return to form as well, I mean, he's not THAT old, though his knees may beg to differ...

Joel Embiid (Sixers)- Next year is going to be so great.

That's it! As always, post any questions/comments/suggestions in the comments and I'll see what I can do to answer them or address them in future editions.