The NBA: Ryan’s Rising Stock

Ryan Anderson has been putting up career numbers
to help the Magic remain a Top 4 team in the East.

*All images are by the Associated Press.

Not bad for a 21st pick.

Not bad for a guy who played Division II HS ball.

Not bad for a guy whose Pac-10 leading 21.6ppg in the ’07-’08 NCAA season was overshadowed by bigger names (OJ Mayo, Kevin Love, and the Lopez twins).

Not bad for a guy who didn’t play in the NCAA March Madness tourney.

Not bad for a guy picked after the likes of Joe Alexander, Jerryd Bayless and Alexis Ajinca.

By and large, Ryan Anderson is having a career season, and he’s on track to be a serious contender for the Most Improved Player Award. He’s still the second-best big man on the Magic’s roster, but considering that Dwight Howard is the #1 guy, being #2 ain’t so bad.

Being #2 hurts even less when one considers the following stats for Anderson:

-       18.3ppg (career-high and about an 8-point jump from last season)
-       7.3rpg (career-high and about a 2-rebound jump from last season)
-       89.7 FT% (awesome for a big man and about 8 percentage points higher than last season)
-       44.8 3pt% (2nd best among Forward-Centers in the whole league)
-       3.6 3pt shots made per game! (TOPS in the whole league!)
-       46.9 FG% (almost 4 percentage points higher than last season)

Needless to say, Anderson is a big reason Orlando is tied for 4th in the East and tied with the Hawks for the top spot in the Southeast Division. He’s also a big reason why the Magic are Top 10 in ppg, 3pt% and FG%. And definitely the biggest reason they’re #1 in 3pt shots made per game.

I doubt he’ll be considered for an All-Star appearance, but if the Magic manage to sustain their play and bag one of the top 4 seeds in the East, then they’ll have to give a lot of love to Ryan Anderson. Of course, having Big D around to draw all the defensive attention helps, too.

That means Ryan Anderson is praying to the high heavens a miracle happens and Big D sticks around.

Too bad that won’t happen.

Still, for now, this 21st pick ain’t having a bad season. Not bad at all.

After the JUMP, key stat-stuffers for today’s games:

ORL over NYK, 102-93 – Magic continue rolling with a 4-game streak while the Knicks are floundering anew.
MEM over CHI, 102-86 – The Bulls’ winning run is stopped as Mike Conley flirts with a triple-double.
CLE over CHA, 102-94 – Don’t look now, but the Cavs are holding on to that 7th spot out East, ahead of both the Knicks and Celtics.
HOU over WAS, 114-106 – Wizards kept winless by Kevin Martin’s 25 points and 8 assists.
PHI over MIL, 94-82 – Sixers are now 9-1 in their last 10 games and are just a game behind the Bulls for the top spot in the East.
POR over NOH, 84-77 – Blazers have cooled off after a hot start, but they’re still good enough to beat the West’s worst team – the Hornets.
LAC over NJN, 101-91 – Blake Griffin has another monster double-double for the Clips, who have won 3 straight and are sitting pretty as the West’s #2 team.
ATL over TOR, 93-84 – Josh Smith continues to pick up the slack in the absence of Al Horford.
MIN over SAC, 99-86 – Luke Ridnour has the hot-hand for the T-Wolves, who have gone .500 in their last 10 games after going 0-3 to start the season.
OKC over BOS, 97-88 – Perk returns to haunt the Celtics. OKC thunders to its 7th win in a row while the Cs tumble to 10th in their Conference.
LAL over DAL, 73-70 – Low-scoring reunion between Odom and the Lakeshow go the Lakers’ way thanks to Derek Fisher’s clutch shot.

Super Scorers (Top scorers of the night!)
John Wall (WAS – 38
Kevin Love (MIN) & Carmelo Anthony (NYK) – 33
Ryan Anderson (ORL) – 30

Ragin’ Rebounders (Top rebounders of the night!)
Josh Smith (ATL) & Andrew Bynum (LAL) – 15
Blake Griffin (LAC) – 14

Josh Smith has received a lion's share of the
touches ever since Al Horford got sidelined.
Dynamic Dishers (Top playmakers of the night!)
Raymond Felton (POR) – 12
Jose Calderon (TOR) – 11
Randy Foye (LAC) & Tyreke Evans (SAC) – 10

Terrific Thieves (Top thieves of the night!)
Jrue Holiday (PHI) – 5
A LOT with 4

Jrue Holiday and the Sixers continue to
fly high as the East's 2nd seed.
Boomin’ Blockers (Top blockers of the night!)
DeAndre Jordan (LAC), Ed Davis (TOR) & Serge Ibaka (OKC) – 4

Sharpshooters (Top 3-point shooters of the night!)
Ryan Anderson (ORL) – 7
Luke Ridnour (MIN) & Hedo Turkoglu (ORL) – 4

Jan. 16, 2012 First Five
C – Ryan Anderson (ORL) – 30pts, 7rebs, 7 treys, 1stl
F – Kevin Love (MIN) – 33pts, 11rebs, 3asts, 2stls
F – Josh Smith (ATL) – 28pts, 15rebs, 2asts, 1blk
G – John Wall (WAS) – 38pts, 8asts, 6rebs, 4stls, 1blk
G – Luke Ridnour (MIN) – 25pts, 9asts, 4 triples, 3rebs, 1stl, 1blk

John Wall dropped 38 on the Rockets, but the Wiz still
ended up on the wrong end of the fence.
Honorable Mention:
Joe Johnson (ATL) – 27pts, 6asts, 5rebs, 3 triples, 3blks, 2stls
Kevin Durant (OKC) – 28pts, 7rebs, 4asts, 1stl, 1blk
Mike Conley (MEM) – 20pts, 8asts, 7rebs, 4stls

For a full summary of the day, here’s today’s NBA Daily Zap:

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