9. Lance Thomas, Knicks
Lance Thomas is one of those players whose value goes beyond the stats. Both Knicks’ coaches have asked Thomas to guard the best player on the opposing team every night, regardless of the position. The former Duke Blue Devil will undoubtedly earn votes for Most Improved Player as his three-point shooting has been a huge surprise.
Until 2015-16, Thomas had only taken 23 three-pointers in his entire NBA career, and in college he didn’t attempt a single shot from downtown. His game has undergone a complete transformation this year as Thomas has become a mad bomber, taking 109 threes, and making them at a 40 percent clip.
8. Jarrett Jack, Nets
Jarrett Jack is a good scorer, but his flaws are exposed when he plays starters minutes. Unfortunately the Nets, like a lot of teams expect to much from the defensively challenged point guard.
Jack is in the 13th percentile guarding spot up jump shots, and in the 56th percentile of defenders against ball handlers on the pick and roll. His DRtg of 110 is staggering in comparison to his ORtg of 101, and his horrible net rating of plus-0.7 per 100 possessions is an example of how bad the team is no matter whether or not he plays.
7. Donald Sloan, Nets
Donald Sloan took over the starting point guard job from Jack after his injury, and has done a better job than his predecessor. In 43 games, Sloan’s averaging 21.1 minutes, 6.9 points, 4.1 assists, and 0.6 steals on a slash line of .444/.400/.738.
According to NBA Stats, the Nets total a plus-4.6 points per 100 possessions difference when he’s on the floor, in comparison to Jack’s difference of plus-0.2 points per 100 possessions. He has more win shares (1.5) than Jack (1.1), and a better ORtg (109).