The Sixers are 45 games in to the 2012-13 season and that’s how much tick rookie Arnett Moultrie has received this year.
And now with Sixers all-everything forward Thaddeus Young sidelined for the next three weeks (at least 8 games) because of a strained hamstring, the little used Moultrie (15 GP) will be expected to make a positive contribution to this team and help keep the 7-6 within arm’s reach of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
If the 6-10 rebounding machine from Mississippi State seems rusty at first or heaven forbid fails overall to make a contribution to the Sixers efforts during this upcoming Thad-less stretch, Doug Collins has no one to blame but the man in the mirror. We all know that DC has a stubborn attitude towards playing rookies and this maybe the year it finally come back to haunt him.
After the jump, I’ll show you some disturbing stats which indicate that with regards to Moultrie this year DC has taken his rookie issues to new heights and as a result DC has put the Sixers in a precarious situation while Thad is sidelined.
Among all NBA rookies Moultrie ranks…
53rd (T) in games played with 15.
55th (T) in minutes per game with 5.5 per.
64th (T) in points per game with 1.2 per.
A deeper analysis of the stats for the 2012 NBA Draft Class shows that only six players taken in the first round have appeared in fewer games then Moultrie. They are Tony Wroten, Jr, (14 for MEM); Kendall Marshall (14 for PHX); Terrence Jones (11 for HOU); Miles Plumlee (7 for IND) and Fab Melo (1 for BOS).
Additionally, a quick look at the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft shows that unlike Moultrie, there are a number of 2nd rounders who are being allowed to contribute nightly to their respective team:
#31 – Jefferey Taylor (CHA): 46 games / 21.9 mpg. / 7.4 ppg.
#33 – Bernard Jones (DAL): 47 games / 12.1 mpg. / 3.8 ppg.
#34 – Jae Crowder (DAL): 44 games / 17.4 mpg. / 5.5 ppg.
#35 – Draymond Green (GSW): 47 games / 14.4 mpg. / 3.2 ppg.
#40 – Will Barton (POR): 41 games / 10.6 mpg. / 3.1 ppg.
The above evidence points to a huge disparity in the amount of playing time Moultrie has received when compared to other rookies around the League.
Let’s also look back at DC’s history with the Sixers organization for comparisons sake. Below are the stats for DC’s last two rookie bias candidates through 45 games played by the team during their rookie season:
Evan Turner (2010-11): appeared in 43 games / 22. 4 mpg. / 7.4 ppg.
Nikola Vucevic (2011-12): appeared in 36 games / 16.7 mpg / 7.8 ppg.
There are some obvious differences in the Turner and Vucevic cases that come into play here. Turner was the #2 overall pick in the 2010 Draft, so obviously he would be expected to play right away as a rookie and play a lot. Of course Vuc was unexpectedly thrown into the spotlight in 2011-12 when Spencer Hawes got hurt. Still I don’t think it’s a huge stretch to compare the rookie seasons of these Sixers players and the evidence quickly points out that Turner and “Big Nik” enjoyed significantly more playing time during their rookie campaigns then Moultrie has been receiving in his.
Now over the next eight games Thad’s blown hamstring will push a still very green Moultire into a key role for the Sixers. Had Doug found Moultrie some floor time along the way this season, the rookie would be much better prepared to contribute during this upcoming stretch. But DC is stubborn and didn’t find #5 any minutes. So now if Moultrie fails us over the next three weeks, is it his fault or Doug’s?