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Jennings Finding Ways to Contribute

Jamie Wianecki

On November 22, 2009 just eleven games into his career, Brandon Jennings was averaging 25.2 points and 5.5 assists per game. He was the favorite to win the NBA's Rookie of the Year award, the Grizzlies, Timber-wolves (twice), Knicks, and Raptors were all criticized for passing on him, and the media compared him to future Hall-of-Famer Allen Iverson. Now, March 6, 2010, 61 games into his career, Jennings is averaging 15.7 points and 6.1 assists per game. The Bucks, 32-29, have won 8 of their last 11 games, went 10-4 in February, and hold the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Much of the Bucks' success in February has to be credited to the acquisition of John Salmons -- who is averaging 20 points per game as a Buck -- and the play of Andrew Bogut -- who averaged 16.9 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.8 blocks in February. Bogut put up these numbers because he's been able to stay on the floor without getting into foul trouble, only averaging 2.4 fouls per game in February compared to usually averaging over 3 fouls per game and not missing any games due to injury. Despite an obvious scoring decrease, Jennings has found other ways to contribute. He has increased his assists, lowered his turnovers, and has started all 61 games this season. Consistency is hard to come by from a rookie, unless it's the mediocre kind -- a la Toronto's DeMar Derozen, who was drafted 9th overall in 2009 and hasn't averaged over 10 points per game in any month of the season. What Bucks fans need to look for is how Jennings performs these last 21 games (especially tonight against the Cavs at home) and the playoffs. A great start and a great finish is the key characteristic of a superstar.


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