1 stat tells why Karl-Anthony Towns has been amongst NBA’s best big men
Karl-Anthony Towns is the clear favorite for Rookie of the Year at this point. Even before Kristaps Porzingis' recent tail-off (he hasn't hit the rookie wall, but he has slightly fallen as Towns has risen of late), the Wolves center was the favorite for the first-year award. Now, it doesn't even appear to be that close anymore.
Towns isn't just good for a rookie. He's good for anyone.
Just check out the find that one Reddit user discovered:
Only five NBA big men are averaging 16 points and nine rebounds per game. Those players? Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Love and…Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns, meanwhile, is seeing far less playing time than any other of those four players, all of whom are All-Star-caliber performers. He ranks third among them in PER, behind Davis and Drummond and ahead of Cousins and Love, respectively.
Actually, Towns has been so great that to find another rookie who can match the 23.1 PER he's posted this season, you have to go past Anthony Davis, past Blake Griffin, past Chris Paul, past even Tim Duncan all the way back to 1996 and Arvydas Sabonis, who was 11 years older than Towns as a first-year NBA pro.
If you want to compare someone of normal rookie age to Towns' first year, you have to go back to the 1989-90 season, when David Robinson had the second-best PER ever for a rookie (behind Wilt Chamberlain). But even the 24-year-old Robinson, who was in the Navy before entering the league, was four years older than KAT at the time.
Towns is special. It may not be time quite yet, but soon, we have to start talking about this year as one of the most special rookie seasons we've seen in a long time.