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Felton thinks he's still 'elite'; here's why ex-Knicks PG isn't
Former Knicks point guard Raymond Felton told reporters on a conference call yesterday that, while he admits last season was not a good one, he can "still play as an elite point guard at this level."
As a pro athlete, one can understand Felton's confidence in his own abilities. That said, he's far from being an elite point guard. To offer some further validation of such a claim, amNewYork took a look at the stats of the 24 points guards who have averaged at least 30 minutes per game and played in at least 100 games over the past two seasons and broke down where the 30-year-old Mavericks floor general ranks among his peers.
Felton has never been a scoring-oriented point guard, but his 11.9 points per game is 4.6 below the average for primary point guards. In fact, just two players rank behind him: the Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio (10 ppg) and the Knicks new starting point guard, Jose Calderon (11.4).
At least Calderon can shoot. His 60.5% true shooting percentage -- a shooting efficiency stat that encompasses 2-point, 3-point and free throw shooting -- leads all 24 point guards. At the other end is Felton, whose 49.3% ranks ahead of only Rubio. The average among the 24 qualifying point guards is 54.4%.
OK, so Felton's not a scorer. Not all point guards are. But it's not as if he's effectively dictating the flow of the offense at an elite level, either. He has posted a 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio over the past two years, which ranks 12th of 24 and is exactly the average among that group.
Felton's assist numbers are far below average, though, dishing just 5.5 per game and ranking ahead of just four qualifying players -- including ex-Knick Jeremy Lin. Calderon (5.8) isn't much better in that regard, but his 3.9 assist-to-turnover rate is second best behind Chris Paul of the Clippers.
For the true stat heads who love player efficiency rating (PER) -- a measure of per-minute production in which the league average always is 15 -- Felton looks even worse. At 14.1 over the last two seasons, his PER is tied with free agent Jameer Nelson for last among the qualifying 24 point guards. The average for that group is 18.3. Again using Calderon to compare, the Knicks point guard ranks 16th with a 16.9 PER.