The Year of KG

I'm sure we all want KG to have a big year, and that we all hope he'll have a big year, but opinions may differ on whether he will. Me? I've had a feeling for some time now that KG will be dynamite this season.

I realize that there's always the health factor, as well as age, and I also realize that I could simply be succumbing to a massive case of wishful thinking and/or homerism. Over the last few weeks, though, I've had a persistent sense that we're going to be seeing a lot of Classic KG this season, and there are a couple of tangible, less-emotional factors to back me up. First (again barring injury) is a deeper bench, which should mean more rest for KG, which should mean better production when he does play -- and less risk of injury.

The second factor is KG's numbers from last season. Below are his monthly averages from the '09-'10 campaign (points, FG%, rebounds, assists), with number of games played that month in parentheses. Analysis follows.

October (3):          13.0   .531    7.0    1.3
November (14):     14.4   .524    7.4    2.6
December (12):     16.3   .580    8.0    2.7
January (5):          12.2   .469    5.8    2.8
February (12):       14.0   .550    7.6    3.3
March (17):           14.1   .508    8.0    2.5
April (6):               14.3   .419    4.8    2.7

During the first three months of the season, KG's numbers steadily climbed, culminating with an impressive December. Then, however, came the hyperextended right knee, which kept him out for the majority of January. His numbers, as you might suspect, were down significantly upon his return, but then they began to climb again before fading a bit at the end of the regular season, which I attribute (nonscientifically, of course) to fatigue from playing a full season after missing a large chunk of the previous campaign.

What all this suggests to me is that even though KG may not ever again be the freak he was at his physical peak, he's got plenty left in the tank when healthy, and that last season may have been an '07-'08-like performance if it wasn't for the recurring knee problem. KG is now, however, more than a full year removed from surgery, which is usually how much time it takes to fully recover from such a setback, and this, combined with his statistical increases after both his injury periods, makes me think that KG, barring the catastrophe we all fear, will make his presence felt in a big way this season.

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