Sacramento Kings ’11-12 First Half Report Cards: Jason Thompson

Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE

With the Sacramento Kings now officially at the “mid-way” point of the ’11-12 season, we’ll spend the next few days critiquing the play of the Kings main cogs – eventually coming up with their grade for the first half of the season.

First up? None other than JT the Kid – big man, Jason Thompson.

Despite being in what many might consider a semi-minute crush with DeMarcus Cousins, Chuck Hayes and J.J. Hickson all on the roster, Thompson has produced so far – and done so at a career high rate.

Although he’s slowed down a bit in the past few games, Thompson has shot a fantastic 51.2% through the first 33 games of the season (DeMarcus Cousins is second on the team at 43.6%). More than that though, Thompson has proven himself to be quite the effective player – hitting a career high in his efficiency rate (a measure of per-minute production) which chimes in at 14.7. Is that anything to write home about? Not really, it’s actually considered average, but for a bench player who doesn’t score much – it’s certainly more than adequate.

Prior to a few weeks ago (namely when Thompson was playing more due to the Hayes injury), Thompson was grabbing rebounds at a career high clip – and while that’s dropped off as his time has dwindled, he’s continued to work on problem-child’s that haunted him in the past few seasons, namely turnovers and fouls. His turnover percentage has dropped every season, none more than during this ’11-12 campaign though as its fallen from 13.7 last year to 11.4 this year. The fouls? They’re down as well – averaging a career low at 2.3 per game, down from 2.8 in ’10-11.

Despite playing nearly a career low in minutes (he’s playing :30 seconds more per game than last year), Thompson has been as effective as ever. Are there areas that could use improvement? Sure – but Thompson plays his role and plays it well.

Although the Sacramento Kings first half has been full of drama and disappointment in many areas, Thompson’s play doesn’t fall into that. Here’s hoping to an even better second half for JT.

First half grade: B+

Topics: Chuck Hayes, DeMarcus Cousins, JJ Hickson, Sacramento Kings, Sacramento Kings Report Cards

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