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Jarrett Jack: How Long Will New Orleans Hornets Be Led by Jack in Scoring?

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 09:  Jarrett Jack #2 of the New Orleans Hornets controls the ball against Andre Miller #24 of the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on January 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Hornets defeated the Nuggets 94-81. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJanuary 24, 2012

Jarrett Jack is playing an interesting role for the New Orleans Hornets to start the season. Through the first 17 games, Jack has led the Hornets in scoring. With Eric Gordon out, someone must step up to the plate, and Jack has been the man for the Hornets to this point.

Jack leads the Hornets with 16.6 points per game, and he has scored 20 points or more six times. Jack is averaging a career-high 14.3 field-goal attempts per game. He's shooting 44.7 percent from the field.

Trevor Ariza is the only other Hornets player of those who have played at least half of the Hornets' games to take at least 10 shots per game.

Also, Ariza and Carl Landry are the only other Hornets who have played in at least half of the Hornets' games to average at least 10 points per game.

Thus, Jack has been the go-to guy for a team with players who don't demand a ton of touches. Emeka Okafor, who leads the Hornets in field-goal percentage, only takes 7.2 shots a game and averages 9.1 points per game. Ariza, by the way, missed eight games due to a groin injury.

Jack has had a decent career to this point. He started more than half the season from 2006-07 to 2009-10. In three seasons, Jack has averaged 11 points per game or better. However, Jack is only an average shooter, shooting 44.5 percent from the field on his career.

Despite starting much of his career, Jack never averaged six assists per game in a full season. This season, he is averaging 7.4 assists per game, 2.1 more than his career high.

Also, Jack has an amazing 35.7 percent assist percentage to this point. His 22.6 percent usage rate shows that he's getting a great deal of action on offense.

The question is how long this will keep up. Eric Gordon will likely be back in the lineup in the next week. According to the Times-Picayune, Gordon is having tests to see how his bruised knee is holding up. One can expect that once Gordon returns to the court, Jack's minute load and production will go down.

However, to see him continue to average 10 points per game would be nice.

Hopefully, Jack is enjoying his time in the starting lineup while Gordon is out. Besides, Jack has been a major reason why the Hornets have kept 11 of their 14 losses within 10 points.

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