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2013-14 Season Averages: 16.58 PER, 13.6 MPG, 4.8 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 0.8 BPG
Easily the most disappointing decision of the 2013-14 NBA regular season was hiding Gorgui Dieng until mid-March. Once he received quality minutes, Dieng put up Rookie of the Year-type numbers.
Unfortunately, that small sample size leaves him without a paddle in the voting process.
In 27 games after the All-Star break, Dieng posted averages of 8.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 22.7 minutes. In his final 18 appearances, those numbers were even more impressive.
From Mar. 16 to the end of the regular season, Dieng averaged 12.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals in 30.3 minutes.
What more is there to say but "Wow"?
Without jumping to too many conclusions, one has to wonder what Dieng's emergence means for Nikola Pekovic's long-term future with the team. He's a superior defensive force and a similar menace on the glass, albeit with less polish offensively.
For a team that has the offense to make a postseason run and a terrible enough defense to miss the playoffs altogether, Dieng could be the answer.