Keys To The Wolf Den: Jonny Flynn Vs Brandon Jennings

Timber WolfAnalyst IIFebruary 7, 2010

Ok, this has to come to light sometime.

55 points in a game, and all of a sudden Brandon Jennings is the best rookie point guard in the league?

Yes, he's talented, his ceiling is extremely high; but the question is, is he better than Jonny Flynn?

They both have two incredibly different situations.

On one hand, one rookie (Jennings) is allowed to do whatever he wants to do on the court, while the other (Flynn) is in charge of running a complex offense that has zilch to do with a point guard dominating the ball.

Let's just look at the stat line comparison:

Jonny Flynn: 14.1 PPG, 4.3 APG, 2.5 RPG, 1.1 SPG, shooting 42% from the field and 35% from the 3-point line.

Brandon Jennings: 17.3 PPG, 6.2 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG, shooting 37% from the field and 38% from the 3-point line.

Let's adjust Jonny Flynn's stats to Jennings' according to minutes, since Jennings gets five minutes more.

Jonny Flynn: 16.2 PPG, 4.9 APG, 2.8 RPG, 1.2 SPG in 34.2 MPG

Brandon Jennings: 17.3 PPG, 6.2 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.2 SPG in 34.2 MPG

Ok, this data would suggest that Jennings is superior to Flynn, although Flynn is more accurate from the field as a whole. However, I suggest that this data, while it is valid, is not a fair testament to the comparison, simply because Jennings hasn't been playing like the rookie of the year that he was two months ago.

Let's look at their last 10 games:

Brandon Jennings: 15.3 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.0 RPG and 1.4 SPG, shooting 35% from the field and 35% from the 3-point line.

Jonny Flynn: 14.7 PPG, 5.7 APG, 3.1 RPG and 0.8 SPG, shooting 43% from the field and 40% from the 3-point line.

These stats would once again suggest that Jennings is superior to Flynn, but Flynn's efficiency is vastly superior to Jennings.


Outside the stats

Brandon Jennings and Jonny Flynn are very different players, playing in different systems with different levels of talent.

Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis has stated that Jennings' hype over Flynn is not fair, due to the reason that Flynn could do anything Jennings could do, if he had the freedom. I personally believe that is true.

Other than his first 20 games, Jennings has been very subpar, and while Flynn hasn't been a ROY himself, he's playing the triangle offense; which requires him to make reads based off of defensive schemes, as well as be the true point guard.

Brandon Jennings' ceiling is slightly higher than Flynn, although both have the potential to be franchise point guards in the NBA. Jennings' slump cannot be described as a rookie wall, unless it's a wall of China.

Brandon Jennings' court vision and passing ability is superior to Flynn's, while Flynn is a better finisher, free throw shooter, and mid range shooter. However, due to Flynn's penetration ability, which is well above average, Flynn has a lot of kick out opportunities that, as of late, the Wolves have been cashing in on.

Brandon Jennings possesses a rare athleticism and quickness, but hasn't displayed his athleticism to the full. Jonny Flynn however, has had many athletic plays to compliment the triangle offense.

So who's better?

If I had to choose one, I'd say Flynn's the better rookie, although I don't know who will be the better player in the future.

Going into the draft, I felt that Brandon Jennings, Ricky Rubio, and Jonny Flynn were the best POINT GUARDS (no Tyreke Evans) in the draft, and they all had superstar potential.

That order was Rubio>Jennings>Flynn back then, so it has nothing to do with being a Wolves fan/writer, seeing as I originally said that I would have drafted Jennings and Evans.

It'll be interesting to see who plays better in the rookie-sophomore game. My bet is on Flynn, but my gut says Jennings.