- 25.1 minutes per game
- 13.1 points per game (18.9 per 36 minutes)
- 4.0 rebounds per game (5.7 per 36 minutes)
- 2.2 assists per game (3.2 per 36 minutes)
- .415/.341/.843 shooting splits
It took longer than he may have liked, but Sean Kilpatrick finally made it as an NBA regular this past season after signing a three-year deal with the Brooklyn Nets last spring following a number of 10-day contracts.
Kilpatrick was an important part of the Nets’ rotation this past season. Now, the way the Nets played, that might not mean all that much, but for a guy who was schooling the D-League as recently as last year, it was a major career step forward. Kilpatrick started in 24 games and played in 70, averaging 25.1 minutes per contest. His shooting splits were not off the charts (.415/.341/.843) although he consistently hit his free throws and made 1.5 triples per game while ranking ahead of Jeremy Lin in three-point attempt rate (.419). The less than ideal shooting didn’t stop Kilpatrick from being a strong scoring threat for the Nets, as he averaged 13.1 points per game, which projects out to nearly 19 a game when played out over 36 minutes. He upped his assist and rebounding game as well, with an 8.4 rebound percentage and 14.6 assist percentage, both easily his best marks during his NBA career.
If you want to point to negatives, you could bring up the fact that Kilpatrick’s offensive showing was built on quantity in counting stats not efficiency in analytics. He posted a PER of just 13.1 and an offensive rating of 101. However, his DNA as a Bearcat helped him overcome that and produce at a relatively high level defensively. He recorded a defensive rating of 112 and had 1.1 defensive win shares. He ranked fourth on the team in DWS.
Kilpatrick did miss some games down the stretch, playing in only five of the final 16 contests for the Nets. However, in all, Kilpatrick proved that he belonged at the NBA level.
The Best of the Best
Wednesday Nov. 2, 2016 vs. Detroit Pistons
After scoring in double figures in each of the first four games he played, Kilpatrick showed incredible efficiency and tenacity, connecting on 8-of-12 shots from the floor, including a 4-of-4 showing from three-point range on his way to 24 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a couple of steals.
Tuesday Nov. 29, 2016 vs. Los Angeles Clippers
This was the game of the year for Kilpatrick, who carried the Nets on his back, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter and 38 overall in a 127-122 double overtime win in which he logged 47 minutes. Here are some highlights so you can relive the glory.
Monday Dec. 26, 2016 vs. Charlotte Hornets
On the day after Christmas, Kilpatrick took 15 shots and recorded 23 points, making nine of those field goal attempts, including four three-pointers. He also handed out four assists and grabbed five rebounds. The Nets won the game, 120-118.
Monday Jan. 23, 2017 vs. San Antonio Spurs
One of the premier franchises in the NBA rolled to a 112-86 win over the flouddering Nets, but Kilpatrick did what he could to make up for it. Sure, he needed 16 shots to finish with 17 points, but he also got 10 rebounds to finish record his third double-double of the season.
Sunday Feb. 5, 2017 vs. Toronto Raptors
This was a much more efficient effort from Kilpatrick, even if the Nets lost again. All five of his field goals came from beyond the arc (5-of-9) and he also made all three of his free-throws to finish with 18 points.
Monday March 6, 2017 at Memphis Grizzlies
Kilpatrick put his head down and consistently got in the lane and then to the foul line, sinking a season-high 16-of-17 foul shots on his way to a 23-point night.
Wednesday March 8, 2017 at Atlanta Hawks
Once again, Kilpatrick worked hard to get to the line (8-of-9), which helped him tally 27 points on only 14 shots.
For Next Year
Unlike a year ago, Kilpatrick doesn’t have to scratch and claw his way to a few drips of NBA playing time. He is under contract with the Nets and clearly part of their future plans, at least for the next few seasons. To ensure that continues, Kilpatrick needs to just keep improving, especially with his offensive efficiency. He’s already proven he can defend well at the pro level and get hot from the floor, but doing so more consistently could push him from a solid contributor to a star.