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Are Hamilton/Gordon/Villanueva Underproducing?

27 Jun

When listening to talk radio and reading opinion on the interwebs, Rip Hamilton is the consensus choice of player to be moved.  They point to his advancing age (33), his decreasing statistical output (last two seasons were his two lowest scoring totals besides his rookie year), and the logjam at shooting guard as pros (with Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon and Terrico White).

If he’s moved, it should be because he’s developed a reputation as a coach killer and wants out, not because the new coach can’t be creative and find ways to get the most talented players on the floor or find them ample shot opportunities.  Hamilton isn’t the only player that was improperly utilized under head coach John Kuester, and the other two names also find themselves on the trading block: Ben Gordon and power forward Charlie Villanueva.

Let’s take a look at how they’ve done statistically:

Richard Hamilton

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2009-10 31 DET NBA 46 46 1552 6.8 16.6 .409 1.0 3.2 .297 4.7 5.6 .846 0.7 2.1 2.8 4.7 0.7 0.1 2.7 2.7 19.3
2010-11 32 DET NBA 55 39 1498 6.9 16.1 .429 1.3 3.5 .382 3.5 4.1 .849 0.6 2.5 3.0 4.1 0.9 0.1 2.1 2.3 18.7
Career NBA 843 710 27774 7.3 16.2 .450 0.6 1.9 .347 4.1 4.8 .852 1.0 2.5 3.5 3.8 0.9 0.2 2.4 2.8 19.3

As you can see, per 36 minutes, Hamilton’s statistical output the past two seasons was on par with his career averages.  Rip Hamilton’s problems last season were simply due to his playing fewer minutes per game and fewer games overall.  The fact that his on-court production per minute wasn’t affected by coaching “buffoonery” is to his credit.  Rip’s trademark playing style was virtually absent last season, as he wasn’t ran off of screens or enjoying the offense being ran through him off the ball.
I suggest moving him to SF, not sitting him when he’s healthy, playing him 30-36 minutes a game, and emphasizing the the plays that brought him and the team success in the past.

Ben Gordon

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2009-10 31 DET NBA 46 46 1552 6.8 16.6 .409 1.0 3.2 .297 4.7 5.6 .846 0.7 2.1 2.8 4.7 0.7 0.1 2.7 2.7 19.3
2010-11 32 DET NBA 55 39 1498 6.9 16.1 .429 1.3 3.5 .382 3.5 4.1 .849 0.6 2.5 3.0 4.1 0.9 0.1 2.1 2.3 18.7
Career NBA 843 710 27774 7.3 16.2 .450 0.6 1.9 .347 4.1 4.8 .852 1.0 2.5 3.5 3.8 0.9 0.2 2.4 2.8 19.3

Again, Gordon’s stats are very similar to his career averages per36 minutes.  His overall field goal percentage is slightly down, but otherwise he’s the same player he was with Chicago.  John Kuester essentially turned BG7 (soon to be BG8) into a spot-up jumpshooter, when really he’s an assassin that demands the ball in his hands and the ability to create his own shot.  If you need a refresher, watch this video of him dominating the Celtics in a playoff game a few years back:

Watching Ben Gordon from 2009-2011 and contrasting it with how he played as a Chicago Bull would lead you to believe that they are two different people.  Gordon needs to start at SG, receive starting minutes, and always be the #1 or 2 option at all times when on the court with the green light to look for his own shot.

Charlie Villanueva

Season Age Tm Lg G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2009-10 25 DET NBA 78 16 1848 7.1 16.1 .439 1.9 5.5 .351 2.1 2.5 .815 1.7 5.5 7.1 1.0 0.9 1.1 1.4 4.3 18.1
2010-11 26 DET NBA 76 11 1666 6.8 15.3 .442 2.7 7.0 .387 1.9 2.5 .767 1.1 5.3 6.4 1.0 0.9 0.9 1.4 3.8 18.2
Career NBA 428 158 10783 7.1 15.9 .448 1.6 4.5 .346 2.4 3.0 .790 2.3 5.7 8.0 1.5 0.8 0.9 1.8 3.9 18.1
As we can see, Charlie has been pretty consistent relative to his career statistics except for less of an effort on the defensive class and many more three point attempts.  Lest he take a Rasheed Wallace career trajectory, we need him to fall out of love with the three ball and get his butt back in the post, where he is a match-up nightmare for most players.  He averaged 25 minutes per game for his career but only 23.7 and 21.9 in his first two season with the Pistons.  Villanueva needs to play at least 24 minutes a game to be worth his contract.
In summary: all three of these bloated contracts are actually producing similarly per minute as they always have.  If the new Pistons coach can find a way to get all three the minutes they deserve (24 for CV, about 32 for Hamilton, 30 for BG) and have them score the way they used to.  Hamilton needs to curl off of screens, Gordon needs to break down defenders using his dribble and hesitation moves, and Villanueva needs to stop being so one-dimensional.
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Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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