Here are the Flip Murray graphs I mentioned in yesterday's game recap.
First, the positive, upward movement of his shooting percentages since the loss in Houston on December 9th. After that game he sat at 43.7/41.9/32 (eFG%/2PTFG%/3PTFG%). Today he's at 51.8/50.3/36.8.
It took me a while to recognize that Flip was on an offensive upswing. His minutes decreased throughout December, hitting a low of 40.3% of the team's minutes* after the January 2nd game in New Jersey. The decreasing minutes hid a gradual, consistent increase in his scoring rate (and efficiency) coupled with a decreasing turnover rate. After that game in Houston, Flip was at 22.98 Pts/100, 4.27 A/100, 5.4 TO/100. As of today he's at 25.55 Pts/100, 4.1 A/100, 3.64 TO/100.
*He's played 46.1% of the team's minutes on the year even after missing two games on the most recent West Coast road trip.
It's difficult to see in the above graph that Murray's plunge in turnovers coincided with a less sever, but still noticeable decline in assists (the assists have gone back up in Mike Bibby's absence during the last two games). Here's just a graph of just his assist and turnover rates.
I was highly critical of signing Murray but he's been a useful (or better) player for most of the season. Credit should go to Rick Sund for acquiring Flip Murray for both good seasons of Murray's career. Most impressive to me is that Murray remains no one's idea of a point guard but someone, be it player or coach, has figured that out and shifted Murray's responsibilities as the season has progressed and allowed him to play to his strengths. Long time Hawks watchers know how unusual it is to see a player of limited, specific skills put in a position to use those skills rather than be asked to be a player he is not.
So here's to Flip Murray, the coaching staff, and the organization as a whole for this unexpected, welcome, and valuable success story.