Monday, June 08, 2009

2008-09 Season Review: The End of the Bench

Mario West

The most specialized* specialist in the NBA, putative energy guy, and offensive rebounder of such abandonment that he might be classified as a health risk Mario West accomplished at least two things in his (baffling in its very existence) second NBA season:
  1. He scored more points than he committed fouls.
  2. He proved that he cannot contribute at all on the offensive end.
West failed to match even the low offensive standard of his rookie season by shooting far less often, making a lower percentage of his shots, turning the ball over far more often, and making less than half of his free throws.

*Useful for harassing the opposition's best perimeter player while he dribbles down the clock on an end of quarter possession.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Every day that Mario West spends on the Hawks' roster is an indictment of the organization's competence. Certainly seems like a nice guy, though.

Thomas Gardner

Gardner got just 98 minutes to attempt to prove he's becoming something more than the high-volume, low-percentage, high-turnover, non-defending player he was at Missouri. He made 9 of 36 shots, 4 of 23 three-pointers, earned two assists, turned the ball over three times, and never had to play defense. There's little indication why he was on the roster beyond league rules limiting how few players a team can employ.

Othello Hunter

Hunter only played 92 minutes but, because he demonstrated a potentially useful skill set (rebounding, not taking bad shots) at Ohio State, I suspect he's the most likely of the players discussed in this post to carve out an NBA career though his upside is likely as a fifth big man who won't kill a team if he's pressed into duty for a couple of weeks due to injuries to a couple of bigger, better players.

I have no idea why he didn't spend more time in the D-League.

Randolph Morris

Signing Randolph Morris seemed like a risk-free acquisition with potential benefits last summer. Today it seems more like a waste of time than money. The few times he left the bench he looked, understandably, nowhere near game shape. Morris has played just 314 minutes in two-plus NBA seasons, making 35.8% of his field goal attempts, 51.3% of his free throws, and committing a turnover or a foul every three-and-three-quarter minutes he's on the floor.

Speedy Claxton

Claxton's in the final year of the four-year deal he signed in the summer of 2006. The $5.2 million left on that deal now stands as an expiring contract and presents, perhaps, the first and last bit of value the organization will get from that deal.


jrauch said...

I refuse to believe there's not at least 20-30 players in the D league who would be more useful than Mario West on the Hawks bench.

Bret LaGree said...

I'm pretty sure that West's limitations would preclude him from making a D-League roster. It's really a perfect storm of lack of vision, coaching quirk, and hometown (-ish) boy made good that perpetuates this farce.

RonWick said...

Othello Hunter's best basketball is still ahead of him. He's making strides, he only started playing the sport of basketball in his junior year of HS!

jrauch said...

Mario frustrates me because its Woody automatically conceding that we'll play 4-on-5 on the offensive end. When he's in the game, I like to watch to see how far his "defender" will roam from him. Mostly, he's totally and completely ignored.

I actually liked what I saw of Othello in garbage time this year.
Lord knows he played harder than Randolph Morris, who might be the most disinterested professional basketball I've ever seen.
His expression is perpetually one that people have in the waiting room at the dentist.
How he was ever an All-SEC player at Kentucky is beyond me.

Jason Walker said...

Every day that Mario West spends on the Hawks' roster is an indictment of the organization's competence. Certainly seems like a nice guy, though.

Awesome bit of "With All Do Respect" from Bret here.

To quote Thornton Mellon from Back to School to one of the party goers at his house.

"Whoa! If that dress had pockets, you'd look like a pool table. You should try my Tall & Fat stores. No offense."