Do you need a point guard? With so many little guys infiltrating the NBA these days, you’d think many teams would be aching to ship off some of their smaller contributors. But for every five me-first, get-my-own, shoot-‘till-my-arm-is-numb lil’ guys, we might have one legit point guard left. They’re a dying breed, even as teams line their benches with quick-hitting spark plugs. At this point, there are a few guys available, and you take what you can get – shoot-first or not – as long as they can run an offense.
Andre Miller isn’t totally happy in Denver playing second fiddle to Ty Lawson, whose grip on the job is as tight as Vader‘s. We all know Mo Williams‘ situation in Los Angeles. The Clippers like him, but how much can you like him when he’s spending over half the game in warm-ups? Deron Williams will be somewhat available, if for only a few teams. And there will likely be others as well. For now, at least we know two of my top backup point guards in the entire NBA want to be moved.
So who needs a new conductor? We have 10 teams right here that could use one.
Last in offensive efficiency (90) and second-to-last in assists despite being an uptempo team that’s No. 10 in the league in pace, the Wizards desperately need a veteran or two to stabilize that team. John Wall had the best game of his career on MLK day, but even that can’t hide how disappointing his start to the year has been. I’m willing to bet a lot of that has to do with having an entire team on his shoulders.
We’ve blown our lids at the Wizards enough through the first few weeks of the season, and it remains to be seen whether they can salvage anything out of this train wreck. At worst, Wall picks up some bad habits along the way (taking too many jumpers, trying for spectacular plays) without improving his weaknesses (pick-n-rolls, midrange game, controlling the tempo). Picking up another guard, specifically a vet, would help Wall. When you’re surrounded by one-on-one gunners, and you aren’t exactly Chris Paul with the rock as it is, you need all the help you can get. The Wizards shouldn’t be moving backwards. A lot of that has to do with a pathetic offense.
Milwaukee has one of the worst offenses in the league in every sense of the word. Their true shooting percentage is barely 50, the fifth-worst in the NBA. The team is averaging just 91.8 points through the season’s first 13 games. And their offensive efficiency is No. 24 in the league, and the only teams behind them are possibly the six worst teams in the NBA.
Everyone knows the Dime crew are big fans of Brandon Jennings, and he’s really improved this season. He’s no longer launching off-balance threes late in games (or he’s at least cut them down), and against Denver last night, he dropped 30, many of them on those hard-to-finish floaters and in-between shots in the lane that he’s always had trouble finishing. He wanted to be an All-Star this year. If the team was winning more often, a young player averaging 18.7 points on 45 percent shooting with 5.1 assists a night would have a shot.
However, the Bucks have two shoot-first point guards (with Beno Udrih being the other). They could do a lot worse than finding someone who’ll put more pressure on defenses with the pass. They don’t need someone to replace Jennings; They might pump up that offense with finding someone who can allow Jennings to play off the ball more at some points.
As a soon-to-be 39-year-old, Jason Kidd is slowing down. In less than 29 minutes a game this season, he’s averaging 4.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.4 dimes while shooting – this isn’t an exaggeration – exactly 30 percent from the field and from behind the arc. We know many of his minutes are now being taken up by Roddy Beaubois and Delonte West, but still, part of Dallas’ problem is an offense that is disgustingly bad for a team that has Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Lamar Odom (or whatever’s left of him).
Dallas’ offense is tied with New York for No. 22 in the league in efficiency (97.6), ahead of stalwarts such as Charlotte, Detroit and Milwaukee. Part of the problem is their reliance on isolation situations and long jumpers. They don’t have a post scorer – unless you count Dirk – and Odom is floating more often these days than in even his wilderness years back with the Clippers. Dallas needs a playmaking point guard. Someone. Anyone.
Using 82games.com’s simple rating – sort of like PER in the sense that it’s supposed to measure a player’s overall contributions – Kidd is a minus-13, which would be dead last on the team if it wasn’t for the immortal Yi Jianlian, a minus-65.4 (No wonder he was in the D-League). Kidd was always known for being a fabulous defender but this stat tells it all: The Mavs are an insane 25 points per 100 possessions better defensively when he’s on the pine.