Looking At Possible Replacements For Jason Richardson: Gilbert Arenas

 

Last week, HtD took a look and an internal replacement for Jason Richardson should he decide not to return to Orlando, in current Magic backup shooting guard J.J. Redick. Today at HtD, we’ll take a look at another possible internal replacement – Gilbert Arenas.

First, let’s take a look at Arenas’ numbers with the Magic last season:

GP
GS
MPG
PER
PPG
eFG%
TS%
3pt%
49
2 21.8 8.6 8.0 40.6 44.4 27.5
FT% TRB% AST% TO% USG ORtg DRtg WS/48
74.4
6.5 23.8 19.3 23.7 88 102 .008

Arenas had far and away the worst season of his career, which included a significant decline in his numbers after he was traded to the Magic back in December.

Simply put, Arenas was awful during the 2010-11 season.

Through all the bad, there were some bright spots on the season. Arenas had a few good games, including a 20-point playoff game (in just 22 minutes) against the Atlanta Hawks in a game 4 loss.

There have been calls for Arenas to see more time at the 2, which is something the Magic didn’t plan on having Arenas do last season. Arenas spent most of the season as Jameer Nelson’s backup at point guard, but when J.J. Redick’s abdominal problems came up, Arenas had to play some 2 out of necessity.

Things didn’t go well.

After the jump, you can see Arenas’ numbers at both the 1 and the 2 last season.

Pos
PER
eFG%
RP/48
A/48
ORtg
DRtg
PG 10.0 42.2 5.8 8.4 100.0 93.0
SG 3.9 36.6 4.2 3.9 94.4 96.2

It’s just as bad on the defensive end. Below we’ll take a look at the numbers from the opponents Arenas has defended on each end.

Pos
PER
PPG
eFG%
FTA
PG 12.0 19.6 42.3 4.5
SG 15.6 21.2 45.9 5.7

*The numbers above are based on a per-48 minute basis and are provided by 82games.com, Basketball-Reference and HoopData. The offensive and defensive rating numbers would match up with Arenas’ numbers so I didn’t include them in the chart.

Clearly, Arenas hasn’t had a whole lot of success defending his opponents on either end but he’s been worse against shooting guards than he has against point guards.

Overall, he played better at the 2 than he has at the 1.

Of course, Arenas had a lot of problems regardless of position. His shooting numbers were just terrible and a lot of that had to do with his lack of aggressiveness. As a member of the Magic, Arenas averaged just 8.2 shot attempts per game. Only 1.3 of those shot attempts (15.9%) came at the rim and he only made 46.2% of those shots. With Arenas’ knee problems, he lacked explosiveness and couldn’t get all the way to the rim (and on the rare occasions he did, he had trouble finishing). Arenas had some success hitting floaters in the paint, but for the most part, that success was minimal. That turned Arenas into more of a spot-up shooter and he wound up taking 3.7 three-pointers a game, making up over 45% of his shots. However, Arenas made just 1.0 of those three-pointers per game (41.3% eFG).

Magic General Manager Otis Smith thinks an off-season in Orlando is what Arenas needs to get his career back on track but based on what we saw from Arenas that isn’t something we should expect. The Arenas we saw is what the Magic should expect to get (with maybe some slight improvements, especially early in the season after he gets a summer off). If that Arenas is indeed the Arenas Orlando is going to have to play with, he’s much better suited coming off the bench and the Magic should look elsewhere for their starting shooting guard should Richardson not return.

(Andrew Melnick is Howard the Dunk’s lead blogger and ESPN 1080′s Magic Insider (http://espn1080.com). Subscribe to his RSS feed, add him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter to follow him daily. You can download the HTD app here).

Topics: Gilbert Arenas, Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Orlando Magic

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