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December 11, 2013

Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson could have a big night, based on last season versus the Magic

No one is using the word “slump” in connection to Charlotte Bobcats shooting guard Gerald Henderson lately, and with good reason.

            After shooting “terribly” (his word) the first couple of weeks of the season, Henderson has been marvelous the last five games. He’s averaged 18.8 points on 51 percent shooting from the field and 79 percent from the foul line.

            There’s every reason to think that will continue tonight, when you consider the opponent: The Orlando Magic, losers of six in a row.

            Henderson had some of his best games last season in the four-game series against the Magic. He averaged 22.8 points on 55 percent shooting from the field, 40 percent shooting from 3-point range and 89 percent shooting from the foul line. And he averaged over six free-throw attempts per game.

            A big factor in that productivity: Arron Afflalo of the Magic seemed utterly incapable of guarding Henderson, particularly when the Bobcats posted up Henderson. Afflalo just couldn’t physically keep Henderson away from his preferred spots to catch the ball, and often ended up fouling to give Henderson 3-point play opportunities.

            What happens tonight? The Magic could instead guard Henderson with rookie Victor Oladipo. But at minimum Afflalo’s struggles defensively is an invitation for the Bobcats to use Henderson as much at small forward tonight as at shooting guard. Because Afflalo has to guard someone…or at least try.

Posted by Observer Sports on December 11, 2013 at 04:33 PM | Permalink

Comments

Interesting article: Afflalo used to be marketed as a solid defender in Detroit and Denver... not so much anymore. I guess he has focused more on offense lately?

Posted by: RobertKatz | Dec 11, 2013 5:01:41 PM

yeah i'm not really sure where he got that reputation. i always heard that and believed it too but statistically throughout his career his teams have often fared better with him off the floor. and he doesn't produce many steals or blocks either. can't be an elite defender and get less than 1 a game. centers get a steal a game. steals aren't always indicative of great defense, but great defense almost always comes with some steals.

take aways are arguably more valuable than just good man defense (which often leads to the ball going elsewhere on the floor, but still points).

not sure where afflalo got that reputation from. he IS however, a really good shooter. you would think he's just having a hot stretch right now if he hadn't shot better %'s for an entire season a few years ago.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 11, 2013 11:24:48 PM

Bill Simmons on Afflalo last week: " I mentioned that Afflalo has become a top-five 2-guard, followed by you making a face and saying, "Typical Simmons, what an ass." Know this: Afflalo leads all 2-guards in PER (21.46); he's first in Estimated Wins Added (3.6); he's third in PPG (22.6); he's sixth in 3-point percentage (46.3 percent), seventh in FT percentage (85.4 percent) and sixth in FG percentage (48.8 percent); and he's an excellent defensive player. With James Harden taking the season off defensively (hey, James, you're not a DH), and Dwyane Wade taking days off left and right like he's the retiring CEO of a successful company or something, Afflalo is the league's most reliable 2-guard right now. He's also one of the league's best bargains at $7.5 million per year, making him the single best commodity on the trade market right now. It's true." Wonder how much of that is looking over stats and boxscores compared to actually watching Afflalo lol

Posted by: RobertKatz | Dec 12, 2013 9:12:26 AM

you can't possibly think he's a franchise changer though. he's a player no doubt, i said as much.

but if you're asking afflalo at 7.75 or turner at 10? i'm going turner every time. stephenson or afflalo? stephenson every time. afflalo or henderson? i'm debating depending on who we have around him. if shooting is the need i'm going afflalo everytime. if it's defense - transition ish - i'm going hendo.

but you know hennigan isn't giving those numbers away for free. he's swinging for the fences in that deal too.

Posted by: charlottean | Dec 12, 2013 10:21:48 AM

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