Searching For Breakout Guards
I hadn't realized just how short on bonafides at the guard spot the league is until I read BJD's post on the subject earlier this week. I looked through the numbers from last year and didn't find much in the way of breakout indicators. Mediocre track records abound. Some thoughts on a few guys:
Javi Gonzalez: Perhaps the only thing that kept Javi--who doubled his per-minute point production in '09--from making a true leap last season was his turnover rate. He's a solid candidate if he can slice into that ugly 6 TOs/40 number. There is a red flag, though: his 59.3 eFG% (67.2% in league play). He's not gonna match that.
Ish Smith: Made strides last season, and his free throw shooting improved immensely, which is encouraging. But his ceiling is limited if he can't improve on his career 32.7 3FG%.
Maurice Miller: How you feel about Miller's breakout chances depends on how you interpret this:
ORtg %Shots eFG% FT% 2FG% 3FG% Ast% TO% FTR
2008 109.1 17.9 52.6 80.2 47.1 39.7 28.2 24.8 58.7
2009 78.5 16.1 34.1 66.1 36.8 20.3 30.2 31.7 45.9
After a very nice freshman debut, Miller was supposed to be the guy at the point, but he went down with an injury early in the '09 season and his performance never recovered. So how much of the drop off can rightfully be attributed to the health issue? Which season is the more accurate reflection of his abilities? He'll bounce back to some extent--hard to imagine another 34% shooting year, health permitting--and considering how bad Iman Shumpert was, the door is open for him.