Los Angeles Lakers

Chris Duhon: Former Duke Star Poised for Career Season

ATLANTA - MARCH 28:  Chris Duhon #21 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates his team's 66-63 victory over the Xavier Musketeers and a trip to the Final Four during the fourth round game of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Georgia Dome on March 28, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Pete SchauerCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2012

When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Dwight Howard (via ESPN), not only did they get the best big man in the game, but they also received depth by adding Earl Clark and, more importantly, former Duke Blue Devil standout Chris Duhon.

Apparently Lakers Nation feels the same way, as evident by this tweet:

The key to this deal is Chris Duhon, though.

— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) August 10, 2012

 

Before he was the Chicago Bulls' second-round pick of the 2004 NBA Draft, Duhon was lighting it up at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The former 2001 ACC Freshman of the Year wasn't even supposed to start that season, but an injury to teammate Carlos Boozer moved then point guard Jason Williams to shooting guard, giving Duhon the opportunity to play in the starting point guard role.

Over the course of his three seasons under Coach K, Duhon averaged a solid 9.3 PPG, 6.1 APG, 2.1 steals and 2.8 turnovers per contest.

Known more for his defense, court vision and overall prowess as a point guard, Duhon was destined for a solid NBA career—one that we're still waiting on.

His best season as a pro came as a member of the New York Knicks in 2008-2009, when Duhon averaged 11.1 PPG and 7.2 APG in 36.8 MPG—all career highs.

With that being said, Duhon is the perfect backup for Lakers' current starting point guard, Steve Nash.

Let's forget about Steve Blake for a second, because Duhon is a superior point guard, not in terms of scoring—which for most teams isn't what they necessarily want out of their point guard—but in respect to his passing, defense and basketball knowledge.

Duhon has never played on a team with as much raw talent as the Lakers are sure to boast this upcoming season, with the likes of the game's best center, point guard and finisher. 

Playing behind Nash will only prove to be beneficial for Duhon, who is already regarded as a good point guard.

Since he will be at least the No. 2 PG on LA's depth chart, it's going to be difficult for Duhon to break his 2008-09 career-highs, but does he necessarily have to do that for 2012 to be dubbed a "career season"?

No.

A career season for Duhon in 2012-13 would be averaging somewhere around eight points and five or six assists per game but, more importantly, winning a championship.

Playing alongside Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Dwight Howard will only bring out the best in Chris Duhon—something that we have yet to see but is undoubtedly on its way in 2012.

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