Los Angeles Clippers

The Curious Case of Baron Davis

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Baron Davis #1 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots a jumper over Jameer Nelson #14 of the Orlando Magic at the Staples Center on December 8, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
ClippercurseContributor ISeptember 4, 2009

What went wrong last season? Let us take a look at his basic stats from the last four seasons: Baronstats

As one can see, Baron averaged just 15 points, well below his career average. This can be attributed to his extremely poor shooting from the field even for his lowly standards. He also attempted four less shots than he did the year before. I will get into that later. But we already know he sucks at shooting from watching him dribble into contested long shots, jack up threes, and take half-hearted floaters.

Contrary to what Baron himself said, the fans know he felt betrayed by Elton Brand. This coupled with the clashing of basketball styles with coach Dunleavy and his well-published disinterest in basketball made a miserable union with the Clippers

The passing stats chart to the right is a compilation of passing ratings of the top PGs in the league(I also added Wade and Lebron for comparison) in '08-'09. Despite Baron's bad first season with the Clippers, his passing ability is still ranks him among the best floorleaders.

Baronpassingstats

What will happen this season?

At his best, Davis is a big defender that can hold his own while having one of the highest steals rate in the league. His size and strength are useful as the undersized Eric Gordon will be spending a lot of time on the court with him. As long as his heart is there, the defense will be acceptable. This is not a big part of his game and is not what will impact the season.

This brings us to Baron's offense. His numbers were way down last season due to not just horrify shooting but also because of the set plays that Dunleavy runs. The slower pace of attack takes away a huge part of Davis's game where he can use his athleticism and passing to lead the fastbreak. Dunleavy's walk the ball up preference simply just tempts B Diddy to dribble into a three early in the shot clock.

He started last season shooting in the 20 percent range but got a tad better towards the end. As shown in my projection, I think Baron will return to shooting just over 40% from the field and taking a few more shots. I think he deserves some slack on his shooting ability since he had always been the one on his team that has to force up a contested 3 as the shot clock winds down.

Baron's rebound rate went down last season but that should rebound nicely this seasons. haha. His career rebound rate among active NBA point guard is second only to Jason Kidd.

Coach Dunleavy likes to post his guards. So let Baron punish smaller guards inside. With EJ and Butler as bombers, this should create a lot of problems for oppositions. And yes Baron, last season was like a bad dream. Bring back the beard, and the excitement and intensity you played with. I leave you for now with one of my favorite basketball video ever.

Stats used in this article are extracted from sports.yahoo.com and 82games.com 

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