When the Orlando Magic signed Chris Duhon as their long-term backup point guard behind Jameer Nelson, the six-year veteran's limitations were clear. He can't shoot a reasonable percentage inside the three-point line, he's not exceptionally quick or dynamic, but he sure can make plays. But this season, he's struggled, despite playing alongside the most talented overall team of his career. His usage and assist rates career-low, his turnover rate is a career-high, and one prominent Magic beat writer is asking if coach Stan Van Gundy ought to go with Jason Williams instead.
Eddy Rivera went into great detail, using some Synergy Sports Technology data and advanced metrics, on Duhon earlier today, so I apologize for the redundancy, but Duhon's stretch of three starts in place of the ill Nelson has put him squarely in the spotlight. The fact that his man, Mike Bibby, got free for the game-clinching three-pointer last night in a Magic loss to the Atlanta Hawks only adds to the frustration with him.
What's clear right now is that Duhon isn't performing to his capabilities; his suddenly prodigious, and to a large extent silly, turnovers are indeed cause for concern. We're one-quarter of the way through the season and he still doesn't look quite comfortable in Stan Van Gundy's offense. His reluctance to shoot, even when open, also does opposing defenses favors, as Bret LaGree of Hoopinion detailed in his Hawks game recap:
Bibby consistently went under ball-screens, willing to let Duhon shoot. To Duhon's credit, he didn't. Such discretion did little to help move the Orlando offense toward a good shot, though.
All I'm asking right now is how comfortable you are with Duhon backing up Nelson. Please vote in the poll attached to this post. RSS readers, please visit Orlando Pinstriped Post to participate in the poll.