Apr 26, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Orlando Magic point guard Chris Duhon (25) dribbles the ball up the court during the first against the Memphis Grizzlies half at the FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
Chris Duhon's disappointing play in the 2010/11 season, his first with the Magic, prompted the team and its fans to adjust their expectations for him. Once a starter, albeit not a good one, with the New York Knicks, Duhon had at least shown he could run a pick-and-roll and sink the open three-pointer, all while providing aggressive on-ball defense on the other end. With the Magic, however, he displayed none of those skills, making just 13 three-pointers all year and turning the ball over on an estimated 30.3 percent of his plays. His struggles may have played a role in Orlando's ill-fated trade for Gilbert Arenas.
How did Duhon rebound after losing his job to Arenas, getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs, and having a long summer off due to the NBA lockout? Not so terribly well, I'm afraid.
|Points Per Game||Assists Per Game||Turnovers Per Game|
|Points Per 36||Assists Per 36||Turnovers Per 36|
|PER||Assist Rate||Turnover Rate|
All statistics in this table from Duhon's player page at basketball-reference. Career-best statistics highlighted in gold; career-worst statistics highlighted in silver.
The former Duke Blue Devil at least rediscovered his three-point stroke, connecting on 42 percent of his triple-tries on the year. But he continued to struggle in every other area, and has yet to prove he can run the Magic's offense. Though he cut his turnover rate, it was still astronomically high (27.6 percent) and he posted the worst assist ratio of his career (19.1 percent).
Nonetheless, he's earned the trust of coach Stan Van Gundy, who stood by Duhon for almost the entire season, with the lone exception coming after Duhon faced discipline from the team in the form of a suspension, during which time Ish Smith took on Duhon's backup responsibilities.
Duhon can't rebound, pass, dribble, or handle on-ball pressure. He's a good-to-great jump-shooter, but far too reluctant of one. He's no longer a rotation-caliber NBA player, but remains in the league by dint of the contract he signed with Orlando in 2010. The 2012/13 season is the only fully guaranteed one left on his deal, and I expect it might be his last at the NBA level.