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Northwest “Backcourt” hoopstars – Midseason evaluation

NWSB Grades

For the most part, the NBA has reached it’s mid point of the 2012-13 season and to date there have been a number of compelling stories to be told and followed.  Some of success and rebirth (Jamal Crawford) and some of disappointment and failure (Steve Nash) and for some a season of blaaaaahh and meh (Spencer Hawes, Arron Brooks).

So without much further adiu, lets get at it.  Chances are my rant is going to reach Bill Simmons type length so you may want to get a drink and a snack and kick back for the ride.

First up, we take a look at how the backcourt talent has produced for the first half of the season, part two will focus on the Northwest bigs and rooks.

Point Guards:

Steve Nash

Ok, honestly, when you first heard that Nash was signed to join the Lakers, the percentage of people that thought his season to date would have about as much success as Lindsay Lohan has of staying sober was probably on the lesser side of oh, I dont know, 5%.

Steve Nash & Koby Bryant

It is disturbing to see the Lakers struggles this season

I mean really, look at it, one of the greatest PG’s in league history, running with one of the greatest scorers in league history, not to mention two quality pick and roll big men.

In no way would anyone in their right mind think that at the midway point in the season that Nash, in search of his first championship would be sitting on a team with a record that is four games out of eighth spot in the West and only 2.5 games better than the team of journymen that he left in Phoenix.

We know that Nash missed pretty much the first 25 of 26 games this season and isn’t 100% healthy, however he would probably still look completely out of place even if October 30th didnt happen.

Averaging his lowest assist total (8.6apg) since 08-09 and his lowest scoring average (10.9ppg) since his second year in Dallas.

Considering that D’Antoni’s offense caters to someone with Nash’s talents, it is disturbing to see the Lakers struggles this season.

Don’t even get me started on how the purple and gold hide Nash on defense, it isn’t really his fault and if I had to get into it, I’d take up all the space with a rant and neglect the rest of the Northwest talent.

MIDSEASON GRADE:  “B-”

Aaron Brooks/Isaiah Thomas

Over the past couple of weeks it appears as though the Sacrattle SuperKings have decided to hand over the starting floor general role to Thomas and have seen Brooks engage in a competitive battle with The Jimmer for the back up role.

For the first half of the season the Brooks and Thomas combo pretty much split the number of starts, however the chemistry and output that Thomas gets from the rest of the starting lineup seems to work better for the team.  

Already in a state of flux due to their pending movement, the Kings would be wise to establish a role for their two Seattle point guards in order to get the best production.

Thomas is playing about two less minutes a game than he did in his rookie season and maybe that is the reason why his stats have dropped over the year, but for a starting point guard, an average of 3 assists a game isn’t something to be writing home about.

Brooks on the other hand hasn’t been the same since returning from overseas and if his numbers continue to decline he may very well be headed back there next season.

MIDSEASON GRADE:  Brooks “C-“, Thomas “C”

Nate Robinson

State of Nate has been holding it down for the Bulls all season long as Chi-Town awaits the return of D. Rose.  While he no doubt gives Coach TT fits on a nightly basis, the Bulls bench boss knows that Robinson is a big reason why the team is 26-16, good enough for third in the East.  Currently on a five game streak of hitting for double digit points, Robinson has been a constant source of energy for the Bulls whether he is part of the starting five or coming off the bench.

With Rose expected to return next month, fans of Lil Nate can only hope that Coach Tibs doesn’t bury #2 on the bench.  As steady as Kirk Hinrich is, he is not nearly as enjoyable to watch as Nate is.

MIDSEASON GRADE:  C+

Rodney Stuckey

Who?

Honestly, is Rodney Stuckey not the most irrelevant member of the Northwest crew in the NBA?  No offense to the Detroit Pistons point guard, but he is one of the least talked about players from the 206 or the 604 or anywhere in between.

After a horrid start to the season in which he couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn, Stuckey has been hovering near his career average this season statistically and has found a new role by coming off the Pistons bench behind either Brandon Knight or Tayshaun Prince.

Unfortunate, considering that it was just four short years ago when Detroit handed him the keys to the car.

MIDSEASON GRADE: C

Luke Ridnour

At some point some team is just going to make Rids their starting PG and that is that.  With Ricky Rubio out of action to start the year, Rids more than held the fort for the Timberwolves and now that Rubio is struggling to return to pre-injury Ricky, Luke has once again stepped up to the plate.  As with last season, Rids is posting some of his best and most consistent numbers at the halfway point of 2012-13 with 12ppg, 4apg, 3rpg.  Despite these solid numbers, the Wolves are still struggling, however that could all easily be changed if their star players could stay out of the Operating Room.

MIDSEASON GRADE:  C+

COMBO GUARDS:

Jamal Crawford

Sometimes a video says a thousand words…..

After returning to his pre Portland form as a member of the Clippers, the Sixth Man Of The Year award is basically his to lose.

Despite not starting a single game, JCrossover is the team’s second/third leading scorer behind Blake Griffin and occasionally Chris Paul (JC – 16.8, CP3 – 16.6) and has been a big reason why the team sits among the elite in the West.

MIDSEASON GRADE: A-

Jason Terry

As JET”s portion of this piece is being typed, Rajon Rondo’s season has come to an unfortunate end with a torn ACL.  Good news for Terry, bad news for the Celtics.

Jason Terry

Good news for Terry, bad news for the Celtics.

Chances are that Avery Bradley will fill the void of starting point guard, while JT will come off the bench.

Playing his least amount of minutes since his rookie year (and about five less than his career average), the 34 year old guard still has something left in the tank and if the Celtics are going to have any hope of holding on to or improving on their eighth seed in the East, Terry is going to have to step up his game.

Struggling to put together a string of double digit games this month (ok, he just got one with today’s game against the Heat), Doc Rivers is going to need more from his veteran guard in the second half of the season.

MIDSEASON GRADE: C

Avery Bradley

As this evaluation hits 1200 words, Bradley finds his value to the Celtics skyrocketing due to Rondo’s wonky knee.  While he nor Terry are your typical set up the offense and distribute the ball point guards, both are going to be asked to step up and run the show.

Bradley gives Doc Rivers a more defensive minded point guard as opposed to Terry.

But when the difference between the distribution options is 11 assists per game for Rondo and then drops to around 1 or 2 dimes for Bradley and Terry, the Celtics might be in tough for the final 42 games of the season.

MIDSEASON GRADE:  C

BRANDON ROY

:(

Overall, the production for the Northwest backcourt has been slightly above average for the first 42 games of the season.

It is not too late for the hometown boys to improve on their grades, but some extra credit work is much needed in order for the Northwest guards to call this season a success.

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About Steve Lee

Steve is a 12 year writing vet, and writes for a number of sports sites, offering a unique and abstract look at the games we love. He still hopes the Grizz + Sonics return to the Northwest, and has been a Lakers fan since "Showtime".
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