Saturday, August 6, 2011

Top UConn Players in the NBA

1. Ray Allen. 16.5 points, 3.4 boards, 2.7 assists, .444 from 3-point range. Ray Allen had a superb season, breaking Reggie Miller’s all-time three point record, cementing his entry into the Hall of Fame. Unlike his prior season, Allen was hot throughout the playoffs, carrying the Celtics for much of the post season. Even for his age, he had one of his best seasons as a Celtic increasing his 3-point percentage, rebounds, assists, and had less turnovers then his previous season.

2. Emeka Okafor. 10.3 boards, 9.5 boards, 1.8 blocks. Okafor had a bounce back season, becoming a dependable double-double threat throughout the season. It helped that he had a full season with Chris Paul. His numbers didn’t increase all that much from the year before, but his effectiveness has gone from a .530 field goal percentage to a .573.

3. Rudy Gay. 19.8 points, 6.20 boards, 2.8 assists. Coming into the season with a brand new contract, Rudy Gay was primed to have a breakout year, but he had to sit on the bench with an injury and watched his Grizzlies become one of the hottest teams in the Playoffs and nearly got to the Conference Finals. Before his injury, he was having a solid year increasing his 3-point percentage, his rebounding, assists, blocks and steals from his prior season. There are rumors swirling that Rudy Gay is on the trading block because of the success that Memphis had without him.

4. Caron Butler. 15 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists. It was a bittersweet year for Caron. Like Rudy Gay, he watched his team from the sidelines as his team went on an epic run and win the Championship. He battled hard to get back on the court but was a few weeks short in his rehab. Caron improved his 3-point shooting drastically from .290 to a Ray Allen like .431. It is unsure if Dallas will resign Butler or trade him.

5. Ben Gordon. 11.2 points, 2.4 boards, 2.1 assists. Gordon just can’t find the starting lineup but when his does, he plays well. He only started 27 games and had a career low 11.2 points per game. He shot the ball and rebounded better then the year before but watched his minutes drop. For some reason teams feel Gordon is best as a sixth man but are paying him as a starter.

6. A.J. Price. 6.5 points, 2.2 assists, 1.4 rebounds. Price had a stellar second half of the year, getting some key minutes when the Pacers decided to go young. He was effective at the point and showed that he can be a suitable back up point guard, but isn’t likely to be a heavy minutes performer. His 3-point shooting was horrendous, hitting just .275 from deep. But when he played in the playoffs, he hit .438 from deep.

7. Rip Hamilton. 14.1 points, 2.3 boards, 3.1 assists. Rip is taking a lot of the blame for the debacle of the Pistons. He was benched for much of the season and didn’t give it his all for his new coach, but when he did get on the court, he showed that he still has a lot left in the tank. He is more than likely out of Detroit.

8. Charlie Villanueva. 11.1 points, 3.9 boards, .6 assists. Like Ben Gordon, Villanueva only started eleven games last season, but increased his field goal percentage, three point shooting, and had fewer turnovers. He was best known for his twitter spat with Kevin Garnett this season rather then his play on the court.

9. Jeff Adrien. 2.5 boards, 2.5 PPG. Adrien only played eight minutes in 23 games but proved that he could carry over his rebounding and defensive play that he displayed in the D-League into his limited minutes. He just needs a chance to display his skills. When he did get extended minutes versus Memphis, he had 10 points and 6 rebounds. With the pending lockout, Adrien felt that signing with an Italy team would be his best chance of keeping his NBA dream alive.

10. Hasheem Thabeet. 1.1 points, 1.6 boards, .3 blocks. Thabeet had a rough year. He barely got on the court in Memphis and then was traded to Houston where he didn’t play. He is running out of time and needs to have his game mature much faster then it has so far.

11. Kemba Walker. He will assuredly move quickly up this list but for now he is waiting for his chance to show his skills. He will have plenty of opportunity in Charlotte but it might take a year or two for him to take over a starting role.

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