Monday, October 8, 2012

Alumni Profile: Caron Butler

Looking Back: Caron Butler was coming off an injury plagued year with the Mavericks in which he saw his team win it all from the bench.  Soon after in free agency, Butler signed with the new look Clippers.  Everything looked to be set up for Butler to have a great season but for some reason his numbers were down across the board. His field goal and 3-point percentages sank, he only averaged 12 points a game, and he had a career low in rebounding.   Even with his low numbers, he entered the playoffs  healthy but it didn’t last. He suffered a broken hand in the first game of the playoffs, but living up to his nickname, Tough Juice, he came back and played well, but they didn’t have enough to get through the Spurs.

The Good: He isn’t named Tough Juice for no reason.  He plays injured, isn’t afraid of contact, and plays with a lot of heart.  He also has the most versatile game out of any UConn Alumni.  He can play on the block, has a mid-ranged jumper, is decent enough from 3-point range that a defender must respect it, uses the baseline well, and has a first step to attack the rim.  His size and athleticism creates mismatches against either the small or power forwards.  He is in the prime of his career now and should put up some career numbers going forward.

The Bad: He isn’t known for his defense or his rebounding prowess.  For his size, he should be a much better rebounder.  Also injuries have plagued his previous two seasons, though they were totally separate and the hand injury didn’t keep him sidelined for long.  He’s never been able to become that superstar that his talent says that he should be.  He has always been a contributor instead of taking the reins.

Looking Ahead:  Caron is heading into a season where he needs to improve across the board.  He has an All-World point guard that should get him the ball where he is most comfortable and he needs to take a more of an aggressive role in the team.  Its his second year with the Clippers and he should be used to Del Negro’s quirky offense which should make for a much better season for him.

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