After a little break in the action, time to get back to work. Hilton Armstrong's turn.
Positives: Increased his block rate from 3.2 to 3.6.
Negatives: Fouls/minute rate increased, eFG% took a terrible nosedive (54% to 45%), didn't improve his offensive rebound rate at all, defensive rebound rate decreased by nearly 1 board/100 possessions, turnover rate increased to a scary-bad 24.5%, almost no progress defensively as he was repeatedly schooled by back-up centers and power forwards (his biggest problem is probably playing defense with his hands and not his feet).
My Grade: 1, Explanation: I hate giving anybody a 1 given how well this team did. But how can you justify anything Hilton did this year? Other than blocks, he got disturbingly worse at every aspect of the game. Shooting, rebounding, fouling, defense in general... His PER finished at 7.7, down from 12.2. To put that in perspective, only 3 PF's or C's (with regular minutes) in the entire league did worse than that- the Collins bros and Francisco Elson. New Orleans already picked up the team option on Hilton a while back, and that's probably a good thing with the dearth of FA big men available.
You can point to Brandon Bass who had eerily similar numbers before breaking out for Dallas. He posted a 7.2 PER his second season, a regression from his rookie year. While Hilton shot 45% this season, Bass shot a pathetic 34 eFG%. With Bass, though, there were signs of a good player if you looked closely enough. He was able to sustain good turnover rates despite USG%'s higher than Hilton (15.6 and 17.2). He proved more willing to pass his second year, reflecting in his AST% rising from 1.8 to 2.8. And the sealer was his 22.8 and 21.9 DRB%. Those two numbers proved that he could bang down low despite giving up height. We simply refused to give Bass any significant playing time.
Hilton could become a good player. The signs just aren't there, as they were for Brandon. Personally, I think the Hornets will continue to give Hilton minutes because they don't want to repeat the Bass error. Ironic, huh?