It's the dawning of a new era in New Orleans basketball, and with so much attention paid to matters off the court this season, I believe it's time to evaluate how our franchise performed during its time on the court. As a result, I want to begin an evaluation of the front office, the roster and the coaching staff and see how they performed, what could happen going forward, and whether or not you approve of their job this season. Without further adieu, the next player we're going to look at is Al-Farouq Aminu.
Second season in the league (first with the Hornets) out of Wake Forest University (1 year, $2.9 Million left on contract; $3.7 Million team option for 2014)
66 Games, 21 Starts, 6.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 75.4 FT Pctg., 27.7 3PT FG Pctg., 41.1 FG Pctg., 10.6 PER, 93 Offensive Rating, 103 Defensive Rating
Best Game this Season: April 19th vs. Houston Rockets (17 Points, 8 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Steals in 32 minutes during a 105-99 Overtime victory)
Al-Farouq Aminu an enigmatic topic for me as I break down each player from the past season for the New Orleans Hornets. I feel like I cheer for Aminu and want him to do so well that I magnify a lot of his strengths in a game and seem to ignore a lot of his shortcomings. Unfortunately, there were plenty of shortcomings. Once the 8th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, Aminu started off hot his rookie season from beyond the three point line before struggling to do anything else for the rest of the season. Then, during the off season, Aminu was acquired by the Hornets in the infamous Chris Paul trade. So let's look at what Aminu did do on the court this season.
Aminu did not look for his shot at all this year and I believe that was a lot by design. I think he was so misplayed last year by Vinny Del Negro and the Clippers that Monty Williams had to completely reinvent Aminu as if last season never happened. Looking at just his raw numbers, Aminu improved on his shot selection, his shooting percentage and his all around game including his rebounding and assists. But his numbers were so poor his rookie season that it didn't necessarily take a lot for much improvement.
Aminu's advanced statistics show a more realistic evaluation of his season as you notice that his true shooting% and efficiency field goal% were actually down from last year. It would appear that the lack of shots helped Aminu's raw numbers improve but that he still didn't get better this year as an offensive prospect. One thing Aminu did do really well for his position was his rebounding. He had a true rebounding% of 12.4 which was good enough to be tied for fourth amongst all the players at his position (only behind Shawn Marion, Matt Barnes and LeBron James). Aminu also improved over last season with his steal% and block%. All in all, he's obviously shown growth but hasn't yet matured into a good player.
Aminu also has a huge problem with turning the ball over and struggles with finding his place out there on the court sometimes. Aminu did show marked improvement once he was inserted into the starting line-up to end the season and the hope should be that he can become a good to very good rotation player for the Hornets next year. But it's a pivotal off season for him as it relates to his future potential. If Aminu wants to become a basketball player and not just an athlete, he'll have to improve on his game.