Well, not much, I guess…but enough that it is worth looking at. Mainly, Gerald Wallace is being less Crash-like this season. He is shooting the ball more, making fewer, turning the ball over more, and rebounding less. Put it all together, and it is not a good mix.
First thing I want to look at it Gerald's shooting: He is not doing it well…and he's doing it too much. Now, he has not regressed to Iversonian shooting percentages, but he is down to 45.1% from the floor this year, after making 50.2% last year. On the 3's the drop is less, 32.5% to 30.6%, but the effect is magnified as he is taking an extra 3 a game, 2.8 per game after 1.7 per last year. Put it together, and this year Gerald gets 1.53 points per shot, after putting up 1.57 last year. Not a huge difference, but when he is account for more of the team's attempts, it matters – the offense is scoring at a rate of 0.998 points per possession this year with Crash on the floor.
The second thing that Gerald is struggling with is turnovers – 3.6 turnovers per 40 minutes this after 2.2 in 2006-07. When considering that he is also taking more jump shots this year, this is a very surprising number – and very detrimental to the team – particularly when combined with this number: 2.0 assists per 40 minutes in 07-08, but 2.8 a year prior. Gerald seems to have forgotten that he got his new contract this past off-season – no need to gun for his own numbers now (and that is factorial, as Stephon Marbury would say).
The numbers that really jump out me and make me wonder what is going on with Gerald are his rebounding numbers: Only 5.5 rebounds per 40 minutes this year, after grabbing 7.8 per 40 last year. His offense rebounding has dropped by 50%, from 2.2 per 40 to 1.4. Crash, why aren't you crashing?
All of these changes have been for the worst, for Gerald and the team. All are contributing to poorer offensive production, as his shots are less efficient, he is giving the ball away more, keeping it less (offensive rebounds), and creating less for his teammates. I know Sam wanted him to be more careful so the team would not lose him to injury…but playing like he has is not what they need: They need him to play like the Crash of the second half of last season, if there is any hope of making the playoffs. Gerald – it is time to start earning your nickname again.
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