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Season Report Card: Jeff Adrien

PER PER Against (Net)
Jeff Adrien 13.39 16.49 (-3.1)

Strengths: Well, his strength. Literally, Adrien is very strong and can body up with most players in this league around the basket. He moves very well, is fairly quick for his size and has good lateral quickness — combine that to go with his powerful frame and it makes for an above average defensive PF in this league. In fact, Adrien may have been the closest to a defensive anchor as the Bobcats had in the paint this season — Charlotte finished the season with a 108.9 Defensive Rating, but with Adrien on the floor the team had a rating of 106.4 — to go along with Adrien’s physical attributes, he’s a very smart team defense player, usually in the correct position on the floor. Adrien also is a great PnR defender — his quickness & strength allow him to hedge hard and recover, but also sag under and contest a shot quickly if needed.

43.4% of Adrien’s FGA came ‘Around the Basket’ (less than 5-feet) — he was 47.9% from this area, which isn’t great — a lot of that has to do with the fact that he’s only 6’7 and drastically undersized for his position. The positive here, though, is that Adrien is committed to attacking the rim to find the majority of his offense. 28.5% of his FGA came from ‘Mid-Range’ (15-19 feet), where he converted on only 35.4% — this certainly shouldn’t be categorized as a strength, but the fact that he’s not shy about taking this mid-range jumper is a plus. That being said, if he wants defenders to respect him and, in turn, make himself a much more versatile offensive player, he’s got to improve the mid-range jump shot.

Weaknesses: This would require me basically to pick up where I just left off. Adrien doesn’t have a good offensive game, but it doesn’t appear to be because he’s incompetent. 42.9% from the field for a player that lives around the basket is not awesome, to say the least, but Adrien is undersized — which limits him around the rim. On top of that, he doesn’t have a consistent jump shot to pull defenders away from the basket and hang his hat on. Adrien’s jumper has a bit of a hitch in it and it’s apparent that he’s still not overly comfortable taking the shot. If he’s able to find his stroke and consistently knock down a 10-20 foot jumper, his game will begin to flourish — that remains to be seen.

Adrien is also a below average free throw shooter, although he did make a vast improvement on those numbers this season. In his first two seasons in the league he shot a respective 57.9% & 58.3%, but last season Adrien improved to 65% on about 0.4 more attempts/game.

Reasons for Optimism: I think they’re a ton of them — he’s the type of rugged, physical and drag out scrapper that every NBA team could use. Those qualities will all but likely (barring injury) keep this guy in the league well into his 30’s (27 currently). On top of that, if Adrien can make some progress on the offensive end and sharpen the blade on some go-to moves around the basket, he’s got the ability to be a solid rotation player in this league — consistently. If I were Adrien, I’d be studying tape on guys like David West and Carl Landry constantly.

I really hope that the Bobcats decide to keep Adrien around for ’13-’14. He’s technically on the books for about $915,000 next season on a league minimum deal, but the contract is fully unguaranteed, so we’ll have to see what the team decides.

Reasons for Pessimism: I really like Adrien as a player and the role that he can play for many teams for years to come. Let’s not take it out of context, I don’t think Jeff Adrien is Lebron James, but I really like his game and believe he’s got a higher probability to get better than worse from this point.

The other pessimistic thought would be that the front office wouldn’t bring him back for what would be no hair off their back financially. Considering how Rod Higgins has made all my dreams come true over the years, well, you get the drift.