|PER||PER Against (Net)|
|Ramon Sessions||17.80||15.00 (+2.8)|
Strengths: Getting to the rim in transition and in the half court is Sessions’ specialty — there are few players in the league who I’ve seen blitz the rim on a dead sprint like Sessions does. It ends in a lot of trips to the foul line — he was 11th in the league in FTA/game at 5.7. At 14.4 PPG, 33.2% of Sessions points throughout the season came from the foul line, so it’s clear how much he depended on getting whistles from night-to-night. He’s great at elevating and drawing contact towards the rim — At 6’3, Ramon can finish at the rim much more effectively than many point guards and he understands that, because 50.1% of Sessions FGA came from 5-feet or less this season. Surprisingly (or not) enough, he shot only 48.1% from this distance — that’s due to the fact the he’s worried as much about drawing contact and getting to the line as he is at actually making the shot. Getting to the foul line is simply in Sessions offensive DNA, and he’s good at it.
As fast as Kemba is in transition, Sessions is just as effective because of the way that he attacks the rim in straight line sprint. Ramon isn’t looking to create for others in transition very much, but he sprints at the rim like it’s home base and it makes it extremely difficult for defenders to make him change directions/cross his path.
Weaknesses: For starters, Sessions isn’t a good defender and doesn’t make it much of a priority. Although, his numbers would suggest that he’s not awful — Sessions allowed his opponents to average a PER of 15.00, which is exactly the league average. He’s capable of using his length against smaller guards and being difficult to shoot over, but he struggles to stay in front of smaller, quicker guards. The team and Sessions both benefit defensively when he’s in the game as a SG, therefore guarding other SG’s — with Ramon guarding PG’s, the team had a defensive rating of 107.9, but when he was defending SG’s, the number was drastically better at 103.1 (Per 82games.com). This is further evidence that he doesn’t have good lateral quickness at all, but can be a competent enough defender to force players near the same athletic ability as him into tough shots.
As good as Sessions is at getting to the foul line, he is a very one-dimensional player offensive and struggles to make adjustments. Before the all-star break, he was averaging 5.8 FTA/game and converting 85.5% of those. Post all-star break, teams began to adjust their defenses to keeping him away from the rim and Sessions only averaged 4.8 FTA/game — this clearly affected his overall offensive mindset as he converted just 72.1% of his FT’s and his 3FG% dropped to 26.7%.
That brings us to Sessions next weakness — outside shooting. He was 30.8% from 3-point range this season + isn’t comfortable taking the shot. The right and left foul line extended areas were the only mediocre areas for Sessions and his 3-point shooting — left foul line extended area: 10-25 (40%). Right foul line extended area: 12-36 (33.3%).
Reasons for Optimism: Well, he’ll be in Charlotte next season for the last year of his 2-year, $10mil deal — a great contract for the Bobcats to have during this rebuilding stretch. The likelihood of Sessions busting his tail this off-season and giving maximum effort on the court next season is very high due to the fact that this is a contract year coming up for him and at 27 years old he’s still in the category where a gaggle of teams would bid to overpay him — that’s assuming he has an impressive ’13-’14 season.
Dunlap reverted to Kemba/Sessions on the floor at the same time tons before Sessions was injured because they relied so much on the two for offense. We’ll have to see what happens with Hendo this summer, but it can be presumed that Sessions will have tons of pressure to score next season again, and will likely have to establish himself as more of a SG to find more time on the floor in Charlotte.
In short, at Sessions age and approaching a contract year, this could very well be the meat of his prime coming next season write the story on what his next step in the NBA will be.
Reasons for Pessimism: The shooting %, rebounding and assist numbers all dropped this season for Sessions. 11.1 FGA/game was a career high for him, but he’s been 44.1% from the field for his career and last season was quite a drop to 40.8%. It’s not something to be overly concerned about, because he did average a career high in PPG at 14.4 — that being said, there certainly wasn’t a direct correlation in how many points Sessions was scoring this season and how efficient he was doing it.
If the Bobcats re-sign Henderson, then that’s clearly stating that he’s the SG for the forseeable future in Charlotte — that demotes Sessions to strictly being the backup PG, presumably. If the team doesn’t bring Hendo back, which I believe will be the case, then I believe that Sessions will be used in many different fashions next season. He’s a 6’3 combo guard type of player that can wear many different masks on the floor, and will be asked to do that regardless of the personnel next season.