When the Knicks signed Chris Duhon for 2 years at $5M per year, more than one analyst accused the team of overpaying in free agency yet again. However looking at Duhon’s production over the year it’s hard to argue with the signing. The former Bull ran the offense (7.0 ast/36), shot efficiently (56.9% ts%), hit nearly 40 percent from downtown (39% 3p%), and played above average defense. Oh and he set the franchise record for assists in a game with 22.
But Duhon’s season wasn’t all positive. He still is a meager scorer (10.9 pts/36) who is limited when driving to the hoop. Occasionally the Knick point guard ventures into the paint, and passes up a wide open look in lieu of delivering the ball to a teammate on the perimeter. And while Duhon and Lee make a great pick & roll tandem, as the season wore on Duhon’s scoring deficiencies allowed other teams to focus on Lee and better defend the strategy. This year, Duhon’s turnovers per minute peaked at 2.8 to/36, mainly due to his scoring woes. Teams looked to stop the pass more when he had the ball.
When looking back on the 2009 season, Duhon will be remembered for transitioning from Stephon Marbury’s noxious hold on the team to D’Antoni’s ball-sharing paced offense. Duhon was the anti-Marbury: quiet, stable, defensively able, inept finishing around the hoop, unselfish with the ball. All in all, Duhon’s effect on the team was a positive one, but his deficiencies make him more suited for a reserve role than a starter playing upwards of 36 minutes. The team has more pressing needs this summer (namely center and shooting guard), but finding their point guard of the future would be a wise investment as well.
Report Card (5 point scale):
Final Grade: B+