It’s amazing how Quentin Richardson’s 2009 season lines up with his career stats. Except for minor improvements in shooting and minor declines in rebounding, points scored, and free throw attempts, the two are identical.
Earlier in his career, Richardson was a more prolific scorer (16.8 pts/36 over his first 4 seasons) but it seems that injuries has robbed him of that ability (13.1 pts/36 since). These days Richardson’s main strength is his rebounding. He does try hard in other areas, including exerting effort on defense, but he’s just not very good at anything else. His three point shooting was at the league level (36.5%), but his overall offensive efficiency was way below it (TS%: 51.0%). The Knicks other swingmen, Chandler and Hughes, are both weak scorers around the hoop, yet they were still better at scoring from “close” (as defined by 82games). Of the three, Richardson had the lowest percentage made of “close” shots (eFG 51.1%) and the highest percentage of “close” shots blocked (17%). Quentin also sported the team’s lowest ratio of free throws made to field goals attempted (.13), a clear sign of poor inside scoring.
The problem wasn’t so much Richardson, but rather the Knicks’ reliance on him. Since coming to New York Q-Rich has started 85% of the games in which he appeared, including 51 of 72 last year. Wearing orange and blue, Richardson has averaged 28 minutes per game, far too much for someone approaching 29 with a moderate skill set.
For 2010 the goal should be to find a shooting guard that will allow Chandler to slide over to forward, or to get Gallo healthy enough for significant minutes at the three. Either of these should limit the time Richardson is on the floor. The Knicks were able to move Richardson this offseason for Darko Milicic to bolster the center position. This likely will open things up for Danilo Gallinari to assume more minutes at small forward.
Report Card (5 point scale):