Last years signing of Aaron Afflalo was reviewed as a very smart move. However the end results were not so positive. While Afflalo’s numbers were decent, he often shot the ball way too much.
Aaron Afflalo – 12 Points per game
44% from the Field
38% from 3
Afflalo often drew the eerie of Knicks fans who expected so much more. While his offense left much to be questioned his defense was not much better. This is reflected in Afflalo’s PER which was a 10.9 as a Knicks (15 is leauge average).
The 30 year old Compton native was often beat off the dribble by much younger and quicker guards. At best he was an average defender.
Afflalo’s Box plus/minus numbers indicted what we all knew about double A, he was bad. Aaron posted a -2.4 (+0.0 is league average). So by any way you look at it Aaron wasn’t a leauge average player, he was worse.
However don’t tell that to Afflalo who thought he was still a top tier guard.
“I still believe I’m one of the premier two-guards in this league and part of being an elite two-guard in this league is opportunity,” he said. “You have to be in a certain environment where you can excel and show what you can do. And hopefully that contributes to winning. I still believe I’m that player. I’ll find the best opportunity for me.” -Aaron Afflalo
That’s a far fetch from what Courtney Lee had to say about the Knicks and his own play.
“…[Coach Hornacek] wants me to bring energy on the defensive end. I kind of feel like me and Noah will be similar in that standpoint, bringing that energy. He’ll be a rim protector and I’ll be a perimeter defender, and we just want to cause as much havoc as possible for opponents. Then, on the offensive end, they just want me to be able to spread the floor, knock down open shots, get out in transition and play freely within the offense.”
Afflalo seems more hell bent on getting his money and getting his touches on offense.
Lee just wants to defend and win.
Lee is what Afflalo should have been, a 3-D glue player. Someone who isnt afraid to do the dirty work. Someone who doesn’t care about his touches on offense.
So there’s no mistaking Lee with Afflalo, but don’t take my word for it let’s look at the numbers with the Hornets.
Courtney Lee- plus/minus 0.2
39% from 3
All those number are better then Afflalo’s, yet not once did Lee mention himself as a “premier guard”. Lee knows his limits and he knows his game. Something Aaron Afflalo obviously didn’t know.
Phil and the Knicks are hoping for a improvement by picking Lee over Afflalo, and if the stats are right they have improved. Everything looks good on paper by now it’s time for us see what Lee is really about.