Prior to the condensed 2011-2012 NBA season, Arron Afflalo was the Denver Nuggets‘ darling, he had intangibles that Coach George Karl held dear to his heart such as Arron’s work ethic, attitude, and drive. However, those descriptive terms never followed Afflalo as he entered last season out of shape, out of practice, and just out of it.
Arron Afflalo needs to step up his game this season or before he’s Nene-ed.
The Denver Nuggets have made it painfully obvious they have no qualms trading a complacent player and as an example we can look at when Denver traded Nene to the Washington Wizards. You may remember the enormous contract that Nene signed last year before the season commenced, but his lack of working out kept him sidelined for much of the season until he was dealt to Washington.
The much is same for Arron Afflalo; either he shapes up or ships out.
Afflalo signed a 5-year $43 million contract and Denver Nuggets fans expected a herculean Afflalo, but was disappointed when they saw another player entered the season mentally inept, however praise was given to Arron when he improved through the season and helped down the playoff stretch.
While his ppg improved from 12.6 over 69 games to 15.2 points over 62 games, his field goal % declined from 49.8% to 47.1% and a declined shooting percentage from beyond the arc from 42.3% to 39.8% from the 2010-2011 season to last season.
While the lockout season isn’t the best example of statistical value, you would have to be blind not to see Afflalo played most of the season in a diminished capacity.
However, I expect Afflalo will spend the rest of the off-season productively and return in October in basketball-ready condition.