This is the second installment of your 2012-13 Atlanta Hawks player profiles; where each article will be a quick look at a single player on the Hawks roster. We’ll break down their performance last season, and the role which they might fill in the upcoming NBA season. First we looked at Jordan Williams, who was coincidentally waived today (i’m guessing the Hawks didn’t read my profile and see all of the praise I showered him with), and up next we have DeShawn Stevenson.
Stevenson, a 6’5 swingman, is another one of the pieces that came over to the Hawks in the trade that sent Joe Johnson (insert random comment about his bad contract) to the Brooklyn Nets.
At this point in his career, Stevenson’s role has been limited to camping at the three point line. In fact, 84% (145 of 172) of all Stevenson’s shots last season were three pointers, despite only hitting 28% of shots from downtown. He will play a little defense when he feels up to the occasion. While he has the ability to lock down opposing players, as we’ve seen him do with multiple scorers in the past, (including LeBron James), last season it seemed as though Stevenson was more interested in studying opposing players tattoos than he was in playing defense.
High Point Of The 2011-12 Season- Despite starting 30 games last season – playing in 51 total – Stevenson only scored in double-digits three times all year.
In one of those three, Stevenson started and played a season-high 33 minutes and poured in a season-high 15 points on 5-13 shooting against the Toronto Raptors. Stevenson also outscored his defensive assignment, holding Rasual Butler to 11 points in a much anticipated head-to-head battle of guys who used to be alright at shooting threes, but definitely shouldn’t be starting anymore.
Low Point Of The 2011-12 Season- Home games.
I know what you’re thinking: Stevenson couldn’t have been much worse at home than he was on the road, could he? When you take into account the fact that he shot only 28% for the season, you would assume that his home shooting percentage
couldn’t possibly be much lower than that. Sadly, that assumption would be incorrect.
In 23 home games, Stevenson shot just 21% from the field (14/67) and 18% from three-point range, (10/57) while averaging a measly 1.9 points in just over 18 minutes a game.
3 Reasons Why Hawks Fans Should Be Happy-
1. With Stevenson in town joining notable mean-mugger Ivan Johnson on the bench, the Hawks now have a very intimidating pair of players to act as security in case any fans of the opposing team try to scoot down and sit in any unclaimed court-side seats.
2. The Hawks may have found their Mario West 2.0, a player who can be brought in for ten seconds at a time to lock down the opposing team’s best scorer. While Stevenson probably deserves more than ten seconds a game, this may be the only way to ensure that he doesn’t actually take any shots.
3. With Stevenson’s arrival in Atlanta, the city’s economy is set for a huge boom. I anticipate that by this time next year Atlanta’s fastest growing business might not be strip clubs, but rather tattoo parlors instead.
Strengths- When he feels like it, Stevenson still shows the ability to play strong on-ball defense and frustrate players into taking bad shots. He won’t back down from a challenge, and he is definitely somebody that you want on your side during a brawl.
Weaknesses- Since his back injury a few seasons back; Stevenson’s shot has been more inconsistent than ever, but it seems as though he has ignored that fact and continued to shoot nothing but three pointers. He doesn’t pass well and when he decides he wants to shoot, the ball won’t move.
2012-13 Season Outlook- Stevenson looks to be on the downward swing of his career despite being just 31 years old. While some fans around the league still think of him as a defensive stopper, that didn’t look to be as true last year as it has been in the past. On a team that is suddenly stocked with shooters, Stevenson will have to prove that he deserves to see the court by increasing his effort level on defense, as well as his shooting percentage. Another sub-30% shooting season and Stevenson will soon find himself struggling to stay on any roster in the league. Maybe a change of scenery to a more competitive team is just what Stevenson needs to motivate himself back into a more productive form.
2012-13 Projected Role- Depending on the lineups that Hawks coach Larry Drew decides to run with, Stevenson may see a few spot starts at small forward if the Hawks are looking to pinpoint a defensive matchup. Otherwise, I see Stevenson being one of the last wings off the bench and only being used when stops are needed defensively or the rest of the team is cold.
2012-13 Projected Stats- 90% of all his shot attempts being three pointers and more new tattoos this season than points per game.
Stay on the lookout for the rest of the 2012-13 Atlanta Hawks player profiles, as I will continue to go down the depth chart one by one until every player have been profiled. Below is my projected depth chart currently, though it is still a toss-up as to what the Hawks will do.
PG- Jeff Teague / Devin Harris
SG- Anthony Morrow / Louis Williams / John Jenkins
SF- Josh Smith / Kyle Korver / DeShawn Stevenson
PF- Al Horford / Ivan Johnson / Mike Scott
C- Zaza Pachulia / Johan Petro / Jordan Williams (Waived)
Up next is Johan Petro.