On Monday, the Charlotte Bobcats elected to roll with Jeff Adrien instead of Hakim Warrick in their starting lineup against the Chicago Bulls. Adrien was sure to seize the opportunity that was in front of him.
Adrien finished the night with 14 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks on 71.4 percent shooting from the field in 35 minutes of play. Warrick ended up not playing in the game, but had only been averaging 8.4 points and 3.3 rebounds on 42.3 percent shooting in the month of January.
The third year forward, Adrien, not only was able to notch his first career double-double, but he also relentlessly pounded the glass and was able to hold Bulls forward Carlos Boozer to only 14 points.
Before this season, Adrien was relatively unutilized in each season he spent with the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, playing in only 31 games combined and never averaging more than 2.6 points or 2.1 rebounds per game for a season.
But being a part of the Bobcats’ backcourt that has struggled for much of the season, his rebounding and defensive effort, as well as his efficient offense, could be welcomed additions in Charlotte.
On the season, Adrien is shooting 47.1 percent from the field and averaging 4.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in only 15 minutes per contest. That means his per-36 minute averages are 10.1 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
In January, Warrick, whom Adrien is replacing, is averaging 14.8 points, 5.8 boards and 0.2 blocks per-36 minutes and, once again, only shooting 42.3 percent from the field.
So in comparison, Adrien’s scoring output might not be as high as Warrick’s, but he scores more efficiently, something Charlotte needs as they rank 28th in the NBA in field goal percentage.
Adrien also obviously rebounds at a higher rate and plays much more tenacious defense than Warrick. Those both address weaknesses of the Bobcats, as they rank 27th in the league with a -3.5 rebounding differential and 28th in the league in opposing points per game, allowing 102.9 points per contest.
With all of that, the move to go with Adrien instead of Warrick seems to be a smart one. He provides the team with energy and toughness in the post, as well as smart positioning and shot selection.
Moving forward, if Adrien is able to produce the way he did against the Bulls, he will undoubtedly take the role from Warrick permanently and be a valuable asset for Charlotte as they trudge through the rest of the season.