When Chris Paul was traded away, the New Orleans Hornets began the process of rebuilding their franchise. One of the obvious big steps that they took as a part of rebuilding was when they drafted Anthony Davis with the first selection of the 2012 NBA Draft. However, another big move that they made was to sign Ryan Anderson.
For the 53 games that Anderson played before the All-Star break, he seemed every bit like the player the Hornets had hoped he would be. He was averaging 17.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and was shooting 44.2 percent from the field while shooting a fantastic 40.2 percent from long range. Anderson looked like he could definitely be the big-man that could stretch the defense like New Orleans wanted him to be.
However, the 16 games that he’s played since the All-Star break have been a completely different narrative. In that time he’s averaged just 14.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. The most disappointing part of his performance over the past month, though, has been his efficiency. In those 16 games his field goal percentage has dropped to 40.7 percent and his three point percentage has dropped to 32.2 percent. Not only are those percentages lower than what he was shooting before the All-Star break, they’re also not good for anyone.
Anderson was brought into New Orleans to stretch the floor and, when he’s effective, to really open up the interior for Davis. When he’s playing like he has over the past few weeks, however, he’s just an inefficient player that doesn’t bring much value to a professional basketball team.
If Anderson wants to develop a firm place within the Hornets organization, he has to be able to sustain the type of production that he was delivering in the first part of the season. The way he’s been playing lately just isn’t going to cut it in the long run. There’s no denying that he has the talent to be effective, but he needs to find whatever it was that was making him play so well before that he’s not doing now.