The Los Angeles Clippers have newly acquired Jared Dudley listed as a guard-forward, but the Clippers roster would suggest they can use some help at small forward, where Dudley might fit in nicely. But if that’s the case, he’s going to have to pick up his rebounding big time.
Dudley’s last two seasons with the Phoenix Suns were his bests, but the Suns struggled with a 25-57 ball team last season. Dudley realizes being with a better team could help him boost his performances. The Clippers are counting on it.
Dudley doesn’t necessarily play his best basketball as a starter, although he did start 110 of the 149 Suns games he appeared in over the last two seasons. A year ago, he averaged 27.5 minutes, 10.9 rebounds and 3.1 rebounds a game and shot 46.8 percent. The Suns would prefer, however, that he duplicate his 2011-12 season when he averaged 31.1 minutes, 12.7 points and 4.6 rebounds a game with a shooting percentage of 46.8.
The Clippers need Dudley to keep scoring and increase his rebounding if they’re to be a factor in the NBA playoffs. One plus about coming to the Clippers for Dudley is that new coach Doc Rivers hired Alvin Gentry as his associate head coach. Gentry coached in Phoenix, and Dudley knows this offense very well.
The biggest plus for Dudley is that he goes from a team that won 25 games last season to a franchise that now is taking dead aim at an NBA title. They need more depth in all areas, and Dudley is going to give them some good numbers, especially on offense.