Ryan Gomes is Mister Grin. He always has that stupid grin on his face when he’s on the court, on the bench, in an interview, and probably while sleeping.
He is also the source of the anger of many citizens of Clipsnation. When all that cap space was cleared this summer, the biggest need of the Clippers was a really good small forward. Lebron James, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay were all on the market. If not them then at least someone productive. But the Clippers end up with another player that used to be on the Minnesota Timberwolves. And Mister Grin here has not really been of much help because he always gets open shots but is too hesitant to shoot and would rather opt for a pass instead.
After the win over the Miami Heat last Wednesday, the great former Clipper blogger Kevin Arnovitz wrote an excellent article showcasing the intelligence of Ryan Gomes. Here’s a really good quote by Gomes, provided by KA.
We moved the ball well and we were cutting. We know they show on their pick-and-rolls hard and they rotate the bottom guy. So what we did was, when they rotated, we made sure we had the center or another guard go into the middle of the paint. That’s how we got them a little lost and create open looks for everyone. That was our scheme tonight.
And here’s another quote by Ryan Gomes, also provided by KA.
What we did was push up on the screens. They like to run a lot of angle pick-and-rolls and side pick-and-rolls. So we pushed up with our big men and made them take wider angles. That forces them to take perimeter shots. We know they have Ilgauksas, who can pop, and Bosh who can pop and hit jump shots. But we have to clog the paint – especially on LeBron. We don’t want him to get down the middle of the lane because that’s where they get in, throw pitch-back passes, dunks. They also do a lot in transition, so we made sure we had guys back every time a shot went up.
Those are quotes made by our marquee small forward. Reading those quotes makes you think that Gomes can become a great assistant coach in the future or scout. He’s into the chalk part of the game and it shows. And one might even think that Ryan Gomes is great at reading opponents while on the court which is why he gets a lot of playing time despite his inefficiency to actually provide quality offense. His defense has been pretty average too. Some games he provides good coverage over his opponents like the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder where he shut down Kevin Durant. Other games, he let his opponents rain shots from all over the court like the first two games against the Golden State Warriors where Dorell Wright scored 24 and 27. Being able to read the opponents offensive and defensive schemes though is a really good skill and is not something to take for granted.
It is just infuriating after reading that article, I thought “Yeah, Ryan Gomes is a good player on the team and is good on the starting lineup.” Especially after a nice showing against the dreadful Miami Heat. Then the next game against the Golden State Warriors again, Ryan Gomes showed up and played 40 minutes.
In 40 minutes Ryan Gomes had:
How does an NBA player only score 2 points in 40 minutes of playing time. In those 40 minutes, he only took 6 shots. Granted, I did not watch the game and cannot really say what happened but the boxscore shows a player who was second in minutes played on his team and was not able to produce. The Clippers were also playing the Warriors, a fast paced team that pushes the tempo and barely plays any defense. And the most Ryan Gomes was able to do was take 6 shots and only make one. This would have been a perfect opportunity to go ape shit all over the Warriors. The only positive I saw from him this game was that he held Dorell Wright to only 11 points.
Ryan Gomes needs to stop teasing Clipsnation that he can be a nice productive starting small forward and start being more consistent and aggressive instead of inconsistent and passive. There’s a reason all the fans are clamoring for a better small forward. Ryan Gomes needs to be able to step up and show us that the Clippers already have a good small forward and does not need to trade for a Gerald Wallace or Danny Granger player.