This season has been a nightmare for Jared Dudley. Traded for the in the summertime alongside J.J. Redick to provide a dynamic threat from long range that compliments the game of Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but that vision has been broken due to several injuries and poor play.
The first sign of decline for Dudley’s time as a prominent Clippers rotation player came when Doc Rivers decided to move Matt Barnes into the starting lineup due to Dudley’s struggle. Next came the additions of Hedo Turkoglu and Danny Granger to offset Dudley’s poor play. Following that, Dudley suffered an injury that sidelined him for a few games, but with the play from Granger improving and Turkoglu getting his legs under him, things looked dim for Dudley going forward.
Look at this chart to see the drop in minutes as Dudley’s season progresses.
Yes, that .15 represents how many seconds Dudley has played since returning from the spasms. Though one game isn’t a significant sample size to think that he’s fallen out of the rotation, other factors prove his slippage has become a reality.
First is Doc Rivers comments on Dudley’s minutes. “He’s just not in the rotation right now,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s healthy and working his way back. At some point he’ll be back in and helping us. I really believe that.”
Second is the fact that, since his return, Dudley has only appeared in one of the five games he’s been active for, the one being his first game back versus the Golden State Warriors where he notched 15 seconds of garbage time. Four DNP-Coaches Decision’s followed soon followed. In that same five-game time period, Danny Granger has averaged 19 minutes per game and Hedo Turkoglu has averaged 8.4 minutes per game.
In Rivers comment above, he didn’t shut the door on Dudley breaking back into the rotation. And for good reasons. When healthy and playing like the player the team expected him to be, he’s easily the better player over Hedo Turkoglu. Dudley is superior from the three-point line and on the defensive end while Hedo possess a knack for playmaking that Dudley has never shown throughout his career.
If Dudley’s confidence improves and his play follows suite, Hedo’s minutes are who he’ll cut into, but there’s no guarantee based on how he’s played throughout the season.
“We’re a team that’s deep,” said Dudley on his minutes decline. “We’re a team that can go far and everyone’s just got be ready and wait for your opportunity.”
With newcomers cutting into the available 240 minutes, Jared Dudley isn’t the only Clippers player whose minutes have dropped drastically. Since Glen Davis made his Clippers debut, Ryan Hollins has become quite the after thought. In 11 games Davis has averaged 13.9 minutes while Hollins has appeared in five games and averaged 3.9 minutes per game in that span, a drop from the 8.3 minutes he averaged prior to the 26th of February.
Unlike Dudley, there is little chance that Hollins creeps back into the rotation barring injury. Between the trio of Davis, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan combined with Hedo Turkoglu and Danny Granger’s ability to play the stretch four it leaves no room for Hollins to become a rotation player.