Name: Chris Douglas-Roberts
Birth Date: January 8, 1987 (age 22
Birth Place: Detroit, MI
College: University of Memphis
Drafted: 2008, 2nd round, 40th overall by New Jersey
Experience: 1 season
Contract: $736k in 2009-10
Chris Douglas-Roberts came into the NBA out of the University of Memphis with the reputation as a scorer. The problem was, until the latter part of the season when the Nets were already out of playoff contention, Douglas-Roberts wasn’t given many opportunities to show off his scoring ability on the court, and instead was probably best-known for the very public verbal berating he took from assistant coach Doug Overton in front of the media during a practice in January.
Still, once he started to get more consistent minutes, Douglas-Roberts started to show off why so many people were shocked that he slipped into the second round on draft night. In his 15 final games, Douglas-Roberts averaged 21 minutes a game and 10.1 points. A lot of those minutes came as a backup point guard, especially when Devin Harris was fighting injuries towards the end of the year, but Douglas-Roberts also played some shooting guard and small forward.
A frequent user of social media tool Twitter, Douglas-Roberts told his followers this summer that he would be used a bit more at the three this season. He certainly looked apt for the position during the summer league when he suited up with the Nets/76ers squad. He averaged 13.8 points in five games, all starts, but more notably shot over 50 percent, scored 69 points on only 40 shots and also got to the free throw line 35 times.
Doulgas-Roberts does his scoring from a number of spots on the floor. Coming into the NBA, Draft Express saw him as being most effective “off pin-downs and screens … a very good spot-up shooter, and that will open up drives for him.” But last year, he didn’t showcase any true area of strength in his offensive repertoire. According to 82games, about 49 percent of his shots are jumpers, and 51 percent are inside shots, a fairly even split. His effective field goal (eFG) percentage on jumpers was a sub-par 36 percentage, but he was better on the inside with 55 percent eFG. Only 12 of his 176 field goal attempts were threes, good for 25 percent. He was solid from the free throw line – something he probably wished he did better at Memphis – shooting 82 percent. Overall, his True Shooting (TS) percentage was 53 percent, ranked 46 out of 75 shooting guards who played 500 or more minutes last season, according to ESPN’s John Hollinger.
Douglas-Roberts was also charged with creating a number of his shots. Only 49 percent of his shots were assisted on, according to 82 games. And he had to create those shots without a lot use of the ball. His usage rate – the number of possessions a player uses per 40 minutes – of 17.5 was good for 37th out of 75 qualifying shooting guards. On multiple occasions last year, Draft Express referred to CDR’s ball-handling style as “loose” and though he wasn’t that turnover prone in college, that style caught up with him a bit in the NBA. His turnover ration – the percentage of a player’s possessions that ends in a turnover- of 10.8 was high for a two-guard (62nd out of 105 SGs, according to Hollinger), but was a bit better for a point guard (34th out of 78 qualified).
There was not a lot of hype about CDR’s defense coming into the NBA, despite his athleticism and long arm wingspan, but he still appeared to do the job against opposing players when he was on the floor. He held opposing point guards to a 14.8 player efficiency rating (PER) and a 49 percent eFG. When you account for his PER of 17.3 at the point guard position, that’s good for a differential of +2.5. Opposing shooting guards had a PER of 13.4 and a eFG of 50 percent, though CDR’s PER at the two was 13.2, good for a -.2 differential.
CDR’s long frame should probably make him a better rebounder than what he currently is as a backcourt player. His rebound rate – the percentage of missed shots a player rebounds – of 5.1 ranks him as61st out of 75 SGs who played more than 500 minutes last season.
Hollinger recently tapped CDR as a player to watch this coming season. “The (Vince)Carter trade created a great opportunity for Douglas-Roberts, who could establish himself as a sixth-man scoring ace given the paucity of other shot creators on the Nets' roster. As long as he can continue to create shots for his teammates in between the looks he gets for himself, the Nets will likely give him some opportunities to show what he can do,” Hollinger wrote. Nets General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe also heaped some praise on CDR this summer, saying at Tim Grgurich’s development camp, “he showed … that he really can score the basketball, and worked very hard. He’s really trying to expand his game, work on his ballhandling and outside shooting. You can see the work he’s put in over the summer.”
Doulgas-Roberts is going to be an interesting player to watch this season, and someone I think a lot of Nets fans is expecting to see some more playing time and improvement from in 2009-10. There is still reason to be skeptical. He doesn’t appear to have a true position in the NBA and he wasn’t a good enough shooter last year to warrant the heaping amounts of praise I think some Nets fans give him. Still, if used correctly, he could still evolve into one of those 6th man scoring guys that Hollinger is predicting he could be.
CDR, in his Memphis days shows off his crossover dribble:
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