2008-2009 Season Review: The Rookies – Ryan Anderson

All this Lawrence Frank talk has got me off track, well now we are back on track…Welcome to the season review series.  Here we will be taking a look back at a few themes of the season and evaluate them.  In our second edition of the rookie reviews, we are going to be taking a look at Ryan Anderson.

If you would have told me that Ryan Anderson was going to start 30 games for the Nets this year, I would have been surprised.  Not because I didn’t like him as a player, but when he was drafted last year with the 21st selection, I pictured Ryan Anderson as more of a Steve Novak/Jason Kapono type of player.  Someone who would come in, shoot some threes, and come out.

However that wasn’t the case, Ryan showed a more complete game than anyone thought he had this year, and for the final 30 games he was starting as our 4 (some of it was due to the poor play of Yi, but Ryan played well enough to earn the starts).

In his 19.9 minutes per game, Anderson averaged 7.4 PPG and 4.7 RPG, but what impressed me most was his ability to improve his ball handling throughout the year.  Now he is far from being a great ball handler, but if you look at his early games where he would catch, face, and either shoot or pass you can tell that he has come a long way in that department.

Ryan is a tweener and can play either the 3/4 but he has weaknesses in both spots.  If he were to play the 3, he is a little too slow to cover the quicker wing type players and when he plays the 4, most nights his lack of size leads to mismatches.  In my opinion, he needs to either work on his speed or his strength this offseason so he can break out of that tweener mold and have a set position.  I personally would love to see him playing the three next year that way we could have Vince Carter move back to the 2 (But this all depends on who we draft, if we draft a 3, Ryan will see most of his time at the 4 again this year).