Offense: DeShawn Stevenson is about as one-dimensional offensively as you get. When he’s on the floor, he’s good for one thing, spotting up behind the three-point line and heaving away. And while he drilled three-pointers at a respectable 38 percent clip last season with Dallas, he’s had some ghastly seasons shooting-wise in the past, so he’s definitely feast or famine. Don’t expect anything from this guy at the rim. Only 8 percent of his field goal attempts were within 10-feet last year, including zero dunks or putbacks, according to 82games.com.
Defense: This is where Stevenson has developed a reputation. He’s considered one of the better wing defenders in the NBA. In fact, because of his respectable three-point shooting last season, Dallas was able to start him throughout the NBA Finals, where he continued his long-running feud with LeBron James. While the NBA punditocracy insinuated that James “choked” in crunch-time last June, Stevenson patted himself and his persistent defensive effort on the back, claiming “LeBron checked out” after Game 4.
Statistically, Stevenson’s defense checks out. Dallas’ defensive efficiency was two points better with Stevenson on the court (104.8 per 100 possessions on court vs. 106.1 per 100 possessions off court) and opposing SG’s put up a Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 9.7 while Stevenson played, well below league average of 15.0. Again, because he plays so far away from the rim, don’t expect much in terms of rebounds from Stevenson, but considering Deron Williams publicly requested better wing defenders for the Nets in 2011-12, the guy with the $5 bill tattoo clearly has a role on this team as the season moves along.
2011-12 Outlook: After not being signed until the final days of training camp, Stevenson apparently showed up to Nets camp a little out of shape, so it might take a few weeks before he cracks the rotation with regularity. However, once he’s up to speed, expect to see Stevenson on the floor against the likes of LeBron and Carmelo Anthony. He’s an even better fit once/if Brook Lopez returns, since Stevenson can help space the floor offensively with his three-point shooting.