Oklahoma City Thunder: Numbers are proof of Eric Maynor's struggles

Whatever happened to that open competition at backup point guard? Could it be time for Thunder coach Scott Brooks to circle back to it?
by Darnell Mayberry Published: November 25, 2012
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photo - Oklahoma City 's Eric Maynor (6) goes against Golden State's Stephen Curry (30) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.  Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City 's Eric Maynor (6) goes against Golden State's Stephen Curry (30) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Golden State Warriors at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. Photo by Garett Fisbeck, The Oklahoman

Even that has resulted in only minimal success, mostly against inferior opponents.

The ugly truth is without James Harden, the Thunder's bench quickly has gone from a strength to a weakness. Maynor's return was expected to offset some of the inevitable drop-off, but no matter how you slice it Maynor's presence has contributed to the Thunder's problem more than its solution.

Maynor's player efficiency rating — a per-minute measure of production — currently is a career-low 8.00. The league average is 15.00. Maynor's rating is the sixth worst among all NBA point guards who have averaged at least six minutes.

Nearly every other pertinent statistic only substantiates that which is obvious on the court — Maynor is struggling mightily.

Opposing point guards, such as Leandro Barbosa, Eric Bledsoe and Jarrett Jack, have started pressuring Maynor the length of the court. Instead of darting past the overzealous defenders, Maynor often fumbles the ball and nearly gets forced into 8-second counts. Once past halfcourt, Maynor rarely creates as he once did. His assist ratio — the percentage of his possessions that end in an assist — is just 25 percent. That number was 42.5 percent last year, shattering this year's rate even while standing as his previous career low.

Maynor's lack of explosiveness also seems to be hurting him more than ever. At both ends. Although he never was a player who relied on athleticism, Maynor has been unable to turn it on when needed. It was most evident at New Orleans, when Maynor couldn't beat 6-foot-10 Hornets forward Ryan Anderson off the dribble. Perhaps that scene explains why Maynor is settling more for long range attempts, launching 1.7 3-pointers per game, rather than knifing into the painted area looking to create like only he can.

The season is still young, and the steady hand might soon return.

There have been flashes of the old Maynor, after all.

They've just been far too infrequent to not wonder whether a change should be in the works.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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