Traded to the Lakers along with Dwight Howard and Earl Clark, Chris Duhon didn’t have a lot of work to do a majority of the season. The 6-foot-1 point guard found himself stuck behind a large guard rotation, and despite Nash falling due to multiple injuries, Duhon never really gained a lot of playing time, only nabbing nine starts and 46 appearances in the season.
Regular Season Grade: C
Despite grabbing minuscule minutes, Duhon did record one double-double against Utah on December 9, scoring 12 points with 11 assists. His minutes increased in the months of November and December, averaging around 25 per game, due to the injuries to multiple guards. This time gave him multiple opportunities to bulk up his field goal percentages, but unfortunately, they only seemed to dwindle down, possibly due to Kobe Bryant stepping up in situations when Duhon was on the floor. Not a lot of assists or playmaking originated from the guard either, making his regular season performance one to really forget.
In the last three months of the regular season, almost every appearance Duhon made came in single digits of minutes, with 4 minutes not really being enough time to make any sort of positive impact to a side. One of the players being thrown on the floor in closing seconds for starters to avoid injury in an already assumed victory, Duhon only made 43 of his 123 shots in the regular season, shooting 38.2 percent. He also scored less than half of his free throw attempts, and only a third of his 91 three-point shots. Also, out of 46 appearances, Duhon committed a massive 40 turnovers the whole season.
Playoff Grade: B
Duhon didn’t play at all the first two games of playoffs, but as injuries continued to pile up, so did his minutes. He played a season high 43 minutes in the Lakers’ Game 4 loss to the Spurs on Sunday, scoring 11 points while shooting 4-10 from the field. He also added seven assists, which was pretty impressive for a guy who had been a bench warmer for the majority of the season.
No performance from Duhon could have really saved the Lakers from their inevitable downfall and exit from the postseason, but the effort and ability to convert a decent performance in the plethora of minutes that were thrown at him was definitely a sight to see.
Overall Grade: C+
It’s difficult to find yourself in game ready shape when you never really have the opportunity to play a lot of minutes on average, but Duhon definitely needs to figure some of his statistics out in order to place himself higher in the Lakers’ rotation. The turnovers and mediocre shooting were painful to tally. Especially toward the end of the season with multiple players dropping out, Duhon sort of took the opportunity to shine, but better shooting habits could have definitely made a name for this guy.
It is unknown as of right now what will happen in the guard situation next season, but seeing Duhon move into a higher rotation that soon is definitely unlikely. Already 30 years of age, if any sort of trade or free agent signing happens with point guards, Duhon will only be pushed farther back into the lineup. As of now, he should focus on staying healthy and discovering what the keys are to improving his minutes, because clearly the guards in Los Angeles have a difficult time keeping their bodies well enough to be on the floor.