Over the course of the offseason, Buckets Over Broadway will be doing year-end report cards of the New York Knicks roster. The roster experienced a decent amount of overhaul this season, so we’ll simply be covering the core players of the 2012-13 team. Players will be analyzed by their offense, defense, and overall contributions throughout the season. Next up is Chris Copeland.
Offense: Chris Copeland made the Knicks roster as a 28-year old rookie and delivered quite a few special moments, especially when it came to scoring the basketball. There are some holes in Copeland’s game, but time and time again he showed that he could score in this league.
His numbers aren’t eye-popping as he averaged only 8.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. But you have to look closer to see how god he really was at the offensive end of the floor. Per 36 minutes, he averaged more than 20 points and finished 13th in the NBA with a 42.1 percent three-point field goal percentage.
Yet somehow Mike Woodson found a way to bury Copeland on the bench as he averaged only 15.4 minutes per game. Even when the Knicks’ offense struggled mightily, Woodson left Copeland on the bench, especially in the postseason which was a head scratching move. However these grades are for the regular season only and Copeland showed he could play in the NBA, especially in the final six games of the season when he averaged 21 points and five rebounds in 34.5 minutes on 49-shooting from the floor and 46-percent from three.
He’s a guy who should have played more. Grade: B+
Defense: Now Copeland’s defense is a different story altogether. As good as he was at the offensive end of the floor; he was awful at times defensively. His defense and rebounding are real weaknesses in his game. Copeland could be the worst player in the league that is 6’8″ or bigger when it comes to rebounding. It is unexplainable ho a forward with that body size can’t compete on the glass.
Defensively, he had trouble guarding one-on-one as the opposition could easily get by Copeland. In addition, he gets lost in pick-and-roll situations far too often. However he worked on his defending and improved a little bit throughout the season, but not nearly enough. Grade: D+
Overall Grade: Copeland was fun to watch when he got his opportunities and unfortunately will get more than the $1 million qualifying offer the Knicks will be able to offer him as a free agent. Overall Grade: C+
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