Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star has reported that Frank Vogel is making a change, presumably in hopes of sparking some life into a moribund bench: Bye bye DJ Augustin, hello HansBro, Jr.
I honestly can’t speak intelligently about whether or not Ben Hansbrough can handle even 10 minutes per game of playing point guard at this level. My first guess is no. Additionally, Wells has emphasized that Vogel says it he has decided to “make a change for the SHORT term and give Ben an opportunity.”
Regardless, Augustin has been abysmal in almost all facets of the game, so it honestly cannot get much worse.
DJ has shot 26.6% from the field this season and 21.3% from behind the arc. Meanwhile, he is leading the team with 6.2 three-point attempts per 36 minutes. That is entirely unacceptable. I will offer a minor caveat: the reserve offense has been so bad that he often finds himself with the ball and nothing better to do that punt the ball at the rim.
Still, he is the one, ya know, running said awful offense.
His shooting hasn’t even been the worst of it. His size issues have been more limiting than I even anticipated. The modern NBA, with its wingspan fetish and aggressive ball-handler double team blitzing, has made it a much bigger problem in 2012 for a player to be 6’0″ versus 6’2″.
But Augustin is just tiny and he has lacked the ability to either create better angles to pass the ball or sneak through confined spaces to exploit the over-aggressive defenders. He simply gets swallowed up all too often and spends precious ticks on the shot clock just dribbling away from what should be non-threatening defense just to see what exactly is happening in front of him.
The result has been missed opportunities, truncated possessions and a lot of bad shots taken late in the shot clock. Nothing fluid can happen in terms of ball or player movement when the process of initiating the offense becomes as difficult, time consuming and out of rhythm as it often has been with Augustin on the floor.
He faces related challenges on the defensive end of the floor, obviously. We knew this would be a problem coming into the season, but I suppose the front office figured his quickness and ability to create would be a large enough asset to counteract his defensive limitations.
I don’t think anyone would tell you that going to Ben Hansbrough is a move that may unleash some untold potential that he has. It is, to me, simply a vote of no confidence on DJ Augustin.
The alternative may be no better, but it’s hard to argue that a referendum wasn’t called for.