What's the deal with Chase Budinger?
When one thinks of Budinger, they may think; "Oh, yea, he's got the ability to spread the floor and knockdown the three point shot."
That's a fair assumption - Budinger has shot 36 percent from beyond-the-arc during his career. However, since joining the Minnesota Timberwolves, he's yet to shoot 35 percent from the three point line. Budinger has battled injuries over the previous few years. The proverbial wear and tear may be contributing to his struggles.
All indications lead me to believe he's healthy enough to play basketball, he's just not playing very well.
Because of multiple knee surgeries we won't know if Budinger will ever play as well as he did while with the Houston Rockets. So, for the sake of this 'experiment' (if you want to call it that) pretend as if his time in Houston never happened. I'm not even going to venture back in time past last season.
What we've seen thus far this year is an incredibly small sample. Budinger could just be off to a slow start. We don't know. Nobody knows. But someone on Twitter thought this would actually be a good article so here I am writing it.
*types in NBA.com*
*Types Chase Budinger in search bar*
*Clicks 'Season Statistics and Notes'*
*Clicks 'Stats Profile' for Chase Budinger*
It states here, last season, Budinger played in 41 games with the Timberwolves and finished the year shooting 35 percent on three point attempts while connecting on 100 of 254 field goal attempts overall. Here is his shot chart.
As you can see there was no area where Budinger really flourished. He finished below or around league average in all 14 of the above areas.
This season, Budinger has played 27 minutes and is 0-of-10 from the field in that span. He's one-of-two from the free throw line, has tallied eight defensive rebounds and zero offensive rebounds and recorded zero steals, zero blocks and zero assists. On the plus side, Budinger has yet to commit a turnover.
Let's look at his shot chart through the first four games.
Nope. This one doesn't look very good. But stats and charts don't always tell the real story. So, we can look at the tape.
Budinger shot attempts, how did he miss? Here's a link where you can view all of his shot attempts.
Attempt #1: Short (hit the front of the rim.)
Attempt #2: Off the back of the iron.
Attempt #3: Short (hit the front of the rim.)
Attempt #4: (After double-clutching) Short - This was an attempt to beat the buzzer at the end of the Wolves season opener against the Memphis Grizzlies. This shouldn't count is what I'm saying.
Attempt #5: Short - (an airball)
Attempt #6: Too strong on a layup attempt.
Attempt #7: Miami Heat play-by-play announcer describes: "He airballed a hook from about five feet away."
Attempt #8: Shot is blocked from behind and the ball goes out of bounds.
Attempt #9: Short (hit the front of the rim.)
Attempt #10: A turnaround jump shot missed and clanks off the back of the back of the rim.
5 of the 10 shot attempts are short. Maybe he's still getting his legs back. Maybe this is coincidental. Again: This is a small sample.
*Opens new tab*
*Types in Basketball.RealGM.com*
*Searches Chase Budinger*
*Scrolls down to preseason stats*
Let's not forget: Budinger averaged 10 points per game during the preseason. In six exhibition appearances, he shot 49 percent from the field and 47 percent from behind the three point line. So, granted those games didn't count, Budinger has played solid basketball within the last few months.
Remember, Flip Saunders said before the year Budinger and JJ Barea were some of the best players at training camp. At Dunks After Dark, Budinger was cutting and shooting well and, from my perspective, appeared to be healthy.
Unless Saunders inserts Budinger into the rotation on a consistent basis, I don't think it's really fair to assess his performance thus far this season. We'll see if it improves in due time.