Is it just me, or is everyone wondering how Ruben Patterson could possibly have averaged almost 15 points per game last season? Or for that matter, how he could be at a respectable 17.5 points per 40 minutes for his career? Devoid of the tangible offensive skills some experts call 'shooting' and 'dribbling', you have to get a lot of passing-lane-steal-dunks to average 15 points a game, it seems to me.
As I mentioned the other day, he's been much worse in his limited time as a Clipper than at almost any other time in his career. His shooting percentage is way down, his free throw shooting is way down, and his turnovers are way up. Maybe the dislocated pinkie is really affecting him. But he has pretty much stunk so far this season. Though he has no game facing the basket, the Clippers for some reason continue to call his number, giving us all the pleasure of watching him force his way into the lane, usually forgetting the ball somewhere along the way. Has he scored on anything other than a fast break since the first game?
I never saw that much of Ruben on his other NBA teams. In limited minutes, he seemed like a positive factor coming off the bench. When he groused about playing time in Portland, I thought he was obnoxious - but I didn't necessarily think he was wrong. But after watching him every game for a couple weeks, it's pretty clear that he needs to be used in very small portions. He can contribute on defense against physical guards and wings. He can fill a lane on the break. But if you're featuring him in any way in your offense, it's a very bad sign. Which I guess explains at least in part why Milwaukee won 28 games last season - Ruben is simply never going to be the third best scorer on a good team.
If the Clippers injury troubles reduce them to starting Ruben Patterson much longer, it could be a very long season indeed.