Player Capsules 2012, #319-321: Mike Dunleavy, Rip Hamilton, Kobe Bryant

As our summer mainstay, Aaron was writing a 370-part series discussing almost every notable player who was -- as of last season -- getting minutes in the NBA. As the summer dies down and the leaves turn, this quixotic quest of a series has happily reached the last third. But it's certainly not done yet! Today we continue with Mike Dunleavy, Rip Hamilton, and Kobe Bryant.

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Follow Mike Dunleavy by going to Duke. ... Actually, don't.

Mike Dunleavy is one of the quietly effective NBA players you might miss if you aren't paying attention. You might be shocked to know that with the sole exception of his 3-9 foot floater (in roughly the 60th percentile), Dunleavy shoots in the top 25% of wing players from every single range on the floor. He converted 67% at the rim, 46% from midrange, 44% from the long two, and an absolutely blistering 40% from three last season. All extremely good. He compounded that by making over 80% of his free throws and getting to the line 2.6 times a game, slightly above the average for wing players. He produced 1.08 points per possession for last year's Bucks, and despite the Bucks' relatively shaky offense for much of the year, ended up with efficiency numbers that would indicate he's one of the top offensive players in the game. Unfortunately, that isn't quite accurate -- late-career Dunleavy's always been a bit too passive of a player on offense, and that was true again last season as he posted a usage percentage of just 19%, well below average. He also was a well-below-average rebounder, hurting his team on the glass without providing the extra box-out advantages you'd get from a player like Epke Udoh.

Still, the man's effective. He gets most of his offense as a catch-and-shoot option, floating around the court on offense in an effort to space the floor as a threat. The vast majority of Dunleavy's shots are assisted -- last year, for instance, he was assisted on a startlingly high 83% of his shots taken. But that's by design. Few plays are ran specifically for Dunleavy, he's just employed as a useful and efficient option that can get his shot off despite a strong close-out and makes any open shot the opposing defense gives him from virtually anywhere. I'm rather undecided as to whether Skiles has been using him entirely correctly or not -- while he's been better with Skiles than he was in his last few seasons with Indiana, when a player is as efficient and effective as Dunleavy was last season for an offense that (prior to the Ellis trade) was about as dismal and low-down as you can get, I think it's generally a coach's responsibility to run more plays for the one efficient mainstay. You may harm the player's overall efficiency, but a slightly less efficient Dunleavy shot was a lot better than yet another awful Drew Gooden 20 foot brick, right? I also understand that Dunleavy isn't a good defender (he's pretty awful), but it's not like you're subbing him out with Mbah a Moute -- Dunleavy and Delfino tended to play the large wing spot in Milwaukee last year, and Delfino was just about as awful defensively as Dunleavy is, if not a slight bit worse. But when your offense is your main problem, getting minutes for guys like Dunleavy becomes key.

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