Today we continue our work down the bench. I hope you enjoyed OJ ATM's post on the front page and do hope you'll continue to visit it. We'll be taking a look at Carlos Delfino (Or Delfineo or DelTHREEno if you will) and what he brought to the Rockets. Carlos signed a two-year deal last season at three million dollars a year. Delfino was asked to bring veteran presence and some semblance of stability to the bench. Most importantly Carlos contributed to the Rockets requirement of one Argentinian on the roster at all times. He came to the team known for defense and streaky three point shooting. Throughout the year he actually brought both of those things.
On the year Carlos gave the Rockets (rounded) 11 points/3 rebounds/and 2 assists a game. Not bad from your back up shooting guard/small forward.
Behind those numbers Delfino saw an increase in his usage (Up 3% to 18.6%) and actually improved on his true shooting percentage by 3% as well to 55%. Carlos assisted on 13% of available plays while limiting turnovers to only 10% of his plays (Good for only 1 a game). He contributed to 3.5 wins posting a Win Share per 48 stat of .101. Defensively we saw Delfino contribute a 107 rating which places him on Jeremy Lin's level defensively (Of all players so far reviewed). For three million a year I'm not sure you can ask much more of a guy despite the complaints the fans leveled at him all season.
Shooting. Carlos was streaky at it and no excuses can be made for it. Consequently no explanation is needed for it if you read the dossier on the guy when he was signed. He was not a consistent three-point shooter but a streaky one. Coming off the bench it is completely fine to be inconsistent with the three-point shot so long as you play defense to compensate for those times when the shot's not falling. Delfino knew his position on the NBA court and he stuck to it well. Delfino shot the Rockets into more games than he shot them out of and at the end of the day, isn't that what you want from your bench? A net gain was made available through him and it helped. His true shooting percentage reflects a guy taking and hitting the important shots at a fair clip. He shot the free throw at an 86% rate but when the majority of your shots are beyond the arc that stat is relatively meaningless. Let's face it, as well, he gave us the poster of Kevin Durant in the post-season and that was incredible.
Defense. Now, I know I said earlier that Delfino knew to play defense when his shot wasn't falling. Sadly, that wasn't always the case as Delfino's defense wound up being just as inconsistent as his shooting on several nights. Parsons got a break with his 108 defensive rating due to the nature of his tough assignments on defense. Delfino gets a little bit of that break but nowhere near to the same degree. Carlos was placed on the court in a reserve capacity to defend and shoot. What that responsibility dictates is that the player exert a great deal of energy on the defensive end as shooting the three didn't require a similar degree of effort. Delfino gave the Rockets 25 minutes a game and a high level of defensive intensity cannot be expected for all 25 minutes but in a reserve capacity it should have been present for the majority of it. Carlos's defense was mired with random lapses at the worst possible times and tough match ups in the Rockets small ball lineup (Delfino at the 4, understand it for offense, RIP defense).
Health. Delfino missed 15 games this season. For a bench player contributing to over half the game to a squad it's important to stay healthy. Granted injuries are not foreseeable Delfino had a nasty case of food poisoning that caused him to miss a significant portion of the season. During that time the Rockets discovered Francisco Garcia so not all was lost. Delfino apparently played through the season on an injured foot, as well, which finally broke under the strain in the post-season. Happily he gave a quote that let us know he was happy he at least got to posterize Durant. The stress to that foot has to be a red flag going forward for the Rockets organization given Yao Ming's history still fresh in the minds of the organization and its fans.
Delfino was the definition of streaky and average. He missed a portion of the season large enough to be considered average by NBA standards. His game was on a bit more than it was off on most nights but nothing spectacular. He played more than half the game but barely. His shooting was deadeye on some nights and made our eyes want to die on other nights. Ultimately, for the definition of average, you have to award...
Grade: A+ just kidding, C
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