Friday, May 2, 2008
Player Report Card: Chucky Atkins
(Boulder-CO) Here is a tough one. Chucky Atkins, fresh off of his best statistical season ever in Memphis, was thought to be by many the answer for the Denver Nuggets at point guard. A guy that could have extended the defense of the opposition around the three-point line due to being a career 36% long bomber while we all held our fingers crossed in hope of his ability to commandeer the Nuggets' high-power offense. Instead, Chucky went down with a groin injury -turned- sports hernia in the preseason and never made the slightest bit of difference.
While I still don't think Chucky is the right fit for the Nuggets (mainly because of his lack of size and defensive concerns) his situation is one that you have to look at sympathetically; especially now that the 6'6" J.R. Smith has emerged as the kind of shooter that puts eight-year veterans with durability issues into early retirements.
At the risk of sounding heartless, Chucky Atkins' season was a disaster. When he returned from hernia surgery his offense was out of sync and his defense was, shall we say, soft. Chucky appeared in just 24 games due to injury and posted the lowest numbers of his career with averages of 4.7 points and two assists. And injury aside, the grade for that kind of dip is a D. While not a complete failure, as would be the case if he would have not been injured, Chucky Atkins' acquisition proved to be the defensive liability I thought it would be and it left the Nuggets still in search of a point guard.