And one last installment of Arenas musings….
As touched upon briefly in today’s story, Arenas as always is aware of the knock on him that he’s not a pure point guard, and dismisses it as a pointless argument. He asked “What’s a pure point guard?”
And then goes on to say that he knows he can’t ever satisfy everyone. Later in the interview, we stumbled back onto this topic, and Arenas had this to say:
“I just know the game of basketball and play it the way I know how. If you say, ‘Give me 20 assists,’ I can do that. If you say ‘Give me 20 points’ I’ll do that, too. I think people get too caught up in labeling players.
“If you say I’m not effective, then how come in the last 20 years, the only player to average more than 25 points and have one teammate score at leats 20 a game and another at least 17 was Kiki Vandeweghe with Alex English and Dan Issel?”
Arenas was referring to the 1983-84 season when Vandeweghe averaged 29.4 points, English scored 26.4 and Issel 19.8 points a night, and the 2005-06 season when Arenas notched 29.3 points, Antawn Jamison averaged 20.5 points and Butler chipped in with 17.6 a game. I checked this with Elias Sports Bureau, and indeed, since 1983-84, no trio has done this. (The highest-scoring trio in NBA history was the 1991 Golden State threesome of Mullin with 25.7, Richmond with 23.9 and Hardaway at 22.9).
Arenas added, “If I average 29 points and 12 assists am I a point guard then? What makes me a point guard or not? When Larry [Hughes] was here, we traded off bringing the ball up the court. D-Steve and I do that some times. So does that make me a point guard some times and not other times? What I always do is pick and choose. I try to get the ball to Antawn and Caron early to get them into a flow, then when it’s time, I take over.”
Arenas said he doesn’t know entirely what to expect when it comes to how his stats will shake out in Flip Saunders’ system, but isn’t worried about it. He said he’s been studying the play of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, who last season averaged 22.8 points and 11.0 assists and 19.4 points and 10.7 assists, respectively. He believes he can learn something from them on how they run the pick-and-roll and make decisions, distribute and also remain their team’s top scoring threats.
Either way, Arenas expects Washington’s ‘Big Three’ to thrive in Saunders’ system, saying “We have the talent for a regular offense. I’ve seen Flip’s play book and I think it’s a great, great offense.”
- Mike Jones