Mar. 30, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Phoenix Suns center Jermaine O

Phoenix Suns Report Card: Jermaine O’Neal


Jermaine O’Neal (Center)

Season Averages:

MIN: 18.7|FG%: 48.2|3P%: 0|FT%: 83.5|REB: 5.3|AST: 0.8|BLK: 1.4|STL: 0.3|PTS: 8.3 

Matt’s Comments:

Jermaine O’Neal was a pleasant surprise this season. The 16-year veteran came to the valley of the Suns this year having played in just 49 games over the previous two seasons. No one expect O’Neal to make much of a contribution but by the end of the 2012-2013 season, he was one of the biggest contributors on the Suns.

During the 2012-2013 season, O’Neal posted a PER(player efficiency rating) of 16.76, a mark he reached just one other time in the last six seasons; it was also the second highest mark on the Suns behind Goran Dragic(17.52). O’Neal’s 48% field-goal percentage this past season was also the fifth highest mark in his 16-year career; maybe it’s the water in Phoenix.

O’Neal was a constant force on the court and in the locker room as he, Luis Scola and Jared Dudley provided the majority of the experience and leadership. Unfortunately for Suns fans, O’Neal most likely will be somewhere else next season if he decides to keep playing.

Grade: A 

 

Eric’s Comments:

Coming to the Suns was supposed to revitalize Jermaine O’Neal’s career. The 34-year-old center had knee issues for the last couple years and playing in Arizona with the Suns miracle-working training staff (see Steve Nash, Grant Hill, and to a lesser extent Shaq), and his production was going to get him on a contender for the playoffs and maybe a championship before the sun set on his career. The valley of the sun was not that place. When I did an article a while ago looking at the Suns with advanced statistics, O’Neal had the best Player Efficiency Rating, and he was coming off the bench.

O’Neal was solid this season, and he rode with the Suns and it was a great experience (for fans at least), hopefully, he find his way to a contender for next year and get a ring, because Phoenix is mired deep, deep in the rebuilding process and won’t be out of it until after O’Neal probably retires.

Grade: A

 

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  • Sam

    My grade for him as a Center C+, as a Forward B+. Why not A? Because his Defense in all but the most aggressively played games gets a C-. If I were the coach I’d use O’Neal as the starter-forward WITH a separate center then would’ve played Scola as the bench-forward. O’Neal is too heavy to move for all defensive purposes and a bit too short against 7′+ centers for rebounds. He’s more like Zach-Randolph a good forward who should always hang around the basket, and coach should not expect or force him to play Center.

    • Matthew

      O’Neal has played center throughout his 16 year career Sam. Physically speaking his stature isn’t that of Dwight Howard’s or Marc Gasol but he can certainly be a serviceable center in the NBA. He’s too slow to guard the young fours in the league.

      • Sam

        True, he did play center so do Robin Lopez & Thabeet. I mean the role they’re given is not always going to work as they hoped for. While he was with Miami they ended up 43-39, in Toronto they ended up 13 games under .500, in Boston he was injured missing 58 games and we got him after injury. Only in his younger and lighter days of Indiana he could’ve been a reserve-center but still would’ve been overshadowed by 7′+ taller and longer centers. The idea is not whether he’s capable of playing a center but it’s whether as a center he can beat other taller centers in rebounding, put-backs, defense of the paint, passing and support for guards outside the paint.