Season In Review: Rudy Fernandez
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  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 05/24/2011 4:37 PM

    During 2011, Rudy Fernandez...
    Exceeded Expectations (3)
     10%
    Met Expectations (6)
     19%
    Failed To Meet Expectations (22)
     71%


    We're going to start something new this offseason and review each player's season, how they performed, whether they met expectations or not and if you'd like to see them in uniform for the Blazers to start the 2011-12 season. Up next is our backup shooting guard, and resident Spaniard Rudy Fernandez.

    "All I can do now is stand on the rooftop and scream, 'He's not coming!' He's just not coming back. I've made that clear," Andy Miller said. "I would like to have an amicable divorce."

    Those were the $25,000 words spoken by then-agent of Rudy Fernandez, Andy Miller, who told any media outlet wanting to listen that his client was done in Portland and not only wanted off the Trail Blazers but out of the NBA entirely. After his best friend, Sergio Rodriguez, was traded on draft day in 2009, Fernandez became a completely different player. Gone were the flashy passes, the acrobatic alley-oop finishes and the long-range marksmanship fans grew accustomed to seeing. With Rudy homesick and no longer having a fellow countryman on the team, his play suffered and both his role and playing time diminished. It was almost a foregone conclusion that Rudy would be dealt; it wasn't a matter of if but when. The prices on his merchandise were slashed in half and of the entire 44 season tickets for the 2010-11 season, only one had Rudy gracing the front of it in preparation for the split between the two parties. And when Rudy spoke about his willingness to sit out the final two years of his contract in hopes of a buyout and returning to Spain during media day, all hope appeared lost.

    But what would happen in the upcoming weeks couldn't have even been written in a movie script. Both the fans and his teammates stuck by his side throughout the ordeal and made Rudy feel at home, even if he was over 5,000 miles away. Although there were a few scattered boos whenever Mark Mason introduced the Spaniard off the bench, the overwhelming majority of the Rose Garden faithful cheered extra loud for Rudy, as if they were urging him to success. While the fans did their part, the members of the Trail Blazers did theirs by making Fernandez feel welcomed on the team, even if it was just an offer to hang out after practice. One player in particular hit it off right away with Rudy. Patty Mills. Both Mills and Fernandez were in the same boat. Both were on a completely different continent, thousands of miles away, not playing as much as they'd like and in need of friendship. What started out as two teammates hanging out for the common cause (misery loves company) ended in the greatest bromance in Trail Blazers history. In a span of weeks, Rudy's attitude and feelings towards playing for the Trail Blazers did a complete 180. No longer did he want out but he couldn't imagine himself anywhere else.

    Rudy Fernandez's Season Splits (Via Basketball-Reference.com)-


    Unfortunately, the on the court story for Rudy in 2011 didn't match the storybook ending off the court. The one word which immediately comes to mind when describing Fernandez's season is roller-coaster. As seen above, Rudy had his highs and his lows over the course of the year. When Brandon went out for an extended period of time at the beginning of the calender year, his minutes shot up to over 25 a night and his scoring showed signs of life, plateauing at 12.2 in February. After Roy returned and found his own niche in the rotation, Rudy's minutes decreased slightly as did the production. Even though he didn't put together a consistent shooting campaign in 2011, the one area of consistency was his effort and all-out hustle. Unlike in year's past when Rudy would let his off-shooting nights negatively affect his performance in other aspects his game, he was constantly hounding the ball handler full court, playing the passing lanes with reckless abandon (tallied a career-high 87 steals in 2011), diving for into the stands for loose balls and throwing those highlight scoop, alley-oop passes to LaMarcus Aldridge this time around. When it was all said and done, Rudy averaged 23.3 minutes, 8.6 points, on .370 shooting from the field, .321 from three and .863 from the free-throw line, 2.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.1 steals.
    Rudy Fernandez' Career Playoff Stats (Via Basketball-Reference.com)-


    Outside of center depth, the two biggest weaknesses the Blazers faced during the 2010-11 season was a lack of outside shooting and bench scoring. Rudy Fernandez was supposed to be the answer to those two needs, but his three-point percentage has dropped every year he's been in the league (started at .399 in 2009 down to .321 in 2011) and he hasn't averaged double digits in points since his rookie season. The battle of the benches was key in Dallas' six game series win over Portland in the first round. Speaking of playoffs, it's alarming to see the drastic decrease in Rudy's post-season numbers. And while the numbers don't look pretty on paper, its the little things Rudy does which don't appear in a box score that makes him valuable to the team. Nate McMillan singled out Rudy's pressure on the ball as the key in sparking the 23 point turnaround during Game Four's improbable comeback win over the Mavericks and his jaw-dropping passes still make him a threat on the pick and roll regardless of his shooting woes. Finally, don't discount or short-change Rudy because he's been in a shooting slump. Shooting a basketball is like riding a back, sooner or later, it will return. Also, take into consideration the way the season ended last year. He was sore from a bad back, discouraged due to a lesser role and felt like an outsider. This year he leaves relatively healthy, in good spirits and continues to communicate with his boys via Twitter. That positive mental mind state just might be what he needs to get back in the shooting groove.

    Rudy's Change Of Heart



    Let all of that information soak in for a moment Rip City. Looking back, how well did Rudy perform off the bench? Was Rudy's all-out hustle and change of heart enough to keep him on the roster or do we need to go in another direction for a bench scorer?
    I am a fan of
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 05/24/2011 6:04 PM

    While we love Rudy's spirit, and his Lob-Bomba ally-opp pass to L.A. is a thing of beauty, I think it's time to give Coach Nate a rugged defender off the bench.



    Fernandez has not been able to fully recover from his unfortunate injury, and has been unable to return to the level of intensity that landed him in the All Star Dunk Contest. 



    He cried for help before last season. He wanted to go home. Instead, Cho traded Bayless for a bag of chips, which opened up more playing time for Fernandez. Was that the insentive that Rudy needed to stay on the team? I dunno, but we sure coulda used Bayless this season, that's all I know.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. RipCityChamps12
    RipCityChamps12
    Posts: 76

    Posted 05/24/2011 9:50 PM

    Fernandez has done nothing but fade away since his record breaking rookie campaign. At this point i feel he is nothing more than a potential trading piece and end of the bench player. If Brandon Roy returns healthy and productive the Blazers would be very deep at the SG position. It will be very interesting to see if he is packaged in a deal or not or even how high his value really is.
    I am a fan of the RETURN of Greg Oden
  1. Danny Grogg
    Danny Grogg
    Posts: 2

    Posted 05/25/2011 2:16 AM

    Rudy seemed to be in a bit of a slump in the 2010-2011 season. Normally, he probably hit 2x more 3 pointers than did in the 2010-2011 season. Here how he met my expectations:

    3 Point FG's - Did not meet.
    2 point FG's - Did not meet
    Steals - Met/exceeded
    Rebounds - Almost met
    Assists - Almost met

    Rating: Not vintage Rudy, but on a scale of Horrendous being the worst, Okay/So So being in the middle and Perfect/Spectacluar being the best, I would have to say, Okay/so so as the rating because I have seen a lot of NBA players be in a "season" slump. Yes, even uninjured.

    Rudy is by far my most favorite athlete in the world.

    If Rudy doesn't perform better next season, I'll definitively be wondering what's up.

    I hope they keep Rudy! They've already gotten rid of Webster (obviously in a trade) and I've feared that they might trade Rudy.

    I've noticed ever since Patty Mills came to play for Portland, Rudy seems to be a lot happier! I've noticed he smiles and laughs a whole lot more! This is slightly off subject from this but, as we all know, Patty created the famed "3 Goggles" for Rudy because he is near sighted. By the way, Patty rocks for that!

    Lets just hope they don't trade Rudy any time within the next 2 seasons! Rudy just needs some practice, and to regain he confidence for that 3 ball he was hitting very frequently! (Going on the fact that watching him through the 2010 - 2011 season he really seemed to have lost at least most of his confidence in hit 3 point shot).
  1. turdferguson
    turdferguson
    Posts: 49

    Posted 05/25/2011 10:05 AM

    Posted By Tobyus Sanchezo on 05/24/2011 6:04 PM


    He cried for help before last season. He wanted to go home. Instead, Cho traded Bayless for a bag of chips, which opened up more playing time for Fernandez. Was that the insentive that Rudy needed to stay on the team? I dunno, but we sure coulda used Bayless this season, that's all I know.

    By bag of chips I assume you mean the future first round draft pick that was part of the trade that brought Gerald Wallace to Portland?  That is one hell of a bag of chips! 
    I am a fan of new seasons and new possibilities.
  1. Tobyus Sanchezo
    Tobyus Sanchezo
    Posts: 1669

    Posted 05/25/2011 1:49 PM

    Part....of the trade. Dante, Pryz and a grip of cash was the main incentive.
    I am a fan of multiple All-Stars on the Blazers roster this season!
  1. Crim
    Crim
    Posts: 398

    Posted 05/25/2011 2:54 PM

    I'd say he produced what level-headed fans expected, you can hope for a breakout season but you can't expect it. His 3-point shot wasn't so hot (neither was anyone elses towards the end of the season) but he showed life in other aspects of his game that I didn't think possible, so all in all we got what we paid for in him, I don't believe he did bad on purpose in the playoffs or leading up to them, I think he let the pressure get to him, and changing his shot in midseason might have hurt him a bit short term as well, I think he just wasn't able to hit his shots, that's it. If we can bring him back on a minimal contract he is well worth it, considering how strapped we are for cap room with Roy's contract.
    I am a fan of Not Feeding the Trolls.
  1. DHawes22
    DHawes22
    Posts: 6488

    Posted 05/26/2011 1:35 PM

    While I don't think Rudy had the greatest season by his standards (heck, when shooting is in the name of your position, you gotta connect from the floor) but I was encouraged by his overall attitude, his happiness with the team and his effort on both ends of the floor. I realize many see him as a sure fire lock to be dealt but your shot never goes away and I'd hate to see he revitalize his shot with another team. We have Wesley at the 2, so its not like we need 30 minutes of Rudy. If he can find a way to score 10 a night off the bench and bring that 3 point threat, our bench will be looking strong.
    I am a fan of
  1. ClydeFrog
    ClydeFrog
    Posts: 975

    Posted 05/26/2011 2:39 PM

    I understand the logic behind Rudy coming around as a shooter but he's had 3 chances in the postseason to make a believer and his play continues to drop each playoffs. I mean, he went from breaking Kittles' 3 point record to averaging 3 points and 22.2% shooting from the floor. In all honesty, we'd be lucky to get a first rounder for him. Some players just don't shine in the postseason for whatever reason.
    I am a fan of Watching Elliot Williams Take Flight!
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