Should the Hornets start Morris Peterson instead of Rasual Butler once again?

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Published: January 4, 2009

Morris Peterson and Rasual Butler are both SG/SF’s who have traded starting spots for the New Orleans Hornets this season. After starting 9 games, and getting through a nagging knee injury, Morris Peterson was put on the bench as Byron Scott started to juggle his rotation. At first, Morris Peterson was taken out of the rotation, and now he’s back in with limited minutes off of the bench. Butler has been a productive starter, but has often had games where he was virtually invisible. Both players are primarily spot up shooters, who play good perimeter D. I guess you can say they’re pretty similar. See picture below.

I have mixed feelings about this SG starting spot, but right now I am leaning towards putting Morris Peterson back in the starting line up. Since he’s come back from injury, Byron Scott has experimented with many roles for the players, but he hasn’t tried putting Mo back as the starting SG due to Butler’s good play. 

To help me make a decision, I started to compare the stats of these players in November, the first full month of basketball, and December, the last full month of basketball and the best one.

Here are stats to compare:

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November:

Rasual Butler: (Butler started 7 of 13 games)

Per 48 minutes:

Points    Reb      Ast     Ast/TO    Stl      Blk   

16.8       5.6      1.3      1.14        1.81    0.49

Per game:

FG%     3pt%     FT%

44.7      47.3        80


Morris Peterson: (Peterson started 7 of 7 games before injury)

Per 48 Minutes:

Points   Reb    Ast    Ast/TO    Stl    Blk

16.2      6.7     1.1     0.50        1.06   0.71

Per game:

FG%    3pt%    FT%

37.2     23.8       60

In November, both of the player stats weren’t too different in 48 minutes of burn. Butler just did everything with better percentages. Now on to December:

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December:

Rasual Butler: (Butler started 13 of 13 games)

Per 48 minutes:

Points    Reb      Ast     Ast/TO    Stl      Blk 

16.6       5.0       1.2       1.11        1.36    1.49

Per game:

FG%     3pt%     FT%

41.8       39.6      63.6


Morris Peterson: (Peterson started 0 of 9 games)

Per 48 Minutes:

Points   Reb    Ast    Ast/TO    Stl    Blk

20.5      9.0      2.5     1.20        0.41   0.0

Per game:

FG%     3pt%     FT%

39.1       43.5       100

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Rasual Butler’s production didn’t change much through the course of November and December except for the fact that his 3 point percentage dramatically increased. Other than that, everything stayed the same. As for Morris Peterson, nearly all of his stats increased by a good amount. Scoring, Rebounds (My favorite part of his game), Assists, and 3pt percentage all increased by good amounts.

In conclusion, I’m not saying that we should throw Butler to the bench, and start Peterson for the rest of the season. I just think we need to give him a chance as a starter again after his injury. He’s playing well in his 13 minutes a game average in December, so I think he really deserves another chance. Morris Peterson is a better passer, rebounder, and a better fit for our starters (in my opinion of course). I would much rather like to see Peterson starting and playing 20+ minutes a game as long as Butler can keep his confidence even if he is on the bench. Peterson is a hard worker who is very unselfish, and lets the game come to him instead of forcing shots. I believe we are wasting a lot of talent with this guy playing only 13 minutes off the bench. As mentioned, I especially like his rebounding skills which our starters really need! Also, he’s a lot more deadly from the corner than Butler. I vote we let Mo Pete start for 2 weeks and see how he does.

What are your guys’s opinions on this matter??

Fill up those fluffy/jaw-dropping comments guys!

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