This started out as a comment in Alex's 4th quarter article but I realized I was getting way off topic and decided to move it here...
With only 8 games left in the Suns season and the team trying to scrape their way into the playoffs, there has become a debate about who should be the starting shooting guard once Grant Hill comes back from injury. I decided to look at the recent numbers between the two options.
In the 14 games before Grant's injury the Suns went 10-4 against teams with an average winning % of .528 (LAC game where Nash/Hill sat is omitted because it didn't have either of the starting lineups we're discussing). Since the Hill injury the Suns have gone 5-4 against teams with an average winning % of .515.
So the Suns had a better record against tougher competition when Grant and Jared were starting together. Let's look at the stats...
Here are the post all-star averages for Dudley as our starting shooting guard vs Brown as our starting shooting guard.
Shannon Brown - 9 Games, 32.4 MIN, 17.3 PTS, 4.2 REB, 2.2 AST, 44% FG, 39% 3P, 14.3 EFF
Jared Dudley - 14 Games, 33.6 MIN, 16.1 PTS, 6.4 REB, 1.5 AST, 52% FG, 45% 3P, 17.8 EFF
(Numbers gathered and calculated from HoopsStats.com)
Shannon is scoring 1 point a game more than Dudley and has been filling in that starting role surprisingly well, but Dudley's stats show that he really found his groove as the starting SG post all-star break. JD boasts some very efficient numbers and 6.4 reb a game from the 2-guard spot is outstanding.
The one thing that's yet to be seen is how Brown's numbers would be affected with Grant inserted into the starting SF spot rather than having Dudley start along side him. Positively? Negatively? I'd guess that as long as he keeps shooting the way he has been lately that his numbers could only get better since Hill would be taking more of the defensive load.
I don't want to take anything away from Brown. He's been playing great and has carried the team at times, but I also think people are forgetting how well JD was playing before Grant's injury. We'll see how Gentry handles it. What's your vote?