The Tulsa Shock announced yesterday that they have re-acquired guard Scholanda Dorrell (formerly Robinson), who they had traded to the San Antonio Silver Stars last off-season for a pair of late-round 2012 draft picks.
And of all the players who had been cast off during the Nolan Richardson era, it was a good decision to bring Robinson back for all the reasons stated previously in our breakdown of the unrestricted free agents available.
Scholanda Robinson: Although Robinson’s numbers above suggest that she didn’t have a particularly strong 2011 season, a closer look at her numbers reveals three positives: her 4-year defensive RAPM of 1.2 is solid, her 34% 3-point percentage could be useful for a team that’s looking for a perimeter threat, and she didn’t turn the ball over much at all. She could be a good pickup in the right situation.
Dorrell’s defense should be of value to the Shock: they were the lowest rated defense in the league last season and their opponents’ 39.6% 3-point percentage was a league-worst, meaning they could use a perimeter defender.
However, it’s Dorrell’s increasing comfort shooting the 3-point shot over the course of her career that will be particularly helpful to a Shock team that was the worst 3-point shooting team in the Western Conference (28.4%) by a fairly significant margin. And with the announcement that Sheryl Swoopes – the team’s fourth most efficient 3-point shooter with the second most attempts – won’t be back, that was a hole they needed to fill.
The Shock didn’t win much, but when they did they used the three ball: in their three wins last season, they shot 44.89% from deep. Yes, that’s a terribly small sample size, but they rarely approached that level last season in losses. And more importantly, improved three point shooting opens up space inside to better utilize their major off-season acquisition last season: lottery pick 6-foot-8 center Elizabeth Cambage.
Unfortunately, Cambage spent much of her rookie in the doghouse, but if the new coaching staff intends to make her a bigger part of the offense whenever she returns from the Olympics they’re definitely helping themselves this off-season. In addition to adding Dorrell’s 34% shooting, they also recently re-signed Jennifer Lacy (35%) and traded to acquire point guard Temeka Johnson (38.5%).
Robinson is not the type of player who will singlehandedly change a team’s fortunes, but she’s the perfect example of a player that might end up making an impact because she’s such a great fit for what the team needs.