LA Clippers’ Sam Dekker is worthy of more minutes

Los Angeles, CA - October 17: Sam Dekker
Los Angeles, CA - October 17: Sam Dekker /

While Danilo Gallinari sits with an injury, Doc Rivers and the LA Clippers should consider giving Forward Sam Dekker more minutes.

Sam Dekker is legit, and he’s got nothing to prove. He’s already a legitimate small forward with tremendous shooting and rebounding ability, not to mention his blocking and dunking abilities. He plays hard, works hard, and runs hard. And if he starts to receive more minutes, none of this would come as a shock to some of you.

Dekker played in all but 5 games last year for the Houston Rockets, averaging 6.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. It was essentially his rookie season, since he appeared in just 3 games in his actual rookie year after he went ahead with season-ending back surgery. He knows all too well what it’s like to wake up in pain.

His time with the Rockets is highlighted by a 30-point performance in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies this January. In that game, he connected on 12 of his 19 attempts, including 6 of 11 from deep. He didn’t even need to make a free throw to eclipse 30, an extremely impressive stat. Dekker started in place of Ryan Anderson, and ended up playing 35 minutes. He was the team’s top scorer.

Clearly, given a lot of minutes, Dekker can produce. But what can he do in more limited time?

Dekker played 10-19 minutes in 45 of his 77 games last season, scoring 10+ points 15 times. That means that in one of every three games he played more than 10 minutes in, he scored 10 or more points in as well.

He’s averaging just 7 minutes per game this season, so he’s obviously not getting the chance he needs to make a larger impact on this team.