2013-14 Season In Review: Al-Farouq Aminu
Pelicans.com continues its look back at the 2013-14 season with player-by-player analysis of the team:
NBA experience: Four seasons (three with Pelicans)
Games played/started: 80/65
As one of the few Pelicans who went completely unscathed injury-wise during the 2013-14, Aminu played in all but two games, missing a pair of contests due to coach’s decision. In some ways, however, the small forward was still greatly impacted by the team’s full-scale health problems. Although Aminu was a starter for roughly three-fourths of the season, he went from starter to reserve and back again three separate times, never remaining in the same role for any lengthy period of time.
Partly as a result, even though he played nearly exactly the same total minutes compared to the previous season (2,045 minutes in 2013-14, down slightly from 2,066), Aminu’s averages dipped a bit in scoring, rebounding and blocks. While making significant strides as a player in 2012-13, the 6-foot-9, 215-pound small forward had benefited considerably from teaming up with Greivis Vasquez for alley-oop dunks and point-blank baskets. Those easy hoops dried up noticeably in 2013-14. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Aminu actually improved his shooting percentage from a majority of areas on the court, but he fired a much larger chunk of his attempts from outside the paint. In perhaps the most telling advanced statistic, only 8.7 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2013-14 were dunks, compared to 19.0 the previous season. In 2012-13, a whopping 71.0 percent of Aminu’s two-baskets were assisted, but that figure dropped to 67.0 this season.
Even though key Pelicans players were missing from the lineup for vast portions of 2013-14, Aminu logged 30-plus minutes in only 22 of his 80 appearances, including just seven after the All-Star break. After starting 55 of New Orleans’ first 57 games, Aminu was shifted to a reserve role Feb. 28 at Phoenix, which coincided with Tyreke Evans’ elevation to the first string. Aminu finished the season with a total of 10 double-digit rebounding games, including three from March 19-29.
For a second straight summer, Aminu will become a free agent on July 1. New Orleans signed him to a one-year deal last offseason.
TOP THREE AL-FAROUQ AMINU GAMES OF 2013-14
#3: Jan. 11, 2014 – New Orleans at Dallas
Aminu posted one of his five double-doubles on the season, consisting of 15 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Pelicans give the Mavericks a scare in Big D. New Orleans ultimately lost 110-107 in controversial fashion; Austin Rivers was unable to fire a three-pointer before the buzzer due to being contacted across the arms by Dallas defender Monta Ellis.
#2: March 19, 2014 – Toronto at New Orleans
One of the most efficient and effective games of Aminu’s career, the forward tallied a season-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against the Atlantic Division champions. Aminu finished 7-for-8 from the field. However, the Raptors used a 26-15 edge in the fourth quarter to pull out a 107-100 road win.
#1: Dec. 4, 2013 – Dallas at New Orleans
For whatever reason, Aminu’s rebounding totals have been off the charts against the Mavericks. This was his second 20-rebound game vs. Dallas over an eight-month span (20 boards is his career high). Aminu grabbed 16 defensive rebounds in the narrow 100-97 defeat to the Mavs. He also registered 16 points, his third-best scoring game of 2013-14.