After a sub-par All Filipino Conference, the league’s reining Rookie of the Year came into this conference with something to prove. The Angas ng Tondo was expected to provide that offensive punch for the team whenever he was on the floor and being the team’s top one on one player, Lee was often called upon to create whenever the team fell into a rut in the offensive end.
While it wasn’t the type of conference we were used to seeing from him, Paul Lee was still Rain or Shine’s most effective local player this conference (among those that played more than 20 minutes of action). In 26 minutes per game, the Angas ng Tondo averaged 10.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Now, these numbers are not overly impressive but it’s in how Lee put this together within the flow of the Rain or Shine system that made it so important to the team’s success. His 4.1 dimes led and represented 28.2% of the total made field goals of the team when he was on the floor. Besides keeping the offense flowing by getting his teammates involved, Lee also carried the local scoring punch efficiently, scoring his local-leading 10.8 points per game on a true shooting percentage (TS%) of 50.9%. Paul Lee may not have looked dominant this conference, but it was his ability to fit into the offense and still contribute heavily to it that makes him an invaluable member of this team.
Paul Lee actually led the team in turnovers with around two miscarries a game. This translates to a 16.8% TOV% (the highest among players that played significant minutes). However, this to me, is forgivable especially when you consider not only the amount of time that the ball spends in his hands (21.8% usage rate), but also the shot clock winding down… offense going nowhere possessions that see Coach Yeng go to him to bail out the team. Putting turnovers aside, the only other issue I had with Lee’s game was his tendency to disappear for stretches during games. While this could very well be the effect of Lee making a conscious effort to work within the team’s offense, the stark difference between his play in these instances vs. the times when he takes more control of the offense is unmistakable.
Where would Rain or Shine be without Lee in this conference? With Jeff Chan unavailable for most of the team’s elimination games, Lee had to carry a heavier offensive burden. He did turn in a very good statistical season, but the thing with Lee is to find that balance between blending in with the offense and letting his natural instincts take over. In the clutch, he is also, without a doubt, Rain or Shine’s most prolific weapon. While an import would obviously demand touches during the end game, the Elasto Painters definitely need a defined closer that will have the confidence and skill to win close games down the stretch. Thankfully, they already have that in Paul Lee. He has done well to play within Coach Yeng’s system the last two years, but he should take the next step in his development and own Rain or Shine’s crunch time moments. With Norwood and Chan suiting up for Gilas, Lee will once again be called to play a bigger role for the team, which leads me to believe that this coming Governor’s Cup will be Lee’s re-introduction to the PBA’s elite.
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters Approval Ratings
|Larry Rodriguez||Ty Tang||Ronnie Matias||Jireh Ibanes||Jervy Cruz|
|Chris Tiu||Beau Belga||Ryan Arana||JR Quinahan||Paul Lee|