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Fans of the original series of Star Trek are very familiar with the Red Shirts. Dispensible crew members who often attended missions with the core group of characters and were usually sacrificed when whatever they were investigating attacked the group.
They almost never spoke, almost never provided any kind of meaningful characterization, but were often a part of moving the plot forward. The Red Shirt became synonymous with Expendable. They were a cog in a machine, they went to work on a Starfleet ship, contributed a little, but generally were left behind without much thought. You almost never saw another crew member grieve for a killed Red Shirt, or any mention of them after they were attacked.
Red shirt in sports applied to a college player who is a member of the team, but for whatever reason, ineligable to play. We’re dispensing with that notion of red shirt and applying the Star Trek Red Shirt to a player on every team.
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Mario Chalmers. It’s a little unfair that Rio gets Red Shirt status, but at the same time, with the firepower that was on the Miami Heat last season, all he had to do was dribble the ball and hand it off to any number of scorers on that team. And when things went bad, he was the first one to get yelled at because he was so expendable. Even the President of the United States thought so.
Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson played 76 games for the limping Magic this season and at age 24 and in his second year in the league, his stats were supposed to start ascending. But he averaged 5.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game, his points dropped from last year, but his rebounds stayed the same. His PER average was 9.9, dropping from 15.1 last year. At 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds, Nicholson seems to be the paramount “Put a big body in there” kind of player. Did I mention he developed a three-point shot? On 89 attempts, he made 28 of them. The Magic took a big step to clean house in the offseason and currently Nicholson is still on the roster, because of course Captain James Tiberius Elfrid needs an extra body to take a blow.
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Shelvin Mack. Playing 73 games and averaging 7.5 points a game, Mack put the avg in average. His PER of 13.3 isn’t all that bad actually. It’s a little unfair that Mack gets the Red Shirt, he’s a back up dual guard to a pretty potent tandem in Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver and being paired with other lesser guards like Dennis Schroder, Jared Cunningham and John Jenkins. But with the lack of depth on the Hawks and his middling stats just sort of there, it is hard to see that another player could not just get Mack’s minutes and put up the small numbers on a pretty anemic bench unit.
Bismack Biyombo. Also suffering from the “Let’s just throw a big body in there” syndrome, the Bis Mackie played 77 games and averaged a career low of 2.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Given his size at 6-foot-9, a player like that could get those kind of stats in his sleep. He only played 1072 minutes, but did start 9 games and his FG% was his career high, but still wound up with less than 3 points a game.
The Hornet name and teal colors may have returned to Charlotte, but Bismack needs to strap on a red shirt.
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Garrett Temple. Garrett logged in 75 games for the Wizards last season and only amassed 638 minutes in those games, none as a starter. On a team with a thin backcourt behind stars John Wall and Bradley Beal, Temple fell in the dept chart behind 38 year old Andre Miller. Temple’s FG% was .362 and his three-point percentage was .207. All of his stats from last season, when he played only 51 games, but did start 36 of them, except for free-throw attempts. One of the last free-agent signings the Wizards did this offseason was bring back Temple for another 2 years, so we will get a lot of him beaming down on the floor of the SS Wiz-terprise.