Washington Wizards: Midseason Report and Grades
As the Washington Wizards approach the halfway mark of their 2013-14 season, some players have taken a step forward while some have regressed.
Sitting just under .500, the Wizards have yet to gain a winning record at any point this season. In fact, Washington has not held a winning record since it began 2-1 in the 2009-10 season.
With 41 games remaining, each player will be assessed for his performance throughout the season's first half. Parameters will include the player's level of production as well as fulfillment of individual role and intangibles such as hustle, effort, value added and chemistry added.
Grading will go as follows:
A - Player has exceeded expectations and is an integral part to his team.
B - Player has been a pleasant surprise and an above-average performer.
C - Player has met expectations.
D - Player has not met expectations, but there's still hope.
F - Player is too far gone and has become a liability.
John Wall - A
John Wall' has been tremendous this season. The former first-overall pick has already exceeded a career high for three-pointers made with 47, and is on track for career-highs in per-game averages of points, assists and steals.
In Wall's first three seasons, he scored over 25 points in a game just 21 times. He's done it 10 times in this season's first half alone, including three consecutive games with 30 or more points in late November.
The former Kentucky Wildcat has a high probability of being selected to his first All-Star Game and has his team in serious position to make the playoffs for the first time in six years.
Bradley Beal - A-
Bradley Beal is somewhere in between being one of his team's top players and being an All Star. The second-year player is currently on track to shatter his points-per-game average, currently sitting at 17.0 after scoring 13.9 per game in his rookie campaign.
The only knock on Beal is his apparent vulnerability to injury. After missing much of last season's second half, the former Florida Gator was brought down by a similar ailment for much of this season's December.
Still, his absence was felt, as Washington suffered its longest losing streak of the season during Beal's injury. He likely closely trails Wall as the team's most important player, one that the Wizards can't afford to lose.
Trevor Ariza - B
Trevor Ariza has been a pleasant surprise for the Wizards this season. He's enjoying the second-best season of his career in terms of scoring production, chipping in 13.7 points per game.
The 12-year veteran, playing on his sixth different team, can likely attribute his scoring numbers to his sky-high three-point percentage. Ariza has become a significant threat from deep, converting on 38.1 percent of his three-point attempts thus far.
He's also been of vital help in the rebounding department, securing a career-high 6.0 boards per contest, enough to credential himself as Washington's third-best rebounder.
Nene - B-
Nene's age is starting to show in his 13th NBA season. The Brazilian power forward is averaging a respectable 13.4 points per game, but has missed seven games due to injury.
Additionally, the former Denver Nugget has secured a per-game average of just 5.8 rebounds in 27 minutes of play.
That being said, he can still hustle and run the floor, and can certainly still make momentum-changing plays.
Marcin Gortat - B+
The addition of Marcin Gortat has been invaluable for the Wizards this season. His numbers have been solid, but not spectacular, with per-game averages of 12.0, 8.8 and 1.6 for points, rebounds and blocks respectively.
That being said, he adds a great deal to team chemistry and performs at his peak in Washington's biggest games.
The Polish Hammer is the team's leading rebounder and has quickly become a fan favorite.
Trevor Booker - B+
For what he is, a big body that come off the bench, Trevor Booker has exceeded his expectations for this season. He's been a reliable rebounder, averaging a career-best 6.5 boards to assert him as the team's second-best player in that department.
The fourth-year player can perform as a spot starter and role player. He's probably not quite good enough to be a full-time starter at this time. However, for his body of work as a post player off of the bench, especially as of late, Booker has been a delight.
Jan Vesely - C+
Jan Vesely has been decent, or a little better this season. The first-round pick has often been labeled a bust, but his body of work as of late has been notable.
Despite averaging just 3.6 points per game on the season, Vesely has contributed 5.6 points per contest in the month of January.
He's secured a respectable 3.8 rebounds per game for his role, and it seems as though he may be reaching a turning point in his career.
Vesely is another cog in the machine, one that the Wizards can't afford to lose.
Martell Webster - B+
Martell Webster, though getting some starting action in Beal's stead, is a role player, and he's very good at what he does.
Webster is a pure scorer. Averaging 11.5 points per contest, Webster is probably good enough to be a starter elsewhere, but is one of the Wizards best, and only, assets off the bench.
He has performed well this season, and every team needs a player like him. The only knock on his grade is that he's not much of an all-around player.
Al Harrington - D
Harrington is obviously a proven player and seasoned veteran, and the Wizards thought they could benefit from his experience and scoring ability.
Early on, it looked like the answer to both of those questions was yes. The former Denver Nugget scored 55 points in his first seven games, but a knee injury suffered just after that point has sidelined him for the past two and a half months.
Harrington was an experiment, and a calculated one. It might have turned out to be a good move, had Harrington been able to stay healthy. Nevertheless, the Wizards have plenty of scorers, and Harrington is expendable. The 15-year veteran has likely seen his last action in Washington.
Otto Porter Jr.
Otto Porter Jr. - D
Yes, Otto Porter Jr. has had a rough season thus far. Yes, Porter is averaging 1.8 points per game on 32 percent shooting from the field. No, however, is Porter even close to being a bust.
Porter has played just under 10 minutes per game, giving him very little opportunity to get any rhythm going offensively. There just simply isn't a large need for the 2013 first-round pick at this time, being that there are so many other effective scorers on the Wizards.
The Georgetown product is still a developing player, and likely still has a bright future.
Eric Maynor - D-
Ouch, you have to feel for Eric Maynor. So much potential and excitement accompanied Maynor's arrival to Washington and his signing of a two-year deal.
However, John Wall's backup experienced the worst start to his career, averaging a career-low 2.4 points per game in the early going. After about a month, he became a permanent fixture, more or less, on the bench.
If Maynor returns for his second year, Washington can take solace in the fact that he's been a good, proven player in the past and may have just gotten his confidence shattered in the 2013-14 season. There's a little bit of hope, but as of now, it doesn't look promising.
Garrett Temple - C-
Garrett Temple is by no means a scorer. His 2.2 points per game, however, can't be taken as is. January has been his best month of the season thus far, averaging 3.4 points per game.
Temple is a reasonable option as Wall's spell and an effective game-manager. It may not show in his numbers, but he plays solid defense as well.
The former undrafted free agent has turned himself into a respected player by his coaches and teammates alike. Temple might be the most important player on the team when it comes to cohesion by team chemistry.
Glen Rice Jr.
Glen Rice Jr. - C-
Glen Rice Jr. has actually performed reasonably well for the little action he's seen this season. He's still a prospect with good size and athleticism, as well as the ability to shoot.
If you don't like Rice's game, consider where he came from. Rice is one of just 14 players drafted in the second round of last year's draft to see game action this season.
His spot minutes in the rotation have resulted in 2.9 points per games and 1.8 rebounds. The young prospect figures to have decent potential moving forward.
Kevin Seraphin - C
Kevin Seraphin has been about what the Wizards expected this season. He's a big body that can score the ball and rebound.
He doesn't have the strongest hands, and often times isn't as aggressive as he should be. He holds an assist-to-turnover ration of 0.3, ranking him last on the team in that department.
He isn't likely someone that would work his way into a starting job, but he's been a good enough utility guy in the frontcourt when Washington needs a large presence.
Chris Singleton - C
Chris Singleton faces the unfortunate reality of the Wizards having too much talent at the small forward position.
He's answered the bell when he's been asked to play big minutes. With injuries mounting, Singleton averaged 5.7 points per game in the month of December.
He's a big body with decent scoring and shooting ability and a long future ahead. Singleton may be a player that emerges in a big way in the coming years, whether it be in Washington or elsewhere.
All stats courtesy of NBA.com