Washington Wizards Report Card: Grades for All Key Players Through First Quarter
What's more interesting than critiquing all the key players on the team with the worst record in the NBA?
It's amazing how fast the season goes by with a condensed season; we are all ready done with a fourth of the season so far. But for the Washington Wizards, it has been the most exciting couple of months for them. They are now 2-16 and the team is looking more like a roller coaster going down a steep hill than I've ever seen them.
They did beat the Oklahoma City Thunder, which got their confidence up for a great stretch of games but all of that has seemed to die down due to losing, losing and even more losing.
Many have criticized John Wall for showing bad body language, but who can blame him?!
Wall is one of the few who puts his heart out on the floor on both offense and defense and yet has to falter due to some of his teammates.
His game seems more like the John Wall from Kentucky rather than last year's Wall who looked as if he lost some explosiveness due to nagging injuries during the season. His jump shot hasn't really improved but his confidence is still there. Thank goodness.
I feel like Nick Young is doing very well this season but needs to realize that if he isn't hitting from the perimeter, he still has the athleticism to drive to the rim. When he is on fire he becomes very trigger-happy, and sometimes it is ridiculous, but it also goes in once in a while.
His defense is improving, which has always been the knock on his game. Young had a sequence where he had to guard Kevin Durant during the Wizards/Thunder matchup and did a pretty impressive job outplaying him on both ends of the floor in the last few minutes.
If his shot selection can improve he could easily average 20 points per game, but that is a big "if."
JaVale has gone a long way from where he started coming into this league as a rookie. He has finally developed a decent post game, although it can be sometimes predictable. As far as his numbers go, I'd say they are on the right track.
He is the league's leading shot-blocker and doesn't get bullied as much as he used to in previous seasons.
Now why does he not have an "A"?
McGee has had spectacular games this season but with that, he has some games where he disappears and still makes bonehead plays...it's as simple as that.
He still deserves an extension, by the way.
Chris Singleton does exactly what he was brought to Washington, DC for—to defend well and shoot the open three. He does that, therefore he deserves a "B." His dribbling could be better but with his effort on defense and on the boards, he seems just fine doing what he does best.
His great size and athleticism are just what the Wizards need to run with John Wall, which pretty much makes Singleton the rookie with the most impact on the squad.
The problem is just that Flip Saunders doesn't seem to get it, as he only played six minutes against the Philadelphia 76ers when they destroyed the Wizards 83-103.
Nobody really knows what position Jan Vesely plays. He doesn't keep his hands up to disrupt shots on the perimeter and is too weak to even handle anybody in the post. I'm pretty sure Flip Saunders just tells him to go out there and play ball, because that is all he can do for now as he doesn't really have a role in this offense. At least not yet.
There have been many samples of seeing Vesely on the court but not really enough to make the impact many expected the "European Blake Griffin" to make.
With Blatche being the most disappointing player on the team, he definitely deserves this grade. Everytime he touches the ball on offense in the Verizon Center you hear boos echoing throughout the arena. There has been no sign of improvement in Blatche and he needs to be traded as soon as possible. It's just going to be tough for the Wizards to find a suitor that is willing to take on his contract, character and play on the court.
He still plays "hero ball" a lot by taking outrageous shots from the perimeter and doing his version of the Kobe Bryant fadeaway, but none of them are working. It is only a matter of time before he packs his bags.