Wizards Midseason Report Cards

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Wizards Midseason Report Cards
Rob Carr/Getty Images

He was billed as a top defender when the Wizards traded for him in the offseason and he's lived up to that billing, as one of the top 20 or 30 defensive players in the NBA. The Wizards have the 4th-best defense in the NBA and Ariza is probably the single biggest reason why. The defense is 2.6 points per 100 possessions better when he's on the court and he does this despite usually playing the opposition's top scorer. Ariza plays the passing lanes beatifully, consistently coming up with steals and harassing other teams into mistakes.

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