Spotlighting and Breaking Down Washington Wizards' Point Guard Position
The point guard position turned out to be more important than the Washington Wizards had expected during the 2012-13 season.
The Wizards got off to a very slow start on the season, only winning four games in the first two months of the season.
When Wall returned, the team played much better, leading fans, coaches and front office personnel to expect a playoff appearance for Washington this season.
In order for that to happen, the point guard position will have to perform up to expectations, and the backups have to do a better job of filling in if Wall is forced to miss any amount of games.
Wall is the undeniable leader of the Wizards, and pilots its offense on the court every game, but just as important will be Wall's backups, and how they mesh with other bench players, especially newcomers Al Harrington and Otto Porter.
So who will be running the floor for the Wizards this season? Let's take a look at the point guards poised to play for Washington's basketball team this season.
Wall is by far and away the best player on the Wizards. Although he has never played in an All Star game, Washington recognized his value to the team by giving him a max contract worth $80 million this offseason.
Assuming he is healthy, the former No. 1 overall draft pick will start every game at point for the Wizards. He is the heart and soul of this roster, and runs the offense. Last season, Wall led the team in points and assists, the second year in a row he's done that.
When Wall is on the court, there is no doubt that the Wizards play better.
Although there are plenty of great things to say about Wall, that doesn't mean he can't afford to improve.
Wall only has a career 42.3 percent shooting percentage, and only shot 7.1 percent from three during the 2011-12 season.
There are times when Wall struggles with shot selection, but some of that can be attributed to a lack of offensive weapons on the Wizards during his time in Washington.
Until Beal came along as a rookie last season, Wall was pretty much the only player who could score on the Wizards, but the addition of Beal last year and the improved play of small forward Webster should alleviate some of that this season.
Having Harrington to stretch the floor as well should open up some shooting lanes for Wall, so expect his field-goal percentage to be a career-high this season.
The Wizards have serious playoff aspirations, and team president Ernie Grunfeld's job may very well depend on that. If Washington is to make it to the postseason, Wall will be the one leading it there, and he'll be the front-runner for points and assists once again.
Projected stats (per game): 36 minutes, 19 points, eight assists, four rebounds, 47 percent shooting
To try to avoid the disaster that was the beginning of the 2012-13 season, the Wizards went out in the offseason to sign Eric Maynor, formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I appreciate all the love n support y'all.....I'm excited to be signing wit the Wizards......#Blessed
With the Thunder, Maynor lost his job to Reggie Jackson as the backup to Russell Westbrook after missing most of the 2011-12 season due to injury, and was eventually traded to the Trail Blazers.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
As a point guard, Maynor's strength lies in his ability to run a controlled offense. He has never been a big scorer (he only averages 4.5 points for his career) but he is a pass-first player who averaged four assists in 27 games with Portland during the first part of the 2012-13 season.
When Wall isn't on the court, Maynor should be a solid option as long as he stays healthy. The 26-year-old will spend most of his time on the court with other bench players, but he is great in pick-and-pop situations, which makes him a good partner for Harrington, a three-point shooter.
Maynor has only started two games in the NBA, so the Wizards would be amiss to think that he'd make a good starter should Wall miss time again, but as a backup Maynor brings a significantly better skill set than that of A.J. Price.
Projected stats (per game): 10 minutes, five points, four assists, one rebound, 42 percent shooting
Although Temple also serves as a backup shooting guard behind Bradley Beal, the Wizards drafted Glen Rice Jr. and still have Chris Singleton, making Temple a likely option to be a third point guard.
Who will have the better season?
Between injuries to Wall and Beal, Temple was forced to start 36 games last season. In those starts, Temple was pretty disappointing, playing in about 28 minutes per game, but only averaging 6.3 points on 39.5 percent shooting, according to ESPN.
Barring injuries, Temple likely won't see the court for more than a few minutes a game. He has never shot better than 43 percent for a season, and only shot 29.4 percent in 24 games during the 2010-11 season.
Temple took a year off for the 2011-12 season, playing for a season in Italy before the Wizards brought him back to the NBA. Last season, Temple did average just over two rebounds and two assists but he's definitely not someone the Wizards will want starting at point guard.
Projected stats (per game): Six minutes, four points, two assists, two rebounds, 40 percent shooting
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