The 2007-2008 season Washington Wizards player evaluations have begun on Bullets Forever. First up to bat, Etan Thomas. My thoughts are below…..be sure and check out those of Prada and Jake the Snake as well.
Etan Thomas’ future is about as unpredictable as tagging along with Pac Man Jones for a night out on the town. The big question mark surrounds The Poet’s heart….and in this case, no news is not necessarily good news. He tried to come back in mid-February, sported a chest protector, got hit in practice……and the next thing we know, the season is over and the word from Grunfeld is that Etan will make a full recovery by training camp. Not so says CBS Sportsline where Etan is listed as “questionable” for the 08-09 training camp (of course, that was last updated on 5/3). Basketball-Reference.com has taken the liberty of un-bolding Etan’s name (even Penny Hardaway’s name is bolded…ok, he played 14 games in Nov. and two in Dec.). What does this all mean? It means that Thomas coming back healthy is one thing, coming back as a contributor is another.
Etan Thomas does not first come to mind when you think of painted area defensive stopper, but maybe he doesn’t have to be. Memory serves me that Etan is more agile than Brendan Haywood. Thus, in the Wizards match-up zone, Thomas has the potential to better play the passing lanes and defend the pick and roll. Etan is not going to match Haywood’s output when the Wizards have the ball, as his Usage% has dropped in recent years…..(while his D-rating has increased ). If all systems are go in Europe in October , the Wizards would most importantly need Etan Thomas to be dominant on the defensive boards (which is easier to do in a match-up zone than a regular zone), contend for offensive boards, and keep track of his assignments on D.
Outlook: I’d rather Etan be the throw-in on an ingenious Ernie Grunfeld trade than depend on him to fill championship needs in 08-09.
Up Next: Oleksiy Pecherov