Part 8 of Washington Wizards Player Evaluations, head over to Bullets Forever to check the thoughts of the Pradamaster and JakeTheSnake on Antonio Daniels.
Etan Thomas | Oleksiy Pecherov | Dominic McGuire | Nick Young |
Andray Blatche | Roger Mason | Darius Songaila|
Antonio Daniels is my Catch-22. I love his steadying veteran presence. He fills in wherever needed and does whatever is asked of him without thinking twice. Daniels has been a model of consistency during his 11 year NBA career. This past season was no exception as Antonio Daniels was asked to sub for an injured Gilbert Arenas. In doing so, AD started 63 out of 71 played games for the Wizards. In his previous 10 seasons, Antonio started a total of 149 out of 722 games.
In Daniels’ 07-08 starts, he contributed about nine points, five assists, and three rebounds in just over 30 minutes a game while only turning the ball over 86 times total (a 1.36 average). So, I’ll throw around terms such as admirable and will give AD a big ‘thank you’ because without him, I highly doubt that the Wizards would have achieved 43 wins.
However, there’s a Sir Mix-a-Lot sized ‘but’……..Antonio Daniels can neither shoot nor defend. As his career 30.9% from 3-point land would indicate, AD is not one for distance buckets. Now, he is no where near Rajon Rondo bad, but throughout the season, opponents proved more times than not that they were willing to risk leaving Daniels open to protect the paint. And AD did not disappoint by hitting only 17 of 74 attempts from beyond the arc. My expectations of Daniels in this area have always been tempered, but I still have wishes that he could keep defenses honest. But alas, it is what it is…..if Antonio hasn’t improved his shot to date, then it’s probably never going to happen. Old dogs don’t learn new tricks.
Compounding AD’s conduciveness to the constrictive nature of the opposing defenses is his inability to on-ball defend. I suppose you could dub his quickness as adequate….for a 33 year old. AD won’t get you many steals, his one per game this past season was a career high. But he has the smarts and desire to limit gambles and to try staying in front of his man. However, in many cases those attempts end up futile.
Yet, I’m willing to look past these transgressions because of the character of Antonio Daniels….a man in the community. His number one goal is to initiate Eddie Jordan’s offense, and being 10th in the NBA in Assist-Rating, I’d say AD is pretty adept at that priority. And I haven’t even mentioned the fearlessness he displays when driving to the basket. Either his body does not know it’s age, or does and simply doesn’t care.
Maybe AD falls short in major team areas of need. And I’m not exactly thrilled that the Wiz are still on the hook for two more years and $12.8 million….for a backup point guard. But I guess we’re paying for a little more than what is produced on the court. What the deuce?….It’s not like Grunfeld is going to be able to easily rid himself of AD’s contract before next season, so we have no choice but to welcome Antonio back with open arms.
Up Next: DeShawn Stevenson