Washington Wizards Player Evaluation #9, head over to Bullets Forever to check the thoughts of the Pradamaster and JakeTheSnake on DeShawn Stevenson.
Etan Thomas | Oleksiy Pecherov | Dominic McGuire | Nick Young |
Andray Blatche | Roger Mason | Darius Songaila | Antonio Daniels|
If you were guessing which Wizard would have the best chance of surviving a season of Deadliest Catch, who would it be? Caron Butler, obviously…..especially since he grew up in the climate of Racine. But right behind Tuff Juice would be DeShawn Stevenson, this year’s recipient of the Warrior Award. He made it through watermelon knee, grandpa’s ankle, and pregnant woman’s back without missing a game…..and while turning in the best season of his career.
Stevenson also provided a king’s share of off-court fodder, while significantly boosting business for The Pride of Fredonia’s Sports Bog. DeShawn dubbed himself the Lock Smith, had trouble keeping it real, lost feeling in his face, danced at his 80s birthday party the same night he sprained his ankle and lost to the Bucks in devastating fashion, led me to realize that he had something in common with Ricky Davis, and made trash talking history. And I’m not even mentioning last summer’s gun play (which has seemingly been swept under a rug – DeShawn and Andray Blatche are the poster children for the perils of bringing hoes, and their male baggage, home), Black Card escapades, jersey tattoos and Lindsey Lohan solicitations.
I certainly appreciate some of DeShawn Stevenson’s off-court antics. He makes the team more bloggable, which garners more attention….and the end result is better for the franchise in an ‘any pub is good pub’ manner. However, many times, I found DeShawn’s on-court antics disgraceful and sophomoric. I know, I know….go easy on the guy, he’s a warrior. But being a numb-faced hype man is one thing, acting as an incendiary device for opponents is another. If only DeShawn could find the balance between maturity and motivation.
But alas, Stevenson brings too many good qualities to not want him around. He was more than adept at filling in where needed in this latest tumultuous season. Who was going to replace Gilbert Arenas’s 205 made 3-pointers from 06-07? Why, DeShawn Stevenson…in 07-08, he drained 158 trey balls, just over 24% more than his previous seven year career total. It’s really astounding how DeShawn went from hitting a trey every 157.9 minutes (an attempt every 41.4 minutes) in his first 6 seasons, to a made trey every 32.7 minutes (an attempt every 13.2 minutes) in 06-07, to a made trey every 16.2 minutes (an attempt every 6.2 minutes) in 07-08. I realize this is also indicative of offensive system, but the guy has obviously been working to improve his shot, aside from practice competitions with Gilbert Arenas.
Was the past season the ceiling for DeShawn Stevenson? Well, the guy is only 27. If he really has commitment to the game, there is no reason why he can’t continue to improve. That being said, I don’t see him ever being more than the 5th option when in the starting lineup….and in Eddie Jordan’s offense, that’s okay.
The top priority for DeShawn Stevenson this summer should be to continue working on his shot. His form would indicate a streaky shooter. I wrote this about him in a post during the playoffs: “DeShawn had 17 outings this year where he attempted four or more 3s and ended the game shooting less than 25% from deep. The total 3p% for those 17 games was .187 (17-91). On the other hand, there have been 26 games this year where Stevenson attempted four or more 3s and shot better than 40%. The total 3p% for those 26 games is .533 (98-184). DeShawn Stevenson shot 38.3% from beyond the arc on the season.”
Being able to consistently depend on DeShawn to knock down shots would be an invaluable asset to this team and might land him a fat contract when he opts out (probably) of his current 4-year $15 million deal in the summer of 2010 when he’s 29. Stevenson seems to mesh well with the current squad. Here’s to continuance, health, and hopes that from the Lock Smith, the Wizards youth learn what it takes to be a warrior.
Up Next: Brendan Haywood