[NOTE: Truth About It.net 2011-12 Player Reviews continue, where we take a look at the past, present and future of those players who have touched the Wizards franchise during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season. Now, we review one of the chin-strap brothers. That's right... Trevor Booker. TAI's Adam McGinnis, John Converse Townsend and Kyle Weidie take a peek at Booker's 50 games in a lockout-shortened season. -Kyle W.]
Player Review Index: Morris Almond (we’d like to) | Andray Blatche | Trevor Booker | Brian Cook (maybe) | Jordan Crawford | Maurice Evans | Rashard Lewis | Shelvin Mack | Cartier Martin | Roger Mason Jr. | JaVale McGee | Nenê | Kevin Seraphin (coming soon) | Chris Singleton | James Singleton | Ronny Turiaf (meh) | Edwin Ubiles (we’ll see) | Jan Vesely | John Wall | Nick Young
Trevor Booker: DC Council Ratings
In 32 starts with the Wizards: 1.55 average Stars out of 3
(Booker received 22 of 54 possible ‘sub of the game’ nominations in his 18 games off the bench.)
Best Start: Mar. 7, 2012 – Game 38 vs Los Angeles Lakers
Worst Start: Jan. 16, 2012 – Game 13 at Houston Rockets
Trevor Booker missed the last month of the 2010-11 season, sidelined with a sesamoid bone fracture in his right foot—a tough break for a young kid, who had averaged 10.2 points and 7.6 rebounds in 14 starts as a rookie.
A surgery, a cast, a walking boot and a few months later, Booker was ready for action. In August, with the lockout lingering, Booker became the first Wizards player to get his hoop on overseas, signing with Israeli top-flight club Bnei HaSharon. But several short weeks later, Booker was forced to return stateside to treat and rehabilitate a thigh he bruised during his time with Ligat HaAl.
Fast forward. The lockout had finally ended and Trevor Booker was fit, healthy and hungry. Booker found progress slow in the first month of the 2011-12 NBA season, but expectedly so. Playing fewer than 20 minutes per game, Booker was averaging just 6.4 points and 4.8 through December. However, he did start over Andray Blatche in the Wizards’ first win of the season, a 93-78 win over Toronto, after dropping the first eight games of the season; in that game, Booker had eight points, seven rebounds, three steals, and a block in 32 minutes. Flip Saunders was forced to shake up his stale rotations for good, thanks to injuries to teammates Rashard Lewis (sore knee) and Andray Blatche (calf), leaving Booker to pick up the extra minutes.
Penciled in as the starting forward in February, under the instruction of Randy Wittman, Booker averaged 10.6 points on .537 shooting to go along with 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 1.2 steals. It was more of the same the next month: 10.1 points (.496) and 8.2 rebounds in just over 30 minutes per game. The highlights of that chapter in Booker’s sophomore season were a career-high 20-point showing against Milwaukee and, of course, the unexpected 106-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers—on the night the Black Mamba debuted his black mask. The pre-trade deadline Wizards had clawed their way back from a 21-point deficit, helped by a fantastic performance from Booker, who recorded 18 points and a career-high 17 rebounds (eight in the fourth quarter alone), and even scored his first career 3-pointer.
“He was really, really big,” Wittman said after the game. “Book was all over the place.”
But then, the inevitable happened. Too strong? The regrettable…?
Booker limped to the locker room during the first quarter of a 97-76 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on March 30. Plantar fasciitis felled the beast. Booker missed the remainder of the season and would later reveal that he had been dealing with foot pain for about two months.
Over his last 29 games, Booker averaged 10.6 points and 8.3 rebounds and shot 51.8-percent from the field. Booker led the Wizards in rebounds on 14 occasions, in points four times, and even was the team’s high-assist man in a three-point loss to the Hawks. In a lockout- and injury-shortened season, Booker was still able to add a few moves to his post game and improve his jump shot. Since last season, Booker improved his effective field goal percentage almost across the board: +2.6-percent at the rim, +4.5-percent between 10-15 feet and +15.3-percent between 16-23 feet.
The story of Booker’s first two NBA seasons? Injuries, unfortunately, but some pretty damn good basketball in between.
—John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend)
When Ted Leonsis took majority ownership of the Washington Wizards franchise in June of 2010, there were two main areas that he emphasized: getting tougher and drafting/developing young players. Wizards forward Trevor Booker embodies this philosophy as a bruising, flinty player and displayed noticeable improvement from his rookie season before being shut down for those last 16 games.
Booker’s 18 points and 17 rebounds were clearly instrumental in Washington’s huge home comeback victory over Lakers. In the Milwaukee game, he was a much-needed offensive weapon in the clutch. Booker also received a double technical for pushing back on Blake Griffin’s whiny behavior, and he had zero tolerance for Jason Richardson’s antics. Booker on Richardson:
“He came at me pretty strong, but you know me. I’m not backing down. … I don’t take anything from anybody.”
His style was a blessing that ended the player intimidation drought for Washington fans. Booker jerseys started filling up the arena and during the starting lineup introductions, he received loud cheers which are usually just reserved for John Wall. After a report surfaced in March that every every Wizard player was on the trading block, with the exception of John Wall (in order to get rid of Andray Blatche), fans filled online outlets with outrage. It was later clarified that Booker was never seriously considered to be moved, but the uproar revealed that he had become one of the more popular new Wiz kids.
—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)
Trevor Booker will get paid about $1.4 million next season. After that, if the status quo or better continues, Washington will pick up a $2.35 million team option on Booker’s rookie contract for 2013-14. Then, it could get tricky.
Ideally, Booker won’t be in a Nick Young situation: hoping for offers and wondering if the Wizards will match in the the summer of 2014. He will have played well enough, and have stayed healthy enough, for the Wizards to just go ahead and sign him to an extension before it gets to all of that. But remember, John Wall, Kevin Seraphin and Jordan Crawford are from the same draft class as Booker. Crawford has a long way to go to prove himself, the others to a lesser extent—some, Wall, to a much, much lesser extent. But even three out of four would be quite a maneuver for Ernie Grunfeld, especially if the Wizards are “expected” to play the free agent market in this summer and/or the next.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, aren’t we? Booker is a keeper, no doubt. You hope his health history thus far makes amends, and you move on B.A.U. (Erick and Parrish Making Dollars).
Continued jump shot improvement is a must, better footwork in the post (both offensively and defensively, mostly the former) are undoubtedly a must. Does Booker need to be able to guard some 3s? You betcha. Otherwise, you feel that all that Cook Book needs is some seasoning before he’s a pillar in the Wizards foundation for years to come.
—Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)
[Side Note: Booker, toward the end of the season, indicated that he would not be participating in the 2012 Las Vegas Summer League. But, if I were a betting man, I'd play the odds that he will at least be in Nevada, training with his young teammates, with the potential to appear in a game or so.]
Trevor Booker possesses a dry humor, which he sometimes reveals quite well through his twitter use. Otherwise, he had never seen classic movie Shawshank Redemption until recently, his favorite TV show is Teen Mom, and he really hates floppers. Booker has taken up the game of golf, and he would be one scary enforcer in hockey.
The real star of social media in the Booker family, however, is Trevor’s mom, Tracey. On her twitter feed, she often pokes fun at Trevor and his brothers, makes humorous observations, but, also communicates warmly about her family. Below are some highlights from the recent season.
I am pretty sure if my mom followed me on Twitter she would reply with the same answer to this question.
Clowning her sons:
Mama Book has a solid reason as to why referees whistle her kids for fouls:
Sweet, motherly love:
Andray Blatche definitely played poorly in this game, of course he did:
Like Tracy, Wizards fans missed having “Cook Book” on the court:
I am sensing a new nickname: Drop Dead Trev…
—Adam McGinnis (@AdamMcGinnis)
GRADE TREVOR BOOKER
SHOOTING IMPROVEMENT DETAILS
In 55 games during the 2011-12 season, Booker averaged 12 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 steals, and 1.2 blocks on 53-percent field goal shooting. The refinement in shooting ability is evident in the numbers:
2010-11 Wizards FGs: 139-253 55%
At The Rim: 102-for-144 – 71%
3-9 Feet: 30-for- 63 – 48%
10-15 Feet: 2-for-14 – 14%
16 Feet to the 3-Point Line: 5-for-31 - 16%
3-Pointers: – 0-for-1
2011-12 Wizards FGs: 181-341, 53%
At The Rim: 112-for-154 – 73%
3-9 Feet: 33-for-85 – 39%
10-15 Feet: 5-for-25 – 20%
16 Feet to the 3-Point Line: 30-for-75 – 40%
3-Pointers: 1-for-2 – 50%
2010-11: 20-for-87 – 23%
2011-12: 52-for-160 – 33%