#WizardsRank: Jan Vesely, No. 18: The Man-Boy They Call 'Honza'
Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
Participants were given the full list of 56 in alphabetical order, and included for each player were total games, minutes, PER (player efficiency rating), and WS/48 (win-shares per 48 minutes) only from the last five seasons. Participants were asked to rate each player on the scale of 1-to-10 according to this criteria: on court performance; off court performance; intangibles; and own personal memory. Yes, this is totally subjective, but relatively collective.
NOTE: #WizardsRank Nos. 56 to 22 have been posted and links can be found below. Now, we’ll start releasing player rankings one or so at a time. -Kyle W.
4.88 out of 10
(57 games, 1,078 minutes, 11.5 PER, .076 WS/48)
We know Jan Vesely likes to run. He lives to dunk. He’s can be great off the ball. (As an NBA rookie, Vesely scored 1.15 points per play on cuts and 1.22 points per play on offensive rebounds, according to mySynergySports.com.) He has one of the better basketball minds on the team, if not in terms of strategy, most certainly in terms of instinct—he takes charges, he plays good help defense and he always seems to be scrapping for those 50-50 balls. He was probably the best big man pick-and-roll defender on the team last season. He can’t shoot: he made just three jump shots outside of the paint last year (and those didn’t come till March). And he’s an NBA athlete, though not one the Association has ever seen before—white, European, seven-feet tall, with wheels and serious hops.
What we don’t know is whether the “Honza” will develop into a complete player. Athleticism only gets you so far… But if his performance in late April (when tanking is rampant) is any indication of future success, the future looks promising. On the 18th, Vesely scored eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds against the Milwaukee Bucks. Two games later against Charlotte—again, against Charlotte—he scored a career-high 16 points on eight shots, perfect from the field. In the next game, Vesely scored seven points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers. And, in the final game of the season, he reached double-digit points and posted eight rebounds against the would-be NBA champions, the Miami Heat.
Did the game slow down for the high-flying forward? Did he just need more minutes to show what he could do as a rookie? Whatever the case, he was indubitably a positive influence on the floor. The Wizards were 9-11 (.450) with Vesely as a starter, the best percentage of any player who started more than two games. Chances are slim he’ll start next year with the additions of Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza, Nene, and the unexpected rise of Kevin Seraphin. But with added strength and an improved jumper (big hat tip to Wizards development coach Joe Connelly, who has transformed Vesely’s game from mid-range, just check the Vegas Summer League tape), he’ll be tough to keep off the floor.
John Converse Townsend ][ @JohnCTownsend
No. 56: Cedric Jackson; No. 55: Mike Bibby; No. 54: Paul Davis; No. 53: Edwin Ubiles; No. 52: Quinton Ross.
No. 51: Mike Wilks; No. 50: Mike Harris; No. 49: Javaris Crittenton; No. 48: Dee Brown; No. 47: Morris Almond.
No. 46: Larry Owens; No. 45: Mustafa Shakur; No. 44: Brian Cook; No. 43: Hamady N’diaye; No. 42: Rashard Lewis.
No. 41: Hilton Armstrong; No. 40: Oleksiy Pecherov; No. 39: Mike James; No. 38: Fabricio Oberto; No. 37: Ronny Turiaf.
No. 36: Lester Hudson; No. 35: Yi Jianlian; No. 34: Juan Dixon; No. 33: Josh Howard; No. 32: Chris Singleton.
No. 31: Al Thornton; No. 30: Shelvin Mack; No. 29: Mo Evans; No. 28: Mike Miller; No. 27: Alonzo Gee.
No. 26: Randy Foye; No. 25: Dominic McGuire; No. 24: Andray Blatche; No. 23: Earl Boykins; No. 22: Roger Mason.