Chris Singleton in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Someone Give This Man Appropriately Heated Porridge | Wizards Blog Truth About

Chris Singleton in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Someone Give This Man Appropriately Heated Porridge

Updated: May 14, 2013

[Wizards 2012-13 Player Reviews from the TAI crew are going down; let’s reflect—index:
Jannero PargoJason CollinsShaun LivingstonShelvin MackCartier MartinEarl Barron,
Jan VeselyChris SingletonTrevor BookerGarrett TempleEmeka OkaforTrevor Ariza,
Martell WebsterA.J. PriceJordan CrawfordKevin SeraphinBradley BealNeneJohn Wall.]

Chris Singleton

6-8 : Height
230 lbs. : Weight
23 : Age
2 : Years NBA Experience
1 : NBA Team

Drafted by the Wizards 18th overall in 2011. 

Time as a Wizard in 2012-13

57 : Games
11 : Starts
924 : Minutes

1.06 out of 3 stars

Average Truth About DC Council Game Rating
{Singleton evaluated over 27 games} 

7.8 PER

NBA historical PER contribution equivalent:
maybe Fennis Dembo for the 1988-89 Detroit Pistons (7.8)
maybe Perry Jones for the 2012-13 Oklahoma City Thunder (7.8),
maybe Joey Graham for the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers (7.7)

.028 Win Shares/48 Minutes

NBA historical WS/48 contribution equivalent:
maybe Danny Ferry with the 1990-91 Cleveland Cavaliers (.028),
maybe Danny Ferry with the 2002-03 San Antonio Spurs (.028),
maybe Wah Wah Jones with the 1951-52 Indianapolis Olympians (.028),
maybe Earl Clark with the 2011-12 Orlando Magic (.027),
maybe Tom Hammonds with the 1991-92 Washington Bullets (.027)

With Chris Singleton on the Court…

The Wizards offense scored 1.0 point less per 100 possessions (OffRtg)
The Wizards defense allowed 1.5 points more per 100 possessions (DefRtg)
Plus/Minus per 48 minutes: minus-4.7

Numbers : Per 36 Minutes

9.0 : Points
7.2 : Rebounds
0.9 : Blocks
1.5 : Steals
1.4 : Assists
1.8 : Turnovers
4.8 : Fouls

0.73 PPP

Singleton had 313 offensive possessions with the Wizards that ended with a FGA, TO or FTs, and he scored 0.73 Points Per Possession (PPP) on those, ranked 416th in the NBA (via Synergy Sports Technology). Defensively, he allowed 0.85 PPP over 248 possessions.


38.2% Field Goals (92-241)
19.4% 3-Pointers (7-36)
57.1% Free Throws (40-70)


Chris Singleton in 2012-13 with the Wizards: Someone Give This Man Appropriately Heated Porridge

by Conor Dirks (@ConorDDirks)

When Chris Singleton was drafted 18th overall by the Wizards in 2011, praise was almost universal; many writers thought the Wizards had themselves a bona fide draft day steal.

In adorning the Grunfeld administration with an A+ (not a Scarlet Letter reference, even), Yahoo! writer Kelly Dwyer had this to say about Singleton: “Singleton is a needed lockdown defender who might allow Flip Saunders to bust out his zone defense once again…”

Commentary from SI’s Sam Amick (who also gave the Wizards an A+) was almost identical: “In Singleton, they get a lockdown defender player who claims he can guard all five positions.”’s Mike Misek said this about Singleton after the draft: “He has a tremendous ability to defend, but needs to stay out of foul trouble and work on his offense.”

Because the Wizards started the 2011-12 season with one of the most questionable lineups in team history (John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Rashard Lewis, Andray Blatche, and JaVale McGee—in limited action, Ronny Turiaf played 22 minutes off the bench), Singleton was put in a position to showcase the oft-noted “lockdown defense” that was expected of him. It turns out that “lockdown” may have been a bit hyperbolic; opposing small forwards averaged an above-average 16.2 PER against Singleton.

As noted by TAI’s Kyle Weidie around this time last year, Singleton started more games than all but two rookies in 2011-12, good for 77-percent of the games played in the lockout season. But quantity doesn’t equal quality in this case, and although Singleton got plenty of run (he was on the court for 45.2 percent of Washington’s available game minutes in his rookie year), he didn’t impress his coach, or his team’s general manager, enough to secure the organization’s confidence going forward. A subpar summer league performance, and a regressing jump shot, did nothing to assuage the unease. So, what was Plan B for an organization when their “A+” draft pick earned an “incomplete” on his rookie transcript? In the 2012 offseason, the Wizards traded for Trevor Ariza and signed Martell Webster, both of whom play Singleton’s “natural” position of small forward.

In 2012-13, Singleton managed to be on the court for 924 total minutes, or 23.5 percent of Washington’s total available game minutes. The drop in time can be partially explained away with the aforementioned significant roster upgrades, and partially by Randy Wittman’s tendency to rotate players into long-term doghouse accommodations. But mostly, the reason Chris Singleton didn’t play is because he didn’t perform particularly well when given a chance. There was, however, an anomalous stretch in February when Singleton stepped up.

Between a February 2 game against the Spurs and a February 8 game against the Nets, Singleton scored 7.8 points per contest and his shooting percentages were massive outliers compared to his cumulative season stats. In fact, over all of February, Singleton played 15.7 minutes per game, shot 47 percent from the floor, and showed some signs of being able to develop a consistent 3-point shot (33 percent from the 3-point line for the month). He also averaged 1.2 steals per game during February, far more success than he found in that category in any other month during the season.

Still, you have to wonder whether the development of a player like Singleton (defense-oriented, capable of guarding both forward positions) was poorly served by the learning cliff he was asked to navigate as a rookie on a 20-win team after a summer of non-contact with the team and coaches because of the lockout. Because of his position and because he started so many games so early, Singleton was regularly asked to contain confidence-killers like Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce, and LeBron James (in other words, the best player on the opposing squad). While NBA players are often judged by the leap they do or don’t make between their rookie and sophomore seasons, it would be unfair to do so in this case because of how Goldilocks-ish Singleton’s career has been thus far: first the porridge was too hot, now the porridge is too cold. Coach Wittman has yet to find a “just right” role for Singleton (if he’s even looking) and it’s difficult to think of Singleton’s meager contributions this season as anything short of a disappointment.

The team wants Singleton to develop as a defensive stopper who can play, and guard, both forward positions and knock down 3-point shots when there is an open look. He’s not there, but don’t label him as a bust just yet. Singleton is a player who has looked lost from time to time, outmatched every once in a while, but rarely incapable. A key question moving forward will be whether his handle of the ball can improve enough to take advantage of his significant physical gifts on offense. At the small forward position (and not in the small lineup power forward spot he’s been asked to play on a fairly consistent basis), he’s long enough to make defenders uncomfortable, but that will only go as far as his ability to drive and post up with confidence. Another concern for coaches is whether Singleton’s lateral movement is adequate to keep up with opposing small forwards. If the answer is “no,” a “small-ball 4” could be the niche Singleton finds himself being coached into by the Wizards staff.  “Coached into a niche role” doesn’t quite have the ring of “lockdown defender” though, does it?

Flip Saunders once compared Chris Singleton to retired Spur, and notoriously capable defender, Bruce Bowen. The eye test produces erratic results, so bend a knee to your cruel defensive possession statistics overlord and let’s see how Chris Singleton compares defensively with some of his contemporaries:

Chris Singleton: 248 total defensive possessions, 0.85 points allowed per defensive possession, opponents shot 35 percent, opponents scored 38.7 percent of the time (including free throws), most vulnerable on post-up possessions, where opponents scored 42.4 percent of the time.

Martell Webster: 668 total defensive possessions, 0.87 points allowed per defensive possession, opponents shot 38.2 percent, opponents score 38.2 percent of the time, most vulnerable on post-up possessions, where opponents scored 53.5 percent of the time.

Trevor Ariza: 394 total defensive possessions, 0.76 points allowed per defensive possession, opponents shot 34.5 percent, opponents scored 35 percent of the time, most vulnerable on isolation possessions, where opponents scored 42.3 percent of the time.

Josh Smith: 778 total defensive possessions, 0.81 points allowed per defensive possession, opponents shot 37.8 percent, opponents scored 37.3 percent of the time, most vulnerable on pick and rolls featuring the roll man, where opponents scored 40.8 percent of the time.

Shane Battier: 649 total defensive possessions, 0.86 points allowed per defensive possession, opponents shot 38%, opponents scored 38.4 percent of the time, most vulnerable on isolation plays, where opponents scored 42.3 percent of the time.

Paul George: 1255 total defensive possessions, 0.82 points allowed per defensive possession, opponents shot 36.8 percent, opponents scored 37.5 percent of the time, most vulnerable on post-ups, where opponents scored 45.8 percent of the time.

(all statistics via Synergy Sports Technology)

Of these six players, Singleton is fourth in points allowed per defensive possession, second in opponent field goal percentage, and sixth in opponent scoring percentage (indicative of his fouling issues). Singleton is also sixth in total defensive possessions, which hearkens to his limited role. When considering these comparisons, remember that all five of the other players listed play more frequently against NBA starters than Singleton does. In some cases this distinction is more striking (Paul George) than others (Trevor Ariza).

Singleton may not have made the “jump” from rookie to sophomore year (unless we’re talking hopscotch), but players who improve significantly in their third year are far from rare. The organization will have to make a few important decisions over the summer, and those decisions could shape Singleton’s future development in D.C. If the Wizards re-sign Martell Webster, don’t trade away Trevor Ariza, and draft a forward, Chris could be traded or, worse, forgotten. But if Webster signs elsewhere and the Wizards draft Maryland center Alex Len, we might be able to see more consistent playing time, and hopefully more consistent development, from the young Washington forward.


The highlight of Singleton’s season came in game three:
a big dunk late in a loss against Kevin Garnett and the Celtics in Boston.

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Conor Dirks
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
Conor has been with TAI since 2012, and aids in the seamless editorial process that brings you the kind of high-octane blogging you have come to expect from this rad website. The Wizards have been an assiduous companion throughout his years on the cosmic waiver wire. He lives in D.C. and is day-to-day.