This Year’s Martell Webster : TAI Wizards Player Previews 2013-14
[Truth About It.net player previews of Washington Wizards in 2013-14 -- For each player on this year's roster of 15, we take a look at what's at stake, an interesting statistic, and finally, where that player needs to improve (or excel) to make successful contributions toward a playoff goal.]
Eric Maynor via Conor Dirks; Garrett Temple via Adam McGinnis;
Otto Porter via Adam Rubin; Glen Rice, Jr. via Rashad Mobley;
Trevor Ariza via John C. Townsend; Trevor Booker via Adam Rubin;
Al Harrington via Kyle Weidie; Chris Singleton via Adam McGinnis;
Kevin Seraphin via Sean Fagan; Martell Webster via John C. Townsend;
Jan Vesely via Kyle Weidie & Lukas Kuba; Nene Hilario via Rashad Mobley;
Emeka Okafor via Sean Fagan;
Bradley Beal via Kyle Weidie; John Wall via Conor Dirks.
WHAT’S AT STAKE.
The 2012-13 version of Martell Webster was the best version of Martell Webster in the history of Martell Webster.
He posted career-highs in:
- games started
- minutes played
- minutes per game
- field goals made
- 3-pointers attempted
- 3-pointers made
- 3-point field goal percentage
- free throws made
- rebounds per game
- assists per game
- points per game
- Player Efficiency Rating (PER)
- True Shooting Percentage (TS%)
- Assist Percentage (AST%)
- Offensive Rating
- Defensive Rating
- Win Shares (offensive and defensive)
Can the Wizards get another season like that out of Webster? The team needs one from him, since the brass has gone all-in for a postseason run with pocket deuces. Webster isn’t exactly an Ace up Randy Wittman’s sleeve, but what he brings to the table is worth more to the Wizards—this year in particular, considering the circumstances—than Trevor Ariza does.
You can take that to the bank.
For as bad as the Wizards’ offense was last season, the guys moved the ball pretty well. Or, perhaps more accurately, they had to move the ball in order to score. The Wizards posted the seventh-best AST% in the NBA at 61.0 percent, but were last place in Offensive Rating (97.8), per NBA.com/stats. To further illustrate my point, consider this: the ball-hoggin’ Knicks were last in AST% at 52.7 percent but placed third in OffRtg at 108.6.
And that’s why Martell Webster is so important to the team’s playoff chances. Webster is coming into this season with not only the highest 3-point attempt rate (.517) on the team, but also the highest 3-point field goal percentage (.422).
The 3PAr metric helps to gauge how players are utilized offensively—what it means here is that Webster takes 51.7 percent of his shots from long-distance. Last season, on average, NBA teams attempted 20 3-pointers per game, up 26 percent from 10 years ago and double the rate from 20 years ago.
The Wizards? Still struggling a bit to keep up with the competition. Despite ranking 10th in 3-point percentage last season, the team was 20th in 3-point attempts and 23rd in 3PAr (.196). The league average was .226.
If the Wizards, as currently constructed, rely on ball movement to put the ball in the hoop, you’d better have a guy like Webster around the perimeter. He’s reliable. He’ll make the extra pass. And last year 77.9 percent of his made field goals were assisted, which means that when teammates passed him the rock, he got buckets.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.
Webster’s gotta crash the glass. Although he set a career-high in rebounds per game, his Total Rebound Percent—an estimate of the percentage of rebounds he grabs when on the floor—was half a percentage below his career average. He enters the season as the Wizards’ ninth-best rebounder in TRB% (7.4%), and only out-rebounded the team’s backcourt players.
The Wizards finished in the bottom half of the league in REB% last season. Marcin Gortat has been plugged in at the 5 spot. And while Gortat is, by far, the team’s best center, he’s neither the rebounder nor the defender that Okafor was.
In the immortal words of De La Soul, the stakes is high. The season starts next week. Playoffs or bust.
It looks like R&R for Webster involves Madden 25 and chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool in a NormaTec sports medicine cocoon.
Anybody played him and his Seahawks?