Alan Anderson in the Old/New Year — A Wizards Preview Series | Wizards Blog Truth About

Alan Anderson in the Old/New Year — A Wizards Preview Series

Updated: September 29, 2015

[TAI’s preview/review series on the Wizards going forward with a look-back on those who graced the team in the past season continues. First up was Kevin Seraphin. Next up was Paul Pierce. Now: Alan Anderson, by Kyle Weidie. Read on…]


Alan Anderson, the way he sounds when he talks, reminds me a little bit of Slim Charles from “The Wire.” The actor who played Slim Charles, of course, is Antawn Glover, son of D.C. and co-founder of the go-go music troupe the Backyard Band. Slim Charles had a smooth, methodical demeanor. He was practical, or rather he knew that versatility and a cool head could keep him afloat in “the game.” Charles ended up being one of the last characters standing from the Avon Barksdale crew (having later survived by moving on to work for Prop Joe).

“No, not yet. But I know I’m going to play, so that’s a good thing,” Alan Anderson uttered, after a humming pause for effect when asked on Media Day if he’d spoken to Randy Wittman about his role with the team.

Anderson’s not the type of guy who needs a role, per se. He’s played the 1-thru-4 before, he insists, since his days in college at Michigan State. Sounds like he just wants to be on the court, having suited up to play ball in Italy, Russia, Croatia, Israel, Spain, China, and the D-League since going undrafted in 2005. The Wizards are his fourth NBA team.

I asked Anderson about the highlight of his summer. He spoke not of hanging out on the beach like other teammates, but rather concentrating on getting his ankle right. He had surgery in mid-May to remove bone spurs from his left ankle. He’s still taking it slow. “Training camp is here, we’ll see how much I can do,” he said on Monday. CSN Washington’s J. Michael further reports that Anderson “may miss” the start of training camp. (The Post’s Jorge Castillo relays that Anderson sat out the first day.) Anderson will turn 33 on October 16, best to be careful, especially if Anderson is called upon to do some bruising in small-ball lineups. He could even be considered to have an outside chance to start the season at the 4, or at least be a key part of a 3/4 combo.

“As you can see, Golden State won it like that, playing small-ball. You just need a 4 who can stretch but also be physical, even though sometimes he’s giving up some size,” Anderson observed. “We have so many versatile players that it’s going to be interesting. Anybody can play from the 2 to the 4, so we can be interchangeable. It should be fun.”

Move aside, Garrett Temple, there’s a new utility infielder in town.

“Alan Anderson shot 41% on catch and shoot jumpers and an opportunistic 61% at the rim in the half court in 2015. Useful offensive role player,” tweeted Synergy Sports Tech (@SynergySST) after the Wizards inked Anderson to a one-year, $4 million contract in July.

TAI’s Troy Haliburton added this in light of the cost-effective signing:

At 23 minutes per game, Anderson was the sixth-ranked shooting guard in the entire NBA at Defensive Real Plus-Minus (DPRM): his DPRM of 2.21 ranked just ahead of defensive stalwarts Andre Iguodala, Iman Shumpert, and Danny Green. Anderson is the type of player who has tasted “Basketball Siberia” (almost literally) with career stops in Russia, Italy, Israel, and the D-League, and he knows that maximum effort on the defensive side of the ball could keep him on this side of the Atlantic.

At 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds, Anderson gives the Wizards the type of defensive versatility that they need to compete with the dominant wing players scattered throughout the Association (i.e., LeBron James, the gatekeeper for any Eastern Conference team).

Count Anderson amongst those who felt that the Wizards should have beaten the Atlanta Hawks to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

“They’ve been knocking at the door the last couple of years, a couple injuries here and there, bad timing with the injuries, and they didn’t get to go to the Conference Finals like I thought they should have,” he said when asked what attracted him to Washington. “They’re right there, man, they’re right there. A few stops, a few baskets, whatever it is, I think I can just help them bring that out, so I came.”

‘But what will your role be?’ — perhaps the most cliched question posed at media days ‘round the world. Anderson was asked that question twice by the comers-and-goers of media day scrums.

“Hmmmm,” he again countered to the second instance with a pause and a husky rumble from his throat. “I don’t really know the role yet, I just know I’m going to play, I’ll be ready to play, and I’m just going to spill it, like I always do.”

Best Moment in 2014-15.

Matching his career PER of 10.6 last season, Anderson upped his play for Brooklyn in the 2015 playoffs and put up a PER of 17.7. He didn’t jack more 3-pointers, he just made them count.

During the regular season, 47.7 percent of his field goal attempts were 3s and he made them at a 34.8 percent clip. In a six-game series against the Hawks, just 39 percent of his shot attempts were 3s, but he sunk them at a much better rate: 62.5 percent.

Worst Moment in 2014-15.

Anderson had a busted beginning to the 2015 calendar year, shooting below 40 percent (39.8) over 15 games, two starts, and 384 minutes in January. But with 11 starts and 338 minutes in February (he started 19 total games for Brooklyn last season), he upped his field goal percentage to 48.2. The Nets went 3-12 in January, 6-5 in February.

Curious Stat.

According to, Anderson didn’t consume any of Brooklyn’s minutes at the 4 last season; rather, he spent 32 percent of team minutes at “SG” and 11 percent of team minutes at “SF.”

But Anderson was featured in two of the more effective 5-man units that flashed small-ball/3-point shooting play. In one, Anderson was a small-ball 3-4 combo with Mirza Teletovic, alongside Jarrett Jack and Joe Johnson at the 1-2 and Mason Plumlee at the 5. Teletovic, a 3-point shooter, is a better rebounder and two inches taller than Anderson. In another lineup, Anderson was also paired with Teletovic but with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson at the 1-2 and Brook Lopez at the 5.

Anderson averaged 6.1 total rebounds per 100 possessions last season, worse than Garrett Temple and Andre Miller (6.3). With that a factor, Anderson is seemingly more technically suited to be a 3 next to a small ball 4 like, say, Otto Porter.

If Alan Anderson were a type of food or an entire meal of food, he would be …

Nachos. They can feature a little bit of everything, are not exactly a staple like pizza, and can incorporate only veggies and be acceptable. (I’m not totally sure what this means.)


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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.