A Stocking Stuffer Stat for Every Wizards Player | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

A Stocking Stuffer Stat for Every Wizards Player

Updated: December 21, 2017

[Photo: Candace Buckner/The Washington Post]

It’s the holiday season and the Washington Wizards recently completed their annual Christmas gift give-way to local families. In the spirit of the season, we’ll return the favor by giving each Wizards player their own stocking stuffer: one stat that helps tell the story of their season thus far.

John Wall – 1.2 (blocks per game)

John Wall has always been a spectacular shot-blocker, but he has taken his game to another level this season. Wall is averaging over one block per game for the first time in his career and earlier this season proclaimed himself the greatest shot-blocking point guard in history. Here are a couple of his greatest hits this year:


Bradley Beal – 68.3% (shooting percentage from 0 to 3 feet from the rim)

Bradley Beal has seemingly improved all aspects of his offensive game this season but the most impressive change has been his finishing through contact at the rim. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Conner examined Beal’s finishing at the rim in early November and noted that he was shooting an unsustainable 80.4% on shots within five feet of the basket through the first nine games.

It’s interesting to note that although Beal’s offensive game is more diverse this season, his shooting percentages from every distance on the court are actually down this year — except from zero to three feet from the rim. His percentage from that distance improved from 63.4% to 68.3%.

Beal’s ability to finish through contact is especially helpful in the half-court where Washington occasionally has difficulty manufacturing shots against set defenses. In years past, those possessions too often ended with forced drives and low percentage shots by Wall and Beal. Now, Beal is setting up his man with hesitation dribbles on the perimeter, then absorbing contact at the rim for and-1s.

Otto Porter – 42% (percentage of plays at power forward)

Otto Porter signed a max contract this off-season and thus far his numbers are pretty similar to his breakout campaign last year. But one area where his game has changed is his position on the court. Last year Otto played the overwhelming majority of his minutes at small forward (77% versus 23% at power forward). This year he has played 57% at small forward and 42% at power forward.

Some of Otto’s power forward play is due to Markieff Morris’ extended absence. When Otto shares the front court with Kelly Oubre, Scott Brooks prefers to slide Porter to the 4 instead of Oubre. But whatever the reason, Porter’s emergence as a viable small-ball power forward could pay big dividends later in the regular season and the playoffs when the rotation shrinks and match-ups become more important. David Aldridge hinted in his latest column that Brooks “may be holding some small ball lineups in abeyance, not wanting opponents to see too much too early.” If that is the case, Otto’s ability to stretch the floor while also helping out on the boards will be a big reason why.

Markieff Morris – 3 (number of games he has played 30 or more minutes)

We all know Markieff has not been right all season. He has missed several games while recovering from sports hernia surgery and does not have the same energy and effort when he is on the court. Morris was a huge part of the Wizards’ turnaround midway through last season and his lack of production through the first 31 games this season is a big reason for the Wizards’ tepid start.

Of his 23 games played, Markieff has only played 30 or more minutes three times. Last season, he accomplished that feat 52 out of 76 games. Those numbers underscore just how much the Wizards have been missing thus far this season. The Wizards simply do not have another player on the roster who can do what Markieff does: defend bigger scorers (LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin) and create his own shot on offense.

The good news is that Washington has managed a decent record without any contributions from Morris. Assuming he rounds into form sometime soon, the Wizards may be ready to make a run. Markieff certainly thinks so.

Marcin Gortat – 5.2 (screen assists per game)

Marcin Gortat leads the league in screen assists per game. He led the league in screen assists last season too. Screen assists is the perfect stat for Gortat. It measures a tangible skill that directly leads to a teammate’s success, yet it is consistently overlooked by casual observers. That’s Marcin Gortat in a nut shell. He has played in 350 out of a possible 359 games in 4+ years in Washington and has been a rock in the starting lineup. However, as Gortat himself will tell you, he remains underappreciated.

Kelly Oubre – 36.4% (three-point shooting percentage)

Oubre is enjoying a bit of a breakout season this year. After seeing inconsistent minutes in his first year under Scott Brooks, Kelly has carved out a role as the top reserve and averages a steady 27.7 minutes per game. His ball handling is improved, he cut down his foul rate and he no longer tries to run through players every time he drives to the rim.

But the biggest improvement has been his three-point shot. Oubre is hitting a very respectable 36.4% from deep after struggling to make 28.7% last year. When John Wall is your point guard, you can never have too many long-range shooters on the floor.

Tomas Satoransky – 4.9 (assist to turnover ratio)

Tomas Satoransky leads the entire NBA in assist to turnover ratio. After taking a back seat to lesser point guards for more than a season, Satoransky finally got a shot to be Wall’s primary back up and he made the most of it. Tomas runs the offense well, pushes the ball up court whenever possible and has improved his shooting across the board (50% FG, 40% 3FG). But, as his league-leading assist to turnover ratio suggests, his most impressive attribute is ball security.

Mike Scott – 66.4% (two-point field goal percentage)

Mike Scott is second in the league in two-point field goal percentage – a ranking that is usually reserved for centers who score most of their baskets on dunks and put-backs. Case-in-point: the first, third and fourth ranked players are:

1. Clint Capela (69.7%)

3. DeAndre Jordan (65.4%)

4. Steven Adams (63.8%).

Just to emphasize how incredible it is that Scott, a jump shooter, is hitting shots at the same rate as those three big men, here is the percentage of each player’s overall shot attempts that come from within 0 to 3 feet from the basket:

Capela (83.3%)

Scott (26.7%)

Jordan (85.8%)

Adams (71.7%)

Ian Mahinmi – 7.8 (fouls per 36 minutes)

Ian Mahinmi commits a foul every 4.6 minutes. That means even if Scott Brooks wanted to play him as a starting center, Mahinmi would foul out, on average, after 27.6 minutes every game.

Jodie Meeks – 30.4% (three-point shooting percentage)

Jodie Meeks was brought here to do one thing – and one thing only – make three-pointers. So far, he is not living up to his end of the deal. Meeks has the worst long-distance shooting percentage of his entire career so far in D.C. On the bright side, maybe a regression to the mean is on the way.

Tim Frazier – 14 (minutes)

14. That is how many combined minutes Tim Frazier has played in the last four games since John Wall returned from injury (5:20, 3:18, DNP, 5:22). After averaging 18 minutes per game in his first 27 contests, it looks like Frazier may be getting the Trey Burke treatment. It took Scott Brooks 57 games to remove Burke from the rotation. He is moving much quicker this season.

Jason Smith – 16 (DNPs or inactives)

If 2016-17 was the rise of Jason Smith, then 2017-18 is his demise. Smith has been benched in over half the games and has exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only five of them. It’s going to take an injury or two for Jason to find his way back into Brooks’ good graces.

Chris McCullough – October 31, 2017 (deadline to pick up fourth-year option)

October 31 was the day the Washington Wizards declined to pick up Chris McCullough’s fourth-year option. The decision was expected and it reinforced the notion that McCullough’s tenure with the Wizards will end after this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in the off-season and after failing to impress in the summer league and failing to find any minutes in the regular season, there simply is no reason to believe the Wizards’ front office has any interest in continuing its relationship with the bouncy big man.

Sheldon Mac – $1.3M (annual salary)

Unfortunately, Mac tore his Achilles during a pre-season game and will miss most, if not all, of the season. However, because his salary is guaranteed and the Wizards are over the luxury tax, the team would not have saved any money by releasing Mac after his injury. Instead, they released Daniel Ochefu, whose contract was non-guaranteed, and left the final roster spot open.


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Adam Rubin
Reporter / Writer at TAI
Adam grew up in the D.C. area and has been a Washington Bullets fan for over 25 years. He will not refer to the franchise as anything other than the Bullets unless required to do so by Truth About It editorial standards. Adam spent many nights at the Capital Centre in the ‘90s where he witnessed such things as Michael Jordan’s “LaBradford Smith game,” the inexcusable under-usage of Gheorghe Muresan’s unstoppable post moves, and the basketball stylings of Ledell Eackles.