As they belong to the NBA’s Eastern Conference, you can rightfully assume that the Washington Wizards haven’t had the most successful start to the 2013-14 season. After all, the East has been unbelievable horrendous as only three teams in the entire conference have records above .500.
However, in the scope of just the East and not the league as a whole, the Wizards have been solid. After a victory on Saturday over the Boston Celtics, Washington moved to 12-13 on the year and they now sit at the six-seed in the East along with a three other teams in the conference with 12 or 13 wins on the year thus far.
In that win over the Celtics, the usual suspect in John Wall was fantastic as he has been for much of the year. Wall finished the day with 20 points, nine assists, three boards and six steals on the day while also committing just one turnover and shooting a respectable 8-18 from the floor. However, it was another Wizards player that’s becoming a consistent big-time player as well that really stood out in Boston.
Trevor Ariza finished the game on Saturday with 27 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one steal on 9-18 shooting from the floor and 5-8 shooting from long-range. Through 20 games this season, the veteran forward is now putting up 15.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals per game while shooting 46.7 percent overall and hitting on 42.3 percent of his three-point attempts.
Considering that Ariza was almost burdensome for the Wizards last season, his resurgence this season has been both shocking and impressive. He seems to have new life with this promising young team, providing both leadership and by affecting the game on both ends of the floor while filling up the box score.
For a Washington team that has gotten nearly nothing from rookie Otto Porter due to inexperience and injuries—as well as having Bradley Beal and Martell Webster be slowed with injuries also, Ariza has been vital to the success that the Wizards have had thus far with the way he has stepped up. Though this is a young team and Wall is the unquestioned general, don’t underestimate what Ariza has meant to them this season.