The Washington Wizards are looking to make the playoffs this year. Without a doubt, the majority of their playoff hopes fall on the shoulders of John Wall and Bradley Beal. Alone, it will be very hard for these two to find success every night. Though these two are very talented, today it takes more than two players to have a successful season. Here is a look at the three most important role players in Washington.
Marcin Gortat joined the Wizards just before this season started. Washington is averaging 12.1PTs, 8.5REBs and 1.5BLKs per game. Gortat has been a great addition to this young team. Though still new in Washington, he is one of the most important players. The front court needs to stay consistent for Washington to find success. So far this year, Gortat has been consistent at the center position for Washington.
Gortat’s consistency has played a big role in winning games. He is currently shooting more than 50 percent and leads Washington in blocks. Due to his style of play, Gortat was a great last minute addition for the Wizards. He is a great piece next to Nene Hilario in the starting lineup. Gortat helps Hilario provide a solid big man presence every night.
Trevor Ariza joined the Wizards in the summer of 2012, just eight days before the 2012 NBA draft. Ariza ended up in Washington as a result of a deal between the Wizards and the then called New Orleans Hornets. While playing for the Wizards, Ariza has made great contributions to the offense and to the defense.
So far this season, he is averaging 14.3PTs, 6.0REBs, 2.5ASTs and 1.8STLs per game. Now that there is enough time to see the impact of the Ariza trade, I believe it was a smart move for Washington to obtain him. He is a versatile player that makes a lot of contributions to Washington. He has also helped this young team grow and build chemistry.
Recently against the New Orleans Pelicans, Ariza’s former team, Trevor was a big reason why the Wizards got the win. He knocked down a late three-pointer to hold off the Pelicans’ comeback. Ariza also had a team high 21PTs, grabbed 10 REBs and had two ASTs.
Ariza is a very important piece to the Wizards. He provides great chemistry and is a consistent veteran that Washington can count on.
Martell Webster is one of the most important bench players in Washington. Last season was considered his breakout season. According to ESPN.com, the Wizards resigned him to a four-year, $22 million contract on July 2, 2013.
This season, he is currently averaging 30.4 minutes of playing time per night. During that time, he averages 11.4PTs, 4.0REBs and 1.4ASTs. It is hard to see on paper how good of a defensive player Webster is for Washington. He provides defensive fuel off the bench. Critics easily overlook his defensive abilities. Webster is the type of all-hustle player that Washington can count on to provide help, both offensively and defensively.
Overall, to make the playoffs this year, the Wizards will need to count on more than the performances of Wall and Beal. Recently, Washington has been using an eight man rotation. This small rotation increases the expectations and the contributions each player must make. Washington is very young team, which is why the Wizards must rely on their role players to help find success.
All statistics credited to basketball-reference.com