There are slumps, and then there's DeShawn Stevenson

Too depressed about the Wizards and too busy with finals to talk much about last night.  You can't implicate one guy, but Mike James definitely killed us.  We had the ball looking to cut the lead into single digits, but then he came in and missed like 100 million terrible shots in a row (slight exaggeration).  Next thing we know, we're down 24 again.  I hope he never plays again, and I know he will.

Anyway, this makes me even more depressed (emphasis mine). 

After the game, Coach Ed Tapscott likened [DeShawn] Stevenson's shooting woes to a pitcher suddenly having location problems, a hitter going into a slump or a wide receiver suddenly dropping passes and said he plans on sticking with Stevenson, who is his best wing defender.

At this point, DeShawn Stevenson's struggles go beyond being in a slump.  We have now played 20 games, which is about a quarter of the season.  Starting pitches traditionally start around 32 games, so we're talking about the equivalent of eight starts.  Hitters play 162 games if they stay healthy, so that's a 41-game sample.  Wide receivers play 16 games, so we're talking about a four-game sample.  Currently, DeShawn Stevenson is shooting 30.9 percent from the field and 28 percent from three.  His effecitve field goal percentage is 38.8.  His true shooting percentage is 41.7.  That is the lowest true shooting percentage of anyone in the league that does not play on the Oklahoma City Thunder.  If you take away that one game against New Jersey, DeShawn has attempted 155 shots, hitting only 41.  This goes beyond a slump, I'm sorry.

Would you stick with a starting pitcher for more than eight games if he had the second-worst ERA in all of baseball?  Would you stick with a receiver who wasn't very amazing to begin with and had been dropping passes left and right for four games?  I mean, if you did, you'd be a losing team.  Like the Wizards are right now.

And DeShawn is no longer the Wizards' best wing defender.  (Warning: this is very numbers-based, as I can't really string together any video clips until after finals).  Was he even before?  I don't know, but I can tell you that he was at least very competent.  LeBron may have gone off on him a bit, but DeShawn did a pretty decent job guarding most of the best wings last year.  This year?  Counterpart data is very misleading, but it's still worth mentioning that shooting guards are averaging a 19.7 PER against DeShawn this year.  The Wizards are also 15.8 points worse with Stevenson in the game on defense this year (same link).  Stevenson's adjusted plus/minus, which tries to take into account several different on/off stats into one number, is -25.92

But sure, trot him out there some more while Nick Young remains on the bench even as every single one of Young's numbers improves dramatically.  The irony here is that Stevenson is posting the lowest turnover rate and highest assist rate of his career, indicating he may actually do as a stopgap backup point guard.  This is lovely.  Put him in that role.  Start Nick Young.  If all Stevenson can do is dribble and pass, then play him at a positon where he can just dribble and pass.  It's not like Mike James is a better option.

I understand why Ed Tapscott feels the need to stick with his veterans (re: Songaila, Juan and Etan, to a certain extent) even if I have trouble agreeing, but I don't understand why Ed Tapscott feels the need to stick with DeShawn Stevenson.  It's all getting to Stevenson's head too and making him play worse.  To not bench DeShawn at this point is bananas. 

Free Nick Young!

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