Previously: Etan Thomas.
Stats: Per-game: 9.1 minutes, 3.6 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.2 assists, 1.7 three-pointers attempted.
Per-36: 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.9 turnovers
Percentages: 35.2 FG%, 28.3 3PT%, 64.5 FT%, 42% eFG%, 45.1 TS%
Advanced (explanations): 9.6 PER, 12.1 REB%, 22.4 UsgR, 10.9 TOV%, 94 ORtg, 111, DRtg, 3.6 AST%, -1.5 WSAA (Win Shares Above Average).
Pradamaster: Normally, 35 games is too small a sample to make this determination, but I feel confident in saying that the Wizards should not count on Oleksiy Pecherov for anything in the future. An injured ankle limited his development as a rookie, but when he played, he shot often, made very few of those shots, and showed a pathetic disinclination to do anything more than launch three-pointers and blow defensive assignments.
I think the stat that tells all you need to know about Pecherov is this: of his 125 shots attempted this year, nearly half (60) were three-pointers. Of those 60, only 17 actually went in. Going one step further, 81 percent of his shots were jumpers this year. 81 percent! Granted, Pecherov is a perimeter-shooting big man, but nobody who is seven feet tall should have nearly half of his shots be threes.
Worse yet, his trigger-happy three-point nature killed a ton of possessions. Twenty-two percent of Pecherov's possessions ended with him, a figure matched only by Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, and Nick Young. Those four each had true shooting percentages over 52, while Pecherov's was 45. Not good. I don't think Pecherov was being selfish, but it's disappointing to see someone so inefficient use so many possessions. If we're counting on Pecherov to be a role player, and not someone who scores very much, this shot-jacking is very troubling.
The maddening thing about Pecherov is that he actually rebounded pretty well. His rebound rate was higher than Darius Songaila's, and it was also higher than Dominic McGuire, who entered the league as one of college basketball's best rebounders. The sample of shots he took in the lane is very small, but I imagine he'd be relatively efficient on those types of shots. The biggest knock on Pecherov coming into the season is that he wasn't physical enough to play in the paint, but this makes it seem like the problem is more mental than physical. Again, not a good sign.
I suppose there's a way that Pecherov can become more of a paint presence and shoot fewer threes, but seeing as it's a mental problem rather than a physical one, I doubt it happens. I bet Ernie Grunfeld counted on Pecherov to be a center of the future, but it's becoming clear that Grunfeld overstated Pecherov's potential. Ernie tends to be hit-or-miss in the draft (Michael Redd and Blatche are hits, John Wallace was a miss), and Pecherov is looking like one of his misses.
But hey, at least he's a funny guy.
JakeTheSnake: Good old O-Pec. If nothing else, I'd love to see him become the team's mascot after he retires. The kids would love him.
As for Pecherov the player, I'd give him a grade of incomplete for the season. That ankle injury at the start of the season really hurt any chances to have an impact this season. It's hard enough to make the transition to a new league on a new continent without an injury that sets you back for a month and a half. Give him an off-season to get more comfortable with everything and he'll get better, probably not starter quality, but a serviceable guy off the bench for sure.
I was irked by his shot selection at times and it doesn't look like a post-up game will ever be his strong suit, but I was impressed with his rebounding rate, which was better than Songaila's and McGuire's. We can work with that. Let's just hope he hits the weight room this summer. At some point his arms have to get bigger than Steve Nash's right?
Truthaboutit: Good ol' Oleksiy Pecherov......the fun-loving Euro cut-up whom many have compared to Stewie from Family Guy. Personally, I like to think of O-Pech as the Ukrainian Balki Bartokomous.....a much more fitting, obliviously foolish, type of character than Stewie (although O-Pech and the youngest Griffin do favor each other in looks).
I think a player with Pecherov's skills is necessary for the Wizards offensive style. You need a big man who can spread the floor and nail the long jumper off a pick-and-pop. Songaila currently fills this need, but Pecherov has more range.
I know many have clamored for Pecherov to get more time, sacrificing Songaila's minutes.......let's just calm down on that thought - or as Balki would say, "Don't be ridiculous!" I admire Oleksiy's lack of jump shot conscience, as killer instinct is always wanted. I also have been pleased with his aggression and desire in terms of rebounding.
However, as much as people talk about those who contribute positive intangibles which do not show up in the box score, there are those who bring unseen negative intangibles to the table. Right now, Pecherov lacks the strength to secure defensive rebounds, the lateral quickness to on-ball defend his man, and the basketball IQ to limit turnovers and make intelligent contributions to the system.....among other adverse traits.
Outlook: Oleksiy Pechrov may eventually replace Darius Songaila, possibly allowing Ernie Grunfeld to unload D-Song's contract. However, I'd say O-Pech needs another year of seasoning in the least. He appeared in 35 games last year (he was injured until mid-January), averaging 9.1 minutes per....I wouldn't mind if Eddie Jordan found a way to up that to 60-65 and 13+ per in 08-09.