Stats: Per-game: 9.9 minutes, 1.3 points, 2 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.4 blocks.
Per-36: 4.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 blocks, 3.9 personal fouls
Percentages: 37.9 FG%, 16.7 3PT%, 43.8 FT%, 38.3 eFG%, 39.7 TS%
Advanced (explanations): 6.6 PER, 11.7 REB%, 8.3 AST%, 10.4 Usg%, 25.5 TOV%, 86 ORtg, 109 DRtg, -2.t WSAA (Win Shares Above Average).
Pradamaster: Dominic McGuire burst onto the scene in the summer league, putting up pretty solid scoring numbers while cleaning up the glass. I think we all got a little smitten with his game, because he was an athletic forward playing strong defense on several players, blocking shots and generally jumping all over the place. There was an offhand hope that he could also do that in the NBA, and that Ernie Grunfeld pulled a rabbit out of his hat in the second round.
For half the season, he absolutely stunk. He never really got a chance to play, and when he did, he couldn't do anything right. Offensively, he couldn't shoot into an ocean if you asked him to do so. He was a turnover machine, couldn't drive or finish, and wasn't even grabbing offensive rebounds. Defensively, he wasn't able to show off his skills because he was a whistle waiting to happen.
Later in the season, he had his moments. There was the Toronto game where he randomly came in and dominated the boards in a tight win. There was the Clippers game where he snatched 12 boards in just 23 minutes, and the Indiana game where he nearly had a double-double. We saw his defensive potential in the first New Orleans game, when he threw off Chris Paul's rhythm enough to give the Wizards the victory. At least he showed flashes in the second half of the season.
But for Dominic McGuire to become a legitimate NBA player, he has tons of work to do offensively. Defensively, I think in time he'll become a pretty solid player. He was whistled for a lot of reputation fouls this year, particularly because he was usually matched up against a veteran player. In time, those should go away. He was also placed on the perimeter a lot, which hampered his rebound rate a bit. But he absolutely stunk offensively this year. I knew he was a poor shooter, but he was also a poor driver and passer. Worse yet, he displayed a real lack of confidence offensively, rarely even attempting a shot or a foray to the hoop. I'd rather have a player like that than a shot-jacker like O-Pec, but McGuire definitely needs to be working with Dave Hopla more than any other Wizard right now. I'd tell McGuire to mimic Bruce Bowen and work tirelessly on a corner three so he can be at least competent offensively.
Somehow, though, I'm optimistic about his future. I can't really say this for sure, but something tells me he'll be useful to this team somewhere down the line. Perhaps it's the fact that he was a second-round pick, which lowers expectations of what he can become, but I get a good vibe from him that I don't get from O-Pec. A part of me thinks McGuire could have used some time in the D-League, but at the same time, he's the type of player who will only be there to fill a role, and there's no better way to learn how to fill a defined, limited role than playing in the NBA. I think he made greater strides than any other Wizards youngster this season.
Just to be clear, though, McGuire's presence should not deter the Wizards from making a move to sign another wing to back up Caron Butler. That would be foolish. But if we cut McGuire just for luxury tax purposes, I'll be a little disappointed.
JakeTheSnake: For the off-season I've got a pair of recommendations for Taser so that he can become the force that everyone at Bullets Forever wants him to become.
- Move in with Dave Hopla. I'm not saying that he needs to become a scoring machine, we already have plenty of those, but when he gets on the court he needs to be able to give the team something other than putback dunks to keep the other team's offense honest. Look at all the great defensive stoppers in the league. They all found something that they could do on the offensive end to make the other team pay if they leave them open. Even if it's just sitting in the corners and waiting for the occasional kick out pass for an open three like Bruce Bowen, if he can get that shot down with regularity, he becomes so much more dangerous.
- Watch tapes of Jamario Moon. When Dom puts it all together, I see him turning into a high-flying glue guy that makes his money on the defensive end but can make enough open jumpers when everyone else is covered to be a starter on a playoff team. Maybe I'm putting the ceiling too high (or too low?) on Taser, but I can totally see him turning into a Moon-esque player.
Truthaboutit: Dominic McGuire....Code Name: The Cleaner. I really liked this kid's energy coming off the bench. He always seemed ready to contribute with his full effort, while learning on the job. I didn't watch all of his goof-around videos with Nick Young, but every observation of McGuire on the court led me to believe that he's a mature, composed guy, ready to be coached.
The Cleaner earned his moniker by doing just that.....cleaning the glass for rebounds. McGuire really amazed me at times with his ability to sky for the ball in traffic....something he'll be able to do with more authority once he adds some NBA strength. Dominic leaves a ton to be desired on offense, and his turnover rate is horrible (20.3), but his handles are adequate and hopefully hard off-season work with Dave Hopla will lead to an improved jumper....a lot of work (38.3 eFG% and 43.8 FT% in 07-08).
McGuire transferred from Cal to Fresno State after the 04-05 season. Draft Express has relayed that there were some "minor off the court rumblings" in terms of maturity level from his days in Berkley. Other reports say that it was Ben Braun's "system" which led to D-Mac's departure. Still, more say that with blue-chip recruit Leon Powe joining the Golden Bears, the writing in regard to McGuire's dwindling playing time was the wall. Research on further fodder became too meticulous. Regardless, I think Ernie Grunfeld got himself a helluva steal by taking McGuire with the 47th pick.
D-Mac has been compared to several NBA players: Andrei Kirilenko (CBS Sportsline); Trevor Ariza (NBADraft.net); to Danny Granger [best case] and Rolando Balkman [worst case] (Draft Express). I once considered the possibility that D-Mac could be the next Shawn Marion...I'm not so sure now as D-Mac needs to be able to stay with small forwards/big guards on D, along with the ability to knock down the trey, to meet the Marion comparison (along with that of Danny Granger). The defensive part is attainable.....in regards to a jumper, I'd be ecstatic if Dominic McGuire could develop a similar shot to Darius Songaila. Keep an eye on The Cleaner in the summer league.