Keys to the Palace: March to the Lottery

'No I don't have a dog house, I have a Palace of Good Play.' I'm looking for someone who's playing well so I can put them in that palace."
-Ed Tapscott

Another 0-4 week, and do you know that means? The lottery march is in full procession! 2 of the Wizards games this week were blowouts, but at least the Clippers game was exciting and the Warriors one fun.

In all seriousness the bright spots are going to be few and far between at this point. We have already seen Jordan Crawford's potential, Nick Young's emergence, and Trevor Booker's development, so there is not much else to get us fans 'out of bed.' The play of Derrick Williams and Jared Sullinger can seem almost as important as that of players already on the team. 

We might as well take the optimistic view that we have picked up a few more ping pong balls to the point that we are now tied for 2nd-to-last in the league in wins with the T'Wolves, but we true fans (meaning any fan that still watches this team) still want to see some wins and even moral victories like the one against the Clippers. This draft is looking like a complete crapshoot anyway.....

Keys to the Palace

Player Week 21 PER Week 20 PER Difference Comment
JaVale McGee
17.2 16.9 0.3 Now that's more like it! yes, the Warriors didn't have a true center to offer any resistance, but JaVale took full advantage in having a career best scoring night. Not only were the scoring and rebounding there against Golden State, but he altered quite a few shots and I don't recall 1 goaltending. I guess I can find fault in scoring 13 points on 13 shots against the Nuggets, but then I can't forget the block of the year against Wesley Matthews.

 

Guest Passes

Player     Difference Comment
Othyus Jeffers
3.3 -5 8.3 An NBA contract is a big deal, and even better is getting a 2nd 10-day contract. Those alone get him a Guest Pass. That 2nd contract appears to be more a product of Wizards injuries than on-court performance, so just a Guest Pass for now. He definitely worked hard and provided a little energy, which is always welcome.
Maurice Evans
9.5 8.8 0.7 He had a couple good efforts and a couple bad ones, so I think Guest Pass is about right. The Warriors game has to be his best work to date, with a terrific 23 and 8 with 6 free throws, great floor spacing, and a little variety to his standard catch and shoot style.
Yi Jianlian
10.1 9.9 0.2 A big week for Yi who has been dramatically improved of late; maybe it was that sweet picture I put up of him last week. I was tempted to go with a full Key, but I can't overlook the Warriors complete lack of size being the driving factor in his performance Sunday night. Earlier this week, I voted in the blog's poll that the Yi experiment should be over after this year, but I have now shifted my stance to a 'wait and see' approach. These next 10 games could be huge for him and his future.

 

Locked Out

Player   Week 18 PER Difference Comment
John Wall
15.2 15.1 0.1 He was great against the Clips even though he only shot 12-for-26 from the field. The problem is the other 3 games being relatively pedestrian. If he is going to be a leader of this young team, he cannot allow the blowouts and mini-meltdown at the end of the Clips game. He is too important to have bad games, and there is a direct correlation between his performance and the 2 blowouts.
Jordan Crawford
12.5 12.1 0.5 We all probably remember the effort against the Clippers, but let's not overlook that he shot 10-for-28 in that game. No, that is not a typo. 10 assists and 7 boards were nice in that game, but he shot 3-for-15 against Portland and 5-for-21 against the Warriors, yikes. The bright side is that he looks pretty comfortable being a playmaker, which is something this team almost completely lacks outside of Wall. The shot selection is a big issue though that has to be addressed.
Trevor Booker
15.3 15.6 -0.3 His numbers against Denver were great: 40 minutes, 4-7 from the field, 10 pts, 10 rbs, 3 blks, 2 assts, and 1 stl. Other than that though, there wasn't a whole lot to get excited about. It is too bad we don't have much in the way of other SF options, as right now is a great chance to test him out playing PF minutes. His development has been exciting though, and I can only hope the sore knee will keep him out of just 1 game.
Nick Young
14.4 14.7 -0.3 An awful game and then an injury recurrence, so yeah, not a good week. The most frustrating part is that we would all like to see him shake the knee injury and finish the season on a high note. He was off to a good start in a game that would suit his style, but who knows if he will play again this year.
Kevin Seraphin
8.6 8.3 0.3 This was not a terrible week for the young big man. The good is that he continues to show development on the offensive end, and I can't remember the last moving screen. The bad is that he had 5 fouls in 8 minutes against the Clippers, and 5 fouls in 17 minutes against the Blazers. Long term though, I'm still buying Seraphin's stock.
Cartier Martin
12.4 12.6 -0.2 He played a measly 21 minutes this week and didn't do a whole lot to get me excited. The emergence of Crawford has probably been a big reason for that. Even though the Wiz have just Cook Book as a SF who will definitely be here next year, I am not sure Cartier is going to be back with the team at this rate.
Hamady Ndiaye
6.3 6.8 -0.5 He just passes the minutes threshold for consideration, so not much to analyze here. He continues to get minutes with Dray injured, which is good for him, but isn't doing a ton with those minutes. I would have been curious to see him against an easier matchup in the Warriors to see if he could take advantage.

 

NOTE: Andray Blatche, Rashard Lewis, Josh Howard, and Mustafa Shakur were left off this week's Keys to the Palace because they did not receive enough playing time for a fair evaluation.

NOTE #2: I had some format issues this week, and given my need to get to bed at a reasonable hour, there are issues with player name links.

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