Mar 10, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards forward Andray Blatche (7) attempts a shot as Portland Trail Blazers center Joel Przybilla (10) defends during the first half at the Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE
While it would be surprising if the Wizards didn’t use the amnesty clause Andray Blatche, there has been some speculation that he may stick around for another year. If Blatche is here next season, how can the man that earned a zero player approval rating fit in?
With the addition of Nene and the development of young players like Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker, the Wizards would have a hard time fitting another interior presence into the offense. What the Wizards do need is someone to play the pick-and-pop game with John Wall. None of the players listed above have much of a jump-shooting reputation, while Blatche has relied more and more on his jumpshot in the recent years. This past season, he shot 6.6 shots from 16-23 feet per 40 minutes, a number in the territory of power forwards like Dirk Nowitzki and LaMarcus Aldridge.
So Blatche’s favorite basketball activity fits with an offensive need. If he remains with the team, why not use him strictly as a pick-and-pop big man like Brandon Bass on the Celtics, for example?
Unfortunately, Andray’s love of the perimeter has not translated into effectiveness. Over the past two seasons, he’s only scoring or getting fouled on 37 percent of his pick-and-pop possessions. Part of the problem is his desire to create his own shot off the dribble. All of those pump fakes, jab steps and spin moves have led to plenty of turnovers and missed shots. Let’s reminisce and watch some examples from the past two seasons.
What if the coaching staff was somehow able to get through to him and he only took open jumpshots? No more pointless dribbling into traffic or fadeaways, Blatche is only allowed to catch and shoot. He would have to improve on that zero player approval rating, right?
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like that would help matters either. Over the past two years, on pick-and-pop possessions where Blatche didn’t dribble, he’s only shooting 33 percent (20-61). Considering that most of these shots are lightly contested, that percentage is even worse than it looks.
I began investigating Blatche's pick-and-pop game assuming that his poor shooting percentages were being weighed down by his questionable decision-making. It turns out that he is somehow worse as a catch-and-shoot player. Combining this information with what we already know about his work ethic, it’s even harder to make a case for keeping him.