Mar 27, 2012; Memphis, TN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Martell Webster (5) reacts after getting a foul called against him during the second half against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 93-86. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE
Martell Webster worked out for the Washington Wizards this week, and could potentially bring another perimeter presence to the team. Similar to Cartier Martin, Webster is a swingman that would likely spend plenty of time hanging around the three-point arc. With the help of MySynergy Sports, let’s take a look at Webster’s game and how he stacks up to Martin.
Just like Cartier Martin, Martell Webster should expect to spend his minutes spotting up. Unfortunately, Webster was well below average in spot-up possessions last year with the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 0.74 points per spot-up. Webster only shot 36 percent from three in these situations. Compared to Cartier Martin, this isn’t a contest; Martin averaged 1.18 points per spot up and shot 42 percent from three.
While Webster will spend most of his time spotting up, he’s not completely one-dimensional in that setting. As a positive, it’s nice that he shows some desire to attack the defense, and in doing so, not settle for long-range pull-up jumpers. This is the kind of play that Cartier Martin, while quite effective in his own right, doesn’t really provide.
Webster has, surprisingly, increased his shot attempts at the rim despite his injuries in recent years. One might expect a guy with foot and back injuries to stay away from the rim, but Webster has taken more shots at the rim (per minute) in the last three years than he did pre-injuries.
On the negative side, perhaps Webster isn’t really cut out for those aggressive drives off of spot-ups. He turned the ball over on 10 percent of his spot-up possessions, which is a high number for such an easy type of possession. Most players, even the turnover-prone ones, will only turn the ball over on about five percent of these possessions. As a spot-up shooter, there’s not much to do besides shoot, which is why that type of player doesn’t usually turn the ball over very much (Martin turned it over on 1.4 percent of his spot ups). As the clips below show, Webster had problems shuffling his feet on his first step and losing his dribble when he got going.
Defensively, Webster outshined Martin allowing 0.84 points per possession to Martin’s abysmal 1.29 points. Webster even spent time guarding some pretty good wing players, like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, and Danny Granger. One area where Webster excelled was in defending players coming off of off-ball screens. He ranked 29th in points allowed per screening possession, giving up 0.74 points per play. Last year, he slipped under screens often, and he usually did a good job avoiding contact on the screen, unlike Chris Singleton.
While this strategy of going under screens worked last year, opposing players could easily do a better job in reading Webster’s defense and hitting their open shots. That could conceivably leave the Wizards with a below average defender.
Martell Webster fills a bit of a need for the team, but the coaching staff would be wise to keep Cartier Martin ahead of him on the depth chart. Martin’s defense was bad last year, but with strong defenders at the other positions, the team likely needs a more of a spark on offense than defense. If the Wizards are facing off against a team with strong perimeter scorers, such as the Miami Heat, Webster could see time as a secondary perimeter defender along with Trevor Ariza.