The Washington Wizards are 11-31 at the halfway point. They have won 7 of their last 10 games which is nice to see after a terrible start. I much rather watch this Wizards team than last years team because this team fights hard and plays with a consistent effort. I am intrigued to see how Wall continues to make players like Beal, Nene, Seraphin, Vesely, and Webster better. Here are the halfway point grades.
John Wall- B+- Coming back from injury it is obvious just what him being on the floor means for the rest of the team. I see some improvement in him learning how to pace himself and not always going 100mph. He could still improve plenty in this area. His mid range jump shot has improved some, but still needs work. Some of the jump shots of the dribble in the Timberwolves game he could not hit last year. I also like the fact that he is looking to take the jump shot. Plenty of times last year he wouldnt even take the shot probably because of a lack of confidence. The only way he is going to get better at is making them in the game which he is starting to do. He still is one of the most fun players to watch go coast to coast.
Bradley Beal- B- I like the steady improvement in Beal's game over the season. If he is to continue on this growth and Lillard's play slips some he might have a legit shot at rookie of the year. I like his fluid game and his ability not only to score but, play hard defense, rebound for a guard and above average passing. He needs to work on being consistent and work on his ball handling which will come with experience. I am not really a fan of undersized guards in general but Beal has the chance to be an all-star.
Nene- B- If he wasn't injured a lot I would have given him a B+. He brings a steadying force inside. He brings a savy and a high basketball IQ to a team that needs it. Sometimes I think he takes to many jumpshots. I also think he could be a better rebounder. His rebounding doesnt matter as much with Okafor there because he cleans up the ones Nene doesn't get. Most of all I like how he doesnt get pushed under the basket like Mcgee. He has excellent court vision for a big as well.
Okafor-C+ He over the last month or two has started to show me what I expected him to give the Wizards. He good rebounder , post defender, and someone who can get 10-13 points a night, He is not flashy but is steady. Not worth the money. If possible I would like to trade him before the deadline.
Ariza- C He has given the Wiz solid defense and the ability to stuff the stat sheet. A good rebounder for a wing. He is playing to his skill set which is solid. Not worth the contract though. If possible trade him before the deadline.
Crawford B I was holding out hope that he could develop into more than a poor man's Jr. Smith. However, I believe now with Crawford what you see is what you get. Dynamic scorer with exceptional hangtime. Would be a great sixth man on a good team. I would like to trade him before the deadline.
Webster- I think Wall, Beal, NeNe, and maybe Webster are the only keepers on this team. I think he would be a great bench player for the Wiz and or a placeholder if the Wiz decide to draft a SF. I like his ability to shoot and I didnt realize he could put the ball on the floor and get to the free throw line which he is proficient from.
Vesely D- The only reason he isn't a F is that he more than anyone I think is dependent on John Wall. I also think he has been unfairly setup by Ernie and his scouts by being drafted 6th overall. If he was a late 1st round pick or a second round pick nobody would be complaining so much. Actually his attributes fit to the kind of player you want in the second round. Someone with high basketball IQ, a motor, and a ceiling. He has the put on upper and lower body strength before he can improve. He doesnt have a position until he puts on strength.
Price C I like him as a backup point guard because of his ability to score. I think I was unfairly put into a position as the starter until Wall got back because he was basically a garbage minute man with Indiana which wasnt excactly loaded with great PG.
Booker D I think Booker is only to go as far as his development with his jumper goes. Plus he seems like a injury prone player. I like his motor and hops. He needs to learn how to screen without obviously moving as much.
Singleton D- The fact that Veseley surpassed him in Randy's doghouse says a lot about his season. I also think he is the second most dependent on Wall being on the floor