USA TODAY Sports
Emeka Okafor came to Washington with a reputation as a solid if unspectacular player. His play so far this season? Solid if unspectacular.
STATS: 9.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game, 16.6 PER, 50.2% TS%, 19% rebound percentage, 18.8 USG%
WHAT WENT WELL
Okafor's offense has been up and down all season, but his defense has been rock solid from day one. Washington has the NBA's fourth best defense this season and Okafor's ability to protect the rim and clean the glass has been invaluable. Washington's fifth-ranked defense has been 3.1 points per 100 possessions better with Okafor on the floor, keeping with his long history of anchoring good defensive teams. Okafor has been particularly good when paired with the more agile Nene; Washington's defensive rating of 95.3 when the two veterans share the court would lead the league.
WHAT WENT POORLY
Emeka Okafor isn't making eight figures because of his offense, but you'd still like to see a lot more from such a highly paid player. Okafor's scoring isn't efficient (50% true shooting percentage) or common (13 points per 36 minutes). Some of this is a result of being miscast as a post option early in the year, and he's generally become more accurate as less has been expected of him offensively. Other than that, though, there's really not much to complain about. He might be overpaid for what he is, but he's still a very useful player.
REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR SECOND HALF
Okafor will likely take on a less prominent role as the season progresses. He's relatively old, the team has a couple of young bigs who could use more burn and, as everyone was reminded of during the fourth quarter of Washington's recent loss to the Detroit Pistons, there's a definite incentive for teams to go small when he shares the floor with Nene. In terms of his actual play, ten and ten per 36 minutes while continuing to play very solid defense would be perfectly acceptable.
How would you rate Emeka Okafor's season on a scale of 1-10, and what would you like to see from him in the second half of the season?
How would you grade Emeka Okafor's season so far?
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