It's not technically midseason, but with this being the all-star break, we could think of no better time than to issue midseason report cards. In this edition: Chris Singleton, who's a testament to the power of tough love.
STATS: 34 games played. 16.7 minutes, 4.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game. 9.48 PER (Player Efficiency Rate). 45.2% TS (True Shooting Percentage). 11.1% TRR (Total Rebound Rate). 15.27% USG (Usage Rate).
We've talked extensively at Bullets Forever already about Singleton's path in and out of the lineup. Right now, the important thing is that he's back in and is playing well. Part of that, I'm sure, has to do with Wall's presence. Part of it also must have to do with how well he responded to Randy Wittman's Tough Love Bench Therapy. You know, that guy should really patent his method. Seemed to work well for Vesely. I guess JCraw's the next test case, eh?
In the six games he's played since his return to the rotation, he's been playing about 20 minutes of small-ball power forward, and he's been defending his position really well. Despite his preferred role as a small forward, Singleton's length, range, and size make his new role the best fit for him. And with a 4-2 record over those six games, I think he understands how important that role is to the team.
THE BAD Let's just skip straight to THE UGLY
So Singleton is back in the lineup... which means there was a stretch of time where he wasn't in it. Like, a long stretch of time. Like pretty much all of January. He played sparse minutes here and there, but he was "in the doghouse," as they say. Now, he wasn't really insubordinate or anything, but he didn't fit into the mix. He seemed lost at times on the floor, trying to figure out whether he should be a 3 or a 4. Part of that was on Wittman for not settling on a rotation. Part of that was because the team was too deep at the 3-4, so it was difficult to get comfortable. Part of it, though, was he really didn't seem to know what he was doing. He was fouling at a high rate, and he wasn't contributing offensively or defensively. Wittman made the right choice to pull him out.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND HALF
He's only been in the lineup for six games, but the All-Star break and the fast-approaching trade deadline might help him get more of a feel for his place on the team. Right now, with Wall at the helm, Singleton has been spacing the floor well, and he's been shooting nearly 50% from the floor. As he's grown more comfortable in his second year in the league, you can tell that his defense (especially on this squad) is getting a little more tenacious. Just ask Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche about his defense if you're not sold. I foresee Singleton playing better as the season progresses, but I don't see him nabbing a starting spot like he had last year. Webster, Ariza, and Nene are all way ahead of him in talent, and they shouldn't be moved out of the rotation to accomodate him. But 15-20 minutes per night as a small-ball Power Forward off the bench? I can dig it.
How would you rate Singleton's season on a scale of 1-10, and what would you like to see from him in the second half of the season?