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: Garrett Temple, D-League savior.
Temple came to the Wizards and stabilized things at the end of the bench, at least better than predecessors Jannero Pargo, Shelvin Mack and Shaun Livingston did. His all-around solid game saved a win against the Magic in December, back when the Wizards couldn't beat anybody. Randy Wittman immediately took to Temple's cerebral game, particularly defensively, where his versatility allowed Wittman to crossmatch when needed.
After John Wall came back, Temple carved himself a niche as a defensive ace playing off Wall, helping to give the Wizards a big win over the Clippers with his length. He's continued to start, and while he is limited offensively, he's helped establish a culture that has the Wizards as (surprisingly) one of the league's top defensive teams.
Yeah, about that "limited offense..."
Most defensive specialists have the ability to at least hit a perimeter shot, cut to the basket or do something, but Temple has become pretty useless offensively, especially now that he's playing off the ball. Temple is hitting just 17 percent of his three-pointers, forcing him to shoot inside the line way too often. While he's hit over 50 percent of his shots from 16-23 feet, that cramps Washington's spacing and makes it even harder for Wall and Nene to go to work.
Temple's not really a driver either, so if he can't hit a three, what can he really do to make life easier for his teammates?
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND HALF
There's a reason Temple has bounced around the D-League for the last several years. As a third point guard and practice player that's only called upon in spot situations, he can be serviceable, but he is not a viable rotation player at this point. I'd like to see the Wizards reduce his role, whether that's bringing a humbled Jordan Crawford back into the rotation or finding someone to acquire to be a two-way third guard at the trade deadline.
How would you rate Temple's season on a scale of 1-10, and what would you like to see from him in the second half of the season?