This is our eleventh Summer Checklist piece where we break down an area of weakness each player on the roster can improve. Our previous Summer Checklist pieces: Bradley Beal | John Wall | Marcin Gortat | Nene | Otto Porter | Paul Pierce | Kris Humphries | Glen Rice, Jr. | Martell Webster | Andre Miller
Garrett Temple signed a two-year contract with the Wizards during the summer as a free agent. Even though he was praised for being a solid perimeter defender during his previous two seasons in Washington, can he now step up on offense when his number is called?
Temple needs to improve his offensive efficiency
As a team, the Wizards were 8th in defensive efficiency at 104.6, but only 17th in offensive efficiency with a 106.0 rating during the 2013-14 season. While Temple certainly helped the defense play at a high level when he was on the floor, he also contributed to their offensive woes. Below is a comparison of his individual ratings shooting, and effective field goal shooting percentages:
|Def Rat||Off Rat||FG%||3P%||eFG%|
These numbers don't paint a good picture of Temple's shooting performance. One possible reason to explain for this decline in offensive efficiency is simply the amount of playing time he received on the floor.
In the 2012-13 season, Temple averaged 22.6 minutes per game in the 51 games he played that season. Furthermore, Temple started 36 of them, mainly because John Wall and Bradley Beal suffered injuries at various points during the season. Playing extended minutes also allowed him to "get into a rhythm" as a game went along. With the exception of a bad January, Temple shot over 40% from the field in each month he played during his first year in D.C.:
Temple's playing time dropped considerably in the 2013-14 season, where he averaged 8.5 minutes a game. He was hardly playing altogether by the time the Wizards acquired Andre Miller after the All-Star break. In addition, Temple only shot about 40% in February and April:
Can Temple consistently get into a rhythm on offense right away when he plays?
With bench players who are at the end of the roster, it is important that they can provide an impact when their number is called, even if they only play limited minutes. At the other place I write, one community member wrote a comment that stuck with me in regards to this situation. Here is the gist of that comment:
It's true that it's hard to judge bench players by their limited minutes ... except that, as bench players, limited minutes are exactly all they are ever going to get. So, yes, it’s hard to find a rhythm, but if players want to keep playing in the [NBA], that difficult task is precisely what they have to do. Whatever it is the coach needs of them in that timeframe, regardless of how tough it is, they need to figure that out in order to keep having a job.
Even though Martell Webster will be out for at least the beginning of this season, Temple's playing time will be more erratic than most of the other guards and wings on the Wizards' lineup. It is imperative that he also improve his offensive game when he is on the floor, while maintaining his defensive consistency.
If he can do that, Temple will earn consistent playing time, even in short stretches, and the Wizards should also win more games thanks to his increased offensive efficiency.