Welcome to Roles, where we'll take a look at some of the Wizards role players and how they can flourish in their role this season. We start with a look at the Wizards' backup point guard, Ramon Sessions.
Entering his ninth season in the NBA, Ramon Sessions has nothing left to prove. He's bounced around quite a bit, but he's proven himself adept at every stop, save for a rough patch in Sacramento where he was stuck in a system that didn't suit his strengths.
Even though his numbers bounced up a bit after joining the Wizards towards the end of the 2014-15 season, his numbers were down compared to previous seasons. He averaged 7.4 points and 3.1 assists in 19 minutes per game with the Wizards, compared to the 12.3 points and 4.1 assists in 26 minutes he averaged with the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks during the 2013-14 season.
I already know what you're thinking, "Of course his numbers are down, he's playing behind NBA All-Star John Wall" an obvious fact but meaningless, where Sessions is concerned. He's no stranger to being the backup. Ramon has made his living in the NBA coming off the bench, feeding people inside and attacking the basket for his own point catalog.
Now that he's at the point in his career where his numbers are starting to dip, can he still be useful for the Wizards this season? To find the answer, let's start by looking back at what he's delivered in his career.
Flashback to May 5, 2015 when John Wall goes down with the now infamous wrist injury, Sessions was the next man up. He came through with 21 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds in Game 2 against the Hawks.
Until Wall returned in Game 5, Sessions was the unrelenting floor general doing everything he could think of to keep the Washington Wizards deep playoff run alive. Or everything Wall would do? After the Game 2 loss Sessions revealed his game plan as a postseason starter, "Just be aggressive. Play my game. Keep the pace going as John does well. Push the team, just like John."
Ramon Sessions is shooting 49% from the field and 53% from 3 in the playoffs, 60.9 TS%. Who needs John Wall! *cries*— Akbar Naqvi (@AkbarRazaNaqvi) May 8, 2015
Sessions recorded 7.5 points, 2.3 assists and 2.4 rebounds per game during the Wizards' 10 game playoff run, including his 3 starts.
LEADER OF THE SECOND UNIT
Sessions has fully embraced his role on the team, as a facilitator off the bench. Watch how he sets up the defense to deliver this pass to Nene:
I ,for one, love seeing Sess run the open court and find Nene or Gortat for the easy layup. The game doesn't slow down once he comes in to give Wall a breather, like it did with Andre Miller. He understands how to keep the pace and flow of the game similar to what it's like with Wall out there. Always on the attack. Sessions opened the preseason with a double-double, notching 10 points and 10 assists. Through five preseason games, he's averaging 8.2 points and 6.8 assists in just 20.5 minutes per game.
FIRST FULL SEASON AS WIZARD
Ramon has thrived in some challenging situations with rebuilding teams, but he has embraced a smaller, less glamorous role with a successful team in Washington.
"It was an honor to get traded here to be honest." said Sessions. "The situation I was going through in Sacramento, to come here and be apart of a team that is trying to win a Championship."
If all goes according to perhaps Ramon Sessions can find some stability as a Washington Wizard for the long haul, but we'll settle for one year. For now.
After eight years in the NBA, Ramon has to bring his experience on and off the court for the Wizards this season. Not only backing up Wall but also making sure everyone stays on the same page.
As one who has been part of three midseason trades, he understands the value of a consistent presence "You just never know what can go on in an NBA season," said Sessions at Media Day. So what are the ninth-year veteran's personal goals for the 2015-16 season?
"Just be ready to go. I'm a veteran type guy. I know kinda the ins and outs of a season. The ups and downs. So, I'll be ready to go."