Keys to the Palace is a weekly segment where we take a look at how the Wizards have performed over the past week, but with it being Festivus, we're going to do things a little differently this week.
Feats of Strength - Kept Drake in his place on Instagram, could help turn the season around once he’s healthy.
Airing of Grievances - Look, it’s not his fault that he needed two surgeries for his ankle, but it doesn’t change that he’s not helping the team on the court right now.
Feats of Strength - Scored 20 points or more in 10 of the 17 games he’s played this season, improved his shot selection, and is shooting the best effective field goal percentage of his career.
Airing of Grievances - He’s missed at least 9 games in all four seasons of his NBA career. It’s like trying to get through 24 punches on an Atomic Sub card to get a free sub at this point.
Feats of Strength - He had a very nice, quietly effective against the Rockets.
Airing of Grievances - Where do we begin?
Feats of Strength - In a season where just about everyone has auditioned to be a stretch four, he’s the only one who has really lived up to the billing this season. If anything, we probably understated just how well he’d play in Washington. We expected him to do a lot of little things that wouldn’t show up in the box score, but he’s been doing some nice things in the box score as well. He’s putting up career-best shooting numbers so far this season, including a league-leading 48.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Airing of Grievances - Kyle Weidie put it best:
Duds is a great position defender, even on ball sometimes, but has 2 lead Wizards in mug-shots defended.— Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It) December 22, 2015
He just got here, we won't put him through this.
Feats of Strength - Had a really nice, 11 points, 11 rebound performance in October against the Knicks.
Airing of Grievances - Only has 16 points and 27 rebounds on the season.
Feats of Strength - He continues to provide very nice value for the Wizards in the second year of his $60 million deal. After a bit of a slow start, his numbers are almost all either back at or above what they were last season.
Airing of Grievances - Last season during the playoffs, it looked like Gortat didn’t need Nene to be an effective defensive center, but now that we have some more data, it’s looking more like there may be reason to worry how well he’s managing that role. Yes, the team’s bigger issue is guarding beyond the arc, but when teams can crack the defense and allow a strong drive to the rim, Gortat’s work hasn’t been encouraging.
Feats of Strength - Moving to center allowed Nene to show off his true strengths. He’s still a terror around the rim and protecting it on the other end. He looks like the kind of guy who could still pin someone younger than him and make him cry "Uncle" and beg for mercy.
Airing of Grievances - This will be the fourth time in four seasons where Nene has missed at least 14 games, and we’re not even a third of the way into the season yet.
Feats of Strength - He’s shooting 36.5 percent on threes this season. That’s better than guys like Carmelo Anthony, Isaiah Thomas, Jason Terry, Trevor Ariza, and Marco Bellinelli among others.
Airing of Grievances - It’s not Humphries’ fault he can’t do more with the ball. You can’t expect a 31-year-old who has spent his entire basketball life working as a glass-cleaning power forward to suddenly understand the nuance of playing on the perimeter.
Feats of Strength - Neal was brought into give the Wizards a scoring option who could knock down some shots and bail out the offense if it bogged down, and he’s done just that. He’s shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 42.6 percent from the arc and has paired with Ramon Sessions to provide some much-needed pop off the bench. He’s fifth on the Wizards in points per game this season.
Airing of Grievances - Neal was not brought into give the Wizards to facilitate the offense, draw fouls, or be a plus defender and he hasn’t done any of those things.
Feats of Strength - Oubre does two things very well that are hard to teach. First, he’s shooting from beyond the arc very well. he’s shooting 37.9 percent from beyond the arc, the only rookies attempting at least one three per game and shooting better are Devin Booker, Mario Hezonja, and Raul Neto. He’s also drawing fouls better than most of the rookies in this year’s class.
Airing of Grievances - He’s played 200 minutes this season and only has 6 assists. Yamahama.
Feats of Strength - Made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.
Airing of Grievances - It’s hard to rain blows down upon someone when you’re only connecting on 27.4 percent of your deep shots.
Feats of Strength - Undoubtedly the best backup point guard the Wizards have had since Antonio Daniels. He’s also one of only two Wizards to play in all 26 games this season.
Airing of Grievances - His plus/minus on Wednesdays is -30, which I find distracting.
Feats of Strength - Continues to provide a spark, no matter what role he’s filling for the team.
Airing of Grievances - All we ask is that he crosses someone up this season. Just one time. Do it for the Vine, Garrett.
Feats of Strength - December.
Airing of Grievances - November.