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Evaluating Marcin Gortat's 2014-2015 season and what to expect going forward

After a brief hiatus to focus on the draft and free agency, we resume our season evaluations with a look at the $60 million man, Marcin Gortat.

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Aside from John Wall, Marcin Gortat proved to be the most dependable player for the Wizards during the 2014-2015 roller-coaster of a regular season. Gortat averaged 12.2 points along with 8.7 rebounds and was one of the only players that could be counted on during the Wizards' mind-numbing slump in the winter months. Aside from Randy Wittman benching Gortat at odd times during the season (mainly in the fourth quarter of tight games) Gortat showed why the Wizards invested so much in him last summer.

His scoring dipped a little from last season to this (13.2 points to 12.2 points) but he averaged 8.7 rebounds per game which was the third-best season average of his career. Additionally, he shot 70.3 percent from the free-throw line, the second-best percentage of his career.

Most nights, the Wizards would run a back screen on the block to get Gortat engaged early in the game. Gortat proved that he still has a very solid around the rim and is highly capable of finishing with either hand on those early set plays. Unfortunately, after those first few plays, it would be up to Gortat to create his own shots if they weren't coming off the pick-and-rolls with John Wall as Wittman would stop calling his number. As a result, Gortat's scoring numbers were very inconsistent this past season. There were nights where he'd shoot 75 percent from the field and score 20+ points; but there were just as many nights where he'd shoot under 40 percent from the field and score in single digits.

Gortat really turned things on starting in April where he averaged 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds per game for the month (just counting regular season games). It's no surprise that his numbers spiked when he started playing alongside Drew Gooden, and later, Paul Pierce. Their ability to knock down threes made his man guard him at the arc providing better spacing for Gortat to finish around the rim.

Gortat's numbers when paired with different power forwards, via NBA Wowy, illustrate just how much a stretch four helped Gortat's efficiency and the team as a whole:

Gortat Stretch Four numbers

Gortat's momentum carried over into the Toronto series as he scored 16, 24, and 21 points in Games 2-4 while shooting an unfathomable 78.7 percent from the field during that three-game stretch. But just like he did in the regular season, he followed it up with some duds in the Atlanta series, scoring just three points in Game 4 and two points Game 6, though to be fair, he was dealing with an illness in that final game.

On the flip side, he was always up to the task when it came to rebounding and playing defense. As stated, he averaged 8.7 rebounds per game including 30 games with 10+ rebounds. He was always active on the defensive glass and proved to be one of the Wizards' better pick-and-roll defenders. He's showed that he is the Wizards best rim protector (players only shot 48.6 percent against Gortat last season, the second-best mark on the team) and did do so while avoiding foul trouble (he only fouled out once this season).

As the Wizards adapt to the NBA and try to incorporate a stretch 4 into the offense; one can only assume that Gortat's numbers will improve with better spacing next season. If he stays active on both the offensive and defensive glass and stays within his range in the offense; there's no reason why he shouldn't have another solid season for the Wizards next year.