Wizards 2014 Playoffs Winners & Losers

Handing out labels following the Wizards’ best postseason run since before I started rooting for them nearly 30 years ago.

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Winners

Bradley Beal — Had a couple clunkers against Indiana, including 7-19 shooting in the decisive Game 6, but check out his numbers across 11 playoff games: 19.2 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 4.5 APG, 1.6 SPG and .415 3P%. Also, and you probably didn’t hear about this, he’s only 20.

Randy Wittman — He does not seem to be a very good coach, but he did take this team further than they’ve been since 1979.

Ernie Grunfeld — Same for Ernie, right Wise?

Ted Leonsis — Same for Ted, who benefits in this regard, in a strange way, from the Caps bottoming out on the other side of the ledger.

Marcin Gortat — Replicated his rock-solid regular season averages of 13 and 10 and, though he was inconsistent from game to game, went off for 31 and 16 to stay alive vs. Indiana, giving us this John Wall quote for the ages:

Drew Gooden and Andre Miller — I was not expecting these two to make meaningful postseason contributions. Old guys rule.

Trevor Ariza — Had a great regular season, and more or less lived up to that in the postseason, averaging 8.9 boards, 46 percent from three and 52 percent overall. Even though he disappeared in a few games, he led the team in win shares and probably made himself a considerable amount of money in free agency. What the Wiz end up doing with him and Gortat will be fascinating.

Losers

John Wall — I hate to do this to the man, because I really want him to put it all together, but he was hard to watch at times and inconsistent throughout. After finishing top-20 in scoring and second in assists, his playoff numbers dropped across the board. He seemed unsure of himself and confused with the ball. But the glimpses were there; Game 5 against Indy was goddamn beautiful. Hopefully he learns from this. I think he will.

Martell Webster — Another guy I like a lot, so this brings me no joy. He was good last year, got paid, regressed a bit and then really fell off in the playoffs, shooting 23 percent from three.

Otto Porter — The No. 3 overall pick played six minutes total.

Wizards fans — Not a great showing! Nor did they get much to cheer for, as the Wiz went 1-4 at home (vs. 5-1 on the road).

Medium

Nene — After being generally regarded as the MVP of Round 1 for winning his matchup with DPOY Joakim Noah, he was pretty bad against Roy Hibbert and David West in Round 2, shooting .395 from the field and grabbing 4.5 boards per game. I will never understand what he did to Jimmy Butler.

Trevor Booker — Didn’t figure into the Indiana series but played 24 minutes per game against Chicago, running around like a wild man. Not sure how effective he was, but it sure was fun to watch.

8 thoughts on “Wizards 2014 Playoffs Winners & Losers”

  1. I was furious last night immediately after the game, but came to the realization that this is just the beginning. There is always the chance of regression, a la the 2013 Skins (due to injury/chemistry)(And THE WORST SPECIAL TEAMS DVOA OF ALL TIME) and the 2013 Nats (due to injury/consistency), but overall I see this team competing in the East as a top 3 seed for the next 5 years.

    When it comes to the FA decision, I don’t think it’s as tough as people are making it out to be. Ariza, over the course of his career, has always played lights out in contract years compared to other years. Gortat is steady production from a Center, when our other big man is perpetually injured. At SF we just signed Webster, and I don’t think it is much of a drop off from Ariza in a non contract year (if at all).

    We resign Gortat, let Ariza walk, have Webster step into the starting SF role getting Ariza’s minutes, and let Otto Porter expand his role. Far too much talk of Porter being a bust. He was injured for the majority of the year, was a rookie, and has potential to be at a minimum what Webster has been to us over the last couple years. This should leave us enough money to still pursue a big free agent, or ship Nene and his expiring to the TWolves with a 1st for Kevin Love.

  2. I like what SiPhi said. Don’t pay Ariza but bring back Gortat. Hopefully Webster and Porter set up and fill that void. I’d trade anyone not named Wall, Beal or Gortat (if resigned) plus picks all of our picks for Love.

    1. I was a bit off about Nene, he actually has 2 years left on his contract. Not quite an expiring. Point still stands though.

  3. Agreed with the above.

    If it’s a choice between Gortat or Ariza — it’s Gortat. When your other big is injury-riddled Nene, it’s not even a debate. Bigs > Wing players.

    Although , with the salary cap increase it may not come down to Gortat/Ariza. The Wiz may be able to sign both. If anyone’s interested, Grantland had a nice piece on the Wiz’s future. The gist is basically do the Wiz sign both and field a pretty good, but maybe not great team for years? Or do they let Gortat/Ariza walk and try to sign a Carmelo/Love/etc. ?

    It’s an interesting dilemma. I don’t want to go overboard, but this team is literally a Kevin Love or Greg Monroe type addition away from being one of the best in the league.

    And I’m not even going to bring up Durant. Although I know myself and all Wiz fans are having masturbatory fantasies about 2016.

  4. I’m still not over the loss.

    I don’t care if they have a bright future. This team had a great opportunity to play Miami in the finals and couldn’t win ONE home game. Embarrassing.

    I get it; they’re young. But that’s still no excuse for losing games that they controlled. Wittman has to go. Wall seems capable of being a leader on the floor but they are in dire need of a coach who can help them finish games.

  5. Brad Beal has an uncanny feel for “big-shot-making”. It’s a gift bestowed on very few at that level. And it requires uncanny instinct and poise….because “big-shot-making” doesn’t just happen with under a minute left in games. “Big-shot-making” may happen when another team is on a run in the 3rd quarter…and the crowd and defense is energized…and it causes an offensive breakdown…and then you hit the guarded jumper…and EVERYTHING calms down. And then there are the more obvious ones we’ve seen very late in games that we really needed. Yeah, he’s a big-shot maker, among other good things. And I love watching him.

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