The Washington Wizards are facing, to put it mildly, a bit of a guard shortage. A.J. Price, Martell Webster, and Bradley Beal, all capable guards, are currently out with injury. Add in Jordan Crawford getting traded for spare change, the only two game ready guards on the roster are John Wall and NBA D-League call up Garrett Temple. And yet the Wizards have been winning games. While Wall has received a lot of attention for his great play in March, it’s taken two guards to continue to win as shorthanded as the Wizards have been. Enter Garrett Temple.
Temple has increased his per 48 minute production every full month he’s been on the team. Temple has also been playing an incredible 35.2 minutes per game over the past 10 games and STILL KEPT UP WITH THIS INCREASED PRODUCTION. In fact, Temple might be playing his best basketball of all during these past ten games, averaging 10 points a game on 50% shooting. And while that is not overwhelming in its sheer production, it is very efficient. Temple knows his role is not to try and force baskets and score within the flow of the offense, and he is doing just that.
Not only has Temple been an efficient and productive member of the offense, his defense has been stellar. He was originally brought up in part to be a defensive stopper and hasn’t disappointed. He’s big for a guard at 6’ 6”, and the Wizards’ defense is 4.5 points more efficient per 100 possessions when he’s on the court. This is especially helpful during this recent bite of injuries, since Temple can switch on to larger small forwards and take the toughest wing offensive assignment so Wall can focus on offense.
My final argument illustration of Temple’s value is not so much an argument, but a comparison. Look at this completely random comparison to another guards stats…hey, that’s Jordan Crawford, old Washington Wizards guard and sixth man off the bench!
That’s right; Temple and Crawford’s stats are very comparable. Crawford’s are probably a little better because of his ability as a volume scorer, but Temple’s efficiency and defense cancels that out somewhat. It’s in many ways a judgment call. But if you consider Temple’s February and March the new normal, it becomes pretty obvious (at least in my mind) that you’d rather take Temple.
So to conclude, you go Garrett Temple! You’re the man.