Wizards Player Profiles: Trevor Ariza

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February 22, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards small forward Trevor Ariza (1) dunks the ball as Denver Nuggets shooting guard Andre Iguodala (9) looks on in the second quarter at Verizon Center. The Wizards won 119-113. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Mehic

After the Washington Wizards acquired Trevor Ariza from the New Orleans Hornets Pelicans in the trade which sent Rashard Lewis to The Big Easy, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. As it turns out, Trevor Ariza is a pretty good basketball player.

He struggled a bit, especially from an offensive standpoint with John Wall out, but he quickly asserted himself in the rotation once he returned from injury. With John Wall leading the team and playing the majority of minutes at point guard, the job became a lot easier for Ariza.

Ariza was asked to become a shot creator, something he definitely isn’t, on an injury plagued Wizards team. He thrived after the NBA All-Star break, especially on the offensive side of the floor. While defenses collapsed on Wall’s penetration, Ariza took advantage from beyond the arc, shooting about 42% from three, after the All-Star break.

As expected, Trevor Ariza continued to build on his defensive reputation which he built in Los Angeles, playing some of the best perimeter defense the Wizards have seen in years. Ariza did have a tendency to gamble on steals on occasion, but for the most part, he was a big part of the reason Washington was ranked 7th in defensive efficiency this past season.

He’s not perfect, but he did improve throughout the course of the season. Despite losing his starting spot to fan favorite, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza still managed to become a solid contributor on an inconsistent team.

Grade: C+



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