Nov 19, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards power forward Jan Vesely (24) dunks the ball as Minnesota Timberwolves small forward Corey Brewer (13) defends in the second quarter at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Is Jan Vesely finally become a useful player for the Wizards?

For the first time in three seasons, it finally seems like Jan Vesely is starting to understand his role with the Wizards. It’s no secret that Washington’s bench has struggled this season, partially because of their lack of front court depth. Kevin Seraphin has been utterly disastrous and he’s been sent to Randy Wittman’s doghouse for the billionth time in his career. With no reliable big man off the bench, Wittman has turned to Jan Vesely for production and he may have found an answer.

Unlike Kevin Seraphin, Jan Vesely hasn’t been trying to do too much when the coach calls his name. Playing time has been scarce for Vesely, but he’s finally realizing what he needs to do to stay on the floor: Rebound and defend. Although he’ll inevitably struggle defending bigger forwards in the post due to his long frame, Vesely has done a great job deflecting loose balls and defending the pick and roll. Most importantly, Vesely has provided the energy and hustle that no one on Washington’s bench has been able to replicate. His length has allowed him to tip the ball into the back court numerous times during the game, resulting into multiple second chance shots for the Wizards which they’ve desperately needed. Every team needs an energizer off the bench and Vesely has become exactly that for the improving Wizards.

Vesely will never live up to his draft selection, but it’s great to finally see him succeed in a reserve role. Even though Vesely is still an offensive liability and has missed every free throw he’s taken this season, he does give John Wall another option in transition. He was originally drafted to become Wall’s running mate, but it’s pretty clear the Wizards will have to settle for his production off the bench. He’s been the anti-Kevin Seraphin in the defensive and rebounding department, but I’d like to see him become more aggressive with the ball in his hands. Vesely has a high basketball I.Q. , but his confidence with the ball is nonexistent. There’s been too many sequences where Vesely passed the ball when he’s literally 5 feet away from the basket. He’s no Nene, but if he’s that close to the basket he needs to shoot the ball.

The Airwolf has finally been freed and it’s been for the betterment of the team.


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